Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Archer, season 2 (2011) ***

TV-MA, 13 21-min. episodes
Creator: Adam Reed
Writers: Adam Reed, Mehar Sethi
Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Chris Parnell, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Adam Reed, Lucky Yates, George Coe, Kari Wahlgren, Clarke Peters, Jeffrey Tambor, Dave Willis, Peter Serafinowicz, Rachel Harris, Neal Homan, Charles Napier, Joan Van Ark, Craig Ferguson, Ona Grauer, Peter Newman

The second season of the spy send up adult cartoon “Archer” continues with the series signature absurdities and sexual and violent spoofs. Sterling Archer isn’t exactly James Bond, but he sure thinks he is. Actually, he probably thinks James Bond is lame compared to his abilities as a spy and lover. Yet Bond doesn’t have to deal with an entire spy agency full of imbeciles and sociopaths. ISIS is a private spy agency that puts the global scale disaster in the word ‘incompetence.’

The second season doesn’t play quite as strong as the first did, however that may be due to the fact that now I realize how terrible these spies are. The main vocal cast is just about perfect with Judy Greer, Amber Nash, and SNL’s Chris Parnell providing supporting character voices for the catty office help. Aisha Tyler brings great strength to probably the only competent spy in the series. Jessica Walter is as good as her work as the matriarch in “Arrested Development”, basically playing the same role here.

H. Jon Benjamin, as the titular spy, proves once again how his distinctive voice can be applied to various characters. Even though he never seems to affect his voice for any particular role, it’s hard to believe this is the same voice of Bob from “Bob’s Burgers” or the Coach from “Home Movies”. He seems just perfect as the vain superspy here, yet he also seems perfect as the far less delusional Bob.

Created by the same people who brought us the Adult Swim cartoons “Frisky Dingo” and “Sealab 2021”, the pointed and exaggerated humor of “Archer” is right in line with their previous work. If you liked those shows, you’ll love “Archer”.

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