H. Jon Benjamin
The show finds the frequently animated actor and comedian roving around in his super cool van in the pursuit of stories -- like the man who has pre-traumatic stress disorder, old people trying to use the Internet and a war between the gangsters of Little Italy and their miniature enemies in little Little Italy.
'Archer,' the new animated spy spoof on FX, hasn't exactly been destroying the competition in the ratings, but it has gotten enough viewers and critical acclaim and the network has given it a second season.
This makes me extremely happy. The show isn't as laugh out loud funny as I hoped it would be (though it has had some laugh out loud moments for sure), but I love the entire concept, a modern take on the classic '60s spy genre. It's like a really irreverent, dirty 'In Like Flint.'
The voice work (by H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, and Aisha Tyler, among others) is perfect, and one of its funnier aspects is how most of the characters aren't even that likable. 'Archer' has created a world I want to get to know better (and that's a good thing, especially in a cartoon).
This season had ten episodes and FX has ordered thirteen for the second season, which means they have faith in this show. We'll have to wait until 2011 for the new episodes though.
Picture it as 'Mad Men,' if the opening graphics were the whole show, and it wasn't about Sterling Cooper, New York ad agency, but Sterling Archer, ISIS intelligence agent. And if it were a whole lot sillier. And more crass.
Or maybe it's more like old-school Hanna-Barbera adventure series 'Jonny Quest,' but with actual swear words and zero life lessons.
Here are five excellent reasons why you should be tuning in ...
There is only one really bad thing about Archer, and that's the fact it's going to make my Thursday viewing line-up very, very full. Way to not anticipate my needs, FX. Geez.
I just sampled five episodes of FX's new animated offering, including the pilot that quietly aired a few months ago (reviewed by Jonathan Toomey here), and I already love it. There are a lot of appealing things about Archer: It's 60s-style super-spy adventures plus hilarious writing that maintains a great pace for the entire half-hour. Oh, and puns. Lots of puns.
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist is on my short list of shows that were good from start to finish. This consistency is due to the show's brilliant comedic cast and the fact that every episode followed the same simple, perfect structure. The show's weekly guest stars are among the most talented and successful stand-up comedians around. Many of them went on to star in popular TV shows and films--people like Dave Chappelle, Ray Romano, Richard Lewis, and Wanda Sykes. There were also noteworthy appearances from now-deceased comedians Rodney Dangerfield and Mitch Hedberg, actors like Winona Ryder and David Duchovny, and award-winning writer David Mamet.
If you're like me, and have trouble picking a favorite season of Dr. Katz, the Complete Series box set is an ideal choice. At a cost ranging from $88 (comedycentral.com, on backorder) to $112 (amazon.com), the set definitely belongs in the "splurge" category, but it's well worth it.
While I'm not sure I'd wish big time, privacy-destroying fame on any of my favorite performers, there are definitely some TV actors out there who are severely underrated.
Who was included on the EW list? Christopher Gorham, Ugly Betty; Allison Mack, Smallville; Sara Rue, Less Than Perfect; Nathan Fillion, Firefly; Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, Supernatural; Wendell Pierce, The Wire; David Hyde Pierce, Fraiser; Matthew Settle and Damian Lewis, Band of Brothers; the cast of Everwood; Clea DuVall and Nick Stahl, Carnivale; Mary Lynn Rajskub and Roger Cross, 24 and Tahmoh Penikett, Battlestar Galactica.
If you've missed out on Galifianakis' more recent outings, you may remember him from the short-lived VH1 talk show Late World with Zach.
If you haven't seen Galifianakis live, you're in for some of the most experimental stand-up to hit the stage since Andy Kaufman took Carnegie Hall out for milk and cookies.
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