Review: Archer - Killing Utne
by Annie Wu, posted Jan 29th 2010 12:30AM
(S01E04) Ah, yes. Yet another fine episode of Archer. This show has been steadily funny, which is good. I'm still waiting for it to do something outrageous and surprise us with a particularly extra-hilarious or an especially terrible episode, but I don't mind watching something that I can rely on for decent laughs, even if it doesn't leave me rolling on the floor.
As someone who often watches things with a weird need to find some higher level of comedy or accidental tragedy embedded within shows (even cartoons), I find myself willing to accept the ridiculousness of Archer a little more quickly than usual.
This episode revolved around some good, old-fashioned murderous mix-ups. Too many assassin-cooks spoil the murder-broth. I guess. Malory wanted to seduce a UN intelligence chairman, Torvald Utne, with a dinner party in order to get some sweet deals for ISIS, but her Soviet Union lover boy had conflicting plans for Utne. I'm ashamed by how long it took me to realize that Utne was Jeffrey Tambor. It was George Bluth, Sr. and Lucille together again, and I almost completely missed it! Please do not revoke my right to call myself an Arrested Development fan.
Perhaps I'm demonstrating my Adam Reed newb status (does anyone even use "newb" anymore?) by asking this, but I'm still really loving the odd choice of pop culture references. I Dream of Jeannie, for one, is not going to get many high-fives if you manage to casually joke about it in a conversation, but Archer does just that. There were also a lot of oddly specific literary references in Frisky Dingo (from Moby Dick to ancient Greek myths) and I'm seeing a lot of that carried over to Archer. Oh, and there was a "Y'know..." in this episode, delivered by Pam aka Val from FD, so that gets a thumbs up.
I think my favorite bit was the entire explanation of Fister Roboto ("The best part is... he's learning!"). I was surprised to hear that character speak, though, just because he was silent during his last appearance. I suppose it was just a major snub toward Archer and not a demonstration of him being a super-silent, crazy-eyed gadget guy. With a beard.
Almost but not completely off-topic, but ... I just saw some clips from the 1966 Frankenheimer movie Grand Prix. Young Jessica Walter? Holy wow.