When it comes to spy series, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as FX’s Archer. If you’re not familiar with the series, it’s an animated show created by Adam Reed, built around sexy stud muffin of a spy, Sterling Archer. He worked for the “International Secret Intelligence Service” AKA ISIS and is self centered and not the smartest tool in the shed.
Last season on Archer rebooted the show and made it a Miami Vice-esque satire of the drug industry at large and the series was dubbed Archer-Vice. Now, in Archer: The Complete Sixth Season the characters return to their life of espionage but ISIS is no more (probably due to the Islamist Terrorist organization filling the news these days). Now, the gang works for the CIA, kind of.
Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) is in Borneo searching for a crashed plan carrying top secret documents, there he gets ambushed by a Japanese soldier named Sato Kentaro who has been marooned on the island and still believes that it’s WWII. He saves Archer from guerrillas but then sees videos of the atomic bombs from Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Archer’s phone and attacks him. They end up mending ways and work together. Archer reconnects him with his family and all is well.
This happens while Cheryl (Judy Greer) and Pam (Amber Nash) do an office makeover for Malory (Jessica Walter) who soon realizes that the new office… It’s just a hologram. The only difference is a new Japanese hot tub has been added! Doh!
And so goes a day (or an episode) in the life of Archer. Jettisoning the Florida Vice-esque reboot formula, Archer goes back to it’s old formula, which is good and bad. Each episode is pretty much a stand alone with little if anything going on week to week. Archer is sent to kill an assassin in one episode and in the next he heads off to destroy a crashed plane. While it’s not a bad thing, because the series writing is still very much on point, I do miss the Archer-Vice-ness of it all. The reboot was so fresh, I don’t know why we had to go back to the well so soon.
I must admit however, that Archer is still one of the best series on television. Not only the writing but the actors providing the voices do such a stellar job and know their characters inside and out by this point. Insults, barbs and more get thrown and without the voices behind the characters, it just wouldn’t be the same.
The animation also looks so much better this season. The action scenes are so much crisper (note that was sent a DVD copy to review, and while it wasn’t on high definition, the picture still looked very good) and the details are great. I loved the fact that certain scenes mocked a hand held camera just like a film would. It’s touches like these that make Archer so good.
Archer: The Complete Sixth Season arrives on DVD with all 13 episodes and a few bonus features.
There is Cooking with Milton a featurette that features… Well… Cooking with Milton, Conan and Archer Battle Russian Mobsters and Slay J.
Overall, how can you not love Archer? Even in it’s sixth season it’s still a refreshing and razor sharp series. I would have loved to continue the Archer-Vice style but just being with the gang for their adventures is a fun ride, I hope doesn’t end anytime soon
Archer: The Complete Sixth Season is out now on DVD!