Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Better Off Ted, "It's Nothing Business, It's Just Personal": Better dead than red

A quick review of last night's "Better Off Ted" coming up just as soon as I help my daughter build a house of Legos...

That's more like it. The first few episodes of this season had funny bits here and there, but "It's Nothing Business" was the first one that reminded me of the stronger installments from last spring. It had physical comedy (Veronica sleeping sitting up, Ted's tiny office), a bit of farce (every one of Ted's attempts to interfere in Veronica's relationship with Mordor making things worse) and some sharper, more ridiculous corporate satire in the use of the red labcoat and everyone's reaction to it.

Don't forget that there's a new episode (and a new, JD-free "Scrubs") on Friday after the Rose Bowl, allegedly at 8:30 Eastern, but possibly airing later due to the unpredictability of live sporting events. I'm planning to pad my "Ted" recording by 90 minutes, which oughta do the trick of capturing both. And if not, there's always Hulu the next morning.

What did everybody else think?


dez said...

The red labcoat and everyone's reactions to it was the best part, capped with the red flower at the end. Ted's tiny office also reminded me of the location of The Michael Scott Paper Company. Ah, good times!

kevhines said...

I think this episode also had some great lines of dialogue too. I loved watching Lem and Phil wanting out of the small office when Veronica. I realize that is not an example of a great piece of dialogue, but it was hilarious. I tend to be scattershot when talking about Better Off Ted. I like so much about it. I'll miss this show, but I am glad I even got this second "season"

AndyW said...

"It's like you have a hundred fingers!" That had me absolutely rolling. Funniest thing I've heard in forever.

Scott said...

I thought this was the best episode of the new season. The only thing that seems off is Ted. I remembered him playing it straight more in the 1st season. Maybe it was the stubble beard

J said...

Fiery bus crash! (Kidding.)

I think we've seen the tiny office before, right? Dr. Bhamba? Though the Night at the Operaish bit was nice.

I keep praying for an all Lem-and-Phil episode, but then I worry that it won't be as special as the little bits of Lem and Phil we get, so then I un-pray.

Anyway, I feel they interfered with the corporate Kafkaesqueness of the red jacket by having Veronica explain it. I'd have rather watched them progress through stages of reward, punishment, and apathy on their own.

'm sorry they had Veronica explain the red jacket. Would have been corporately Kafkaesque had they just not. Maybe Lindelof and Cruise can write an episode before they all burn off.

Andrew said...

I loved the Phil and Lem story, but thought the Mordor storyline fell flat. Linda in particular seemed completely out of character, claiming that Ted not wanting to get involved was because he believed that a relationship should be "on the man's terms"? What? Has she never met Ted? Her whole character seemed off last night.

When we met Mordor last season, wasn't he a really nice guy? Suddenly he is an insensitive bastard because that is what the script calls for?

Again though, Phil and Lem rocked it.

Anonymous said...

I completely forgot about it being on last night and probably will forget it on Friday night too, but hulu definitely works for me. Like everyone, I loved the red labcoat stuff and nice to to see a return of the small office gag (along with Lem and Phil physical comedy that came with it), but the other story was kind of lame. It would have been nice to see this as the first episode back, instead of the first 3 somewhat less laugh out loud episodes. It's a shame they couldn't have aired a new ep tonight before The Middle to at least attempt to boost ratings (since they want to burn off episodes so badly).

Tom Galloway said...

The two aspects that really made the ep for me, and which had been somewhat missing in other season 2 eps;

1) The extra bits of dialogue. Sorta hard to explain, but there was a fair amount of "line..." with an immediate short followup "line with a twist on the first line". It really felt like someone had written a perfectly adequate season 2 script...then went back and substantially polished the dialogue.

2) Even though the red coat and Mordor weren't really connected, the script managed to make it feel like this was all happening at the same time, rather than on two different plot tracks which are so isolated that one could be happening on Tuesday and the other on Friday for all they intermingle.

Anonymous said...

"No one likes a pointer. Even in the dog world they're considered insufferable." Best line of the night, though it took me two seconds to get it.

Ted Frank said...

The tiny office was right out of "Brazil" down to the coloring and the overhead camera angle -- and then they switched to the "Night at the Opera" approach, though didn't push it as far.

Mordor was out of character for Veronica, so I'm glad he's out of the picture.

Oaktown Girl said...

First: thanks for the reminder about the episode on Friday!

Good episode, but I thought Mordor should have been more suave and sophisticated, as appeared to be the case when we first see him and he and Veronica are fencing. The plot potential would have been a lot funnier that way. Instead, he turns out to be more of a dumb jock buffoon with fast and magic hands. His personality reminded me of the ex-husband on Cougar Town, without the heart.

I loved the red jacket story line, but I was disappointed when the "other" scientist to get the red jacket was some other guy and not Bhamba. I would have been rolling on the floor had it been Bhamba strutting around in the Red Coat of Victory.

Melanie said...

This episode didn't really work for me. Maybe because I found Mordor unattractive, and kept wondering why someone like Veronica would go out with him, and more importantly, why any other female in the office would sleep with him (since all they get is the sex and not the fun/danger/thrill activities.)

Then again, there are the hundred fingers... maybe I just answered my own question.

It also seemed odd to have an episode centered on keeping personal lives out of the office - didn't we just have one where the corporation tried to match make? And isn't almost every other episode about whether Ted should date Linda? It's never been that he doesn't want to mix business with pleasure, but something lame about his daughter. After all, he slept with Veronica at work... it just seemed out of the blue for him to suddenly start talking that way.