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ARCHER Season 2 Premiere Review

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ARCHER Season 2 Premiere Review

Archer FX

Photo Credit : NBC

He’s the greatest spy in the world.  No, it’s not James Bond, nor is it Austin Powers.  Somewhere in the martini shaker of Adam Reed’s mind, however, there’s an animated concoction which he has conjured up that has elements of all the great (and the pseudo-great) spies in cinema and television history.  That concoction is Sterling Archer (voiced brilliantly by H. John Benjamin, “Home Movies, “Bob’s Burgers”).

   By : SHAWNA BENSON

He’s the greatest spy in the world.  No, it’s not James Bond, nor is it Austin Powers.  Somewhere in the martini shaker of Adam Reed’s mind, however, there’s an animated concoction which he has conjured up that has elements of all the great (and the pseudo-great) spies in cinema and television history.  That concoction is Sterling Archer (voiced brilliantly by H. John Benjamin, “Home Movies, “Bob’s Burgers”).

In one of the most dysfunctional spy organizations you’ll ever see, Archer manages to come out on top, often naked, of whatever clandestine situation he’s covertly secret-agenting.  The agency, called I.S.I.S., is run by Archer’s mother, Malory (voiced by Jessica Walter, “Arrested Development”) who has no discerning managerial skills, as the agency is currently suffering budget cutbacks, due to the weakened economy.  Of course, perhaps they could afford paper towels in the bathroom again if Malory just agreed to give up her fur coats.

Archer FX

Photo Credit : FX

Archer’s sexy partner and ex-lover, Lana Kane (Aisha Taylor, “The Ghost Whisperer”) was recently involved with their coworker, Cyril (Chris Parnell, “Saturday Night Live”), an accountant who was diagnosed with a sex addiction.  Rounding out the cast are Malory’s secretary Cheryl (Judy Greer) and Pam (Amber Nash) from Human Resources, both of whom are unusually outspoken for office workers and possibly deranged.

If you missed the first season of “Archer,” don’t worry about catching up with the plot – here in the second season the budget cuts are hitting ISIS hard, and Malory is forced to make some tough choices.  In the premiere episode “Swiss Miss” Malory takes the team to a European ski village to assist a wealthy client in the protection of his overdeveloped young daughter on her birthday (she’s turning 17, going on 30).  Archer is of course warned not to get too close to the girl, since his reputation as a ladies’ man puts him at risk of falling for the jail bait, and jeopardizing the mission.  Unfortunately, the horny little minx keeps finding ways to put the super-spy in awkward positions, which make him look lecherous and she innocent and pure.  It would all just be shenanigans if there weren’t actually a plot afoot to kill Archer and his fellow agents of ISIS.

The second episode of the season gives us a kind of reunion “Arrested Development” fans will love – Jeffrey Tambor guest stars as Odin, head of his self-named rival organization, who proposes a merger of their two agencies which would include more than just a business transaction.

The fun of “Archer” is that it’s a little bit “Office Space” in spyworld, and James Bond in more routine situations, which always spiral out of control into insanity.  Each of the employees of ISIS carry enough baggage to furnish a basketball team on a 5-game road trip, yet still manage to not kill themselves or others (well, anyone who matters).  It’s also one of the most foul-mouthed, racy, and insane pieces of entertainment on television.  It gets away with most of its gags because its animated, and stories that would never pass muster with the dreaded network censors somehow gets a pass because as an animated show, it’s more silly than sexy and more hilarious than offensive.

That isn’t to say there aren’t times when the show seems to coast along without much impact – there were a few episodes in the first season which felt flat and lifeless compared to the most outrageous and hysterical of the show, but the measure of a show over its entire season is if it keeps you coming back for more, which “Archer” invariably does.

If you want something stronger than “South Park” or “Family Guy,” but like your martinis shaken, not stirred, “Archer” is the show for you.

Season two of “Archer” premieres January 27th on FX at 10 PM ET.

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