Venues Might Change, But Archer Stays Consistent

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Animated series and stand-up acts are about as polar opposite as you can get in comedy, but the return of Archer has blended the two concepts beautifully.

The adventures of Sterling Archer and ISIS The Figgis Agency have developed a lot of stand-up type elements and catch phrases over the years. “Phrasing” and “sploosh” and “that’s how you get ants” and “Danger Zone!” are as much as the fabric of the show as Tim Allen’s grunting, Jerry Seinfeld inquiring about deals and Jeff Foxworthy’s examples of redneck behavior.

As much as we might want to re-hear Patton Oswalt rail on about the KFC Famous Bowl, the best comedians are always working on new material – taking their acts to different places. Bad jokes get tossed aside, the good ones become the next great routine burned into our memory.

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Through two episodes of its seventh season, Archer has managed to find a happy medium of giving us what we expect with stuff that keeps the show fresh.

The relocation to a California detective agency, much like the drug dealing season two years ago, has been good to help inject some new situations for the team to conquer. While the skills of a PI and spy do cross over, it’s the subtle differences – like the lack of a need for guns – that gives creator Adam Reed fresh comedic ground to cover, such as Cyril being in charge of the asylum instead of Malory.

And there are already signs of new running gags destined to become classics. Twice in as many episodes, someone has unzipped Lana’s shirt and stuffed the MacGuffin disk into her bra.

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There is still room left for the classics as well. In Thursday night’s episode we got a drunk, naked Sterling on a rampage, just like in the old days. There was also a classic voicemail gag as well

The only shortfall so far has been getting everybody involved. Sterling, Lana and Ray have been in the spotlight the most with Pam, Cheryl and Kreiger left wearing out the bearings the swivel chairs and getting on Cyril’s already frayed nerves.

These first two episodes dovetailed well together and now that the agency is established, there will be more for everyone to do, so we have fresh material to shout at our co-workers.

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Craig Wack

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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  • emmalita

    I haven’t watched the new episodes, but I did mainline season 6 a couple of days ago. One of the things I love about Archer is the way they cut between scenes so that the conversations match up. And of course I acquitpred “shitsnacks!” from Archer, and it reinforced my use of “godammit!” Plus there are the reoccurring literary illusions. Basically, I love Archer.

    • They are the best read group of crazy people I’ve ever encountered. And I’ve worked on newspaper copydesks.

      • emmalita

        Somebody needs to update the list of references.

        • There’s always next week’s story.

          • emmalita

            You’ve just become my favorite.

  • NateMan

    If anything it’s improved. Every season of Archer has its highlights but working for the CIA seemed to put too much emphasis on zany situations and spent less time on the characters themselves. These two episodes have been an improvement to an already great show. I’m really digging the changes.

    • Angry dimples

      just curious, what did you think of the cartel season? i absolutely adored it, but i seem to be in the minority there.

      • NateMan

        I really liked a bunch of the episodes but didn’t really care for the overarching storyline. The Yakuza, Smokey & the Bandit, and Colombia episodes were fantastic. But I liked it better than the last season.

        • Angry dimples

          but… but.. Cheryl’s country career! that was so pointless it made it all the way back to great.

      • HasenKlub

        I loved the cartel season, but at the same time, the Pam story arc I found a tad annoying. And I love Pam.

  • kdm

    So, is it a return to form? I was late to the Archer party, then I mainlined that shit in DAYS…but then it lost me with the drug dealing Season 5 (imsorryimsorryimsorry)

    • NateMan

      Yes, and then some. Much more itself.

      • kdm

        Good! I will get back into it!

        Yes, I know, phrasing.

        • emmalita

          Is that seriously not a thing?

  • Valhallaback Girl

    This gives me great hope. I think i stopped watching in season 4 because I got distracted with It’s Always Sunny. Looks like I know how I’m spending my nights now (not playing Jurassic Park Lego, maybe)