Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Archer, season 3 (2011-2012) ***

TV-MA, 13 20-min. episodes
Creator: Adam Reed
Directors: Adam Reed
Writers: Adam Reed, Tesha Kondrat, Chris Provenzano,
Voices: H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Chris Parnell, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Adam Reed, Lucky Yates
Guest voices: David Cross, Patrick Warburton, Dave Willis, James Hong, George Coe, Burt Reynolds, Joaquim de Almeida, Dave Fennoy, Robb Wells, Neal Holman, Heaven MacPherson, George Takei, Luciano Palermi, Lloyd Sherr, Paula Malcomson, Jack McBrayer, Michael Rooker, Peter Newman, Ji Li, Ona Grauer, Bryan Cranston, Brett Butler, Maggie Wheeler

If the adult cartoon comedy spy series “Archer” is anything, it’s consistent. Its lead character is consistently misogynistic, stupefying, and offensive. It’s other characters are consistently weird, perverse, and offensive. Its stories are consistently violent and offensive. And it’s consistently funny.

Neither the second or third seasons seem to have lived up to the originality of the first season, but that’s probably because it was the first time I experienced this perverse take on the spy genre. Yes, it makes Austin Powers seem tame. For those who can stomach it, however, it is quite rewarding.

This season did distinguish itself with two multi-part stories. The season opened in September of 2011 with a three-episode teaser arc where Archer finds himself the leader of a band of modern day pirates. With guest voice artists Patrick Warburton and David Cross, this story arc had a particularly snarky and sharp bite to it. The season ends with a two-part story arc in space that I suppose owes something to James Bond’s “Moonraker”. With guest voice artist Bryan Cranston from “Breaking Bad” playing a major role, this was also one of the series’ particularly funny story lines. Burt Reynolds even contributed his voice to one episode playing himself, one of Archer’s misogynistic heroes.

As I explained in both previous seasons’ reviews, “Archer” is very much an acquired taste to which good taste is not an element. It is a fun adult show, however; if you’re willing to embrace its most prominent quality—offensiveness.

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