Archer is one of those shows I’ve been meaning to watch: the animation looks cool, it actually looks funny, and its subject material appeals to my nerdy/geeky/dorky nature. The main problem is that I live with a woman who, like most, doesn’t generally like cartoons of the non-Pixar/Dreamworks variety. So, I thought checking out the DVD would be a good way to jump in with both feet.
I have to say, I officially love this show–it’s just plain hilarious. From general secret agent situations to office politics to moments that make you go, “what the hell?” Archer fires comedy from all angles. Each of the characters, who perform various tasks (agent, accountant, administrative assistant, mad scientist) for ISIS has their own personality, and the show does a good job maintaining each, while still allowing characters to be more comical or level-headed, depending on the situation.
The animation is sharp and semi-realistic, with a definite Adult Swim feel to it. The subject matter is pretty racy, as most of the characters are preoccupied with sex in one way or another; but sorry, no full-on animated boobs. It is definitely appropriately rated TV-MA, though. The voice acting is also excellent. If you watched Dr. Katz or Bob’s Burgers or really any animated show since the mid-nineties, you’ll recognize the voice of H. Jon Benjamin as the lead, Sterling Archer. His voice is a perfect mix of smooth self-confidence and a complete lack of self-awareness. Aisha Tyler, Judy Greer, Chris Parnell, and Jessica Walter (as Archer’s domineering mother/boss) round out an excellent cast.
The DVD comes with five special features. The first is a Behind-the-Music-style parody where Archer had originally been cast as a dinosaur. The second is a very funny piece where (I believe) real fan questions are answered by Archer. Next is a camcorder recording by Archer to a presumably real fan, a soldier in Afghanistan, that Archer butchers in a typically offensive and humorous fashion. The fourth animated short is probably my favorite, where Archer is blown up on a mission and when the bandages are removed, he looks like his voice actor—bald, bearded, and shorter—very un-Archer-like. The last feature is the Archer panel from SDCC, which is pretty entertaining as well. Overall, a pretty good lineup that’s worth watching in addition to the 13 episodes in season two.
To sum up, there’s three things you should do: 1. Buy Archer season two; 2. Watch it; 3. Laugh. Oh, and you probably will want to pick up season one, so maybe buy that, too—I will be.