Archer Vice dropped on Netflix and Hulu yesterday. For those unaware Archer is an animated television show airing on FX. Created by Adam Reed (who with Matt Thompson created fantastic shows like Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo) Archer is a show about a sex craved, man-child super-spy Sterling Archer and his co-workers at ISIS: a covert spy agency set in New York.
Season 5 of Archer was renamed Archer Vice, an obvious satire and homage to Miami Vice wherein the main characters are forced from their positions as spies to running (although comically ineptly) a drug cartel. Its a total shark jump, which in general I hate, but as they go Archer Vice was a pretty good season.
The first episode of Archer Vice (no spoilers) ends with the gang having to switch gears and deal with the “Elephant in the Room” which turns out to be a literal, not figurative, metric tonne of cocaine. What follows is a daydream Archer has which acts as mostly a preview of the season, which you can watch here (apologies in advanced for the poor quality):
Now something that’s interesting as I’m watching the trailer is that there are a few scenes missing from the actual season that are shown in this daydream. What follows, obviously, are spoilers:
There are a few minor scenes that are gone, like the running gag of Archer buying a tiger, but the main scene that I wish I had seen in the show was the bit about Archer somehow accidentally invading Laos with our good friend Chi/Thuy who has been shown previously as both a manicurist and a translator during Pam’s underground fish fights.
And although I did enjoy the ending of Archer Vice I really wanted to see the gang invade Laos with a friggin Tiger!
What appears to have happened is that Adam Reed was still writing the show while earlier episodes were being animated. This can be seen in the following video, which is an earlier, un-aired version of Archer’s Daydream. While not animated, it does include all of the voice and story boards:
In this version of the daydream you can see that a few story lines were dropped, notably Archer purchasing a bank and what looked like it could have been a very cool firefight in, presumably either Laos or Burma. Reed probably had his reasons for 86’ing those story lines when it got time to write the last few episodes, but part of me is wishing I could see, even in script form, the “Archer invades Laos” storyline.
All in all Archer Vice is a good season, and I particularly like the un-jumping of the shark they do at the end of the season.
Season six is currently airing and, while not as good as the near-perfect season 4, is still a great season.