Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Spy vs Spy
Archer is an animated show on FX that is too funny and wrong for words. The third season started last week, but you still have time to catch up! Why should you watch this show, you ask? Besides the fact it's downright awesome, Archer is one of the funniest and wittiest shows on TV right now. This may tide you over until Community comes back.
Archer is about a bumbling spy named Sterling Archer and his co-workers at ISIS, a spy agency. ISIS is run by his overbearing and highly entertaining mother, Malory. She is like an animated version of Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development, which is ironic since they share an actress (the talented Jessica Walter). Archer is a terrible spy who uses his status as a secret agent to bed ladies instead of save nations. Thankfully, his former girlfriend and counterpart, Lana Kane, is there to pick up the slack and snark him to death. Rounding out this cast is an office full of psychopaths, sycophants, mad scientists and cannon fodder. In short, it's brilliant.
The animation is slick and smooth and the show is done in a quasi-futuristic 60s style. The Cold War is still on, but everyone has cell phones. The real star of this show is the writing. The dialog is sharp, witty and filthy. There are catchphrases a-plenty and ongoing gags that never fail to make you laugh. The show is definitely mature, featuring many jokes of the sexual variety, but that only adds to the appeal. If you can't laugh at a mad scientist and his anime hologram "wife", you don't have a soul. Archer has many lovable catchphrases and quirks, from shouting "danger zone!" when he wants attention, to misunderstanding politics and bitching about his favorite black turtleneck. The other characters don't disappoint either. Lana Kane verbally bitchslaps Archer in almost every scene, while other characters like Pam the HR rep and Carol the secretary have conversations so messed up and hysterical, you have to see them to believe them.
One of the best things about the show, apart from the fantastic writing and "oh my god, that is so wrong!" humor is how sincere and charming the characters are. They're all incredibly terrible human beings, and that's what makes them lovable. Whether they're drinking themselves into a stupor or embezzling money from the agency, they're just so completely lovable. This is possibly because they're all so inept at their jobs. Each half hour episode is chocked full of well crafted hilarity, violence and depravity. The show was created by the same people who made Frisky Dingo, another hilariously wrong cartoon that aired on Cartoon Network.
Archer is one of my absolute favorite shows on TV. I laugh myself to tears almost every time. Give Archer a try, you won't be disappointed.
Archer seasons one and two and available on DVD, Archer season 3 has just started airing on FX.