TITLE: OUTSOURCED - THE COMPLETE SERIES
Release Date: September 13, 2011 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
Packaging: Standard Amaray Case
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 468 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 17 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Subtitles and Captioning: English Subtitles
Special Features: Commentaries; Deleted Scenes; Gag Reel
Todd Dempsey (Ben Rappaport) has just returned from vacation to his employer in Kansas, Mid America Novelties, only to find that everybody is gone. They've been fired. They've been...outsourced. But not Todd. He's been reassigned to be the supervisor of the new call center in Mumbai, India. Now he must deal with his new assistant manager Rajiv (Rizwan Manji), who will do anything to take control, and a slew of employees far from the A-list of the call center employee pool. Following in a long tradition of TV series about culture clashes, Outsourced is the latest entry, and now the first (and also last) season of the series is available on DVD in a three disc set.
The series begins with the "Pilot" episode, where Todd Dempsey returns from vacation to a big surprise at work: he's being relocated to Mumbai, India! In "The Measure of a Manmeet," it's employee evaluation day, and everybody is terrified. Todd and Charlie get a fifth wheel during a date in "Party of Five." It's a national holiday (or so Todd thinks) in "Jolly Vindaloo Day." In "Touched by an Anglo," sexual harassment training in the office just goes completely wrong. Todd tries to bring Halloween to India in "Bolloween," but the office is more terrified than joyful. Asha is taking the final steps to choose a husband in "Truly, Madly, Pradeeply."
It is a real holiday in "Home for the Diwalidays," but Todd has no idea and schedules everybody to work. Todd is determined to have the office win a Black Friday competition in "Temporary Monsanity." In "Homesick to my Stomach," Rajiv takes over as substitute manager, but it is a little too extreme for the call center. Todd offers to pay for Gupta's talent contest entry fees in "A Sitar is Born." In "Sari Charlie," Tonya forces Todd to reveal their romantic relationship to Charlie, who is not very pleased. "Training Day" is supposed to be to train the employees on a retreat, but it all goes wrong when the train to the retreat breaks down. Valentine's Day is coming up in "The Todd Couple," but Manmeet has his hands full with more than one woman.
Todd gets a surprise visit from his boss just as Tonya's mother visits in "Guess Who's Coming to Delhi." Mid America Novelties is hiring in "Take This Punjab and Shove It," but the candidates are just plain awful. Rajiv brainstorms a creative way to propose to his true love in "Todd's Holi War." In "Gupta's Hits and Manmeet's Missus," Manmeet asks Charlie for help in making a video for his Ameircan girlfriend. Charlie loses his job, but is a perfect shoo-in as Todd's newest customer service rep in India in "Charlie Curries a Favor from Todd." Charlie has been fooling around with Tonya's mother in "Mama Sutra." The series ends with the two-part episode "Rajiv Ties the Baraat," where Todd throws an all-American (and all-disaster) bachelor party for the soon-to-be-married Rajiv.
1. "Pilot" (22:51)
2. "The Measure of a Manmeet" (20:57)
3. "Party of Five" (20:44)
4. "Jolly Vindaloo Day" (20:46)
5. "Touched by an Anglo" (21:02)
6. "Bolloween" (21:10)
7. "Truly, Madly, Pradeeply" (21:06)
8. "Home for the Diwalidays" (21:07)
9. "Temporary Monsanity" (21:10)
10. "Homesick to my Stomach" (21:10)
11. "A Sitar is Born" (21:04)
12. "Sari Charlie" (21:07)
13. "Training Day" (21:09)
14. "The Todd Couple" (21:07)
15. "Guess Who's Coming to Delhi" (21:13)
16. "Take This Punjab and Shove It" (20:37)
17. "Todd's Holi War" (21:09)
18. "Gupta's Hits and Manmeet's Missus" (21:09)
19. "Charlie Curries a Favor from Todd" (21:10)
20. "Mama Sutra" (21:08)
21. "Rajiv Ties the Baraat (Part 1)" (21:09)
22. "Rajiv Ties the Baraat (Part 2)" (21:10)
I'm so used to Universal using the nice digipacks for every NBC series that gets released, but not this time! They went more "economical" here, and honestly, I don't like this packaging, at all. Basically, all three discs are in a standard Amaray case, with all three discs stacked on top of each other in the center hub. It's a very cheap way of packaging DVD sets that Sony has been using quite frequently lately, but I'm disappointed to see Universal using it. We have a photo of the entire cast (with Todd front and center) on the front and some episode snapshots and a series description on the back. There is also a list of the very minimal special features on the back. Inside the case, we have descriptions for all of the episodes, and as already mentioned, all three discs stacked on top of one another. The artwork is very simple, with the series logo in red on a standard silver background.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very basic, with the main menu featuring a cast snapshot (same as the one on the cover) with the theme song playing in the background. The main menu options include Play All, Episode Index, Bonus Features, and Setup. All of these options do exactly what it sounds like they do. Selecting Episode Index lists all of the episodes on the disc on an all text menu, with just one screen for all of the episodes. There are options for Deleted Scenes and Commentaries under the episode titles where applicable, but these can also be accessed from the Bonus Features menu. Setup gives you the option to turn on the English subtitles. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
Like most modern series, what is there to complain about with the video and audio? I couldn't really find anything. It is just a very clean and crisp picture presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, with English subtitles available (what, no Hindi subtitles?). This is about all we'll probably see of the series, so at least we got a decent release for the one and only season of it.
The set contains some commentaries...but not all that many. The episodes and commentators are as follows:
"Pilot" - Ben Rappaport, Sacha Dhawan, Alexandra Beattie, Robert Borden, Ken Kwapis
"A Star is Born" - Parvesh Cheena, Anisha Nagarajan, Robert Borden
"Rajiv Ties the Baraat (Part 2)" - Rizwan Manji, Diedrich Bader, Victor Nelli Jr., Robert Borden
There are a few deleted scenes for some of the episodes. The episodes that have deleted scenes include "Pilot" (1:59), "Bollywood" (0:31), "Temporary Monsanity" (0:48), "A Sitar is Born" (0:51), "Sari Charlie" (0:28), "Training Day" (0:28), "The Todd Couple" (2:56), "Guess Who's Coming to Delhi" (0:30), "Take This Punjab and Shove It" (0:56), and "Charlie Curries a Favor from Todd" (1:00). Most of these deleted scenes are inconsequential to the series, but they are nice to have.
On Disc 1, there is a Gag Reel (4:29), which is short and really not as great as some gag reels that I've seen on other DVD sets. Still, it is nice to have.
It would have been nice to have seen some special features with live interviews or something kind of creative on the set. Still, given the short life of this series, it is nice to have anything at all.
Honestly, I kind of liked this show, and was disappointed that it was canceled. Still, I'm not sure how the show could have continued with a well full of creative plot ideas. The idea for the series was just a little too narrow in the first place, and it is clear that NBC wasn't really pushing for the success of this series. Outsourced is just going to become a faded memory in the not-too-distant future, and it is likely that nobody will remember this series in a few years--maybe not even after a few months. This DVD is a great opportunity to catch up on what you enjoyed, or perhaps what you missed, from the brief 22 episode run of the series. This probably won't be a top-seller on DVD, but I think it is worth picking up just to have as a memory of a TV series that didn't exactly make it. The DVD set isn't a spectacular set as many of the NBC Thursday night sitcoms see for DVD, but it is still nice to have and it is good to see that some effort was made for special features, particularly commentaries. Don't outsource the job of buying this DVD--pick it up yourself and enjoy it all over again.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 09/02/11
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