When it first aired in 2002-2003, it was pretty obvious the sitcom Andy Richter Controls the Universe was never going to make it. It was original, there was no laugh track and it was on Fox, the temporary home to shows like Arrested Development and The Tick (a network gifted with spotting hilarious sitcoms, putting them on the air just long enough to hook people and then giving them the axe).
ARCTU had two mid-season runs, airing for 14 episodes, before the lid was slammed shut. Itâ€™s been seven long years, but the full series is finally out on DVD. The show comes off a little dated, but is still remarkably better than most of the sitcoms currently running on the major networks today. The series centers on Andy (Richter), a Chicago-based writer who pens technical manuals for a living. Though mainly set in an office, the bizarre references and brilliant sight gags, made it so much more than the standard office comedy.
The series relied a lot on Richterâ€™s voiceovers and acted out daydreams (something that Scrubs has borrowed liberally from). The episodes about anti-Semitism (â€œLittle Andy in Chargeâ€) and racism (â€œWeâ€™re All the Same, Only Differentâ€) still hold up pretty well. The DVD also includes four episodes that never aired during the showâ€™s original run.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Andy Richter Controls the Universe â€“ The Complete Series /DVD / 2009 / CBS DVD and Paramount/ 6 hrs. 57 mins. / http://www.paramount.com/homeentertainment