TV Review – Archer (2009 – )

Bawk bawk.

I have no idea how this show was ever made or how it has lasted as long as it has.

Mind you, that’s not because it is bad, but because it defies any kind of usual TV show parameters, rules, guidelines or what have you and is therefore laugh out loud funny.

BQB here with a review of FX’s Archer, which has just wrapped up its seventh season with no end in sight.

In this adult cartoon (or should I say cartoon for adults?) H. Jon Benjamin voices Sterling Archer who is essentially a walking personification of the word “douche.” He is a world class spy so he has the skills and looks to back up his cocky demeanor, but he generally treats everyone like crap and gets away with it because his mother, Malory (Jessica Walterowns the independent contractor spy agency (originally dubbed the International Secret Intelligence Service or I.S.I.S which obviously, due to current events, had to be changed a couple years ago.)

  • FYI Jessica Walter played Charlie Sheen’s snooty rich mother on Two and a Half Men as well as the snooty rich mother on Arrested Development and therefore she has a lock on all snooty rich mother roles in the comedy world.  She deserves it as she knocks the snooty rich mother role out of the park.

Archer has an on again/off again romance with fellow agent Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler) who suffers the burden of being the only responsible adult in a crew full of dummies.

Those dummies include:

  • Cheryl Tunt  (Judy Greer) – the agency’s insane, oddball fetish having secretary.C
  • Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell) – Total nerd who serves as the agency’s comptroller/bean counter who also has the hots for Lana.
  • Pam Poovey (Amber Nash) – Chubby potty mouthed HR rep with impulse control problems, known for her pearls and occasional dolphin hand puppet.
  • Doctor Krieger (Lucky Yates) – Mad scientist. Clone of Adolf Hitler though looks nothing like Hitler. In love with an anime hologram.
  • Ray Gillette (Adam Reed, who is the creator of the series) – Openly gay pilot/agent.  In fairness, Ray has it more together than the rest of the crew, though their incompetence regularly causes him to lose a limb or a body part as a running gag.

Speaking of running gags, the show is full of them. “Phrasing” is the best one that comes to mind. Say something that sounds remotely dirty and Archer will hit you with “phrasing” as in “you could have phrased that better.”

Archer loves 1970s action movies and is a devotee of Burt Reynolds.  Burt and many other stars have made cameos as either themselves or other characters. Being cartoonized as an Archer character has sort of become a sign than an actor/actress has made it in Hollywood (or at the very least, they have a good sense of humor.)

Animation has definitely allowed the show runners to get away with things that would never fly in live action. Somehow drawings of butts make it to TV but real butts are a no no. Oh well. I’m not a prude or anything I’m just wondering how the censors make this distinction.

Six seasons are available on Netflix.  They’re short, roughly twenty minutes long, so a good show to check out if you need a quick distraction.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy

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