better off ted pilot

Over the weekend I watched the pilot of the new sitcom Better Off Ted.  There’s a lot of things to like about this show.  For one thing, it’s well-cast; Portia de Rossi is spot on – she’s hilarious– and Jonathan Slavin as Phil is also good.  (I recognized him from an episode of Bones where he played Brennan’s publisher’s murderous assistant.)  It’s got a refreshingly quirky sense of humor, and I loved the scenes between Ted and his daughter.  She seems to be essentially his conscience, and the fact that he’s a single father gives him a bit of depth and relatability that might otherwise be missing.

This show needs that touch of relatability, actually, because if the pilot had a flaw it’s that most of the characters, while hilarious, didn’t feel like real people.  They were more like overcaffeinated Barbie dolls with snappy dialogue.  In the best comedies, the characters are human enough that we can see bits of people we know in them, and at this point Better Off Ted is totally over-the-top in that area.  Still, characterization can be a tricky thing to nail in a pilot so maybe this is something they’ll improve in subsequent episodes.

I don’t know if I’ll be back to it each week, because I tend not to follow comedies as closely as I do dramas; I’ll forget about them for several weeks at a time and then get caught up when I’m in the mood for something light.  Regardless, this is one to keep an eye on.


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