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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Complete Season One


Starring: (voice) H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Chris Parnell and Aisha Tyler
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 02 May 2011

Archer is an animated comedy set at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), a spy agency where global crises are merely opportunities for its highly trained employees to confuse, undermine, betray and manipulate each other. Sterling Archer, deemed the ‘world’s most deadly secret agent’, does his job purely for the accompanying jetset lifestyle of women, parties and fast cars...

Archer is the sort of adult animated comedy that has become synonymous with Cartoon Network's Adult Swim output, so it was a surprise to discover that it was originally broadcast on Fox's FX Network between 17 September 2009 and 18 March 2010. So far two seasons have been produces and on the 29 March 2011 a third season was commissioned.

The show takes it's inspiration from '60s spy shows - with obvious fashions and technology of the time being implemented. This two-disc collection includes all 10, 20 min, episodes from the show's first season - all in their original broadcast order.

While this is an enjoyable enough series, the running gags soon get a little tiresome. It doesn't help that the comedy spy genre is one that's been done to death from Get Smart to Austin Powers and there's very little that hasn't been done before. And, as with similar Adult Swim shows, this series relies heavily on the "shock" factor of delivering a cartoon that deliberately sets out to "offend" but because it's retreading ground already gone over heavily it ends up delivering nothing new.

Extras include Original Unaired Pilot (which is a spoof pilot that replaces Archer's character with a dinosaur); Unaired Network Promo (30 sec); The Making or Archer (21 min, 27 sec collection of featurettes that can be played individually or as one long feature. This looks at various aspects of the series); and Deleted Scenes (2 min, 23 sec).


Nick Smithson

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