Premieres January 14, 10 p.m.
Now that the Holidays are finally over, I can finally get back to my regularly scheduled programming. TV shows are resuming their seasons, and a few new mid-season shows are popping up. Among them is FX’s Archer, an animated sitcom about an oversexed arrogant spy, and the agents he works with. It’s by the Frisky Dingo guys, so you know it’s fucked up.
Archer lampoons the spy genre, and yet the first episode never leaves the confines of the ISIS headquarters. It’s like watching the opening exposition scenes of any given James Bond film, only 007 is an asshole who manages to piss off every woman in the headquarters.
I was a little surprised that the pilot episode was actually funny. Not hilarious, but it’s snappy and features a great cast. H. John Benjamin, whose resume reads like the Adult Swim weekend schedule, is sardonic and witty as always, but Jessica Walter (Arrested Development, 90210) steals the show as Archer’s mother with her wonderful balance of class and crazy bitch.
What makes the show work is the lightning fast dialogue and perverse humor. It’s not highbrow by any means, but the wordplay gets pretty good and the cast is talented enough to handle it without missing a beat. Throw in phone sex with government leaders, inappropriate erections, and language that even Adult Swim can’t get away with and it turns into something that could be annoying, but is instead awesome.
Archer is better than most of the late night animated bullshit on right now, and if it can keep up the balance of parody and absurdity I’ll be happy to keep watching.