Archer, FX’s adult animated sitcom following the adventures and exploits of bumbling secret agent Sterling Archer and his dysfunctional colleagues, made its way on to the Disney+ streaming service via Hulu, and it doesn’t match the typical family-oriented content featured on the platform.
Archer Is A Masterpiece
This animated masterpiece, which is easily one of the funniest shows of all time, premiered in 2009 and quickly garnered a cult following for its unique blend of espionage parody and irreverent humor. Its arrival to Disney+, however, isn’t all that surprising, as it results from the ongoing Hulu and Disney+ merger. Sadly, it also requires two active subscriptions for access, but in its defense, Archer is worth every penny spent, as it will leave you with abdominal pains as you gasp for air laughing.
One Of The Best Satires Of All Time
At its core, Archer is a satirical take on the spy genre, and its hallmarks include reference-heavy jokes, rapid-fire dialogue, and meta-comedy. It follows its primary protagonist, the eponymous secret agent, and his International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) colleagues. Archer is voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, whose deadpan delivery perfectly encapsulates the character’s egotistical and often clueless nature. Archer’s mother, voiced by Jessica Walter, runs the ISIS agency, while Aisha Tyler’s portrayal of Lana Kane often serves as a foil to Archer’s antics.
An Unbelivable Voice Cast
Other voice cast members include Chris Parnell as the bumbling Cyril Figgis, Judy Greer as the eccentric secretary Cheryl Tunt, and Lucky Yates as Doctor Algernop Krieger—a sadistic, calculating, manipulative, yet somehow simultaneously decent and good-natured person. In fact, each of the characters mentioned above is possibly insane, particularly Krieger and Cheryl. And let’s not forget Amber Nash’s Pam Poovey, who, despite lacking any formal close-quarter hand-to-hand combat training, is an extremely combat-effective individual, among her many other bizarre talents.
Not Just A Spy Show
The only thing that tops this crazy character ensemble is Archer’s genre fluidity. The series’ initial seasons, from Season 1 to Season 7, firmly established the series as a spy comedy. However, Season 8 and onward took bold leaps into different genres. Season 8 ventured into noir, while Seasons 9 and 10 explored adventure and sci-fi themes. This somewhat polarized the audiences, but it kept the series fresh and unpredictable, which worked pretty well, paired with its kooky and often drugs- and alcohol-fueled characters and inappropriate humor.
The Smartest Writing On Television
But the genre switches weren’t just gimmicks; they also took the audience to a deeper exploration of different characters’ psyches, providing a somewhat entertaining viewing experience. Archer received critical acclaim for its smart writing, innovative animation style, and a great blend of action-packed sequences with not-so-sophisticated humor. It received several Primetime Emmy Awards and perhaps twice as many nominations during its run, becoming a common resident of many “the best of” lists in TV and streaming guides.
Archer Is A One-Of-A-Kind Experience
Ultimately, you can only have so much of a good thing before it becomes a bad thing, and Archer overstayed its welcome at the dance. Declining rating and actor losses resulted in a series cancellation following Season 14 of the series. Fortunately enough, the series was given an in-narrative conclusion. Those interested in watching Archer can stream the animated series via Disney+; please note that you need an active Hulu subscription for access.