This episode–with an A-plot of Veronica and Ted competing with a dinner with a handsy defense contractor on the line and a B-plot of Lem and Phil accidentally drugging Linda–may have been a slightly lesser outing (a little Linda goes a long way). But a slightly lesser episode of Better Off Ted still has plenty of laughs, particularly in the background details. After Ted tries to buy back all the wrapping paper sold for his daughter’s school fundraiser by warning that the paper causes disease and exposes fairy tale naughty parts, we can see several of his co-workers holding the wrapping paper up to the light. They’re probably not looking for bacteria.
Even better, Ted becomes caught up in the one-upsmanship he’s internalized in the corporate trenches when he bets the aforementioned dinner on his ability to sell more wrapping paper than Veronica. He doesn’t think twice about importing that attitude to daughter Rose (“”Whoever sells the most wins a trip to Disneyland. Second place gets to cry while Rose and I go to Disneyland”) until discovering Rose’s main competition is a girl in a wheelchair. In the midst of all this madness, with Veronica and Ted debating the question of whether not competing equals not treating the disabled the same as everyone else but leaving the audience to question whether their corporate competitiveness is any less crazy, where does Ted send his daughter to school? Eugene Debs Elementary. This show is Ali. And Frazier. And Foreman.
Speaking of the glories of corporate competition, this week’s Veridian Dynamics commercial:
Verdian Dynamics. Competition. Whether it’s animals, or this old woman and baby, fighting to the death, competition makes us stronger. In business, that means better products. Pills that look like candy. Hands that can shoot lightning. And a new generation of hurricane-proof dogs. Veridian Dynamics. Competition. It makes everything better.