For many people, animation has always been for the kids. Mindless cartoons where goofy characters revel in their own stupidity and commit all kinds of shenanigans. But animation has always been much more than simply that. Pioneering works such as ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ paved the way to an acceptance of cartoons with complex themes. ‘Archer’ follows very much in this same tradition, but it has given its own signature twist to it.
The premise is enticing, and hilarious: ‘Archer’ follows the (mis)adventures of top-secret agent Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) along with his seven colleagues Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), Cheryl Tunt (Judy Greer), Pam Poovey (Amber Nash), Ray Gillette (Adam Reed), Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell), and Dr. Algernop Krieger (Lucky Yates) at ISIS. No, not that ISIS. This is the International Secret Intelligence Service, which is the base on which the show mercilessly mocks the spy genre. Creator Adam Reed’s acerbic wit is in full flow, with topical humour and dark comedy coupled with hilarious set-ups and the use of rapid-fire dialogue. This is a show that isn’t afraid to talk about anything or make fun of anyone, including itself, making us more enamoured by the minute. Here is the list of all Archer best episodes, all of which can be binged on Netflix:
12. Honeypot (Season 1, Episode 5)
Cheryl’s monologue on the dissatisfaction of being rescued by a fireman, among other things, is enough to make this episode special. Additionally, Archer’s mission to seduce Malory’s blackmailer has him commit to nearly all the unfortunate homosexual stereotypes, making for some uncomfortable meta-humour that seeks to inform the opposite of what it portrays, brilliantly.