DVD Review: ANDY BARKER P.I.

Release date: November 17, 2009
Shout! Factory
MSRP: $24.99

CPA Andy Barker (Andy Richter) moves into a new office at the Fair Oaks strip mall and is promptly mistaken for the office’s previous tenant, P.I. Lew Staziak. Hired to find a crime-fighting politician who may have faked his death, Andy inadvertently leads the Russian mob right to him. Staying on the case out of basic desire to see justice done, Andy finds he enjoys P.I. work and allows himself to be drawn into more cases.

Andy Barker, P.I. didn’t make a splash with national audiences when it aired as an NBC midseason replacement in 2007, but as a Richter fan and mystery fan, I found it charming. Writers like Jane Espenson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica…) and Josh Bycel (Psych) smartly blended mystery, comedy, and drama, giving Andy and his strip mall cohorts a subtle chemistry viewers should appreciate on DVD.

There was Andy’s worried but supportive wife Jenny (Clea Lewis), his eager movie buff sidekick Simon (Tony Hale), superpatriotic Afghani American Wally (Marshall Manesh), and eccentric retired hardboiled P.I. Lew Staziak (Harve Presnell).

The two-disc set includes all six episodes with commentary, a screenwriting featurette with co-creator Jonathan Groff, Jane Espenson, Josh Bycel, and Jon Ross, a gag reel, and a look back at the show with Conan O’Brien and members of the cast.

If the concept intrigues you, give it a try. You may find yourself. like me, watching over and over.

–Gerald So