Outsourcing the Funnies

Hurray! I had another thing to review for day four of review week! This is a cross post from Yellow Peril about a show that I should be loving but can’t stand.

On paper, NBC’s “Outsouced” is the sitcom I’ve always wanted. Not since Margaret Cho’s “All American Girl” have we seen a predominantly Asian cast on American television. Well, there was “Vanishing Son,” but nobody remembers that one. Anyway, yes, “Outsourced” should be something I lose my shit over. On a tick list of things that I’d want in an Asian sitcom, this ticks them all: predominantly Asian cast, airs on prime-time, explores Asian culture in a non-exploitive manner (kinda. This point can be argued, but I think they actually do a good job), potential interracial dating. So far, so good.

So why is it so hard for me to get into this damn show?!

I didn’t make it through the first episode of “Outsourced” when it aired. Every week, I try to stick with it. I usually have the tube on Thursdays for NBC’s comic block while I’m working on the comic. And even then, I just can’t sit through an entire episode. I usually make it half way through “Outsourced” before I click it off the idiot box and click on my Old Time Radio.

The thing is, I love a majority of the cast. I love the setting. The soundtrack is really fun. But it doesn’t work. And after trying to sit through this first season unsuccessfully, I’ve pinpointed what keeps me from enjoying a full episode. Todd Dempsy.

Todd Dempsy is our viewpoint character. He’s just like us, an average American who doesn’t know jack shit about Indian culture. Okay, so he’s nothing like me. Nor is he anything like anyone I’ve ever met, ever. But I’ve never been to Kansas City so who knows, he might be exactly like everyone there. Which would mean that everyone from there is deadly boring. I don’t know if it’s the writing or if its the way Ben Rappaport portrays him, but Todd is seriously the most boring person on television. There’s nothing memorable about him. He’s so bland, so milquetoast, so not there that I had to fucking look up his name because I forgot it!

Now I understand that the producers wanted to treat the subject matter with reverence. They didn’t want this show to be written off as racist buffoonery. And it really feels like they’ve taken the time to get familiar with Indian culture. But they’ve created a viewpoint character who’s so inoffensive, he’s practically invisible. And yet he’s the focus of every episode that I’ve tried to sit through. Honestly, I’d rather enjoy the show if he wasn’t there at all. I mean, even giving him a sexy blonde Australian chick to date who flashes his brother on the internet fails to make him interesting.

Goddamn, you’re so goddamn close “Outsourced.” I so want to like you. Just get rid of the boring dude and focus on the rest of the cast. Send him back to Kansas City already and get on with the show!

Tron Uprising Makes Something Else Rise… IN MY PANTS!

You had me at Bruce Boxlightner!

Thanks to Angry Zen Minion David Caceres and AZM Ally Kensei Dave for sending along this awesome trailer for the animated Tron Uprising which will premiere Summer of 2012 with a 10-part micro series to show this Fall. From the sound of it, Uprising will fill in the gaps between the original film and Legacy although it seems like it’ll be closer in visual style to Legacy than the original. I’d kind of like to see a visual bridge between the first and second films in this series. I’d really like to see how all the random complex grids from the first one get simplified as we get to the current film. But I love what I see. It looks like there’s going to be a decent blend of CG and 2D cell animation which guarantees crunchy pants action.

And more Daft Punk! Well, at least music inspired by Daft Punk.

New Thundercats Looks Fucking RAD!

So yeah, this kicks a whole lot of the ass. I had my doubts, but those have been quite shattered.

Still, new Snarf looks to be just as annoying as old Snarf.

With Your Help, Nathan Fillion Could Revive Firefly

According to Angry Zen Minion Jeff Posey, Nathan Fillion is fixing to buy the rights to “Firefly.” And I quote:

If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.

Winning the lottery is probably not the best business model for buying a show. But winning the internet? That’s entirely possible. When Firefly fans got word of Nathan’s off-the-cuff remark in an Entertainment Weekly interview, they sprang in to action. If Nathan wants the Firefly, we’ll help him get the Firefly! They started the Help Nathan Buy Firefly campaign to raise the funds for Nathan to buy and produce more Firefly.

Thus far, no actual money has been raise. The campaign organizers set up a Facebook Page to help generate interest. But whether or not that fan swell will translate into actual dollars is anyone’s guess. There are no details on what it will actually cost to make more Firefly. The $300 million is a figure Nathan pulled out of his ass. It’s also unclear if filming a new series for the interwebs would interfere with his “Castle” gig. Seems like there are more details to be hammered out before the call to donate sounds across the internet.

But if we can buy Detroit Robo, sure as shit we can buy Nathan Firefly.

Source: Help Nathan Buy Firefly

Adrianne Palicki is Wonder Woman

AZM Ally Kensei Dave sends word that Adrianne Palicki will play Wonder Woman in the upcoming television series. Palicki previously starred in “Friday Night Lights,” “Lone Star,” the horror film Legion, and will play a role in the upcoming remake of Red Dawn. This means nothing to me since I haven’t seen any of that shit. But in this poster for Legion, she’s pregnant and carrying an automatic rifle with a grenade launcher:

That’s kinda fucking awesome right there. Honestly, I’m just glad that a woman superhero is getting some proper air time. I still think she should have her own goddamn blockbuster film in the summer, but if the Wonder Woman series ends up running a whole mess of seasons, that’s almost better.

I kinda wonder what direction they’re going to go for the costume. Will they go classic Wondy with the spangled underwear or will they go with the jeans and jacket? I’m guessing something in between but leaning more to the jacket and jeans look. We’ll see. I think Palicki will do fine.

Source: Nerd Bastards

Let’s Go, Let’s Go-Kaijah!!!

The first episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger debuted this week and I freaking loved it! It’s been a while since I got excited about a sentai team. The last one, actually, the only one I sat all the way through was Samurai Sentai Shinkenger. And if this first episode is any indication, it looks like I’ll be hopping aboard the Gokaiger galleon.

Let me count the awesomeness in the first episode:

  1. The episode opens up with the great Sentai war with all the past teams fighting to save the Earth from invaders. All the previous sentai teams are there!
  2. Gokai Red is named Captain Marvelous.
  3. The Gokaiger suits have popped collars.
  4. The Gokaigers kick the shit out of the bad guys because they prevented the Gokaigers from eating curry.
  5. In the final battle, the Gokaigers transform into Go Ranger, the very first Sentai!
  6. Gokaigers are powered by action figures with keys in their butts. Butts always win!

Usually, I try to give a new Tokusatsu show the Mike Dent Five Episode test. I didn’t last even one episode with Goseiger. And despite being 21 episodes in, I haven’t really made up my mind about Kamen Rider HobOOO. But Gokaiger has already won me over!

Source: Grown Ups in Spandex via Henshin Justice

Skynet’s Watson Takes On Jeopardy

Okay, so technically, IBM developed Watson. But I suspect IBM is a front for Skynet. AZM Ally Grandmaster Chu and Angry Zen Minion Ted O’Hanlan sent along various posts and videos featuring Watson, a computer that can understand human language. This is actually a lot more complex than it sounds.

Understanding correct spelling, sentence structure, grammar, these are all trivial tasks to modern software. Hell, even browsers know how to spell check. But as we know from using our smart phones, auto correct rarely understands the nuances of our actual language. There are so many disambiguations, metaphors, cultural references that every day software can’t comprehend. So when IBM claims that Watson can indeed understand human language, that’s a tremendously bold statement.

For more on how Watson actually works, here’s PBS’s News Hour:

Watson tied the meat puppets. I bet Deep Blue had some choice words for Watson back at the Skynet ranch. But for artificial intelligence and IBM, this is a tremendous milestone.

Source: IBM, PBS, and Building a Smarter Planet

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