When I saw the first episode of “Archer”, I went in with really high hopes. With a cast like H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, it’s hard not to have high expectations. Truthfully, the first episode wasn’t a home run for me. It had its moments, but I was definitely expecting more. I had the same feeling during the second episode, and began doubting this new animated venture. I even questioned whether I should stop watching the show all together because I didn’t want to be disappointed further.
After the third episode, I realized the genius behind the show. There were so many jokes, call backs, and one liners I had missed, I immediately went back and watched the previous two episodes. I fell in love with “Archer” and it’s now one of the shows I recommend highly.
The show is about a group of top secret agents who are more concerned with getting laid, who is laying who, lashing out at their co-workers, and getting paid than completing a successful mission. They work for I.S.I.S., a privately funded organization which operates in secrecy from the inside of a laundry mat. Sometimes they succeed in their missions, barely evading death or capture and usually partially clothed. When they aren’t after the bad guys, they are after each other in one form or another. Fueled by out of control sex drives, trigger happy violent tendencies, jealousy, bitterness, and greed, these spies and their co-workers are usually at each other’s throats more often than not.
I can’t say enough about the cast. I’ve always been a fan of H. Jon Benjamin who plays the lead character, Sterling “Duchess” Archer. If you’re not familiar with his voice work on cartoons like “Home Movies”, “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist”, or “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”, you would probably remember him as Chris Griffin’s boss Carl on “Family Guy”. I’ve always been a fan of Benjamin. His timing and delivery is comic genius, and he definitely carries the show. Fortunately he doesn’t have to carry much weight.
Stand up comic and actress Aisha Tyler plays Agent Lana Kane, Archer’s ex-girlfriend, black ops partner on several missions, sexual interest (I wouldn’t use the term romantic), and foil. She’s a badass! She has a mouth like a sailor, a body of a goddess, and hands like Fred Flintstone (apparently). She’s as sexy as Ms. Tyler, with a license to kill.
Jessica Walter is by far, my favorite TV mom. Giant man-hands down! She was brilliant as Mrs. Bluth from “Arrested Development”, and she plays essentially the same character here. Now normally, I dislike actors that choose similar roles, but Jessica does the “mean spirited mom” act to absolute perfection. As Malory Archer, she constantly cuts her son Sterling’s legs out from under him. She’s a brutal, uncaring, selfish boss and mother. Jessica Walter has found a new home in voice acting and I hope she continues her brilliant work.
Chris Parnell from “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” fills the role of the straight man, Cyril Figgus, in this cast of off the wall characters. He’s the butt of many of Archer’s jokes, mainly due to Archer’s jealousy that he has filled his shoes as Lana’s new boyfriend. As the season goes on, he begins to cut loose a bit and the writing staff clearly has started capitalizing on Parnell’s comedic talents.
After seeing the entire season play out, I cannot wait to see more of this show. The animation style is clean and visually appealing. The action is over the top in a ridiculous “two characters talking about sex while bullets fly past them” kind of way. The call backs are in the same vein of “Arrested Development” in that every hilarious joke, and even some of the minor one liners, gets built up over the course of the season in a very brilliant manner. The cast gives such convincing dialogue that I often times forget I’m watching a cartoon. If you aren’t watching “Archer” you need to sit on your couch, fire up FX’s on demand channel, and start immediately. Oh and don’t forget the bag of shrimp.
Will I be watching Season 2? YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!Last 5 posts by Josh Singleton
- Dexter Season 5 Has Some Giant Serial Killer Shoes to Fill - April 20th, 2010
- The Dollhouse Closes its Doors: A Postmortem Analysis - February 8th, 2010
- Battle Royale With The Late Night All Stars - January 27th, 2010
- Fringe 2.1: A Shape Shifter, Custard, and a Cow in a Birthday Hat… Fringe is definitely back! - September 18th, 2009
- Should You Hang Around for “Hung” Season 2? - September 16th, 2009