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Customer Review

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Archer, January 19, 2012
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This review is from: ARCHER SEASON 3 (Amazon Instant Video)
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).
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 9, 2012 10:34:58 PM PST
D. S. HARDEN says:
L. Andrews - First, I didn't even know that this series existed. Thanks to your (very) thourough outline, I will DEFINITELY check this animated series out! Thanks for a most informative read!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2013 7:49:25 PM PST
MP Grier says:
As a longtime fan, I enjoyed your spot-on description of all my favorite characters. The only two places I would take issue are:

1) with the statement that Cheryl legally changes her name often. I don't think the change to Cristal was an official, legal name change.

2) with the implication that Lana, alone, considers herself black. Lana considers herself black, as do all the other characters. It may be inaccurate from a genealogical standpoint, but it has been the way of determining racial identity in the US for centuries.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2013 8:45:23 PM PST
Thank you for your input I agree with your facts for number 1. I will refer to an episode in season 1, in Diversity Hire. Archer refers to Lana as "Blackish". When she says "ISH" Archer says well what do you want me to say, you freaked out when I said Quadroon. The term Quadroon was used to designate a person of one-quarter African/Aboriginal ancestry, that is one biracial parent (African/Aboriginal and Caucasian) and one Caucasian parent; in other words, one African/Aboriginal grandparent and three Caucasian grandparents.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2013 9:26:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2013 9:27:05 PM PST
MP Grier says:
I remember the episode--and that particular joke--well. It was hilarious. And yes, I know the definition of quadroon, but my point is that there are many jokes--from A+L in bed watching interracial porn to Malory telling Lana to "put it [i.e., the race card] back in the deck"--that rely on the fact that everyone on the show, as well as its creators, treat Lana as black--and in doing so, they classify her as Americans have done for centuries.

By the way, I'm not sure I'd take Sterling's word on Lana's genealogy. A man who says "cry havoc and let slip the hogs of war" is not keen on precision. Loved the "blackish" joke, though, as I love nearly everything that happens on Archer.
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