|Index||10 reviews in total|
I've always liked Andy Richter, ever since his days as Conan O'Brien's
sidekick on "Late Night". I've wanted to like his previous forays into
his own shows, but nothing had really clicked before.
This time, things click, in a quirky, funny series that brings a new twist to film noir conventions. The basic set-up: Andy Barker, a CPA, starts work at his new office. Unbeknownst to him, it was previously occupied by a PI. When a mysterious woman shows up looking for someone to find her dead husband, Barker is reluctant to take on the case -- but given his scarcity of clients and her $4,000 retainer, the offer is too tempting to pass up. When the issue of the husband's tax returns come up, it's the clincher that pulls the CPA into a different line of work.
Thus begins the premise, in which Barker is ably abetted by video store clerk Simon (Tony Hale, "Arrested Development") -- who applies everything he's learned about crime and criminals from movies, with sometimes unintended results.
While it doesn't quite have the subversive depth of a lot of modern half hour comedies, it does have the off-kilter tone of something like the live-action "The Tic" This go-round, Conan O'Brien is co-creator and executive producer, and that may be the secret ingredient that's made this a watchable show. A lot of the gags feel like Late Night bits dropped into the plot, like when Barker advises a client on tax law during a car chase.
There's potential for this series, provided the writers can keep developing the concept, and NBC doesn't give up too soon.
This show is great, but so was Andy Richter Controls the Universe and that didn't make it. Conan O'Brien is an executive producer so hopefully it won't get immediately canned if the ratings' falter early. The plot feels formulaic and always ends with the likable Private Eye/ Accountant Andy involved in a chase sequence followed by a gun in his face. But the story plays with the expectations of the audience(often homaging movies), and is secondary to laughs that are naturally generated from this talented cast, especially Tony Hale. There are lots of dry and absurd humor that will fit in well on NBC Thursday Comedy Night, and also that Andy Richter is so damn lovable.
The first season of Andy Barker is funny, not hilarious. However, I found myself stifling giggles at work while watching certain scenes. I don't know how much life is left in the show, but these first six episodes were more satisfying to me than The Office's first season. If you like NBC's sibling shows Monk or Psych, Andy Barker makes a good addition, and half the running time. While this is Andy's show, the supporting cast does well. I'm not a Tony Hale fan, but a lot of people are, so they'll be happy. This show does better with racial stereotyping than Knights of Prosperity, the eatery has some nice sequences. While some parts of the show are racier than Monk, it should be suitable for most families (8+). Now go buy Sledge Hammer on DVD.
I don't know much about Andy Ritcher, but I do recognize a funny character. Usually you see him in other chummly actors like the late John Candy and so forth. Basically his character is a mild mannered accountant who's bored with his day job a bit and decides to be a Private Eye, after being mistaken for one. He therefore have adventures solving eccentric crimes with a middle eastern restaurant owner, a neurotic video store owner/movie buff, and a bored female African American assistant. I think this show has potential its like The secret life of Walter Mitty meets Delirious meets The Michael Richards Show. Its a bit slow at times but it picks up and goes uphill with the hilarity. I highly recommend this show! A great night on Thursdays with Ugly Betty, Scrubs, and this show.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Lady Varnishes" is the second of the last two episodes of Andy Barker P.I. that aired on a Saturday, April 14, 2007. Andy and Lew visit Lew's former detective office which is being torn down. Andy finds in the door's mail slot a 45-year-old letter from a Rita Spaulding (AmySedaris) addressed to Lew about her innocence in the murder of her gangster boyfriend suave Johnny Zambrano (Vincent De Paul) which got her life. Andy visits her and finds she has a wooden leg. He and Simon go to a photographer named Johnny Leibowitz who was at Gene Kelly's birthday party the night of the murder. The photos taken there place Rita at the scene which becomes her alibi. Andy gets the pictures but gets beaten by Mickey Doyle (Ed Asner), Lew's former partner and the real killer. The next day Andy meets Doyle at Wally's restaurant where Simon attempts to record the confession but keeps having technical difficulties. Eventually, all is cleared...Another funny episode that,unfortunately, is the very last that was filmed. Great reveal of Leibowitz as an Asian who changed his name because, "Everyone loves a Jew!" Also loved the way Simon had to tell Andy without telling Mickey about his trouble recording their conversation and a subplot about Wally's having to hire some bikini-clad girls that he later ends up firing. As for Andy Richter, good luck on whatever comes in the future! A very good final installment of this show..
What a refreshing show for a change. We have looked forward to each episode but the network seems to replace it with other programs. Why? The premise/cast is/are fabulous. Seeing Harve Presnell again adds icing on the fun cake. Please give the show a chance! The joy of the video store guy helping determine the crime via his knowledge of movies and how they fit in with the stories is magic. When Andy tries to solve the week's 'problem' and continues to fall into hysterically funny situations knock's us out. All we can say is that having a program on the air that we look forward to means a great deal. Please, again, continue the fun by allowing us to view a rare fun series.
Andy Richter set a high bar with the turn-of-the-century series "Andy
Richter Controls the Universe" (about a writer working in a nowhere job
who replays bad scenes in his life). "AR Controls the Universe" had a
perfect cast and was full of laughs. One episode, "Gimme a C," was the
sitcom episode I laughed at more than any in history.
"Andy Barker P.I." is another great idea. Andy Barker (Andy Richter) is an accountant with a very normal life, with a nice wife, and he's taking an exciting step by opening his own firm. But his new office was formerly occupied by a private eye who is now in a rest home (or is he?) and Barker gets drawn into private eye work on the side.
The series is dotted with hilarious moments, though the characters apart from the Barkers are overdrawn.
I think the problem with both Andy Richter shows is that they have great ideas for movies rather than continuing shows. Still, this show has its laughs, and Richter is always likable.
Andy Barker (Andy Richter) is a mild-mannered Certified Public
Accountant who moves into a professional office. The previous tenant
was private eye Lew Staziak (Harve Presnell) who has retired. Clients
keep coming to hire a P.I. and Andy starts taking on cases. Andy's wife
Jenny (Clea Lewis) at first disapproves. He befriends Simon (Tony
Hale), the manager of a local video store, who wants to be his partner.
Wally (Marshall Manesh) is the super-patriotic Afgani restaurateur.
This is playing with the noir hard-boiled detective genre. This show tries very hard to be wacky. Somehow much of it fails to connect. The jokes don't come off quite so funny. It is more awkward and uneven than anything else. The cast is a nice funny group, but they are all sidekicks. Like it or not, this needs a pretty leading man type to solidify the center. Andy could play against that type of character while still being the lead.
Actually,this show has only run three episodes so far(so for all I know,this show might go downhill after all),but after having seen these shows,I LIKE like like the potential this show has.
Likable accountant Andy BArker(Andy Richter,returning to NBC as himself,somewhat)moves his business into an empty lot in a strip mall,only to find out that the business that was there--a Private Investigator's office--still seems to draw clientèle. Presented with the chance to earn extra money to supplement his secure accounting job,he casts aside his apprehensions and misgivings about chasing leads and following clues and takes on being a "Private Dick".
The group of people helping him out are a motley bunch: Simon(Tony Hale,great in "Arrested Development"),a wildly imaginative video store manager,WAlly(Marshall Manesh),the owner of a nearby deli who is a surveillance whiz,Nicole,the secretary he "inherits" when his first case gets her fired from her previous job and Lew(HArve Presnell,gruff one-time musical leading man),the P.I. himself,a gruff old gentleman who's retired but still around to mentor the accountant-cum-gumshoe. In the background is supportive but pensive wife Jenny(Clea Duvall),who seems to lose her apprehensions about her hubby's newfound side work as quickly as he has.
Produced by Andy's old sidekick/pal Conan O'Brien,it really has the LOOK of something that would have Mr. O'Brien's sensibilities:absurd situations,dry-to-madcap humor and plenty of situational background music that sounds lifted STRAIGHT out of 70s detective/cop shows. Since I've always appreciated Conan's show,this is good. Given the fact that Andy's last two shows were punched out early,here's hoping that NBC(And given their current love for Mr.O'Brien,I can't see why not)will give this show as long a chance as possible,because this sitcom has a great,funny ironic attitude,something that non-animated T.V. comedy seems to be in short supply.
ANDY BARKER P.I. was an anemic private eye spoof that just makes you miss the real deal, a show like SLEDGE HAMMER!, all the more. BARKER tried to mix the HAMMER blend of actual, legitimate mysteries and crime plots along with slapstick and comedy, but the problems lie in the fact that the lousy writing was funny, the plots were stale and the main character was bland and benign without a decent comic attitude. You can go on YOU TUBE and find unsold pilots that are much funnier than this tripe that somehow makes it on the air. Perhaps it was just scheduled to make Conan O'Brien happy, who is admittedly a clever comic force (see LOOKWELL). ANDY BARKER P.I. is forgotten already and won't even qualify as a trivia question in a few months.
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