One of the oddities of the television world is the “midseason series,” so called because it airs a little out of sync with most of the primetime eye candy. Such shows are a kind of wild card because they can fill in gaps and allow more eccentric shows a shot at a major audience. A geeky show in this category got an extension of life and I was glad to see it happen.
Better Off Ted follows the life of research manager, Ted Crisp, in a bizarre R&D firm called Veridian Dynamics. It should be noted that every episode begins with a fake ad for Veridian that is reminiscent of Aperture Science from Portal (think evil corporation). Anyway, Ted’s team consists of Linda, head of testing and love interest, and a couple of zany scientists, Phil and Lem. Ted’s boss is the emotionless Veronica, with whom he once had an affair.
While the show is definitely not a top shelf comedy, several of my geeky friends have developed a bit of an attraction to the show, largely because of the two hapless scientists. Their attempts to create the impossible (rocket packs, artificial meat, suspended animation) not only mirror projects in real life, but they usually succeed where “real” scientists have been stumped.
ABC has decided to extend the show, which went on hiatus in May, for another 6 episodes this summer. The first episode will air on June 23rd of this year.
By the way, for those interested, I was researching for this article when I came across a great compilation of teasers/spoilers relating to the upcoming Summer and Fall seasons. They’re really not very spoilery in the traditional sense, but I think they’ll whet your appetite for new shows.
What do you think of Better Off Ted? Do you plan to begin/keep watching this summer?