tek's rating: ½

Better Off Ted, on ABC
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Okay, there's this company called Veridian Dynamics. They do a lot of R&D, create all kinds of stuff that supposedly makes life better, but... actually it's mostly pretty off-the-wall stuff, kind of crazy and seems more likely to make life worse. Ted Crisp is a fairly good guy, vice president of R&D at Veridian, and everyone who works for him seems to like and respect him. He tries to prevent some of the company's eviller ideas from happening, though that doesn't always work out, and he seems to just let some of the less evil ideas slide. Um... also he's married, but his wife left some time ago to "save the world." So he's raising his precocious 7-year-old daughter, Rose, by himself. She's just adorable, a cute and clever kid who seems to act as Ted's moral compass sometimes. It might be a bit surprising that he confides in her about all the crazy stuff going on at work, but somehow it makes perfect sense, in a show like this.

Other characters include Veronica Palmer (Portia de Rossi), Ted's immediate superior at Veridian, and she's pretty much all business. She doesn't seem to have any morals or a sense of humor or much of anything in the way of human personality traits, as far as I can tell, although she does seem to wish she did. Still, she doesn't seem to recognize that anything the company decides to do is in any way wrong. (Though as the series progresses, she does sometimes seem a bit more human than she did at first, and will sometimes help Ted deal with problems, in her own way.) Then there's Linda Zwordling (Andrea Anders, whom I knew from Joey), who works for Ted in the testing department. She tries to be friendly with everyone. And there's some chemistry between her and Ted, though it doesn't look like anything will come of that. (This is mainly because Ted has a rule about not having more than one office fling, and he had sex with Veronica once. Also it does seem like there's occasionally the possibility of something happening between Ted and Veronica again, but it probably won't.) Anyway, Linda is trying to write a children's book, in the hopes of getting a career going away from Veridian. But mostly she just gets caught in the middle of all the craziness that goes on at the company. Then there are a pair of scientists who work together, Phil Mymen (Jonathan Slavin) and Lem Hewitt (Malcolm Barrett, whom I'd later see on Timeless). They're best friends, but also bicker a lot, and they kind of worship Ted. Phil is married (though his wife apparently can't stand him), but Lem is single. They're both brilliant, but pretty bad at life outside the lab. And they're scared of Veronica. Because she's scary.

Anyway, that's all I can think to say. But the show is really clever and funny, often absolutely hilarious, and I wish it would've lasted longer.

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