Archer (2009) - The Complete Season One DVD Review: the spy who slayed me

Known for creating Adult Swim cult hits Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo, Adam Reed has now created the funniest spy spoof since Get Smart in FX's Archer.  The first season is available on DVD and ranks as my favorite TV comedy of 2010. 


The series is a crazy mix of Cold War spy games crossed with bizarre, modern-day office politics.  The title character is Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin, whose voice work I have been a great fan of since his days on Dr. Katz), a mix of James Bond and Inspector Clouseau.  He works for ISIS and his boss is his mother Malory (Jessica Walter), which complicates things especially when it's hinted that his father is an enemy agent. 

Adding to the awkwardness in the workplace, his former girlfriend Agent Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), the hottest-looking animated female on TV, is dating meek ISIS comptroller Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell).  Though he denies it, Sterling still has feelings for Lana.  Cyril thinks Lana shares them, which she doesn't, although admittedly, that's hard to believe when she was involved in a threesome with Archer while on assignment.  It becomes a love --"love" might not be the right word -- quadrangle when Malory's secretary Cheryl (Judy Greer) has kinky sex with Cyril in order to make Sterling jealous, though since he can never remember her name, that may not be a good plan. 

Sterling's adventures find him protecting a UN Chairman, seducing a homosexual Cuban agent, and taking a job with rival agency ODIN.  The characters and plots are wonderfully unpredictable, and the series' sense of humor is wild, risqué, and definitely earns the Mature Audience rating.  The artwork is very well done, using a lot of thick, bold lines and a vibrant colors. 

In addition to the 10 episodes from Season One, the two-disc set includes the original unaired Archer pilot with a different actor that skewed too old, along with pilots for FX series The League and Louie.  There is also an Unaired Network Promo; The Making of Archer (21 min), a rather dry feature that takes viewer through the following aspects: 3D, Animation, Art Direction, Backgrounds, Illustration, Storyboards; and Deleted Scenes (2 min)

If it meshes with your sensibilities, Archer is an extremely funny show.  The second season premieres on January 27th at 10:00 on FX.

By Gordon S. Miller

About the author

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003.  Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher.  Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as Blogcritics, FilmRadar, and High Def Digest.  He became the Editor-in-Chief of Cinema Sentries upon its inception in 2011.

More From Gordon S. Miller

The quality of this '80s syndicated series led to a worldwide multimedia franchise.
Read More
Day One round-up of PBS at the TCA Winter 2012 Press Tour.
Read More
The cast and crew stave off a sophomore slump.
Read More
On: Thursday, January 27, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Everything about this show sounds amazing. I watched it for about five minutes once and wasn't drawn in but based on your review El B I need to give it another show. 

Was just thinking this week too based on Parnell's return in a small role on 30 Rock too that he's an amazing talent so good seeing him back in biz here. 

On: Thursday, January 27, 2011
Gordon S. Miller said:

It's a winner in my book.  I don't think it will spoil anything if you catch tonight's premiere and then go back and seek out the S1 episodes


Email (Will not be used):


characters left

Featured Articles

Popular Today


Recent Comments

"Mysterion Rises" with The Cute Lord Cthulhu - South Park review
Actually, the birthing of Kenny in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" doesn't necessarily conflict with the circumstances of Kenny's reincarnation...
Alien Encounters, "The Message": a hard to find little show that's worth the search
Mind Reading Technologies and Tongues Governments from around the world have been using mind reading technologies that can read...
Dog The Bounty Hunter, "And Baby Makes Three": revisiting an old favorite
i do like your show i wish can be your fan club i want all of your show on dvd please
Boardwalk Empire, "Two Boats and a Lifeguard": daddy issues
Are you looking for a partner for the relationship or for fun? Then you came to the right place. We are providing you the best dating...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I can verify Bear Claw. Good man. I cant vouch for the other participants. It is to bad society does suck so bad that this type...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
Lake Michigan is not an ocean. Has anyone seen my white dog? Lost him while hiking in Arkansas
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too also as well live on the island, I can attest that Dan lives in the ocean as he has for hundreds of decades. We locals call...
Parks and Recreation: why is everyone so mean to Jerry?
It's funny because its so not funny.
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too live on the island and ISLANDER does not know what they are talking about. Dan lives out in the middle of the island with...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
this is not real i know that goat and it is not "doc's" its my neighbors goat. and by the way i live on the very top of that mountain...