You Need to Watch Archer. C’mon Buddy.

I use my blog mostly for the forces of Hate and Complaining. Rarely do I take the time to talk about things I enjoy. Why? Because ranting and using cuss-words is fun. Plus, my crazy readers (that would be you) seem to prefer it that way, which is just fine by me. I rant about inconsequential things. It’s what I do. It completes me.

But sometimes, I have a desire to step out of my cantankerous sarcastic shell and talk about something that I truly enjoy, something that deserves to be treasured and adored. Hence my Mass Effect 3 review that reads like a 12-year-old-girl’s crushfest on a cast member of Glee. Clearly, being positive is something I need to work on. So here goes. Smiles on, everyone, it’s time to talk about something awesome, that is not to be missed, and if you don’t start watching it, I will track you down, cut your eyelids off with a pair of safety scissors, and make you watch every second of every show of the greatest thing on TV.

Archer is that thing.

I know some of you already watch and love it (Twins!). For those of you that don’t, I will do my best to convince you to give it a try. I will present a primer of sorts, and expound on why I believe that everyone should watch it. Even toddlers. Mostly because I don’t care about things like “proper child entertainment” or “abnormal development” or “awkward discussions about what vulva are and how being smoother than a veal cutlet is a good thing”. It’s on FX, and if you need me to find out what time or day it’s on for you, well, get a DVR and figure shit out.

The premise: Archer is a spy show. Well, it’s a show about a spy agency, ISIS, and centers mostly around the antics and activities of the world’s greatest spy, Sterling Archer. Archer is essentially James Bond without the need to hide just how fucking cool he is. ISIS is owned and run by Sterling’s mother, a former elite spy herself, and essentially is the old female version of Archer himself, hard-drinking and whoring around and probably the worst person on Earth (besides me) to be a parent. The agency is staffed with 2.5 competent people, the two being fellow agents Lana Kane and Ray Gillette and the half being Archer himself. The rest of them are probably legally insane. The exact year and era is undefined, which essentially allows them to take everything that is cool at any point and time and shove it into the show. That shit just doesn’t matter, because everything really is cool. You get the 60’s clothes and constant drinking and Cold War goodness, the muscle cars of the 70’s, the nothing of the 80’s and 90’s because nothing in the 80’s or 90’s was cool, and all the high-end ridiculous gadgetry of today. It’s all mixed together with a healthy amount of Scotch and rubber cement. The result is pure kickass.

The characters: The characters and their dialogue are what makes the show. The writing is so fucking brilliant, and every character is fucking hilarious. I can’t include all of them, but I’ll highlight some of them. The rest you can learn on your own. Because you’re going to watch, right? Because if not, well, snip-snip.

My aspirational hero.

Sterling Malory Archer

I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the deafening sound of my own awesomeness.

Codename: Duchess. Sucks when your mom gets to choose your handle and names you after her dog. Sterling Archer is the greatest fucking spy, and, well, person in the world, and he knows it. Oh yes he does. Always carrying a drink or a gun or both. He’s a master of firearms, seduction, drinking, hookers, martial arts, and everything that James Bond would be if that British guy could just fucking relax every now and again and let himself realize just how fucking cool he really is and take advantage of it. What makes Archer great is the fact that he’s supposed to be this master spy, and with all his faults you’d expect a typical group of writers to make him buffoonish and ineffective. Yes, he’s buffoonish, but he’s still the greatest fucking spy in the world. He gets shit done, as long as he isn’t distracted by his love of Burt Reynolds, women, booze, cars, and fucking around. Hell, even then, he gets shit done. He’s everything a man should be and a great reason why it’s best that we can’t be him. He’s so amazing that he can turn a turtleneck into cool tactical gear.

Lana. Lana. LAAANNNNNAAAA.

Lana Kane

With your looks, maybe bitchy isn’t the way to go.

Tall and gorgeous with a penchant for mini-dresses and thigh-high platform boots and sporting a pair of Truckasaurus man-hands, Lana is actually the most capable agent of ISIS. She’s often the “straight-man” of any given episode, usually trying to actually do things right instead of half-assed and drunk like her ex-boyfriend Archer. However, she isn’t above taking an assignment and milking it as an extended vacation. Most of her time is spent trying to clean up the messes that both mother and son Archer create. She’s clearly still into Archer despite her protestations (“you’re so hot for him I could reheat this chili in your cooch.”). She’s a strong woman who takes no shit and wears knock-off Fiacci underwear. Every woman should be Lana, and I don’t just mean into stockings and thigh-high boots. Maybe.

What the shit, Mother?!

Malory Archer

If I cared about what you do on the weekend I’d stick a shotgun in my mouth and pull the trigger with my toes.

A former elite spy herself, Malory owns and heads up ISIS. She drinks just as much as her son and whores around just as much, which causes no end of problems for her son. Relying on boarding schools, lacrosse camps, and her butler Woodhouse to raise her son, she’s caused all manner of psychological issues for her son. She has a heart of gold in the sense that it’s made of cold, dull, unfeeling metal. She has sympathy for no one but herself, and that’s usually only when she’s run out of gin. She’s sleeping with the head of the KGB, the head of rival spy agency ODIN, and pretty much anyone else that will fall for her faded “charms”. She is quite possibly the worst person in the world, but she doesn’t honestly give a fuck about you or what you think or if you have cancer.

Holy shitsnacks.

Pam Poovey

Who taught you how to punch? Your husband?

Ahhh, Pam. The HR Director of ISIS, her weight and looks tends to make her the butt of jokes, but she’s apparently the best lay in the world. Sarcastic, raunchy, inappropriate, ready to join in bumfights or illegal street racing, Pam is actually pretty much a bad ass. She can’t keep a secret, is always eavesdropping, and sneaks her way onto any mission that involves more than two people. Pam is fucking awesome. I can’t even do her character justice with words. You just honestly have to watch her in action.

Or I will use these scissors, I swear to god.

You've sown the wind, and now you shall reap... the Barry.

Barry Dylan

Barry, is that how you get ants? Yes it is, Other Barry. Yes. It. Is.

Barry is the top agent of rival spy group ODIN, until he gets turned into a – well, never mind, you’ll figure it out. Constantly upstaged by Archer, resulting in two different broken legs in two remarkably similar incidents, discovering that Archer is having anal sex with his almost-fiance, and all-around ruining everything he has, Barry develops a little obsession for returning every ounce of pain Archer has caused right back to him. He’s clearly insane and his best friend is himself, who he refers to as Other Barry. He will go to pretty much any length to beat Archer at anything and everything. He gets, uh, pretty dark as the series goes on.

That doesn’t even touch on the rest of the awesome cast like Ray, the gay agent, Dr. Kreiger, the insane son of of a Nazi scientist with a holographic Japanese anime girlfriend, Cheryl/Carol, the secretary who’s fondest fantasy is to be choked to death (“world’s gushiest orgasm?”), Cyril, the bumbling incompetent whiny nerdy useless comptroller, and to be redundant, an accountant, and the myriad recurring cast members.

In conclusion: You seriously need to watch this show. The humor is adult, non-politically correct, and incredibly clever by turns. If you don’t watch, then you’ll probably hang out with people who start saying things to each other like “Come on, buddy” and “YOU ARE NOT MY SUPERVISOR” and “Danger Zone” and laughing hysterically. You will not know what is going on and you will feel isolated and alone and end up shooting heroin in some seedy flophouse to dull the pain of your excision from society, and it’ll be all your own fault.

I’ll do anything to prevent that, up to and including strapping you down. Snip snip.

About Alan Edwards

An indie writer who does accounting full-time on the side.

Posted on April 5, 2012, in Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Archer is absolutely one of the best things on TV. Excellent review. I’ll remember that you’ll be one of the folks who will laugh when I exclaim: “DANGER ZONE!” in public…

  2. What What?!

  3. I couldn’t agree more! We’re big Archer fans here in our house. My favorite is still the RAMPAGE episode, and who doesn’t love the banter between Sterling and his mother. Ahahahahahaha. I just preached the same thing on my blog Tuesday, so hopefully we’ll attract a few new viewers when the series returns.

  4. I got turned on to Archer after devouring the entire series of the short-lived (and, I daresay *better* than Archer–don’t come after me with safety scissors, please) Adult Swim show, Frisky Dingo. FD was created by Adam Reed (creator of Archer and also the voice of Ray Gillette) and Matt Thompson. You can totally see parallels between both shows, thanks to Reed’s influence. Check out Frisky Dingo episodes here: http://www.adultswim.com/shows/frisky-dingo/index.html

    I agree with every point you made in this review. People who don’t watch Archer need to get that shit added to the DVR record-list now. Pam is my absolute favorite character, hands-down, though I do love me some Lana (would totally do her), Archer, and…well, everyone else.

    Where the hell has Woodhouse been lately? I’d forgotten about him and his…habits. Hahaha!

  5. Mark M (Indorock)

    >the nothing of the 80′s and 90′s because nothing in the 80′s or 90′s was cool

    Except, of course, Kenny Loggins. DAYNGA ZONE!!

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