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.
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.
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.