‘Archer,’ premiering Thursday on FX Network


“South Park” and “The Simpsons” show that TV
standards for animated programming are far different than for
live-action programs. Taboo topics, profanity and even nudity are given
more leeway.

The new animated show “Archer” takes advantage of those extended boundaries — opting more for crass than class.

What the producers of the FX Network series
overlooked is that shows like “South Park” and “The Simpsons” are good
because they discuss mature content in such a smart way.

Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) is a super spy working for the International Secret Intelligence Service. He’s got the skills of James Bond but the focus of a 3-year-old, especially around his forceful mother and boss (Jessica Walter).

Most of the comedy is milked from the personal
relationships in the office, which start off tedious and only grow more
annoying. The adult material — from nudity to words you haven’t heard
on basic cable — comes across as merely an attempt to be shocking. It’s
hard to be shocked when you are bored.

Series creator Adam Reed’s animated
“Sealab 2021” used a similar style of stilted animation and a mature
approach, but it was much funnier because it had smarter writing.

Pushing the envelope of TV standards doesn’t work when the show’s writing is dull.


10 p.m. EST Jan. 14

FX Network

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