Jan 15 2010

Unreal TV Review: Archer was Good but Not Great

Published by at 11:00 am under Reviews,Television

Archer

So I finally got to watch the show I was completely hyped up to see and I was unfortunately not all that impressed.  The idea of the show is fantastic.  You got yourself a spoiled brat secret agent who takes advantage of this because well, his mother runs the agency.  So we’re off to a pretty fun start.

Then add in the voice of Archer, H.Jon Benjamin, and you’re again off to a great beginning.  I have to admit that his voice alone can carry this show to acceptable ratings.

But where does the show go wrong?  I’ll tell you where.  In two distinct places.

Archer

Animation

The first one is kind of minor.  I’m not sure how much I really liked the animation.  It reminded me way too much of Aeon Flux and that show really disturbed me.  It’s kind of slow robotic movements and I see what they’re trying to do but I simply don’t like it.  It’s kind of like Dr Katz and the wiggly motion of the cartoons.  You either liked that or you didn’t.  Personally I loved it on Dr. Katz but I can see where people may have hated it.  Well I for one am not a fan of the animation in Archer.

Supporting Cast

This is the one that did me in.  Did you guys notice then when Archer wasn’t on the screen the show was really really bad?  I mean I guess Chris Parnell’s guy is OK.  But Lana is terrible.   What is she tough?  She’s awful.  Archer’s mom just annoys me.  Cheryl Carol is actually kind of cute in a cartoon kind of a way and Archer’s Butler is half decent, but I think the show really struggled when Archer wasn’t on the screen being his dry comical self.   And if there’s one thing all great shows have, it’s supporting characters.  So either these characters get better real soon or I’m gonna have a real tough time watching this thing.

Don’t get me wrong though.  Archer himself is one of the best cartoon characters I’ve seen on TV in a very long time.   Benjamin does a great job with timing.  I think that was the biggest thing.  The pauses, interruptions, way he used his speech is what makes this character so likable and funny.  I could definitely watch Archer for a long time and not get tired of him.

It’s his supporting cast that remains questionable.  I’ll give it one more week to see if they can improve but after that I might just save a few shows for rainy days when I’m not doing anything.





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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Unreal TV Review: Archer was Good but Not Great”

  1. Madisonon 15 Jan 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Damn it, I missed this. I’ll have to give a shot. I don’t really care too much about the animation, since I love South Park and that’s pretty much the crudest animation there is.

    Lack of supporting characters is worrisome, though. Like, how much better did Tim’s boss make Life and Times of Tim?? I need another season of that show.

  2. Warrenon 18 Jan 2010 at 10:21 am

    I agree with you on this. I thought the second episode was better than the first but they really need to strengthen the other characters to make it work. Benjamin has been a favorite of mine since Dr. Katz and it really seems that no matter what he does in voice acting it’s hilarious hopefully it sticks around for a while.

  3. Cameron Corcoranon 12 Feb 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Archer, in my opinion, definitely is the main driving force behind the show. But, nattyb, what you fail to realize is that the show is titled “Archer” for a reason. That’s why he drives the show. Plus, I think you’ve forgotten one of the best characters on that show besides Sterling: Krieger. He may be slightly less important than a supporting character, yet, everytime he opens his mouth, what he says makes me cry from laughing to hard. I especially enjoy hearing his voice when he’s not in view and “far away” from the camera, and when his voice can be just slightly heard above the murmur of the crowd. In those times, when he drops the one-liners that make me cough from laughing to loud and long, I remember why I love this show. I love this show because it combines so many forms of comedy into 1 show.
    Sterling Malory Archer: asshole/ridiculous/sexual/stupidity/slapstick
    Cheryl/Carol: bitchy/sassy/kinky/seductive
    Pam: horrible/appalling/disgusting
    Cyril Figgis: nerdy/clingy/winy
    Lana Kane: stereotypically black/witty/
    Malory Archer: malicious/bad parenting/
    Ray Gillette: stereotypically gay
    Woodhouse: pathetic/drugy/
    Maj. Nikolai Jackov: stereotypically russian/
    Len Drexler: flirty/judgey
    Barry Dillon: dickish/grudging/scheming

    I understand that without Archer, A: the show wouldn’t be and couldn’t be called “Archer”, and B: wouldn’t be as funny; but, if Matt Thompson and Adam Reed were to take away Krieger, I’d find “Archer” less appealing to all of the branches of comedy.

  4. Cameron Corcoranon 12 Feb 2011 at 6:12 pm

    *
    Archer, in my opinion, definitely is the main driving force behind the show. But, nattyb, what you fail to realize is that the show is titled “Archer” for a reason. That’s why he drives the show. Plus, I think you’ve forgotten one of the best characters on that show besides Sterling: Krieger. He may be slightly less important than a supporting character, yet, everytime he opens his mouth, what he says makes me cry from laughing to hard. I especially enjoy hearing his voice when he’s not in view and “far away” from the camera, and when his voice can be just slightly heard above the murmur of the crowd. In those times, when he drops the one-liners that make me cough from laughing to loud and long, I remember why I love this show. I love this show because it combines so many forms of comedy into 1 show.
    Sterling Malory Archer: asshole/ridiculous/sexual/stupidity/slapstick
    Cheryl/Carol: bitchy/sassy/kinky/seductive
    Pam: horrible/appalling/disgusting
    Cyril Figgis: nerdy/clingy/winy
    Lana Kane: stereotypically black/witty
    Malory Archer: malicious/bad parenting
    Ray Gillette: stereotypically gay
    Woodhouse: pathetic/druggy
    Maj. Nikolai Jackov: stereotypically russian
    Dr. Krieger: sedistic/one-liners/misleading/anger/insanity
    Len Drexler: flirty/judgey
    Barry Dillon: dickish/grudging/scheming
    I understand that without Archer, A: the show wouldn’t be and couldn’t be called “Archer”, and B: wouldn’t be as funny; but, if Matt Thompson and Adam Reed were to take away Krieger, I’d find “Archer” less appealing to all of the branches of comedy.

  5. Dan Jenningson 31 Dec 2011 at 5:10 am

    I have both season 1 & 2 along with the first 3 episodes of season 3 backed up on my movie storage drive. I just happened to catch [cast member] Aisha Tyler/AKA Lana Kane on a talk show just after the end of season 2 & decided to check it out [show was in re-runs then].
    Adam Reed has done a great job of writing & doing the voice Ray Gillette. I’ve read up on the show a few times. Allowing a little ad-lib now & then helps make the dialog that much funnier. Each character is written in a way that the viewer [if paying close attention] can see the how totally different their personality’s are. I mean there’s no 2 characters alike. Each one has their own appeal.
    The average show on cable lasts about 5 years. I’d be willing to bet that Archer either makes the 5 year mark or surpasses it. It’s about as good as it can get for adult cartoon type entertainment, it’s that funny.

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