Many call this a strange or bold move form NBC, but it is more of a commonsense if you think about it – controversial shows get the attention from public and media alike. Thursday’s prime-time lineup from NBC includes ‘Outsourced’ – a comic satire on Indian culture through the eyes of American and Western office managers. Nothing original, but different!
The show in itself is hilarious, if you take it with a grain of salt. The Indian way of thinking, the Indian traditions, the office habits of local workers and how we perceive Americans – all on display in half an hour weekly comedy that is lighthearted and fun to watch.
The premise of ‘Outsourced’ is based on an an Indian call center in Mumbai selling American novelties. According to NBC, the Outsourced revolves around “the all-American company Mid America Novelties whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India and a manager, played by Ben Rappaport, is being transferred to India to run the operation…”
The sitcom touches on a variety of social and cultural Indian issues including arranged marriage, a young woman working in the call center to support her parents, how Indians view the American women, the Indian Accent and the fake American accent….
The half an hour show, actually about 20 minutes in total if you take out the commercials in between, has very natural and down to earth style of exposing the cultural differences. The show may not have the same appeal to some of the Indian audience, especially those who are not intimate with American lifestyle. For example, there are dialogues like:
“…I never imagined that I will be taking to beautiful women from exotic places like Fresno and Des Moines…!” Manmeet says in one episode, who is always fascinated with American girls and spends more time flirting over the phone than selling the novelties. If you live in US, you know that there is not a whole lot exotic about Fresno or Des Moines, actually quite the opposite. So, you need first-hand American knowledge to understand some of the humor. Continue reading