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"Andy Barker, P.I."

By admin Published: March 14, 2007

Andy Richter's TV shows are like the drawings in Mad magazine in its glory days ...

full of funny little details, marginal jokes, that can sometimes be more amusing than the parody as a whole. And in "Andy Barker, P.I.," the NBC comedy with Richter as an accountant becoming a private eye, there are jokes big and small -- including the way it embraces the conventions of '70s action shows and turns them inside out. The music, the way a scene climaxes in the symmetrical arrival of police cars, the plots that make little sense -- it's "Starsky & Hutch" made even more absurd (if that's possible), Starsky an accountant, Hutch running a video store.

But, like those Mad bits, does "Andy Barker" ultimately add up to a funny show? Not really. I probably chuckled more of the sidelights than the show itself. And after watching three episodes, I've done enough close-up viewing. From here on, it's a show worth a pause while channel-flipping and not much more. But you may have fun with the DVD, freeze-framing here and there for the jokes on the margin. MSG No, USA Yes, indeed,

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