When the going gets tough, the tough go to musical comedies. That, at least, has always been Hollywood's conventional wisdom -- that Americans in rough times turn to entertainment to escape, not to be reminded that their economy is turning to dog poop before their eyes.
But what amounts to a revisionist counterattack gets underway as the fall TV season continues to roll out Thursday night. ABC's drama My Generation and NBC's sitcom Outsourced practically revel in the wreckage of war, economic blight and millennial-generation angst.
Outsourced is the odder of the shows. Call it an anti-workplace comedy: It stars stage actor Ben Rappaport as Todd Dempsey, 25-year-old manager of the phone center at a company that sells novelty items. He arrives at the office one morning to discover that everyone else has been fired (``We had to do a little right-sizing,'' explains a corporate suit), and he's being transferred to India to supervise their replacements.
My Generation, meanwhile, uses a high school's 10-year reunion as a launching pad to remember what a brutal decade we've just passed through, from 9/11 to the dot-com collapse to the rise of reality TV shows. Amid all the melancholia, it does pass along a sure-fire millennial generation dating tip that all you guys will want to put to use on eHarmony. Read my full reviews in Thursday's Miami Herald.