Television today is heavily weighed down by reality shows, from the dramatic Kardashians to the guidos on “Jersey Shore,” and terrible new shows that aren’t even worth one episode’s viewing. But not all shows out there are bad, and some prove to be very entertaining. So for some animated fun, look no further than “Archer,” a cartoon series on the FX network.
The first season of the show premiered on Jan. 14, 2010, and new episodes of Season 3 began broadcasting on Jan. 19, 2012. The remaining Season 3 episodes air at 10 p.m. on Thursdays, and FX has already ordered a 13-episode fourth season of this brilliant series.
Set at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), “Archer” features titular character and master spy Sterling Archer, who is constantly pulled away from his outlandishly crazy sex-and-alcohol-fueled bachelor life and is forced into solving global crises — all while simultaneously dealing with his domineering mother (who is also his boss) and all his other dysfunctional ISIS coworkers.
The global crises that ISIS must deal with merely serve as opportunities for its not-so-skilled employees to attempt, in all shapes and forms (from huge betrayals to terrible backstabbing), to screw each other over, which usually happens while they are in the face of death and worldwide destruction.
While Sterling Archer is considered one of the most dangerous secret agents and possesses exceptional proficiency in forms of combat, weapons expertise and other essential spy skills, he is probably the most egotistical, arrogant and self-centered character on television right now. His one and only interest is himself and maintaining his current lifestyle of alcohol, sex, lacrosse, guns and convincing his co-workers of just how awesome he really is. His unfathomable degree of narcissism and deadpan delivery of tongue-in-cheek humor is a crucial factor to the show’s success. Extremely intelligent writing coupled with uniquely styled animation and a great voice cast all seamlessly come together to make “Archer” a can’t-miss show.
“Archer” is an over-the-top series that knows how to push its boundaries as far to the extremes as it can go without abusing its originality or the sentiments of its audience. It’s a fresh take on an adult cartoon and is possibly the most entertaining, vulgar and hilarious 30 minutes of television that I’ve seen in a while.
Just as there’s something for everyone to love in this show, there is definitely something for everyone to hate, but the difference is that “Archer” doesn’t care. The laughs come faster than you can catch them, and as the seasons have progressed, the series has continued to march to its own beat.
“Archer” is fast-paced, packed with absurd situations and hilarious dialogue, all surrounded by very coherent story lines. The characters are perfect and they interact and play off each other better than most non-animated sitcoms. But what makes this show is the offensively funny, profanity-filled and ironic dialogue.
Ultimately, “Archer” is a brilliantly crafted series that knows full well how to use all forms of raunchy, ironic and dark humor, which it combines with a fine mix of originality and genius. Watch this show and prepare to be amazed and laugh. A lot.