I have personally found outsourcing hilarious since I’ve had to contend with it. When calling my bank for information on a credit card results in the guy on the other side (who sounds very much like my Bombay-raised uncle trying to inflect a Midwestern accent) asking me about where in India I’m from and where my parents are from in India, hilarity is just part of the equation. Apparently the powers that be in American mainstream media have picked up on that fact, and in a time where Indian culture has become the new “it’ factor, it is inevitable that outsourcing to India will play into movies and television shows.
I found it interesting that there is a movie called “Outsourced” and a new TV show called “Outsourced.” One is a spinoff of the other. The former was a movie that premiered at the Toronto film festival, the latter will be coming to NBC in the fall. Here is a preview of each:
Outsourced (TV series)
The movie seems charming enough, but I’m not thrilled about the TV series. I want to be excited, it’s an almost all-Indian cast. Yet they’re made to look like idiots, and play into all of the conventional stereotypes of Indian people. Granted yes, that’s the whole point of making a series about outsourcing–to poke fun at the concept itself–but it borders on equating the stereotypes with the culture, rather than using it as a means of disentangling one from the other.
Maybe they’ll take the show in a positive direction much like the movie, but at least based on the trailer, it just seems to be an opportunity to make fun of Indian people, not the concept of outsourcing. That being said, the one shining moment in the trailer for me was when the Indian guy was going on about grits in a perfect Southern accent (2:39 in the trailer). If the show sticks with humor about outsourcing rather than about Indian stereotypes, it could be pretty good. If it doesn’t, though, I’m not sure it’ll make it out of the starting gate.
Oh and for the record, there is no rule of thumb that states that Indian food as a whole is gross and gives people diarrhea. While I’ll admit, some Indian food doesn’t necessarily LOOK appetizing (think aloo palak or anything involving palak), it has something that a lot of other foods lack: flavor. If you can’t handle it, that’s your problem and your loss.