From Spy to P.I., Archer Season 7 is not P.U.

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Archer Season 7

ARCHER Season 7 takes our dysfunctional “family” of spies into a new direction with this 2-disc DVD set from FX and 20th Century Fox.

After failing as government agents-turned-drug-dealers and being blacklisted by the CIA, the team tries their hand at being private investigators. The only one able to get his Private Investigator’s license is Cyril Figgis (voiced by CHRIS PARNELL), so they all reluctantly (except for Cyril) now work for the “Figgis Detective Agency) and set up shop in Los Angeles.

The band is all here. Malory Archer (voiced by JESSICA WALTERS) is now co-head of the Figgis Agency along with Cyril, who is always reminding everyone that it’s his agency even though none of them really cares. Sterling Archer, our “hero” (voiced by H. JON BENJAMIN), Lana Kane, Archer’s on again / off again main squeeze and mother of their child (voiced by AISHA TYLER), Pam Poovey, who is now Human Resource Manager of the Figgis Agency (voiced by AMBER NASH, and my personal favorite of the show), Carol Gimble-Tunt, who has been everything from a secretary to the first Lady of San Marcos (voiced by JUDY GREER),Ray Gillette (voiced by ADAM REED) and Doctor Krieger (voiced by LUCKY YATES).

The series starts with two detectives standing in the back of a Hollywood starlet’s home, investigating a homicide, when we discover that the body floating in the pool appears to be Archer. Then we flash back to a couple months prior, with the team just settling into their new digs and wondering where their clients will come from. Amidst their usual arguing, in walks sultry actress (or so they think) Veronica Dean, who hires the team to retrieve a computer disk with “sensitive information” on it.

Not wanting to give anything away to those who have not seen it yet, as you can imagine things go haywire episode after episode, with Archer usually the catalyst of the things that can and do go wrong.

I really liked this season for some of the recurring characters. There’s a sleazy bumbling Hollywood agent, Alan Shapiro (voiced by PATTON OSWALT), and a big shot movie producer Ellis Crane who has the hots for Lana (much to the chagrin of Archer) voiced impeccably by JOHN O’HURLEY.

After all the other seasons of the “spy” thing, it is nice to see the show go in a different direction while still keeping all the magic. By magic I mean the writing, humor and outrageously perfect timing that the actors bring to their roles. What really makes the show so down-right funny is not the countless use of double entendre, cussing, non-discretionary violence and non political correctness--it’s the interaction, breakneck speed and pin-point timing with which it all happens. Yes, all of those other aspects add to it as well, but it’s how they all interact that makes it work like few other animated (or live) TV show do (except for maybe THE BIG BANG THEORY).

I never thought there would be an animated series I would like more than Genndy Tartakovsky’s SAMURAI JACK, but for totally different reasons ARCHER has filled the void left by SAMURAI JACK, and then some.

The season plays along with robots, evil clown burglars, hostage situations--you know, all the things we’ve come to love in an ARCHER episode--and culminates with the cliffhanger. Remember Archer floating in the pool I mentioned at the beginning? Well, Archer is shot and appears to actually be dead. (I know, that is the ultimate spoiler I didn’t alert you to isn’t it? Probably something Archer would do. Oh well, Cyril, deal with it!) but with all the times Archer has been shot that he should have been dead and wasn’t, could this really be true now? Scuttlebutt on the news feeds is saying it is up in the air, and depending possibly on if ARCHER is renewed for an 8th Season. I can’t see it not being renewed, but even if it isn’t I would say he’s not quite “dead” dead, just dead.

Season 7 has 10 episodes on 2 discs, with 2 bonus extras. When I read the box on what the bonuses were, I was very excited but, alas, ultimately let down. Bonus 1 is Archer reviews Bond, where Archer gives his take on the James Bond movies. This sounded awesome but wasn’t. He only gives a brief little snippet of his thoughts, and not on every Bond movie, only a few. It just wasn’t as fun as I thought it was going to be. Bonus 2 was an Archer reading (live on a boat) which was something I was really looking forward to because I had always wanted to see the people behind the voices. Filmed on board a boat at the San Diego Comicon, I was not prepared for what turned out to be a rather dragged out version of an episode. First, they all came out one at a time in front of the audience, pretty much all looking like they were half in the bag (Aisha came out holding a bottle of Maker’s Mark Bourbon), and all of them were pretty much drinking and swearing (quite a few F and MF bombs were thrown by the cast members). It seemed forever before they began the reading, and while they did have a screen up behind them, instead of the episode running in real time behind them it was showing still scene segments. And then there was Q and A that went on for a while as well. While it was good to see them act, and hear some of the insights, I think it would have been better done edited down, as I got bored watching the whole episode reading--but that was me; you might love the extras.

Overall I enjoyed the Seventh Season of ARCHER as much as all the others. There has been no let up for me in the enjoyment I get from watching the show. With its wit and its awesome animation (sort of like JONNY QUEST done to the nth degree) there is no other show I look forward to as much, with the exception of DOCTOR WHO and THE WALKING DEAD, and both of those are live- (and dead) action shows. Lame extras aside, any fan of the show would want to have this in their collection to complete their set to-date.

Episodes:

  1. The Figgis Agency

  2. The Hand Off

  3. Deadly Prep

  4. Motherless child

  5. Bel Panto Part 1

  6. Bel Panto Part 2

  7. Double Indecency

  8. Liquid Lunch

  9. Deadly velvet part 1

  10. Deadly velvet Part 2

    Bonus: Archer Reviews Bond

    Bonus: Archer Reading (Live On Boat)

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0