Better Off Ted is like witty Silly Putty: You can stretch it in any direction and it’s still fun. This week, we had two storylines: Linda comes up with a scented light bulb that so captivates execs at Viridian Dynamic that it dims the glow of Ted’s new, longer-lasting light bulb project. And we met Lem’s mom, played with wiggly, brainy authority by the terrific Khandi Alexander (CSI: Miami; NewsRadio), who withholds approval from her son and beds his colleague, Dr. Bhamba.
See? It was primarily a Linda and Lem show, but it was still terrific. The scented bulb required Linda the lowly product-tester to give a presentation to company executives. Her natural modesty and nervousness had to be squeezed out of her by Portia de Rossi’s Veronica, who told her she cares too much what other people think.
This theme dovetailed nicely with the Lem story, since he cared too much about what his brilliant mother thinks of him — he’s spent his career feeling he can never exceed her intelligence, and hiding from her his own inventions such as “a helmet that makes cheeseburgers” and (a very good sight-gag) popcorn kernels that pop warmly in your mouth.
It was, as usual, a great night for Veronica-isms, as when she told Ted, regarding the endearingly loopy Linda, “Get on that before the crazy outweighs the hot.”
Even better: In the instantly-immortal words of Veronica, “Facts are just opinions and opinions can be wrong,” thus concisely articulating the philosophy of bosses each of us has worked for since time immemorial, don’t you think?
On Wednesday, ABC is airing double-reruns of The Middle and Cougar Town. On a holiday week, this makes sense with shows a network wants to boost. And I have nothing against those sitcoms.
One question for ABC: WHERE IS THE TED MARATHON?! I mean, come on. Instead of rerunning the show on different nights at different times, to see if it picks up viewers, what is ABC doing? Burning off two new episodes of Better Off Ted on Jan. 1. On New Year’s Day, a Friday holiday. Gee, I’ll bet that helps the show’s ratings.
By the way, you can now get the first season of Better Off Ted on DVD. Well worth it, I’d say.
But back to my topics: Did you watch Ted last night, and what were your favorite lines?
And am I being paranoid, or is ABC just shoving Ted into an early grave?