on January 19, 2012
I was hooked from season 1. Still watch it over and over, there are so many little idioms and sayings you will find new gems each time you watch. I could not believe they had this on a non-premium channel. Not a series you could have a conversation about at the water cooler. But you will find yourself telling people to just watch. Season 1 amazing (watch Mole Hunt or Diversity Hire), Season 2 was lacking and picked up at the end (best episodes 2:3,2:8-9,2:11-12) (wondering if the Jon Benjamin has a van) series interfered with season 2 writing. Season 3 episodes 1-3 was good and redeemed it's self again. BTW if you can catch the Jon Benjamin has a Van, it's done quite well.
Sterling Malory Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), codename: Duchess Though he shows proficiency in stereotypical spy skills--weapons, driving, martial arts--his only real interest in the job is the opportunity to enjoy a jet-setting lifestyle full of sex, alcohol, thrills, lacrosse, fast cars and spy toys (in that order). Egotistical and self-serving, Archer generally lacks empathy towards anyone. He was largely reared by his valet Woodhouse, whom he constantly belittles. He appears to carry the classic James Bond Walther PPK as a personal sidearm, despite being consistently insulted as to the gun's diminutive stature by his co-workers,
Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler) is the top female agent at ISIS and Archer's ex-girlfriend. A beautiful, competent and deadly agent, she also has incredibly large and strong hands, which other ISIS staffers regularly mock as being mannish or "Truckasaurus-like." Smart and tough, she is constantly frustrated that she is still seen as second fiddle to Archer and passed over because his mother heads the agency. She considers herself black, but she is actually a quarter African-American and 3/4 Caucasian. Like Archer, Lana is an expert in Krav Maga, in which all ISIS agents undergo training, and is usually seen carrying two Tec-9 submachine guns in shoulder holsters.
Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), Sterling Archer's mother and the head of ISIS, is a self-centered alcoholic who regularly hatches half-baked, invariably disastrous schemes to use the agency's resources to her own personal advantage (she has staged a false assassination attempt on a U.N. official to secure a lucrative government contract and called in a fake bomb threat to get a luxury cabin on a dirigible "cruise"). Greedy, short-sighted and materialistic, Malory has gone so far as to haggle ransom prices for her own son and has little concern for her other employees.
Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell) is the comptroller of ISIS. Cyril is portrayed as quite competent at his job but is plagued by a number of personal issues. He was Lana Kane's love interest at the beginning of Season 1, but due to residual trust issues from her relationship with Archer, she refused to call Cyril her boyfriend or say she loved him. Cyril is a buttoned-down nebbish who wears brow line glasses and chops vegetables for supper in his office. Cyril is also so remarkably well-endowed that he once put in a claim for "penis ensmallment" surgery, as Pam and Cheryl are shocked to learn when they hack into the company's medical records.
Cheryl Tunt (Judy Greer) is Malory's secretary. She regularly legally changes her name, going by Carol, Carina, and Cristal during the series. In the pilot episode of the show, she was portrayed as a love-sick and ditzy secretary frequently taken advantage of by Archer, but that side of her character was gradually phased out as her behavior became more and more unhinged: she has pyromaniac tendencies and is often sniffing or swallowing rubber cement. She regularly fantasizes about being choked during sex, and after office trysts she has prominent ligature marks on her neck. Her lovers have included Cyril, Archer, Krieger and Conway Stern.
Pam Poovey (Amber Nash) is ISIS's Human Resources Director. She condescends to the staff by talking through a dolphin puppet in disciplinary meetings, and she regularly gossips confidential information to the whole office (within an hour, everyone knew when Archer was on a secret mole hunt). She's constantly subjected to cruel jokes about food and her weight. She's also extremely desperate to get just one colleague, male or female, to have sex with her; she succeeds in "Dial M for Mother" when Lana agrees to have sex with her after breaking down in Cyril's office (She does, however, insist on pretending that Pam is Alex Karras).
on October 22, 2013
OVERVIEW: The comedy series "Archer," created by Adam Reed, was first announced on FX in the fall of 2009. Reed credits the inspiration for the show to a personal experience in which he was unable to muster up the charisma to hit on a beautiful woman; he later fantasized about a suave, debonair spy who would always have the right moves. I have absolutely fallen in love with "Archer;" I can't get enough of the continuous wit and exceptionally clever dialog. Unlike other animated shows, "Archer" utilizes complex plotting as well as character development, allowing viewers to watch and rewatch episodes without sacrificing entertainment value. I am personally humbled by the various cultural references employed by the writers--it just goes to show how involved intellect must be in creating comedy. I fully understand that much of the show's content may be deemed offensive to some viewers, so to enjoy it, it's best to keep in mind that "Archer" is written in a satirical manner. It is fair to warn, however, that the series earns its TV/MA rating quite well through use of crude language, violence, and sexual situations; basically, it's probably not suitable for children or anyone who isn't a fan of that sort of comedy.
The storyline centers around Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) who is the sort of spy Reed had imagined, only with a few extra character `flaws'--he is pretty much a sociopath. Despite bearing the codename Duchess, Archer is considered the world's most dangerous spy; were he not absorbed with promiscuity, alcoholism, expensive toys and tactlenecks, he might also be considered the world's best spy. Archer works for his self-centered and emotionally distant mother, Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) based in New York City. Fellow ISIS employees include agent Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), comptroller Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell), agent Ray Gillette (Adam Reed), HR Director Pam Poovey (Amber Nash), Head of Applied Research Dr. Algernop Krieger (Lucky Yates), ISIS whipping-boy Brett Buckley (Neal Holman), and nut-job secretary Cheryl Tunt (Judy Greer). Other recurring cast-members include: ODIN agent/cyborg/KGB leader Barry Dylan (Dave Willis), call-girl Trinette (Maggie Wheeler), ex-KGB head Nikolai Jakov (Peter Newman), ex-KGB agent/cyborg Katya Kazanova (Ona Grauer), and Archer's valet, Woodhouse (George Coe; Roy McCrery in flashbacks).
Season 3 Guest Stars: Italian Prime Minister Savio Mascalzoni (Luciano Palermi), manhunter and former ISIS agent Rip Riley (Patrick Warburton), Cuban drug lord Román Calzado (Joaquim de Almeida), slave pirate Noah (David Cross), Canadian terrorist Kenny Bilko (Robb Wells)**, NYPD Detective Murphy (Lloyd Sherr), Sheriff E.Z. Ponder (Michael Rooker), Pangu pirate Bucky (James Hong), train manager George (Dave Fennoy), Commander Kellogg (Dave Fennoy), Yakuza boss Mr. Moto (George Takei), ISA researcher Trish (Brett Butler), Randy Gillette (Jack McBrayer), Jenette Gillette (Paula Malcomson), Commander Anthony Drake (Bryan Cranston), and film-star Burt Reynolds.
ARCHER: THE COMPLETE SEASON THREE--kicked off in January of 2012. The third season carries some of the long-running jokes from Seasons One and Two; but the third season begins to provide more plot-depth. Some of the continuing themes include: Who is Archer's father? Will Brett finally die? What is Barry's master plan? Will Lana and Archer get back together? What is to become of the rivalry between Barry and Archer? Will Archer and Pam continue their relationship? How does Barry get home?
SPECIAL FEATURES: [13 Episodes/2 Discs] `Heart of Archness' Trilogy Enhanced, Book-on-Tape Fail, Cooking with Archer, Gator 2--Trailer, "Archer" Season 3 as Comin-Con 2012, and Commentaries on `El Contador,' `Drift Problem,' and `Lo Scandalo.'
Episode 1: "Heart of Archness: Part I"--In the wake of Katya's death, archer has been missing for three months. Even though ISIS has been reporting better numbers in his absence, Malory determines it's time to bring Sterling home. She hires Rip Riley, manhunter and former ISIS agent, who has tracked Archer to a small island in French Polynesia where he has been tending bar and ruining honeymoons. Rip forces Archer onto his sea plane, Lucy Goosey; Archer manages to incapacitate Riley and commandeer the plan, but his lack of understand on the concept of autopilot causes Lucy to run out of fuel and crash into the Pacific. Following the crash, Archer selflessly chooses to save Rip over a bottle of booze. After losing contact with Riley, Malory spares no expense sending Lana and Ray to rescue Archer. As it turns out, a gang of pirates kidnaps Riley and Archer with the intention to ransom; Archer, with the help of his Omicron Spymaster, quickly relieves the head pirate of his duties, thus making himself the new Pirate King of the pirate island, Pangu.
Episode 2: "Heart of Archness: Part II"-- To begin his reign as Pirate King, Archer imprisons Riley. Noah (David Cross) is one of the slave pirates; he was an anthropology doctoral candidate working on his dissertation when he was captured. Because he speaks English, Archer uses Noah as a translator for communicating with his subjects. Archer is living-it-up as Pirate King, but neglects his duties as a pirate, leading to low morale among the men; Bucky attempts to overthrow Archer by melawan raja. Rip escapes his dungeon and contacts Malory by radio. Amid the skirmish, the pirates mutiny; Sterling, Rip, and Noah end up in the dungeon. When Ray and Lana arrive on the shore of Pangu, they are quickly captured and thrown in the cell with the others. Back at ISIS, Cyril is both drunk and concerned for the impact Archer's rescue will have on the budget; he does some blackout online banking... and Pam.
Episode 3: "Heart of Archness: Part III"--Cyril realizes he embezzled all of ISIS's funds during the late-night banking session, but can't remember the password he used. Pam suggests they try drunken-recall; the two repeat their actions from the previous night. Ray and Lana are shot during a struggle between Archer and Bucky. In order to save Ray from succumbing to blood loss, the team has to make a quick escape... meaning there isn't time for Noah to retrieve his dissertation before fleeing. Because the rest of the pirates are distracted by the intramural lacrosse final, Archer, Lana, Ray, Riley, and Noah manage to make a (mostly) clean getaway.
Episode 4: "The Man from Jupiter"--Archer finally meets his hero, Burt Reynolds, only to discover that Burt is dating his mother. Archer disregards the threat of a Cuban hit-squad trying to kill him and focuses on kidnapping Burt to keep him away from Malory. The Cubans mistake a wheelchair-bound Ray for Sterling and pursue Lana, Ray, Krieger, and Cyril (and Krieger's virtual ex-fiancé) in Dr. Kriger's newly handicap-accessible conversion van. Burt and Archer join the car chase to take out the Cuban hit-squad and save Lana.
Episode 5: "El Contador"--Since Ray is paralyzed, Malory promotes Cyril to field agent. Malory sends Lana, Archer, and Cyril to bounty hunt the notorious Cuban drug lord and distributor for La Sombre, Román Calzado. Lana and Archer lose Cyril while trekking the South American jungle; after their capture, Archer and Lana discover Cyril back at Calzado's compound, passing himself off as `El Contador' (Spanish for "the accountant") for La Sombre. Cyril visits Lana and Archer in their cell to warn them that, come morning, he and Calzado will be hunting them, `the most dangerous game.' While he is clearly not cut out for the physically-oriented spy work, Cyril proves his tactical worth in the field. Back at ISIS: Ray, Cheryl, and Pam are sent into full panic-mode when Malory announces an ISIS-wide drug test. Dr. Krieger seizes the opportunity to promote and test `Krieger-Cleanse,' a tea formulated to remove all traces of drug use from the body. After ingesting the disgusting tea, Ray, Pam, and Cheryl experience terrifying hallucinations.
Episode 6: "The Limited"-- **Special Guest Stars of this episode are Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay, and Mike Smith, who respectively play Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles on the Canadian show "Trailer Park Boys."** The ISIS team is in charge of extraditing Canadian terrorist Kenny Bilko, of the New Scotland Front, back to Ottawa. Because they are traveling on the Tunts' railroad, Cheryl has her personal train cars hooked up, allowing Ray, Cheryl, Pam, and Babou to tag along for the mission. Malory treats the train manager, George, as her personal slave--furthering the stereotype that Americans are racist. Once they hit the Canadian border, Lana and Archer are met with two teams of Canadian Mounties, one of which is an imposter group attempting to free Bilko. When Cyril loses him grasp on Bilko, Archer (with the help of Babou) finally gets to fulfill his dream of fighting an enemy atop a moving train.
Episode 7: "Drift Problem"--For Sterling's birthday, Malory gives him a brand new Krieger/Dodge Challenger Special-Edition Spycar (thanks Dodge). Much like the Schwinn Stingray bicycle he received in childhood, Malory makes the gift conditional: if Sterling doesn't take the utmost care of his new toy, there will never be another. When the Challenger is stolen from his garage, Archer scrambles to recover it before Malory finds out. Pam, who has been moonlighting as a drift-car racer, suggests that the Yakuza may be responsible for the theft. The ISIS team embarks on a repo mission in the drift-car underworld; Archer disrespects the Yakuza boss, Mr. Moto, which leads to a guns-blazing car chase. Malory shows up to both dispose of Mr. Moto and lecture Sterling on responsibility. The final scene shows the Challenger with its new owner, Mr. Ford, a character from "Frisky Dingo."
Episode 8: "Lo Scandalo"--The opening scene shows Malory, alone in the dark, with gun in-hand. Archer and Lana are called to her apartment only to discover a man in a latex zentai and bound to a seatless chair; he is dead with five bullet wounds to the chest. The corpse is Italian Prime Minister Savio Mascalzoni. Malory reveals that she has been engaging in an annual affair with Mascalzoni since they met on Operation Gladio during WWII. For fear that Malory is being framed for murder, Dr. Krieger arrives to take command of the scene; he invites Cheryl, Ray, Pam, and Cyril along to each carry out pieces of the disseminated body. When NYPD Detective Murphy investigates a mysterious tip about a murder in Malory's apartment, the gang attempts to be nonchalant by staging a `fancy' dinner party.
Episode 9: "Bloody Ferlin"--Lana and Archer discover Ray in the ISIS armory, and that he isn't really paralyzed. Ray is planning to return to Ferlin, West Virginia, to help his brother, Randy, in a battle against the town sheriff, E.Z. Ponder, who Ray believes is trying to take Randy's dope farm for himself. Archer and Ray bring Cheryl along to pose as Ray's wife. Randy and his wife, Jenette, have a progressive `open-marriage;' they agree that if Randy gets to sleep with Ray's wife, then Jenette can sleep with Archer. While back in the Holler, Ray gains a new perspective on family... and reconciles his adolescent feud with E.Z. Ponder.
Episode 10: "Crossing Over"--Archer awakens to a killer hangover and no memory of what happened. Following his steps from the previous night, Archer learns that he had the best sex of his life with [drumroll] Pam, but mandates she not tell anyone. At ISIS, Malory reveals that Nikolai Jakov wants to defect--a problem for Malory because she thinks she's still dating Burt Reynolds. Nikolai is pushed out of Moscow by the new KGB leader, Barry, who apparently has some huge and mysterious master plan for the KGB; Jakov's former assistant, Boris, helps him flee to the U.S. where he is kept in the ISIS safehouse. While in charge of babysitting Jakov, Archer begins to bond with his could-be father. When Barry learns of Jakov's defection, he tracks Nikolai to the safehouse and assassinates him, eliminating any chance for Archer to gain closure on his paternity.
Episode 11: "Skin Game"--Dr. Krieger has a surprise for Sterling: he has rebuilt Katya as a cyborg. Archer and Katya pick back up in their relationship, with only minor weirdness at the fact that she is now a robot. Archer convinces his mother to make Katya an ISIS agent; the decision is made mostly on the grounds that ISIS will need their own cyborg if they are to defeat Barry. Archer and Katya plan to wed as soon as possible, but attract a certain objector: Barry. When Archer and Barry begin to fight, Katya steps in to create an all-out cyborg-v.-cyborg death match. In order to drain their voltaic cells, Krieger cuts the power; when the lights come back on, Archer discovers that his fiancé and arch-nemesis are doing more than dancing.
Episode 12: "Space Race: Part I"--Commander Kellogg of the space station Horizon may-days Commander Anthony Drake of the ISA to warn that a space-pirate mutiny has occurred. Drake explains to the ISIS team that with the continuous increase in Earth's population, space is the `new horizon;' he enlists the ISIS agents to travel into space aboard the Intrepid so that they may assist in restoring order on Horizon. Lana, Cyril, Archer, and Ray get about a day of space-camp training--which exposes Lana's weak stomach for zero gravity, but Drake mandates she go anyway. Once in space, Pam and Cheryl are found as stowaways aboard the Intrepid; seeing as how they're women, Drake doesn't seem to mind, but locks Archer up for allowing them onboard. Archer convinces Pam to release him from his cell so he can join the battle of the "boarding-party space-pirates." After Drake uses the ISIS agents to defeat the "mutineers" and regain control of Horizon, Commanders Drake and Kellogg reveal themselves as the true mutineers; they have kidnapped the research crew (referred to as `involuntary laborers') and intend to use them as breeding-stock for populating Mars. Due to Lana's superior genetics and IQ, she is destined to be the Martian Queen.
Episode 13: "Space Race: Part II"--Much like a scene from "Star Wars Episode IV," Archer, Lana, Ray, and Cyril are forced into a sealed room by `Stormtroopers' Drake and Kellogg; Lana's physique and Archer's locker-room experience secure their escape. Back on the Intrepid, Pam begins to make trouble for the mutineers. Lana and Archer find the imprisoned `involuntary breeding-stock;' Trish, one of the ISA scientists, explains that the only way to get back to Earth is on the Intrepid--which can only be piloted by either Drake or Kellogg. Cheryl regales Drake with her desires to become Martian Queen, granting Pam the chance to subdue him. In a standoff, Kellogg surrenders, but Cyril shoots him (and everyone else) anyway. Meanwhile, Barry (dressed to resemble Luke Skywaler) is on his way to Horizon so that he may continue torturing Archer. Archer is very excited to play with Barry--who even promises to let Archer wear the space-bot suit; even though it kills Archer to do so, he has to take a rain check on the play date. Since they don't have a captain, Cyril volunteers to pilot the Intrepid for the return flight. During liftoff from Horizon, Cyril destroys Barry's ship... leaving Barry trapped in space. The Intrepid crash-lands on earth, leaving the ISIS crew with fairly minor injuries (excluding Ray, of course, who is paralyzed for real this time).