Friday, October 5, 2012

Racial Sensitivity

Funny F*ckin' Friday
Rather than replacing a motion-detecting system with a terrible glitch, Veronica employs a series of tactics in order to get around having to spend more money, in turn spending more money than the cost of replacing the system.

The review for "Through Rose Colored HAZMAT Suits" can be read here.

The relationship between Ted (Jay Harrington) and Linda (Andrea Anders) grows more complicated with every moment while the bond between Phil (Jonathan Slavin) and Lem (Malcolm Barrett) becomes stronger as they fight for one another's best interests. Veronica (Portia de Rossi) remains determined to retain her steely personality in favor of focusing on her career and the interests of Viridian as a company.

Ted's budding friendship with Linda's boyfriend Don (Kristoffer Polaha) is a good choice for the series, making Don more than just Ted's rival and turning him into his own character. What's even more interesting is the issue this causes for Linda, as she wants both men to fight over her but instead finds them more interested in spending time with each other.

Veronica's ability to make everything about herself is nothing short of comedy gold; as the black staff members storm into her office to demand the respect they deserve, she's quick to turn it back on herself with a story about her high school days, when she was turned into an outcast due to being far more attractive than anyone else in her class. Better still is everyone's acceptance of this story, as though she has done them a great favor by telling it, and how it manages to resolve their concerns, however temporarily.

Linda's continued attempts to make Ted jealous seem incredibly insensitive, especially when Don's feelings are taken into consideration; should Linda succeed in getting Ted's back up enough for him to confess his love, she would abandon Don, but as it is, it seems as though she has no feelings for Don beyond how he makes her feel, and how he's likely to make Ted feel. When Ted and Don become friends, and Linda's jealousy over said fact gets out of control, it becomes very clear that Ted cares more for Don that Linda does, which calls into question why Ted doesn't bring up this fact with his friend.

I have no understanding as to how motion sensors work, but I imagine the white of Lem's lab coat would have some kind of effect on triggering the lights. It's also hard for me to believe that Lem wouldn't have come up with a solution of his own, no matter how primitive, in order to restore functionality enough to get him out of the building.

The entire cast continues to impress with their chemistry, but the standout in this episode is Barrett's performance as Lem in showing his complete inability to stand up for himself and the lengths he will go to to change his routing in order to accommodate the lack of functionality provided by the company's systems. Day player Jesse Head gives a memorable performance as Stu, Lem's white shadow, determined to mimic Lem's moves exactly at every moment.

Paul Lazarus directs this episode with a humorous nod to the politically-correct culture North America has developed over the years. The solutions to fixing their problems are hilarious, especially since they, in turn, only create more problems, and would eventually lead to everyone on Earth working for Viridian Dynamics by 2013.

Michael Glouberman writes a solid episode here, with Veronica's desperation to have the company seen in a positive light, spinning the systems as indifferent rather than racist, as they aren't targetting black people, just ignoring them.

The company's complete inability to understand the human condition, and the employees that seem trapped within the system, are extremely relate able, no matter how exaggerated they may be. Half of the characters seem to have learned to live under the restrictions imposed by the company, while the rest are incapable of breaking free from the mold set for them, despite their continued efforts.

The review for "Win Some, Dose Some" will be posted on October 12th.


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