Review of Archer Season 5 Episode 5 – Southbound and Down

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So after breaks for the Superbowl and the Sochi Olympics Archer is back on our screens and I couldn’t be happier even if I was munching on one of Pam’s special cupcakes (although my heart would certainly be beating faster).

ImageWell, at least I think that’s cupcake residue. There is the possibility it’s “snowball” related because, in Pam’s words “truck stops are fun”. Warning google ‘snowballing’ and ‘truck stops’ at your own risk. It’s a one way ticket to some dark places that you just cannot unsee.

So anyway, stepping out of one of the internet’s darker alleys, the plot of this episode is a deliberate homage to the Burt Reynold’s film “Smokey and the Bandit”. The gang has to get Charlene aka Cheryl aka the rich crazy railway heiress (I can never remember her name) to Texas in 24 hours.

Que hilarity as Archer brings some cocaine along to sell and Pam tells a every trucker about said drugs betwixt snowball sessions. Leading to the gang’s pursuit by a biker gang.

As you would expect with Archer the episode clips along at a reasonable pace interspersed with laughs. My favourites being 30-year-old Archer getting upset at not getting a Bert Reynold’s doll for his birthday and Krieger forcing Ray to frog march doing a Nazi salute. Reminding us all that he is a possible genetic clone of Adolf Hitler.

So another solid but ultimately unspectacular episode. I’d give it a B-.

I’m left wondering why this is?

I haven’t checked my reviews but other than the first episode there is no single episode of the season that I look back on as being worthy of an A grade.

Now I am I’m all for Archer, the show, growing and taking chances but can they include Archer, the character, in the action a bit more.

He wasn’t the driving force of ‘Southbound and Down’ and looking back through the rest of this season the same holds true for the other episodes. More Archer please!!!

Review Season 5 Episode 4 Archer Vice : House Call (Spoiler and Skeleton inhalation Klaxon)

pambeast

Run Cokey the Beast is loose! Oh and Lana !!!! Archer told you so

So it’s episode four of the new season of Archer.

Pam’s cocaine addiction has increased/continued at such a rate that Mallory has decided that she needs to go to rehab. A newly slimline Pam (because cocaine is a great diet drug, don’t know why Doctors don’t recommend it) doesn’t want to go.

Que the entry of everyone’s favourite side character Kreiger and the side character that everyone could kinda do without Woodhouse.

The old drughound Woodhouse deals with the “grass” the only way a grass deserves and conks Pam over the head with a frying pan. In the process he also delays Archer’s breakfast (so bad old timey British butler who may or may not be Archer’s father). Kreiger however has perfected (not sure if his definition of prefected and mine agree) the mind control device and wants to use it to cure Pam’s cocaine addiction.

Being so strong that “She might as well be green and half deaf” Pam destroys the ropes and escapes with Cheryl. Oh, and there’s an FBI agent running loose in the building so that probably needs checking into.

Anyway there are some good lines in this episode such as

“This is only somewhat like that old gypsey woman said”

“Hi, welcome to Nazi Canada. Glug, Glug, Glug Eh”

“I’m coming, I’m coming” Archer – “are we not saying phrasing anymore?”

“I’d spend five minutes before you begin your escape giving that nice guy Archer a combination goodbye/thankyou blowjob”

and finally “I think I inhaled a skeleton”

Kreiger “No you definitely inhaled a skeleton”

So all in all a good episode of Archer but probably not one that I’m going to revisit anytime soon. The next episodes however, promise to get “international” so buckle your seatbelt, get your shots and don’t forget your second and third fake passport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review Season 5 Episode 3 : Archer Vice : A Debt of Honour (Spoilers!!!)

Cokey Monster

Cokey Monster

So despite Mallory’s comments at the end of episode one it turns out that setting yourself up as a drug cartel isn’t that easy. I guess those Mexican’s know a thing or two (just in case it isn’t obvious I’m paraphrasing the show here not making crudely stereotypical statement about race. Although those Irish.)

After debacle down in Florida the Archer drug clan are down 2 kilo’s of cocaine (not including whatever Pam ‘The Cokey Monster’ Poovey has gobbled down) and have $1 million of counterfeit money.

Don’t worry though because whilst Cyril is searching for the “Scrooge McDuckian Vault” and Archer and Lana are buying guns and bullets Pam has swapped the counterfeit money for some highly tradeable commodities.

What’s that? The phone is ringing. I wonder who it could be?

Oh it’s the Yukuza. They want their pills (I don’t think I can spell Amphetamines, but there goes spell check making me a liar again) back plus since it’s a debt of honour Pam’s head.

Yep, it’s a great set up for a highly enjoyable episode of Archer. Not only did I enjoy the plot of this episode much more than the last one, but I also thought the jokes hit home more.

No doubt in part this is because the trailer from the end of episode 1 seemed to have far fewer clips from this episode than it did the second.

Highlights from this episode include the insights into the Tunt family history. Such as the uncle who bankrupted himself digging for the Underground Railroad so he could sell slaves back to the South in 1890 and the great grandad who filled the natural history museum with all the animals.

The standout bits however, go to the increasing number of visual gags that they seem to be including in this season. Little body language bits that really add an extra dimension to things.

“What kind of Mother do you want to be Lana?” Mallory says whilst nudging her with a glass full of scotch.

So overall this was an immensely enjoyable episode of Archer Vice. I’d give it an A- or  4 and 3/4 floor model Cadillacs filled with pills (didn’t make me a liar that time did you spell check)

Review Archer Season 5 Episode 2 – Archer Vice: A Kiss While Dying (spoilers ahoy!)

"Kind of like the A-team but we sell drugs"

“Kind of like the A-team but we sell drugs”

This episode was good but sadly not as good as the above line (although that line is from this episode). I’ve watched this episode twice now. Well,l one and a half times and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. After the previous episode (see review here) really set the stage for the season and was amazingly bold I am left wondering if there was any need for a lot of the stuff in this episode.

The episode begins with Pam bringing in a huge forklift full of cocaine that was last seen at the ISIS office. The rest of the gang Kreiger, Cyril, Lana etc are moving into the “enormous gilded aged mansion” (Archer’s words) that is going to be the HQ from now on. The hook for the rest of the episode is now set up as Archer, Lana and Pam are all going to Miami to sell some of the coke.

Now this is the point where the trailer from the end of the last episode really steps what would have been a great joke. Mallory announces Pam is going to Miami with them to which Pam says “like the three musketeers” to which Mallory replies “kinda”. Que cut to Pam in a full body cast made of cocaine (I know its a visual gag and doesn’t work when I’m writing it here but read generously). I would have laughed if the trailer from the end of s5ep1 had not already shown this and Pam’s ‘snacking’.

This moment kind of explains my ambigous feelings towards this episode. Much of it could have been done better. For a show that trusts its audience so much and is so clever they could have had Archer and co start off in Miami going to see the contact. Then there could have been cuts back to the new HQ to bring in the other characters like Cheryl or it is Carol who remembers. It would have made for a much tighter episode.

Anyway, there are some good moments in the rest of the episode including the laugh out loud line of Archers “Potato, Patreason” and Cryil calling out Mallory

“only if you promise to periodically micromanage it and emascualte me”

Mallory “I thought that went without saying”

I have a sneaking suspicion that the episode will grow on me the next time I watch it, but for now it was not a favourite. A 3.75 stars out of 5 or a B. Still worth watching though.

Review Archer Season 5 Episode 1 – White Elephant (Literally many plot and joke spoilers)

Change can be a very good thing

I am a huge Archer fan. It is the most consistently funny and clever show knocking around at the moment. It’s like Family Guy on speed back when Family Guy was great. Archer also tends to use literally and figuratively correctly which I am ashamed to say is something the pedant in me really appreciates.

Anyway coming back off the saddo tangent. The launch of the new series of Archer was always going to a must watch TV event. I am not going to lie though I was somewhat worried by the cryptic/teasing statements of the cast and crew at (i think) comiccon that they were going to change things.

Within the first thirty seconds of the episode though I knew that ‘we’ the audience were in good hands (Spoilers about to start). The tone of the opening as Archer comes into the ISIS office set to classic music followed by, wait for it, an FBI raid was a fantastic development. Yes ladies and gentlemen Archer is about to become an ‘official’ criminal.

I say ‘official’ because the arrest of everyone by the FBI reveals an hilarious twist. One that in retrospect makes a whole lot of sense. ISIS has never had any authority or permission to conduct espionage operations so Archer has always been a criminal. This brings the first of a number of great lines (I’m paraphrasing slightly)

Lana “I asked you like 50 times if we had permission”

Mallory “and like fifty times I lied”

as usual the voice actors delivery for this was perfect.

From the arrest the episode moves onto interrogation and everyone (surprise!) tries to save their own skin only for Mallory to  swing immunity for everyone through some unknown means.

Bonus points go to Archer continuing to using the word “figuratively” correctly because back at the now defunct ISIS HQ that line sets him up to ask “What are we going to do with literally, not figuratively, a ton of cocaine?”

Que the reveal of literally a mountain of cocaine (and I just used literally wrong, curse the modern idiom!) and the soon to be immortal lines in response to lets become a cartel

Mallory “Well if Mexicans can do it”

We then get treated to an extended trailer to the rest of the series. In which I spotted movie references to The Fugitive, Life of Pi and Miami Vice and I’m pretty sure there were many many more.

Anyway time for a review 4.5/5. It literally (damn!) misses out on a 5 because it was too short (that’s what she said. Boom!).

Things to look forward to in 2014

With 2014 just starting off I thought I would take this opportunity take a look at the TV, films and books coming out in the next twelve months that I am really looking forward to.

Harry Dresden is back

It was almost 12 months ago exactly that I first started to read Jim Butcher’s fantastic Dresden Files. So engrossed was I in the world of the Chicago wizard that I raced through all 14 books in about three weeks.

Its fair to say that I am looking forward to the next book Skin Game. I would be excited for a new Dresden book regardless but the plot details we have sound (and I don’t use this word lightly) awesome.

The plot details are as follows according to Jim Butcher’s site

Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day….

Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.

He doesn’t know the half of it….

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It’s a smash-and-grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he’s dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance….

Yep, I will be reading this the moment it comes out.

Interesting Sci-fi movies

The last few years have included a lot of really dumb and bad sci-fi movies like Transformers and Looper. 2014 looks like it might be something of a sea-change as post-inception and cloud atlas film makers attempt for expansive and interesting science fiction movies.

The Wachowski Siblings have got ‘Jupiter Ascending’ out this year. I’ve really enjoyed their previous work (The Matrix Trilogy, Cloud Atlas) and the Jupiter Ascending trailer looks interesting.

Along with Jupiter Ascending is ‘Transcendence’ directed by Wally Pfister of Batman fame and Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar‘ and the new X-Men. It could be a banner year for sci-fi films despite the upcoming new Transformer Blockbuster.

Archer Season 5

https://i2.wp.com/cdn.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Archer-S5-poster.jpg

If you’ve read me review of the book ‘How to Archer’ you will know I’m a huge Archer fan. The new series should be hilarious. Although my comic con spies tell me that the cast and writers are promising something different from previous seasons. I’ve got Kenny Loggins on speed dial cos they might be about to enter the DANGERZONE.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Carlin’s Hardcore History is easily the best podcast/history related program that is going. So well researched and large are his episodes that they are essentially audiobooks. He still manages around five a year however which is pretty good. The next one cannot come soon enough.

The World Cup

I’m a big football fan. The World Cup is a once every four year opportunity to watch lots of high quality football. Please don’t humiliate us England.

Lastly more posts on this blog.

Review of ‘How to Archer’ by Sterling Archer the world’s most awesome secret agent

I’m a massive fan of the ‘Archer’ TV show and I had some book vouchers to spend on Amazon so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with ‘How to Archer’. If I had spent actual money on this book it is possible I might not feel so kindly towards it but since it was a gift token and I am a fan of “Sterling Archer the greatest secret agent in the world” (you need to imagine the bit in quotations with a cod Russian accent) I have been kind on the book.

Although it is not a classic there was a solid rate of laughs throughout. My only complaint would be that the book seemed to taper off towards the second half. In particular the cocktail section was far too long and seemed to actually be there to beef up the word count just as the narrating ‘Archer’ kept joking.

Instead of the long cocktail section they could have just beefed up the section detailing Archer’s World fact book. This could have been achieved by including references by Archer about times he has had to travel to various different states and countries. They could have tied this in with the tv series by making it so that Archer is describing an episode but from his own warped viewpoint. This POV would of course be completely different to what we know actually happened.

A good book for fans of the show but a missed opportunity. This could have been a classic with a bit more effort.