Victor Fresco, creator of ABC’s new corporate sitcom Better Off Ted, was also behind the late, lamented Andy Richter Controls the Universe, and it shows. Both shows feature a tightly-wound ice queen of a boss (Portia de Rossi here), battles against bureaucratic idiocy, witty voiceovers (intoned in the new show by Ted, played by Jay Harrington), and Jonathan Slavin. All of those things are very, very good.
While Ted is less loony than Andy Richter and more stylized and over-the-top than The Office (even Dwight Schrute never decided to freeze a co-worker), it offers a high chuckles-per-minute ratio compared to most network sitcoms these days. Having Ted speak directly to the camera is going to get tiresome, but the show is a nice tonal match to lead-in Scrubs, has an appealing cast, and can mine a deep vein of ludicrous product demands (metal you can eat!). It’s probably going to follow highly verbal siblings like Arrested Development to the scrapyard, but we’ll enjoy watching them weaponize pumpkins until they go.