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March 15 2007

Jane Espenson's Andy Barker praised in NYTimes review. Virginia Hefferen thinks it's fun and "surprisingly beautiful."

Matt Roush rated it an 8 out of 10.

The Lowdown: Nerdy sweetness and deep silliness flow effortlessly from Andy Richter as a chipper accountant (don't dare call him a bookkeeper) turned accidental gumshoe in a series of blissfully absurd capers. "Ooh. Tax return. Things just got interesting" is something I bet you never heard Magnum say.

Thanks for posting this Toast. I was looking forward to this and probably would have missed it otherwise. I don't know Andy Richter at all but I love Jane.
They actually have all 6 episodes on NBC's website for viewing, so I watched them all last weekend. Quite entertaining. That dude from Arrested Development is brilliant in this show too. My god every time he talks I laughed my ass off. I hope it lasts longer than "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" but I've got my skeptical hat on.
What a great review. I'm looking forward to seeing this.
There's also a great review of it over at The Washington Post. Ta to Bobbi who emailed me the link.
I'm pretty sure it's up against Grey's Anatomy, if so I'll only be catching it in re-runs. Not really into sitcoms anyhow, so I'm glad that Jane is also now a regular with Battlestar Galactia.
All 6 episodes are already online at nbc.com, Shey. And one of the eps is going to remain online-only, apparently.

So Jane's currently tally is:
Gray's Anatomy - Exec Producer
BSG - permanent staff writer
Andy Barker - did she have a hand in all the episodes, or just the one?

Busy - yay for us!
I'm so happy for Jane that her career is going so well.
So Jane's currently tally is:
Gray's Anatomy - Exec Producer
BSG - permanent staff writer
Andy Barker - did she have a hand in all the episodes, or just the one?


Uhhh ... I think you're thinking about Marti Noxon with Grey's Anatomy. ;)
I'm surprised that I liked this show as much as I did, considering it made me give up on 30 Rock reruns...

IncidentallyI'm fairly sure that Alexa Davalos from Angel as Gwen Raiden is/was the first victim in the pilot episode of the Jeff Goldblum show immediately after it.
I watched the pilot online today only because of La Espenson, but I watched the next four episodes because I found it a surprisingly dear and funny show. I even saved one episode for later, like the last chocolate in the bag...

There was an odd and pronounced gastronomic bent to the stories - the shows seem to revolve around or be replete with food, which I like to think is due to Jane's influence. (Among other things, a character is said to keep a "thermos of emergency bisque" on hand...)

The scripts were good, as were the actors - Andy Richter is just so likeable in this part - and Nicole Randall Johnson (MadTV,) who is a riot in the pilot, happily shows up in a later episode in (what seems to be) a regular role. Tony Hale is perfection, as he was in Arrested Development, and a later episode is graced by Amy Sedaris and Ed Asner - both dee-lightful.

Some memorable lines:

"Go where the numbers take you."
"The enemy of my friend is my enemy, my friend."
"This reminds me of gym class - except I'm not crying..."


There was much more, but most of it won't play out of context.

Oooh, and somebody owns a business called "Doublemeat Enterprises" in the 4th episode called "Fairway, My Lovely," which Jane co-wrote with Alex Herschlag.

I didn't expect much - only because I didn't think this was my kind of show - and I was so pleasantly wrong. It ain't heavy, but I think it achieves everything it sets out to do, and that well. I'll be watching this - though whether online or in "real time" I dunno. (Commercials are equally annoying either way, though the fact that those online are for a tax prep program is at least fitting...)

Jane is doing so much good work these days - I'm oddly proud (odd in that I have nothing to do with it, and yet take a proprietary interest in her work.) I guess I feel like that about most all of my favourite Whedon'verse writers.

The success of my friends is my success, my friends.


(ET: fix typo)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-03-16 08:19 ]
Thanks for the info, ohbejoyful, I may check it out online. Andy Ricter was pretty funny way back when he was Conan O'brien's sidekick. In fact I think Conan is the executive producer on this one. It does sound a good cut above the usual sitcom, which I guess shgould be expected, with Jane at the writing helm.
I was surprised to find how much I liked this show. I'm not a Richter fan, but it was genuinely endearing.
The half hour flew by--even with commercials! I liked the sweetness and retro vibe of it all. How can you not like a show where the title character says things like "Oh, cheese and crackers".
I probably wouldn't have given it a chance if Jane wasn't involved, but I ended up finding it charming and funny. I liked "Arrested Development" with the first episode, so I believe Tony Hale may be magical.

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