ARCHER: THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
In this animated FX series, Sterling Archer is considered one of the deadliest spies in the world. However, he’s actually an incompetent boob who skates out of dangerous situations as a result of pure luck and the help of others. Archer works at ISIS, which is led by his domineering mother, and he makes a mockery of the work place with non-stop sexual flings and neurotic co-workers.
WHAT I LIKED
Like “The League,” one of FX’s other shows that premiered last year, I never was interested in watching “Archer” during its inaugural broadcast. Cartoons for grown-ups have been very hit-or-miss for me. Sure, you have your big hitters, like “The Simpsons,” “South Park” and “Family Guy,” but there are other attempts that never quite make it.
However, getting a chance to watch the first season of “Archer,” I found it growing on me so much more than the pilot did when I caught it on a previous DVD release (which I think was “The League: Season One” a few months ago). Like any good series, it took some time to really get used to the characters and to stomach the voice of Chris Parnell as one of the characters. But I persevered, and the show has really turned into a clever little series.
The animation is crisp and cool, and I am probably more turned on by the buxom women in the cast than I should be. (Yeah, I’m a little ashamed about that.) But with the “Austin Powers” movies cooling on the DVD shelves, it’s nice to see a punchy, retro, clever and often deliciously inappropriately funny show about spies that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Archer relies on stereotypes and cliches about the spy film genre to make the jokes work, and it doesn’t pull its punches. Just as “The League” isn’t about fantasy football but rather the shenanigans of the people who play it, “Archer” isn’t a spy show but rather about the shenanigans of people who happen to be spies.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The first episode or two are a little rough, so if you’re unsure, you should definitely stick with it. By the end of the season, you’ll warm up to the series.
Like other recent FX DVD releases, the “Archer” set comes with some cross-pollination of the shows. Pilot episodes of “The League” and “Louie” series are included on the two discs. Other features include an unaired network promo, a making-of featurette that covers the technical side of the production, deleted scenes and the most bizarre fever-dream of a n unaired pilot to this series I could have ever imagined.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who like inappropriate humor in animation.