I’m not a big watcher of the network late night talk shows. Years ago, when David Letterman was shifting from being the late-late night guy to being the late night guy, I had a conversation where I expressed some uncertainty of his success in the new time slot. “Some things become funny at 1 AM that weren’t funny at 11:30” was my logic.
As it turned out, that wasn’t a problem. Mr. Letterman has been quite successful inthat time slot. His old timeslot was filled by Conan, who apparently does a good job of making things funny at 1 AM. And he’s the big executive producer name behind Andy Barker, PI, starring his former sidekick Andy Richter. It’s a textured work, full of intent… and it probably would be funny at 1 AM.
Andy plays (and Andy is) an accountant, a stereotyped account – a mild man who gets what little thrills he gets from accountancy. When he finds himself mistaken for a detective, he gets pulled into a world of noirish adventure. And that’s a reasonable comedy base – The Great Lebowski (a noir adventure built around a bowler instead of a detective) is a prime example of that. But despite the fact that a lot of effort was clearly put into this stylized piece, what you end up seeing is effort. Here’s the video store owner that is all about being a movie expert and passing judgment, rather than being a good businessman. Here’s an business-owning arab who goes overboard in displaying American patriotism. Look, he has a bust of Nixon! No, loooook, it’s funny, we put a lot of effort into coming up with stuff like this.
Could it end up being better than this pilot suggest? Sure. There are some good folks involved in this. But I’m not in a rush to view the rest, despite the fact that the entire first season is already available for legal viewing online.

Published in: on March 16, 2007 at 10:08 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Big Lebowski — not Great! sorry had to correct you cause its one of my top 5 flicks. as for Barker i def enjoyed the pilot and will watch next week but we’ll see if it holds my attention indefintley…

  2. Whoops, yes. My tendency to compose while doing three other things strikes again.

    (Although when I first sawjust your comment, I thought that you were saying that The Big Lebowski was not great. I know places where they’d stab you for saying something like that!

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