Season premiere review: 'Archer' - 'Fugue and Riffs': Kiss the cook
A quick review of the "Archer" season premiere coming up just as soon as I ease you into a gimp suit...
"Archer" is a show I tend to watch in irregular chunks (I only finished last season's episodes around Christmas), which is why I don't write about it all that often. But I thought the premiere deserved special mention for the genius opening that briefly merged H. Jon Benjamin's two roles by having an amensiac Sterling Archer wind up behind the counter at Bob's Burgers. It's a shame that John Roberts was the only other "Bob's Burgers" castmember they could get, as I'd have loved hearing Gene, Louise and (especially) Tina in a more "Archer"-y context, but it was still a great idea — and one that demonstrated that there are, indeed, some differences in the way Benjamin voices Bob versus how he plays Archer — and one that all but demands that "Bob's Burgers" return the favor(*) down the road and show us what Lana, Pam and Ray look like when drawn in the style of Jay Howell. (And in the meantime, I'm going to watch that show and imagine that Bob is secretly a spy with amnesia who showed up at the restaurant one night and was taken in by a single mom and three kids desperate for a man in the house.)
(*) Much like how "Cougar Town" paid off the earlier "Community" tribute by putting Abed in the background of a scene. And this should be easier, since they're all part of the larger News Corp family.
The opening was so good that it largely overshadowed the rest of the episode — I watched it a few weeks ago, pre-press tour, and had to put it back on this morning to remind me of what else happened other than Lana again having to cover her breasts with whatever's handy — but followed a formula the show has used in the past to great success, by having the entire ISIS staff go on a mission together (Pam and Cheryl going, as always, to lounge) and cause more trouble as a result. And we got a good ultimate explanation for Archer's amnesia with the revelation that Malory got married — and to, of all things, a regular guy noted for owning a lot of Cadillac dealerships (and voiced by character actor Ron Leibman).
A very promising start to the season.
What did everybody else think?
2001 | Action | NRSummary: A samurai lost in time seeks to return home in order to battle a demon and avenge his father’s death in this visually stunning animated series.Director: Genndy Tartakovsky (creator)
Cast: Phil LaMarr, Mako, Kevin Michael Richardson
1993 | Drama | PG-13Summary: Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio are seen in some of their earliest roles in a story about a young man (Depp) struggling to care for his family, particularly his mentally disabled brother Arnie (DiCaprio).Director: Lasse Hallström
Cast: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis
1962 | Comedy | NRSummary: Wonderfully surreal comedy in which a society dinner party turns shockingly strange when the attendees find themselves unable to leave... and then things get really weird.Director: Luis Buñuel
Cast: Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, Enrique Rambal
1953 | Western | NRSummary: One of the very best westerns follows a former gunslinger whose current non-violent ways are put to the test by cattle barons whose rapacious greed threatens his new community.Director: George Stevens
Cast: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin
1990 | Documentary | NRSummary: Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary (directeor Jennie Livingston) filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, chronicling the ball culture of New York City and the poor, African American and Latino gay and transgendered community involved in it. Many consider Paris Is Burning to be an invaluable document...Director: Jennie Livingston
Cast: Dorian Corey, Pepper LaBeija, Willi Ninja, Octavia St. Laurent
1984 | Action | PGSummary: A bullied kid, new in town, is trained in karate by an old handyman, who hides his storied past. Climaxes in one of the most rousing final sequences of the '80s.Director: John G. Avildsen
Cast: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue
2014 | Family | GSummary: Music rules and rainbows rock as Twilight Sparkle and pals compete for the top spot in the Canterlot High "Mane Event" talent show. The girls must rock their way to the top, and outshine rival Adagio Dazzle and her band The Dazzlings, to restore harmony back to Canterlot High.Director: Ishi Rudell, Jayson Thiessen
Cast: Tara Strong, Tabitha St. Germain, Andrea Libman, Ashleigh Ball
1992 | Comedy | NRSummary: Garry Shandling’s forerunner of shows like 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm is a satirical “show about a talk show” that often uses the difference between public and private celebrity personalities for great comic effect.Director: Dennis Klein, Garry Shandling (creators)
Cast: Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Wallace Langham
2012 | Drama | NRSummary: A bluegrass score is one of many elements that set apart this Dutch story of an intense romance between a tattoo artist and a musician.Director: Felix van Groeningen
Cast: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse
Let Streaming Genie help you.