Season 3 of Archer has hit shelves just as season 4 is about to begin, so anyone who is looking to catch up can do so now! As stated before, “Prepare to have all the fun you can with the animated series that is not afraid to cross any borders when it comes to the adventures of the super spy that is Sterling Archer, one of the most horrible, yet hilarious of men in the world. I have been a big fan of this series from the beginning and am happy to go over the third season in detail, as the style of the show is certainly in its prime right now. The best part is being able to watch the first three episodes of the season, the three-parter, “Heart of Archness,” as it is basically like Archer: The Movie. With the rest of this incredibly fun season and slightly more extras than the Season 2 set, continue on to learn more about this DVD package.
From the mind of Adam Reed, who previously created more obscure animated programs for Adult Swim, including Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo, Archer is an FX show about Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), the world’s most dangerous spy and the agency he works for, ISIS. Each episode involves Archer going on some sort of special mission (sometimes hesitantly or for his own selfish reasons), while the team either assists or gets into their own shenanigans back at the offices of ISIS.
Here’s a list of all the Season 3 Episodes:
Heart of Archness: Part I – Archer has gone missing and winds up on a tropical island.
Heart of Archness: Part II – Archer is captured by pirates, but becomes Pirate King, while ISIS tries to rescue him.
Heart of Archness: Part III – Archer and his fellow prisoners plan an escape from the Pirate Fortress.
The Man from Jupiter – Archer meets his hero, Burt Reynolds, but learns that his idol is actually dating his mother.
El Contador – Marlory promotes Cyril to field agent and has him tag along with Archer and Lana for a mission to capture a drug lord.
The Limited – ISIS is enlisted to help the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to help transport a terrorist on a train.
Drift Problem – Archer is given a new spy car, which leads to all sorts of problems.
Lo Scandalo – Malory turns to Archer and Lana for help, after she finds herself at a murder scene, within her own house.
Bloody Ferlin – Archer must help Gillette save his younger brother from a crooked sheriff in the backwoods of West Virginia.
Crossing Over – Archer deals with balancing his unending sexual appetite with his life as a spy.
Skin Game – Archer’s murdered fiancée, Katya, returns!
Space Race: Part I – Archer and his colleagues head out into space to stop a catastrophe on Space Station Horizon.
Space Race: Part II – Archer and his team must deal with mutineers on Space Station Horizon.
Even more than the second season, Archer really seems to be in its stride right now, managing to layer in so many jokes in such a small span of time. It works well for those who are completely new to the series and those who keep coming back for more alike. The scripts for each episode are always very clever, managing to pull references from past episodes, without alienating its audience by not needing them to have to necessarily keep up. This speaks well for the replay value, since there is so much to take in on repeated viewings of episodes. It makes it more fun especially when the show doesn’t just stick to spy missions, but focuses on the banter between everyone when they’re back in the offices of ISIS. The spy spoof stuff is fun, but the way it handles an office environment is just as hilarious, if not more so.
The voice cast continues to be one of the best ensembles on television. As the lead character, H. Jon Benjamin has made himself an animated voice to be reckoned with, given the number of shows he can be found on lately. I have been a fan of his since back in the days of Dr. Katz and especially Home Movies (one of my favorite shows ever), and it’s great to see his abrasive yet witty persona work so well in this environment. Archer is an incredibly fun character who does things that are frankly absurd and could easily turn him into an unlikable character, but it is a testament to the writing that he is so much fun to listen to, let alone the fact that he is a pretty good spy.
The supporting cast members are all great as well. They include Aisha Tyler as Lana, the top female spy and Archer’s ex; Jessica Walter as Malory Archer, Sterling’s mother and the head of ISIS; Chris Parnell as Cyrill, the flawed comptroller of ISIS; Judy Greer as Cheryl, Malory’s incompetent secretary; and Amber Nash as Pam, ISIS’s Human Resources Director and the most disgusting person in the office. There are expanded roles this season for Gillette (voiced by Adam Reed), the openly gay intelligence analyst and Krieger (voiced by Lucky Yates), the head of the applied research department; as well, which makes for all the better, given that they are favorites for many. All of the characters do well to flesh out the world of the show and banter (in a hilariously insulting manner) amongst each other. This season also does not skip on having plenty of celebrity guests, including Burt Reynolds, David Cross, George Takei, Michael Rooker, Jack McBrayer, and Bryan Cranston.
For me personally, along with many others, given the show’s popularity (I saw a lot of fun Archer cosplay at Comic Con this year), Archer is one of the top comedies on television. It is incredibly funny, well written, sharp, and full of clever pop culture references akin to a show that is equally well-written and stylized, The Venture Brothers. Archer certainly has a distinct style, beyond the fact that it is an animated series, but in the way it presents its comedy, but certainly worth a chance for those unfamiliar. This season does a good job of presenting episodes that could be viewed without necessarily having to be familiar with the continuity of the series as a whole, but definitely benefits for those who have stuck with it. Regardless, the show is hilarious and worth seeking out.
While I would have loved to review the Blu-ray for this show (as I did with the Season 2 review HERE), this show still looks great on DVD. Given the colorful style and unique animation for the series, this is a show that easily look great anyway and just continues to impress on the home format, namely for those who can’t view the HD version of the series, during its initial broadcast. Every episode is presented in Widescreen 1.78:1 and makes the best of it, as the colors look great and the details in the animation are great to watch. Yes, it could be better as far as seeing pixilation in various instances goes, but this is pretty good-to-great for a DVD presentation of a show broadcast in Hi Def.
Again, while it is not a Blu-ray quality audio track, this is an area that benefits just as well as the visuals. Given that the show features a heavy amount of dialogue at such a rapid level, it is great to be able to hear it with such clarity. Adding to this is the great mixing of other sound aspects of the series, including the fitting score that suggests both James Bond and Mad Men of all things, given its 60s style. The action sequences all effectively work as well, given all the gunfire and explosions. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is quite solid and provides plenty of justice for the show.
Well this is a small step up from the extras seen on the Season 2 set, but not a big leap. This time around, along with the brief animated clips, there are a few commentaries, but there still isn’t a ton of insight on the making of the show.
Commentary on three episodes: El Contador, Drift Problem, and Lo Scandalo. Each commentary track features Creator Adam Reed and one or two of the cast members that the episode has a main focus on, but the group is less involved in talking about the episode and more about having a fun amount of banter during the episode. Lo Scandalo is probably the best commentary, because it involves Jessica Walter talking about her history as an actress in general, balanced by Reed’s humor, reflecting the show.
Heart of Archness Trilogy Enhanced – The three part episode is edited into one long experience, with a few editions. A nice way to view the mini Archer movie.
Webisodes: Each of these is just a funny piece of business with Archer
Cooking with Archer
Gator 2 Trailer
Archer Season 3 at Comic-Con 2012 – This was a little disappointing, because it has the funny opening video for the Comic Con panel, but not the actual panel, which is what I was hoping to see.
Archer continues to rank among the best comedies on television for me. It is hilarious, full of witty humor, and very clever in its construction. The fact that it is an animated show is somewhat beside the point, but a fun way to have over-the-top situations present themselves in a series that has such a great handle on dialogue. The DVD is pretty solid in the audio/video department; even though I’m away the show looks great in HD. The extras could also be a bit more enhanced, but overall, this is quite a nice package, with a full season of hilarity within.