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Archer Season 6 [Mild Spoilers]: Another year, and another season of FX’s show Archer has come and gone. While Season Six suffers from a tiny dip in overall quality, it places a lot more emphasis on witty conversations and established callback / running jokes than previous seasons. Also, admirably, the show hasn’t began to lean on entire ‘homage’ / ‘parody’ plots yet – keeping all episodes as original stories (other than the finalé). Some of the old favourites re-appear Conway Stern, “Mr” Slater, Barry Dylan (and Other Barry), Katya (Slutya Slutzakova), and Agent Hawley. Unfortunately, Woodhouse is still missing, after the voice actor died. The season sees some interesting episodes like one centered on a Japanese Stragglers (The Holdout) & a [now fairly standard] bottle episode (Stuck in a lift). They also visit locations like Brazil, Wales, Area 51, San Francisco, Wisconsin, and an Eiger-esque mountain. Overall, another top season that’s already proved to be a good watch, and re-watch!

Below is another list of running gags that make watching Archer an absolute treat… (1st List. 2nd List.)

Doctor Algernop krieger Van Rush Vanispheres, Caress of Krieger, VAN, Van By Night, Exit Van Left

Krieger’s Vans: through the seasons ‘Doctor’ Algernop Krieger (who’s first name was legally changed to Doctor) has owned a bunch of modified 1978 GM G-Series vans, which include upgraded “illegal-ass window tint”, chain steering wheels, projectors for his Hentai girlfriend, and each one has its own custom RUSH (the band) inspired paint job. Due to the questionable modifications, the vans are referred to as “Rolling probable cause” and “S.S. Date Rape”. These are also the main motivation behind Krieger’s illicit activities.

Namechecking & People References: This is one of the best riffs in the show, and includes everyone from Tron, Alan Turing, DB Cooper, and Norman Bates, through to bizarrely specific people like Frederick Andress (Watermelon Breeder), Elisha Otis (Elevator brake inventor), Thomas Corwin Mendenhall (Metric System), Cypher (The gayest X-man), Karl Landsteiner (Blood Groups), and even William Safire (lexicographer). It makes you want to stop the show just to Google the name. Here’s an entire page of Archer references – LINK

Archer Read a Fricking Coffee Table book for once in your life

“Read a book!”: (sticking with references) for being one of the world’s top spies Archer is particularly well-read. From Lord of the Rings and Wolverine through to heavier texts like Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare and Orwell. This often leads to colleagues missing references and jokes – like those above – and Archer shouting “Read a fricking [coffee table] book!” – LINK

Ray gillette Eye Patch Camo Paint Camoflage Turtleneck Tactleneck

Ray’s continual limb-loss & paralysis: since initially faking paralysis in S3 Ray has been constantly breaking bones and being healed by Kreiger’s robotics skills. He now sports bionic legs, and a black bionic arm (potentially Conway’s), and is – unsurprisingly – left re-re-re-paralysed in a wheelbarrow at the end of Season 6. BONUS: Ray also LOVES wearing commando paint whenever he can get away with it.

Cyril Figgis suppressing fire Wooden Stick Gun Unicorn Astronaut

Cyril’s Gun Handling: the only person in ISIS you don’t want on your side in a gunfight is Comptroller and Accountant Cyril Figgis, who can’t be trusted with any firearm. He’s accidentally shot colleagues & interrogation witnesses, and regularly empties entire clips of ammo with his eyes closed in battle – whilst shouting – SUPPRESSING FIRE… only to hit nothing but air. He’s so dangerous with a firearm that he’s even given a wooden gun-shaped stick in one episode. He did however once manage to get several rounds into a small computer. Thank god for small miracles, right?

Archer Counting Bullets: despite having severe tinnitus (you cruel mistress!) Archer’s is able to count bullets on-the-fly, including multiple automatic weapons. He’s also able to identify the make and model of a gun (and blender) from hearing it over a phone.

Malory Dutchess Archer Insult Quote Listenign to Raps Shooting The Jobs

Malory insulting Ray: although everyone insults everyone continuously, and Malory is particularly racist and homophobic – her swipes at Ray are easily the most brutal and scathing. Like upon being told he can walk again “You mean mince?”, commenting his “excellent legwork”, and continually calling him ‘Ms‘ and ‘Missy‘ instead of ‘Mr’…. It helps that Jessica Walter’s bitter voice acting is perfect for this.

Ray Gillette: To reiterate! I am paralyzed!
Cyril Figgis: Well join a support group.
Malory Archer: For who? Cripple, gay, hillbilly spies? There’s a niche…

Signs/Posters: ISIS and the show in general have some fantastic posters/signs/warnings on the walls. Kreiger’s lab has a huge  ‘Clean or Die’ poster, even though there are animals, radiation and everything else in there. ISIS Armory employee Rodney (Season 4) has a bunch of bureaucratic notices, championed by “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.“. Others are used for continuity or callbacks like the Native American themed ‘Red Beer’, the poster for the movie ‘Disavowed’ from a previous season. The ISIS mainframe has a restricted sign on the door, despite being open most of the time.

Archer Drinking Finger Hold On Glugging Gulp Chug

Drinking/Chugging finger: as you can see from this YouTube clip, pretty much everyone in the show enjoys a big stiff drink (phrasing boom!), and when anyone else tries to ruin that special moment they’re usually met with an abrupt single finger to the face. It’s not exclusively for drinking either, as  has also been used for smoking.

Classic Mother / Archer / Her / Him: if you claim to watch a lot of Archer, and don’t use the phrase ‘Classic [insert acquantance]’… hand over your ISIS I.D. badge because you’re not watching enough Archer. This rule equally applies to yuuuuuuuup, noooooooope, Boom… phrasing, and shut up.

Archer Pocket Listing Maid Outfit Uniform Lana Kane Cheryl Tunt Pam Poovey french maid

Vocabulary: Where Archer truly rises above other comedy shows is in its tight and dense writing, which is absolutely laden with playful syntax and language. So much so that episodes like the confined Vision Quest are more entertaining than those with nudity, explosions, sex, action and guest stars. Season Six is an absolute goldmine for this – covering everything on the full spectrum of wordplay.

Slater: You’ll be given a cursory explanation at the CIA laboratory in New Mexico.
Lana: Why?
Slater: Well, I assume they needed a large building in a remote location with plenty of parking, and real estate is a lot cheaper out in the desert.

Pam: No! The solution to every problem isn’t throwing freakin’ acid on it.
Krieger: Unless the problem is a solution with an overly alkaline pH balance.

Lana: Have you at least babyproofed this place?
Archer: I don’t think a baby can hurt anything.

Lucky Yates Ray Gillette Face Krieger Voice

FINAL BONUS: The voice actor for Kreiger (Lucky Yates) is also the face of Ray! MIND BLOWING INTERVIEW CLIP.

FIRST LIST OF RUNNING GAGS

SECOND LIST OF RUNNING GAGS

*Drops mic on stage*

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Archer is one of those great shows where the more you watch, and re-watch it, the more you appreciate and pick up on the obscure and flat moments that you didn’t ‘get’ first time round. Here’s another list of even more recurring jokes that you’ll find in TVs greatest adult cartoon.

Kenny Loggins Archer KLOG Danger ZoneKenny Loggins / Danger Zone – this fan favourite appears time and time again; mostly when a perilous mission is being described, or Lana’s feelings for Archer surface. Going beyond bad (and country) renditions of the 80s pop classic, it comes to a head in an episode where ‘K-LOG’ is the central storyline, but it all becomes a bit self-indulgent. Personal favourite. “I will hire Kenny Loggins to come here and play an acoustic set, while I slap some sense in to you”.

Archer Phrasing BoomBoom… Phrasing – essentially the “that’s what she said”, of the show. Every time someone says anything that has even a fraction of innuendo (pretty much every second line) someone will inevitably shout phrasing – BOOM! Dropped in Season Five, as it was getting a bit too obvious when they were appearing. Favourite: Other Barry calling Phrasing on Barry “So tell Archer I’m coming for him, phrasing, boom, and both Barrys out! “

Archer Smut re-heat a chilliSmut – it’s far raunchier than most cartoons, and the cast doesn’t hold back with the x-rated running gags. There’s everything from inappropriate boners (favourite: “I love that I have an erection, that didn’t involve homeless people” – Kreiger), to arousal descriptions (favourite: “I swear to god you could drown a toddler in my panties right now” – Pam) and even the blackest of taboo, as Archer gets a stiffy at the thought of his dead mother – it’s wrong on soooooo many levels. Cheryl/Carol is also a one woman choke-fetish gag factory.

Archer Tinitus MAP MOP mahp finger ear rip rileyTinnitus – every time there’s an explosion, or a grenade / gun goes off next to someone’s ear the aftermath is undoubtedly peppered with the affected character poking their ear(s) and shouting “Maaahhh” “Mahp”. Favourite: when Archer tries to bazooka the ISIS Armory Requisitions officer Rodney – it doesn’t end well.

Archer Woodhouse Ants Itchy Heroin Addict Spiders Webs Sandpaper Boil an egg cold turkeyWoodhouse – Archer’s long-suffering live-in man-servant is a great minor-character. For no reason whatsoever he is a heroin addict, WWII hero (arguably the original rampager) that collected Nazi scalps – he is also absolutely bursting with gay innuendo and British stereotypes. This is best displayed in the Tontine episode (“The Double Deuce”). Favourite, when Woodhouse learns what his fellow soldier naming his aeroplane “Choke and Stroke” really meant.

Archer Brett Buckley Bunsen Bloodmobil Ricochet Magic Bullet Blood Friendly FireBret Bunsen/Buckley – being a spy agency, every so often a gun will go off in the ISIS offices, and unfortunately mild-mannered clerk Brett usually ends up with a slug in him. Last count I did was six times – although I’m sure it’s probably higher. Season Five opens with Bret’s funeral – “he died doing what he loved – getting shot”. He also got the nickname “Mr Bloodmobile” because he lost so much blood, without ever bleeding out.

Archer Lana Kane Sterling Animal Farm Novella Allegorical BookGrammar Nazi / Literary References ­– for a racy, adult style comedy one of the best, and most subtle, recurring jokes is that Archer is a complete book-and-grammar pedant;
– to whom,
– can’t or won’t
– literally and figuratively
– Irony lessons

Favourite: on being told that Animal Farm is a book “No, it’s not Lana. It’s an allegorical novella about Stalinism by George Orwell, and spoiler alert, it sucks”

Archer I can't hear you giant throbbing erection awesomeness me punching you in the faceCouldn’t hear you – even when you can clearly hear someone, it’s not uncommon for agents to bait each other by saying I Couldn’t hear you over the sound of… “… my giant throbbing erection”, “… me breaking your nose”, “… how awesome I am”, Favourite, the one time someone says “I can’t hear you over the sound of.. I genuinely couldn’t hear you” was so unexpected that I snorted.

Archer_WooWoooooooh! – any time Archer partakes in some high-adrenaline activity (or enters the Danger Zone) he will end up running into enemy fire laughing or shouting Wooooh.. Favourite: “he broke both of Wu’s arms; while shouting Wooo!”

LINK TO THE FIRST NINE BRILLIANT RUNNING JOKES!

And for anyone that doesn’t like Archer…. THIS

alan-partridge-alpha-papa Steve Coogan, Alan Partridge, Felicity Montagu, Simon Greenal, Colm Meaney, Monica Dolan, Nigel Lindsay, Darren Boyd, Jaspal Badwell, Robert Whitelock, Peter Baynham, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons, Armando IannucciAs I tried to compile a ‘Best of the year’ list from 2013 (previous ones here, here and here), I ended up with only two movies that were actually released in the UK last year: Alpha Papa – Alan Partridge, and Flight. All of the other high-scoring movies on this site were oldies.

Flight Denzel Washington, with Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Bruce Greenwood, Kelly Reilly, John GoodmanIs it just me or did the studios fail to deliver last year? Almost everything I saw was middle-of-the-road; and most of the big films were re-boots, sequels, or disappointments. This led to me falling out of love with cinema in the second half of 2013; going from around 2 new releases a week, to one a month.

Ghost Shark 05 Mackenzie Rosman, Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis, Sloane Coe, Jaren Mitchell, Richard Moll, Lucky Johnson, Tim Taylor, Shawn C. Phillips, Thomas Francis MurphyAs a result, it’s made me think more about this site, and what I’m writing. From this month on I intend to be going back to this blog’s roots – loads more World Cinema, indie and B-movies. The ‘features’ were also the most popular articles of 2013 by far, so I will be doing more one-off non-review posts.

Here’s to 2014,

/Paul

TOP ARTICLES FROM 2013

– Why you should be watching Archer

– Why you should see “The Room” in the cinema

– Why ‘The Expendables 3‘ needs more awesome villains

– Why fan screenings + Cosplay = great combo

– Why Korean Cinema is the bomb

– Film critic Danny Leigh also took the time to do an interview

Archer Banner Poster TV ShowThe Room Johnny Tommy Wiseau You're Tearing Me Apart LisaThe Expendables 2 Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold SchwarzeneggerDARK KNIGHT COSPLAY COSTUMES, CATWOMAN BATMAN, BRUCE WAYNE, Selina Kyle, The CatPark Chan Wook Films Joint Security Area, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK, Thirst, StokerDanny Leigh Interview The FIlm Programme