I've watched more than two seasons of Archer this month and I still don't know if I think it's good. On the one hand it has FX all over it, the visual style and writing aren't really that much better than what I'd expect from Seth MacFarlane, but on the other hand I like some of the voice work enough that it doesn't matter. You can close your eyes and pretend he's Ben Katz all grown up.
I've never been able to sit through an entire episode of Family Guy so I'm spared that association, fortunately.
I was turned off before I watched a single episode, because they paid the guys who modelled as the actual characters little more than dick for a show that makes millions without SAG royalties or anything. The show's funny if you like H John Benjamin and who doesn't? But the stink of "let me draw a picture of a stripper" stinks a lot worse than shit to me.
That's pretty bad and not really that surprising. Part of the reason cartoons are popular is you don't have to pay them scale.
Just like one of the biggest reasons CGI and ESPECIALLY digital compositing is so ubiquitous now is that it's cheaper than location shooting, most of it has little if anything to do with aesthetic choices or or quaintly outmoded ideas like artistic integrity, and it's not big, Michael Bay extravaganzas, most of it is stuff you wouldn't even notice if you weren't looking for it.
I'm sure you now all of this.
I've got to say, though, I'm genuinely shocked that any of the art in Archer was based on actual models, it all looks so deliberately generic I figured they were going for a sort of lowbrow pop art kind of thing and making all of the characters kind of amalgams of golden age comic art and features lifted from a bunch of familiar mid-century character actors.
If it wasn't on FX I would give it more credit for (at least trying to) be satirizing that. You know, like Mad Men was supposed to be doing until an army of jackoffs tried to identify with him unironically and we went from a world where nobody remembered what an Old Fashioned was to a world where an Old Fashioned is a fedora for your liver.
I do think the people who make Archer probably think that it is more effective as satire than it actually is. It oesn't seem like a completely cynical exercise like Family Guy or Adam Sandler's last two decades.
It hits that spot when I want to be entertained BY a show rather than at the show's expense, but I don't want to actually have to think.
"overall, the show is a bit too on-point in playing into the contemporary male fantasy of being a total lackadaisical fuckoff who's still incredibly good at their job, a la don draper or tony stark."
For whatever it's worth, I read it differently: Archer has a lot of skills and he's truly exceptional at mayhem, but he really really sucks as a spy overall, and wouldn't have a job if he weren't working for mommy. He can get away with fucking around and indulging his Burt Reynolds fantasies because she won't ever fire him; if she did she couldn't communicate her disappointment on a regular basis and where would that leave her?
One of the things I like best about the show is that Archer is clearly very intelligent but has rarely actually applied himself, so there are times he'll pull up some obscure bit of knowledge that he retained from, what, tenth grade because he just happened to be paying attention that day.
Pam is still the best character on the show by a wide margin.
Still makes me laugh my ass off.
|Rodents of Unusual Size |
I just saw an old friend of mine dressed up as Pam for Halloween in what is probably the most realistic Pam getup ever, complete with the dolphin puppet.
Five stars for this show pretty much always. Even though the last season was not that great.
Archer has some very good moments- especially against the backdrop of the stoner-comedy animation world it comes from.
I'm going to drink a beer and watch some archer I think.
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