James Bond on LSD.
That’s my succinct summary of Archer, the most over-the-top parody of secret agents since Peter Sellers and Woody Allen last made a movie together. Sterling Archer is a whiny, over-privileged mama’s boy that you’d love to strangle…except that he’s actually good at the killing part of being a secret agent, so it’s not something to try. Still, you’d have a pretty good chance at taking him out if you got him distracted, which he is at least 90% of the time, mostly by how good he looks in a mirror.
Archer generally talks like any other man who reads Playboy in 1967…except that it’s 2013. Still, he parties like it’s 1999, and he’s not the type to turn down an offered drink, joint, snort, or anything else for kicks.
How did a nebbish like Archer get his job, anyway? Turns out his mama actually owns the spy agency, which is kind of a dumping ground for incompetent people with serious personal problems (kind of like Futurama, but in the present day, and with submachine guns instead of deliveries).
There’s Pam, an overweight blonde who’s tougher than she looks, and who incidentally smokes weed about every four episodes. She generally sits and often conspires with Cheryl, the oversexed, off-the-wall LSD-loving office manager who incidentally is an heiress who owns a chain of hotels (don’t tell Paris Hilton’s lawyers).
Archer is definitely not all drug-related in-jokes, though. There’s also lots of casual and meaningless sex, of the type that they can only get away with showing because it’s an animated series and not live action. Apart from sex and drugs, the acting, directing, and animation are all top-notch, and they throw in occasional “meta” references to real life that make you sit there with your mouth hanging open when you realize what they just did.
There’s plenty more in the drama column – including the hilariously mad Dr. Kreiger – but I don’t want to over-analyze this show too much. I just know that no matter what kind of mood I’m in or how high I am, I will often have to put the thing on “pause” because I am just laughing so hard.
If you like fast-paced action series with plenty of snarkiness, you will absolutely love Archer. I don’t, and I still love Archer! That should give you an idea of how unmissable this show is. See you Thursday at 10 PM!