Come On, Let's Go.
14Jul/100

The Continental CPA


Co. TV Guide

For about half a second – well, five weeks, really – NBC aired a single-camera sitcom entitled Andy Barker, P.I. Starring Andy Richter (Conan's buddy and star of the of the genius and ill-fated office sitcom Andy Richter Controls The Universe) it was a send-up of police procedurals and noir films. Andy, an accountant by trade, opens his own firm and moves into the former offices of retired P.I. and hardboiled curmudgeon Lew Staziak (Harve Presnell, who you may remember as the equally curmudgeonly grandfather from Fargo.) He ends up taking on cases, usually from anachronistic femme fatales. His main support is Simon (Arrested Development's Tony Hale) a film geek video store manager, and Wally (Marshall Manesh,) the Afghan restaurant owner who may or may not have been a member of his home country's secret police, which at least in part explains his ownership of CSI-level surveillance equipment. Wally, with due post-9/11 concern, also displays the same sort of suspiciously overt patriotism Apu did when he bought citizenship papers from Fat Tony.


Co. TV Guide

The show was hilarious. The writers clearly knew their hardboiled territory and exploited it's every angle. After Andy gets his first case – a wife reporting her missing husband – Wally and Simon deduce that she's not really his wife as her story mirrors that of the plot to Chinatown. The set pieces are marvelous. Simon's tiny apartment has an enormous Vertigo poster. Wally's backroom looks like something out of Scorsese's paranoid thriller The Conversation. At one point, Lew figures there is a clue in his old office and he and Andy take a trip down memory lane: Lew's old office is an exact replica of the set to The Maltese Falcon.

The show was canceled after a month. Luckily, the entire six-episode run is available on Hulu.

   

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