There is something about James Bond. The way he gets all the girls, the witty puns, the gadgets, the excitement, the violence, all while visiting exotic locations and being completely self interested. And yet he is our hero because he is completely charming. James Bond, however, is not hilarious.
Archer is a spy who is not charming. He is the most self-obsessed, the most arrogant and he has more mother issues than could fill a transatlantic hydrogen airship. He is hilarious.
Each animated episode is based around some mission becoming available for the ISIS intelligence service, with Archer usually being the agent assigned, often involving his ex-girlfriend, and fellow spy, Lana Kane. And it is hilarious.
See, these missions will always be all about the conflict. Not just between the spy and those spied upon, but between Archer and Lana, Archer and his Mother, Archer and Lana’s new boyfriend Cyril, or Lana and her new boyfriend Cyril. This conflict has the kind of fast paced dialogue that makes me disappointed my life is not as brilliantly scripted as this, just so I could have lines like “I didn’t invent the turtleneck, Lana, but I was the first to recognize its potential as a tactical garment. The tactical turtleneck. The tactalneck.” That is just hilarious.
Of course, I couldn’t recommend this to anyone, what with it being so deliberately offensive and raunchy. Seriously. But that is why Archer is so great, because every situation goes so far beyond what you would ever consider acceptable, and yet remains so relatable. I may never have broken my cover trying to get the plans for a new nuclear submarine, while a sniper covers my escape from a Cuban hit squad, but I have definitely spilled something on my favourite shirt and known it was gonna stain, and be ruined. It just wasn’t blood on my linen shirt. Cos that would be hilarious.