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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Today's Favorite Thing: Archer

Archer

Okay-- so Mate was catching up on his Archer backlog, and I was subjected to another unwilling round of the world's crassest, most misogynistic, racist, ignorant dumbass ever to be animated lovingly by someone who got a huge boner from ripply muscles, dimples, and stunning blue eyes.

It was hilarious.

Archer is pure, unadulterated satire--it makes fun of every dumb jock who ever made your life hell by throwing frog guts at you in biology and every gorgeous overachiever who made you feel stupid by breathing.  And then it lets you forgive them, because damn, do they recognize their own asshole-itude and they don't apologize for it, and you know what? They have to live in the hell of their own making, and they fully get that, so good for them.

And not only that, but, unexpectedly, Archer has a character arc.

See, Archer is what happens if the world's greatest spy is, in fact, a braindead lout with no sensitivity or self-awareness.  And at first you hate him. You hate him, because he's the epitome of every high school football player who ever got a good grade on a presentation that he pulled out of his ass while wearing jeans with holes in the crotch. (Whereas I was the kid who got maybe ten points more than he did wearing my best dress and having stayed up for a week to try to get it done.)  And he knows it. And he still does his job and you want to kill him but he's fucking teflon.   But in the course of five season this animated wet dream actually has moments of conscience and epiphany and some stunning moments of vulnerability. You pity him-- when he, once every show, feels just as lost as the rest of us conscious, brain-functioning mortals, you're like, "See? Not so easy, is it!"  And when he has more of those moments you want to pat him on the head.

And maybe its the voice (done by the H. John Benjamin who does Bob's Burgers, which is a whole other post) but there is this absolute cluelessness and heart in Archer's voice. He knows he's an asshole, he knows he gets away with murder (multiple, animated, and unapologetically bloody) but even he draws the line. And if he had a chance to play with an ocelot all day as opposed to murder mildly morally ambiguous people that his mother tells him to, well, he'd do that instead.

Maybe it's the dialog.

Sample?

Bad guys about to get tied up: Do you know who we are?

Archer:  Do you know who we are?

Bad guys: Uh, no?

Archer: *belch*  So blow me.

I don't know what it is. Honestly. I'll listen to it while Mate is watching, and I can blow it off and ignore it and suddenly…

That line will come, the one that makes me double up with laughter at my desk when I hate myself for it, and the next thing I know, I'm watching the next two episodes in the queue.

So that's today's favorite thing-- but then I just saw Cinderella and Mate won tickets through work to see the Marvel Adventures live action show, so, tomorrow, I may have something else :-)


4 comments:

Unknown said...

Love Archer. It's just so hilarious for many reasons, including the ones you describe. I knew I was going to love it from the first episode:

Archer: I mean, you're black...ish
Lana: ISH?!?!?
Archer: Well what else do you want me to call you, Lana, you got mad when I said "Quadroon."

Yup, I knew it was the one for me then.

Michelle

Jaime Samms said...

I am reminded of Robot Chicken. And Office Space. And Workaholics. Shows that make me question the viability of society in general. And then they do that thing that makes you laugh out loud while inside, you're screaming that This Is Not Funny!!!!

Rhae Camdyn said...

Office Space....ahhh gawds of all that is holy....it would have been funnier had I not WORKED for the company it was based on.....Then, what do my lazy ears hear but "FARSCAPE"....almost as much a classic as Red Dwarf....

Ro said...

Beautiful review of an amazing show, oh guru. You really captured the heart of it.