Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review: Andy and Barney Do CSI

Take a beloved classic sitcom and a cop show franchise and what do you get? CSI: Mayberry. Written and directed by Genny Yosco, the characters of "The Andy Griffith Show" are transported into a "CSI" show to investigate a string of brutal murders. The idea is a fun one. But when parodying well-known material, it all comes down to execution. Perhaps it was first night jitters but the execution was just a bit off.
From a parody standpoint, "The Andy Griffith Show" received a little more attention than the "CSI" franchise. That being said, those with a deep affection for Andy and Barney and the rest of the gang will have great appreciation for their portrayal. As far of the structure of the piece, Yosco kept it like a parade of characters that appeared and, spoiler alert, got murdered. The shtick was predictable and in the world of comedy, the killer could be seen a mile away. Yosco could easily have used Opie to her advantage. Reference him as a running gag but not reveal him until it was entirely necessary. It sadly spoiled the joke.
In the world of spoof, situation and character identification is key. There was a great character study in the roles of Barney Fife and Andy Griffith played by Nick Denning and Andrew Rappo respectively. The moment Denning opened his mouth, you could hear Don Knotts. Denning has a strong sense of personality, emulating the Barney quite well. Denning kept the southern drawl until it disappeared in the moments where he played “Bad Cop”. Rappo’s Andy was very intimate and delicate. It captured the mild-mannered TV dad well, though his stiffness may have been better suited for the screen. Denning and Rappo had a strong connection on stage, working off of one another when things almost got derailed.
From a directorial standpoint, Yosco may have benefitted from bringing in another eye to assist. One of the biggest woes of the piece were the transitions. The blackouts where not accompanied with any sound cue, which generally is a bad idea. In this world, perhaps just doing the iconic whistle theme from “The Andy Griffith Show” would have sufficed. It would help bring it into the sitcom world.
Moving forward, Genny Yosco has so much potential to work with in CSI: Mayberry. Imagine the possibilities of bringing that PG-13 rating up to an R and really driving in the sex jokes and crude humor. Nothing's funnier than one of America's favorite TV dads getting a little edgy.