Jeremy Likes TV

I like TV. Probably more than any human should.

TV Diary | Archer: “The Man From Jupiter”

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TV Diary | Archer – Episode 3.04 – “The Man From Jupiter” – Original Airdate: 1/19/12

Episode Grade: A

Earlier this week I mentioned that the January premiere that I was most looking forward to was the Justified third season premiere. What I didn’t mention was that the return of another top-shelf FX series, Archer, wasn’t far behind. To be an Archer fan is to be an extremely rabid enthusiast of the show. I don’t know of anyone who’s only in halfway on it. Either you love it, or you hate it [1]. And the number of people who love it is increasing every day. That’s clear from the growing attention that the third season’s premiere has garnered in the press. Having not written extensively about the show in the past, I’m kind of interested to see how these reviews end up turning out because, while it’s one of television’s best shows and is incredibly well-constructed, it’s basically joke after joke after joke to the point that the majority of my notes for this episode are straight quotes [2] but I’m sure we’ll be able to find at least one thing to talk about from each episode. Here the hook is easy. From the series’ onset, creator Adam Reed made it clear that part of the inspiration for the Sterling Archer character came from the man’s man characters that Burt Reynolds played in his films from the 1970s. Hell… an entire season two episode, “Pipeline Fever,” was an extended homage to Reynolds’ 1976 film Gator. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that Reynolds would turn up sooner or later in some form on Archer and in the third season’s first [3] episode he does make an appearance. Even more brilliantly? He’s PLAYING HIMSELF. Genius. The episode is basically an excuse for everyone to hero worship Reynolds [4] but Reed is a very smart showrunner, so there’s more than that. The masterstroke? Archer has to deal with the fact that his role model is… wait for it… dating his mother. Watching Archer try to reconcile the fact that his childhood hero [5] is banging his mom is comedic gold. Their first meeting comes in a bar where Archer plays total fanboy and rattles off seemingly Reynolds’ entire filmography, only to recoil in horror when Reynolds excuses himself because he’s meeting a date who turns out to be Archer’s own mother, Malory. Archer then spends the majority of the episode trying to sabotage the relationship – while simultaneously fending off a Cuban death squad attempting to carry out a hit on him – only to ultimately be taught a lesson by Reynolds that he needs to begin seeing Malory as an actual person with needs instead of just his mother in order to truly grow up. It’s a fairly simple concept, but it’s surrounded by some riotous gags and lines, not the least of which is Reynolds leading a very impressive (for an animated series) car chase scene after Lana, Cyril, Ray, and Krieger fail to subdue the Cuban assassins. Reynolds was very impressive in this guest spot, as Reed smartly let Reynolds be Reynolds, while Reynolds himself read his lines in a fairly subdued manner that really played well off of H. Jon Benjamin’s hyper Archer. Even better? That Malory and Reynolds are still dating at episode’s end, leading to the possibility of more Reynolds appearances which I really like since his work here was one of the best guest appearances yet on Archer. Thanks largely to Reynolds and the obvious respect that the show had for him, “The Man From Jupiter” was not only a very, very strong kickoff to the third season, but one of the better episodes in the show’s three seasons.

[1] And if you hate it, what the hell is wrong with you? You probably don’t like America either, do you?
[2] What this means is, clearly the Miscellany section is going to be absolutely LOADED with the episode’s best quotes. Which is almost all of them.
[3] Or fourth, depending on how you view the three extra episodes that aired post-season two back in September. They’re officially listed as season three episodes even as they dealt with storylines from the end of season two. They really were almost a season 2.5 but whatever. This is the first episode of 2012 and Archer has traditionally debuted in January so we’re gonna call this the season premiere. Cool? Cool.
[4] Some more graphically than others. For instance, Pam’s response: “I swear to God you could drown a toddler in my panties right now. I mean, not that you would but…”
[5] In a great flashback scene, we see a toddler Archer playing Smokey And The Bandit.

Miscellany:
*Archer’s elaborate voicemail hoax – three separate false starts – is the reason Malory gives for not telling him for a week that the Cuban death squad was after him. Mother of the year material, that.
*Really respect that they’re keeping storyline continuity with Ray still being paralyzed. This is going to lead to some very good material for the show to play with. For example, this exchange between Ray and Lana: “OK… don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m kind of wondering how you’re going to be an effective field agent.” “Interesting, coming from a woman.” “Excuse me?”
*Archer has a hot tub made out of California redwood. Because of course he does.
*Reynolds tells Archer that he should get a batpole because the elevator in Archer’s building is so slow as they’re trying to flee the Cuban assasins. Archer responds that the lowest quote he could get was $9,000. Because of course he got a quote for one.
*”Are you gonna take her upstairs and give her ‘the longest yard’?”
*”What’s that, Cyril? I couldn’t hear you over the sound of ‘I broke your nose.'”
*”Wait… who calls it ‘Tinseltown?'” “Carol Channing?”
*”Yeah. Right in the head and ass!”
*”Doesn’t it come in a silver chalice?” “That would be a pimp cup, sir.”
*”That’s not your car is it?” “Why?” “Nothing. I just didn’t know they sold those to men.”
*”I’m sorry… I can’t hear you over the sound of my GIANT THROBBING ERECTION.”
*”Leave me for some hot little 20-year-old? Well… I’ll show him. I’ll go find me a 10-year-old.” “Eww.” “Yeah… I don’t think you want to do that.”
*”Nobody wants your mustache rides around here, buster.”
*”And I, for one, am gonna go watch Hooper and masturbate until my fingers bleed.” “Just tape them up.”

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Written by jeremylikestv

January 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm

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