TV review: Agent ‘Archer’ to the rescue

By Jason Bogdan

Without even going back into the drama left at the end of the last season, the creators of “Archer” seem to know the show is at its best when its titular character is going on a dangerous spy mission with hilarious results. Such is the case with the Season 2 premier. It gives the audience what it wants, to a fault at times, but was still a great way to start the season.

In classic “Archer” style, all it takes is the cruddy economy to be the reasoning to send a posse from the ISIS secret agency to bodyguard a dignitary’s daughter in a Switzerland ski resort. Usually having more than just Sterling Archer to take on a mission means more laughs, but sadly – except for Pam who has some great lines – the presence of Lana, Ray and even Malory felt unnecessary. It almost seemed like the writers wanted the premier to be standalone like the previous season’s brilliant pilot episode, but the plot here almost felt like retread of some of the missions of Season 1.

But the comedy of the show is what made me buy the Season 1 DVD the day it came out, and the season opener certainly had plenty of laughs. The show still has flawless comedic timing and great use of dialogue of Frisky Dingo creator, Adam Reed, with fast-paced scenes and hardly any time to pause from a reference to the indie suspense film “Frozen” to a hysterically awkward hot tub scene. It also still isn’t afraid to go to the darker, non-PC comedy that FX primetime can handle. So if scenes like the bad guys talking to a member who was just engulfed in flames or Archer justifying his damaged crotch don’t turn you off, then you’ll certainly have at least a few laugh-out-loud moments.

Really, I can’t emphasize enough how funny an irresponsible spy like Archer is with the standout monotone voice of H. Jon Benjamin. A thrilling snowmobile chase could only have a A-grade voice actor like him make a nonchalant conversation within it all believable. Just the way Archer says, “Well obviously we’ll take that,” once finding his only way to escape is nothing short of perfect.

Even though this first episode of the new season was a bit of a prep-up before going back into the ongoing story arcs like the disastrous relationship between Cyril and Lana, it still showed that FX chose well in renewing the season after the amazing Season 1 with an all-star cast and superb writing that can even turn a “filler” plot like this into something enjoyable.

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