ARCHER – Heart of Archness – Part I”
When: F/X Network Thursdays 9:30 pm CST
Created by: Adam Reed (Frisky Dingo, Sealab 2021)
Starring the Voices of:
H. Jon Benjamin – Sterling Archer
Aisha Taylor – Lana Kane
Jessica Walter – Malory Archer
Chris Parnel – Cyril Figgis
Judy Greer – Cheryl Taunt
Amber Nash – Pam Poovey
Adam Reed – Ray Gillette
If it hasn’t become clear by now, I have a kid. I also have a wife, who I would like to continue to see lick cake batter off a mixing spoon in my Canuck’s jersey. So, I’m going to preface my review with the following PSA: ( Side note – It won’t be as cool or as potentially helpful as the GI Joe “Knowing is half the battle PSA’s either. Would you really take advice from a guy with no shirt and a denim vest code named, “Gung-ho”? What kind of advice is this guy qualified to give? How to dispose of a dead hooker in a Thai Brothel? How to tell if it’s herpes or an allergic reaction to the speed ball of Yoo-hoo and Flomax? )
Anyways, here it is… TV is a powerful medium that shapes the minds of our impressionable youth. In the wrong hands it can give children a false sense of the real world around them. As a parent, it is your responsibilities to monitor what your child is watching, and inform them of the consequences of the real world implications of what they’ve just seen.
OK, there, I said it. But let’s be honest, I’m 40 and part of the first generation that was raised by TV. Therefore, there’s some tenets, some absolutes that I live by….
- Bionic Man? Sure. Sasquatch? OK, I guess. Bionic Man fighting Sasquatch? Ratings gold. Throw a Fembot in there, and you may have the makings of the kind of watershed event reserved for serious discussion around the tetherball pole.
- There’s an appalling lack of comfortable furniture at the Fortress of Solitude. Seriously, is there even a Kryptonian word for futon? You’d think one of those crystals held an IKEA catalogue in there. Although, a 3 part series in which Superman gets pissed trying to put together a lamp, oh sorry, a Grinix (Is that even a Swedish word) with his allen wrench and flies around the world to turn back time so he can order from Pottery Barn would be pretty spectacular
- I’m just going to throw back the curtain, and expose the ugly truth: Mayor McCheese is just a poor man’s H.R. Pufnstuf. There, I said it, I’m not happy about it; let the healing begin.
What’s my point you ask? Well, I do have one, and it’s this: I don’t even get out of bed unless you’ve got a very special episode, and it better have a freaking giant indestructible truck or a pedophilic bike shop owner, or a giant indestructible pedophilic bike shop owner, or something like that. Anyways, “Archer” is back in a 3 part special series before the new season begins in January 2012.
“Archer: Heart of Archness – Part I”
When we left Archer last spring, he was holding his dead fiancée in his arms and shooting at her assassin, Cyborg Barry (who was wearing a sweet ass, Steve Austin track suit). This episode asks the question: “Where in the world is Sterling Archer?”
I’m not going to spoil what he’s been doing, but let’s just say that Archer’s grieving methods may set back therapy a hundred years. The thing I have always loved about the show is that there’s a deconstructed feel to it. The way, it reveals the big picture of being the world’s greatest spy. Sure, we know he’s good with a gun, but how the fuck does he not know he has an HMO versus a PPO?
And in “Heart of Archness” it’s no different. Cheryl, thinks she may have “psychokinetic powers” and Cyril
To be safe, Malory Archer has also wrangled old timey ISIS agent, Rip Riley and his Nick Furyesque graying temples (played spectacularly by Patrick Warburton) to track down Sterling and bring him home.
“Archer” is all about Archer. That’s pretty much all you need to know, but there’s a thin line between him being an incompetent narcissist and a really kick-ass secret agent. I think that’s what the writers do best. When you really think about James Bond or Jason Bourne, you come to the conclusion that, yes, they’re badass secret agents, but if they were real people, you’d never return their voice mails. I mean, come on, how many “So, I blew up the death ray, and slept with the bi curious neurosurgeon” stories can you hear. These guys would be absolute dicks. And that’s what I love about Archer.
Warburton playing off against Jon Benjamin is the Montana to Rice of voice acting. I’m not going to lie, if I could have a guy to interior monologue my life, it would be H. Jon Benjamin. (Sorry, Morgan Freeman, John Facenda and teacher from Peanuts). The best part of the episode is Archer making fun of Rip’s age and old fashioned plane. (“This is the 1930’s you’re full of shit and that Hitler’s a bad egg”)
Part I ends with Sterling being crowned a pirate king, killing a shark, David Cross showing up as a pirate slave, and Lana and Ray about to do terrible, terrible things with Malory’s black titanium credit card.
Although it’s a great way to frame the next 2 parts of the special fall episodes, this isn’t a great starting point for new viewers. You’ll laugh at the absurdity, and the subtle and not so subtle jabs at conventional spy shows, but you’ll miss out on so much of the humor established in the first two seasons. The show isn’t a Merchant Ivory production, but if you want to get the best from it, I’d suggest going back and watching the first two seasons.
I’m also kind of bummed there was no Woodhead, but that’s just me. I still carry around a picture of Mr. French in my wallet.