Andy Barker, P.I. – The Complete
Series (2007/Shout! Factory DVD)
Sound: C+ Extras: C Episodes: C
Sending up the detective genre, especially private eyes
and gumshoes is usually a doomed proposition.
I was never even the biggest fan of The
Rockford Files and The Cheap
Detective never matched Murder By
Death for me. On TV, the situation
has been worse and one of the latest examples of an attempt that fell flat is Andy Barker, P.I. – The Complete Series
(2007) co-created by Conan O’Brien for his good friend Andy Richter.
It wallows in stereotypes and clichés, acknowledges this
as if that will make it funnier and with the pilot episode, bungles its way
through jokes on Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974) which it treats like trivial pulp
storytelling. The stumbling lasted a
short 6 episodes before NBC mercifully pulled the plug, but here are all the
shows for you to judge for yourself. I
don’t think Richter is a bad character actor, but this material is too self-amused
throughout and never works. The bad
start only made matter worse.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is a little
soft, but that is from what looks like a digital shoot or someone who cannot
handle a Digital Internegative. Color
can be odd and none of the images are too memorable. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is adequate for
a sitcom like this, but does not offer much more. Extras include audio commentary track on all
shows, Gag Reel and two making of featurettes.
The case has a pull out sheet with an episode guide.
- Nicholas Sheffo