Capturing the tone of office chatter
“Outsourced’’ executive producer Robert Borden recently met with reporters in Los Angeles to talk up the new call-center comedy.
On avoiding stereotypes:
“[Parvesh Cheena’s] character is modeled after that guy that everyone works with that will not stop talking to you. If you talk to them in the break room, they’re going to follow you out and talk to you on the floor, so you can’t get rid of the person. That’s neither American nor Indian.’’
On dealing with cultural clashes in a comedic way:
“Both sides of view will be represented. For example, down the road we’re going to have one character, Asha, starting an arranged marriage, something that the Western characters perhaps don’t understand and disagree with. And she’s going to represent her point of view by questioning Western marriages: ‘You know, 50 percent of your marriages end in divorce,’ and our character here, at a loss for words, will say, ‘Well, we crushed you in the Olympics.’ ’’
On the tone the show is trying to strike:
“I would say by-and-large in most workplace comedies, the characters actually don’t like the job they’re in. And this is actually just the opposite, and it’s certainly what the call-center phenomena is all about in India is that these characters are strivers. They want to learn about American culture. They want to succeed. It was a coup to get this job, and this is the kind of thing that opens up a way of life that their parents wouldn’t have enjoyed. So in a way the tone of this is very upbeat and optimistic.’’