January 1st brought two episodes of Better Off Ted last night, one a rerun, one a new one. ABC continued its relentless campaign to hide this wonderful sitcom by airing it, on the East Coast, after a Rose Bowl that ran over-time.
It was a terrific new half-hour. Half of the time, Phil and Lem were stricken to learn that their beloved clean-up robot, Chumley, was being replaced by an actual human employee with a mop. “I think I’m going to be sick,” said Lem, looking for a place to barf when he learned that Chumley would be dismantled.
“I feel like my heart has been kicked in the testicles,” said a woeful Phil.
The more intricate satire occurred with a sexual-harassment subplot involving Ted, Linda, and a new employee, Sheila, played by Merrin Dungey (she’s always be “Evil Francie” to me).
Sheila sobbed over the death of her cat; the animal, Sheila said, loved puns. The animal’s name? “Meow Is The Time For All Good Men To Come To The Aid Of Their Country.”
When Linda hugged Sheila a bit too intimately to comfort her, Sheila lodged a harassment complaint. When Ted went to Sheila and said she’d actually like Sheila if she got to know her better outside of work, and that he’d come along if Sheila would like, Ted got accused of “proposing a threesome.”
Ted protested, “I work long hours, I have an eight year-old daughter — I don’t even have the energy for a onesome.”
Veronica referred to other employees of Veridian Dynamics as having similar “gropey, squeezy, un-zipping problems.”
And when she was told that another exec, an alcoholic, was in rehab for his disease, the always-sensitive Veronica said with what little sympathy she can muster, “He has a disease? Poor drunk.”
Be sure to watch this Tuesday, when ABC burns off two more brand-new episodes opposite the Orange Bowl on Fox and big hits such as CBS’ NCIS and NBC’s The Biggest Loser.
And let’s start the “Save Better Off Ted” campaign, shall we? Comment away below, and say you want your Ted. ABC will take notice, I promise.