ARCHER: THE COMPLETE SEASON FOUR
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
H. Jon Benjamin as STERLING ARCHER
Aisha Tyler as LANA KANE
Jessica Walter as MALORY ARCHER
Chris Parnell as CYRIL FIGGIS
Judy Greer as CHERYL TUNT
Amber Nash as PAM POOVEY
Lucky Yates as MR. DOCTOR ALGERNOP
Adam Reed as RAY GILLETTE
Created by: Adam Reed
BY KEVIN CARR
Had you asked me four years ago whether “Archer” would become a hit show, I’d have probably voted against it. That’s not to say it’s a bad show at all. In fact, I rather enjoy it. If you had asked me four years ago whether I liked the series, I would have given a resounding yes.
However, I would have worried that the series was a bit too high concept for the general public. Yet, while it hasn’t become a huge mainstream hit and exists as a very popular series on a smaller network, it has found a rabid fan base. This partly restores my faith in humanity.
Now, the series has wrapped its fourth season and is moving into its fifth one. The Complete Season Four is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, and it’s just as fun to watch as the other ones. In fact, when it comes to a series like “Archer,” I much prefer the cliched binge-watch of an entire season over only a couple days to waiting each week.
“Archer” is the kind of show that one must immerse oneself into. It works best in the flow of the multiple episodes. Sadly, this means that you’ll burn through all the new episodes in a matter of a day or two, but such is the life of a fan of the series.
If for no other reason, I give massive points to the fourth season of “Archer” for having the opening I always wished it would have. May I quote from an old review of mine for “Bob’s Burger’s: Season One”:
The anchor of the show is Bob, voiced by H. John Benjamin, whom many people will recognize as the voice of Archer in his own series. In fact, I like to think of this series as a long-form undercover assignment for Isis in a parallel universe where Sterling Archer is actually a committed spy.
Whether the makers of “Archer” took my advice and had an amnesiac Sterling Archer running a burger shop on the coast, or whether they came up with this brilliant crossover themselves (which I like to think in my own little fantasy that this is a casual hat-tip to me, of course), it’s a hilarious way to start the fourth season.
Starting off with a comedy bang like this, “Archer: The Complete Season Four” continues with plenty of entertainment value. By this season, we’ve had the characters fall into caricatures of themselves, and that’s okay. They’re hilarious falling into their tropes of the womanizer (Archer), the angry girlfriend (Lana), the slut (Pam), the crazy girl (Cheryl) and the drunk (Mallory).
“Archer” continues to show that it has no shame and very little in the way of self-censorship. Still, while the show has become a total boat of silliness, the slick animation and quality production value behind it keeps it looking like a real spy show. That’s why it works… it never takes itself as a joke.
We get more outrageous storylines, with plenty of sexual jokes and humor. Some elements of the story range from the realistic (like Archer’s totally-not-gay hetero love interest and the sordid past of Mallory’s Cadillac-dealing new husband) to the absurd (like Ray’s robotic prosthetics and Pam’s amazing ability to survive a life that would make Chow from “The Hangover” series blush).
“Archer: The Complete Season Four” is easily as funny as the other three series, and it’s hit its stride. It makes me look forward to binge watching season five in about a year.
The Blu-ray set comes with two special features, including a background extra called “Fisherman’s Daughter” and the live read of “Archer Live,” featuring some pretty hilarious antics from the cast as they perform a live show.
The only downside to this Blu-ray set was the first disc had trouble playing in most of my Blu-ray players. I was eventually able to view it on a non-networked player, keeping the bells and whistles to a minimum. This is a problem I experienced once before, on a Blu-ray of “Louie: Season One,” which hopefully were isolated cases. For the record, the second disc performed perfectly.