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This review is from: Archer: Season 1 (DVD)
You know, I don't normally put my review titles in all caps. But what can I say? This show is... well, BRILLIANT! I've always thought that there are far, far too many five star reviews here on amazon. But if there ever was a show that genuinely deserved a rave, this is it.
Archer is a wonderfully absurdist frolic for strictly adult audiences. Fundamentally this show is a giant spoof of 1960s spy thrillers; a spoof made for decidedly 21st century sensibilities. It's the show Get Smart would have been had all the characters been perpetually high on crystal meth.
In fact, the characters on Archer are all selfish, petty, and utterly and completely venal: the three great ingredients from which comedy is made. They seem to think and act more like deranged adolescents than grown-ups. Deranged adolescents with access to firearms. Add all this together and you get some idea of the flavor of the show. Archer is very much in the spirit of the original Williams Street adult swim cartoons, but is never merely derivative of them. Which of course is exactly what you'd expect, given that this show is produced by Adam Reed, whose previous producing and directing credits include both Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo. Indeed, Reed's voice credits go all the way back to the original Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
But while a similar sense of humor can be found throughout, Archer definitely has a flair all of its own. Visually it has kind of a pseudo-realist "ligne claire" (clear line) style that matches perfectly with the creatively anachronistic world the characters inhabit. Cell phones and other contemporary technologies may abound, but jet-age fashions still prevail, and the KGB and the Soviet Union remain major adversaries.
But the first thing long time hard core animation fans will notice is that voice of H. Jon Benjamin brings its own uniquely laconic comic genius to the title role of "Archer" himself. Many of us remember Benjamin best as Coach from Home Movies. Others may recognize his voice from various bit parts in Family Guy and the Venture Bros.. But wherever you know him from, I for one am overjoyed that a suitable vehicle has finally been found for this great talent.
Better yet, Benjamin is complemented by scarcely lesser talents such as Aisha Tyler, a standup comedian who plays Lana Kane, another top operative at the same spy agency; and Jessica Walter, who plays the head of the agency - who also just happens to be Archer's mother. However, I should stress that this rather unusual combination of relationships is never reduced to mere sit-com hijinx. Archer is the kind of show were things get genuinely disturbing. In fact, this is one of those rare shows where the entire cast is incredibly strong - and backed up by an equally strong writing team, too.
What more can I say? See it!
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 21, 2010 2:42:59 PM PST
Jason Bean says:
Hey good review. I love this show and can't wait for the DVD release! However have you noticed that they are missing an episode on disc two? There were ten episodes this season and I'm pretty sure there was one between 'The Rock' and 'Dial M for Mother'. I'm not sure the title but it was the one where Archer tries to work for ODIN (in france). Do you know what's up with that? Am I just missing something?
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2010 11:24:13 PM PST
Thanks for the nice comment! :)
Good point about the episode. But I'm afraid I don't know any more than you at this point. We can only wait until the disks come out and see. Like I said in my review, I'm still waiting on pre-order. So we can only hope they get it right.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2010 11:42:39 PM PST
Been thinking about it some more. I'm never great with keeping track of episodes by name, but are you thinking of "Job Offer"? It's listed here as episode 9...
Posted on Jan 11, 2011 10:21:22 AM PST
This is probably one of the best reviews for this show and really encompasses all that I love about it. You rock! I wish this had come out on Blu-ray as well, but regardless, I'll be ordering a copy for my old roommate (who got into this show along with me when the pilot came on all those months ago).
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2011 4:13:45 PM PST
I'm still waiting for my own copy to arrive -- I live in Australia so things take a bit longer to get here.
Posted on Feb 4, 2011 4:37:19 AM PST
Wayne McCaul says:
Excellent and intelligent review! Captures the essence of what is Archer. I particularly loved this line:
"It's the show Get Smart would have been had all the characters been perpetually high on crystal meth."
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2011 5:26:07 AM PST
Thank you, sir!
Appreciation is always appreciated ;-)
Posted on Feb 23, 2011 4:08:00 PM PST
Right, you have convinced me I made the right choice in pre-ordering this. Only a month or so to wait here in the Heart of Empire......
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2011 5:57:07 PM PST
Cool. I really did mean everything I said in the review. There are far too many raves on amazon, but this show is genuinely awesome!!!
Posted on Feb 24, 2011 12:35:14 PM PST
RPGee Wiz says:
Great review there! You've captured the essence of the show quite well I think! I may just have to pick this set up!