Archer: No Good Deed
April 6, 2017 4:18 AM - Season 8, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Archer tries to find out who killed his partner, but accidentally gets in bed with Mother, a notorious L.A. crime boss.
posted by lmfsilva (23 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So the "present-day" Archer is still in the 20th Century, according to Woodhouse's tombstone. Unless Mallory had it made 20 years ago because she didn't figure that Woodhouse would live any longer.
posted by Etrigan at 6:00 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]

I gotta say, this opener did not exactly grab me. Admittedly, though, it had to do the job of re-introducing the characters and setting-up the story.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:08 AM on April 6

It was much lighter on jokes, and other than in a few scenes, there were no more than two of the main cast at once. Archer works better when they are bouncing off each other, although that would make resetting the story difficult.

The animation only keeps getting more impressive. It almost makes the first seasons look like one of those cheap-ass Adult Swim cartoons.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:21 AM on April 6

Curious how this will unfold. I hope they expand on the quick flashbacks of Archer in the war because I want to hear what comes out of his mouth when he's climbing the bluffs on Omaha beach.

I agree with lmfsilva, they need the characters to interact with each other more.

The opening was a nice trick, thinking it was Archer's funeral. I'm glad they payed a bit of a tribute to Woodhouse, after the passing of George Coe. I'm really gonna miss Woodhouse.

Archer is easily one of my all-time favorite shows. I just finished binging it (again) on Netflix.
posted by bondcliff at 6:45 AM on April 6

OK, I'm already loving this more than Archer Vice and this is just the first episode.
posted by Pendragon at 10:19 AM on April 6

I especially agree with this line in the A.V.Club review: "No relationship on this show hits me in the feelings harder than the friendship between Pam and Archer, and its reluctant preservation into the coma dream is my favorite plot point of the episode."
posted by Pendragon at 10:26 AM on April 6 [7 favorites]

How do I watch the damn thing if I missed it last night? Hulu only has through S7, and the usual sites online don't have it yet either.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:52 PM on April 6

It kinda hand-waved over how Archer was supposedly dead face-down in the water last season but I can live with it. The animation truly was impressive. That few seconds of the ice cubes in the drink were just stunning.

I was so glad to see Archer and Pam working together. Now I'm waiting for the drug-dealing bartender to begin his fiendish experiments. I think this season will work just fine.
posted by Ber at 3:06 PM on April 6

It was a fun bit of world-building, but I wish there was more story to move it forward. And yeah, the whole thing looked incredibly gorgeous. I couldn't get over how great the shots of Archer driving his car looked.

How many episodes are going to happen this season?
posted by mathowie at 4:43 PM on April 6

It's kind of amazing that they could lead off the season with a "funeral fake-out" and an "it's all a coma dream" and still yield a really good episode.
posted by traveler_ at 4:51 PM on April 6 [4 favorites]

"That few seconds of the ice cubes in the drink were just stunning."

I rewound and watched that at least three times. I'm glad it wasn't just me who noticed.

Personally, I felt that (most, not all) of the writing was very much like that bit of animation -- very well-crafted and right on the nose for what it was doing. I was really noticing this in that scene with Mallory.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:28 PM on April 6

It was renewed for three additional seasons, each one having eight episodes.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 7:05 PM on April 6

I felt that this episode was trying to show off both artistry and technical capability, albeit at the expense of laughs.

But I applaud the writing team for removing the show from the beginning from a specific time, and the deft hand at transitioning between different related subgenres separated by time.

It feels right that this season can be a tribute to the late George Coe.

Loved the ... reverb? ... effect of Alisha Adam's voice close in. It really felt like she was purring into my brain... then pulls away (when Archer archers to the archer).

Wow, I wonder if the Archer-Pam relationship was fan-backed or if the writers always had it in mind. The "White slavery"/Chinese-complexion thing was interesting, leans progressive and I have zero problems so far. In fact, kuddos.

I know this is all in Archer's coma-dreams, but Pam (and the crew) has been racist burnt (she was mostly colourblind) in previous episodes.

> I'm glad it wasn't just me who noticed.

Software used to be proprietary (or custom!) and thus expensive. Lots of open-source/community solutions approach/meet professional software suites, maybe at the expense of ease-of-use. Regardless, it drives down the price/cost of commercial animation software.

Hardware wise, CPUs (central processing units of computers) have essentially plateaued while advances in GPU (graphical pu) have continued if not exponentially, are still appreciating linearly. Rendering times are close to real-time compared to a decade ago (I may be exaggerating, but...).

Wouldn't be surprised if the effect was from an Archer fan who won an internal contest (like, in a technical computer animation class they came up with the best algorithm for rendering those kinds of bubbles through multiple complex diffraction indices of different materials/phases... got to do a 10 second reel on "Archer").
posted by porpoise at 7:59 PM on April 6

Kind of a slow start, but I came to this show via binging like, S1-S6 in a single week, so I'm pretty spoiled about that. I figure they needed a little time to do place setting here, and will be curious to see where they take this.
posted by mordax at 10:52 PM on April 6

Alisha Adam's voice

Who ?
posted by Pendragon at 2:52 AM on April 7

One assumes a think-o for Aisha Tyler.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:59 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

Did anyone try out the Archer app for the show? Was it fun or just a gimmick? I'm wondering if it's worth a rewatch to try it out. Seems like it'd be distracting.
posted by mathowie at 6:42 AM on April 7

How do I watch the damn thing if I missed it last night?

I think it's available through the FX mobile app.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:48 AM on April 7

accidentally gets in bed with Mother

Are we not doing "Phrasing!" anymore?
posted by banshee at 8:50 AM on April 7 [12 favorites]

It almost makes the first seasons look like one of those cheap-ass Adult Swim cartoons.

It kind of was, and still has that in its DNA! Before Archer creators Matt Thompson and Adam Reed formed Floyd County Productions to work on Archer, they were 70/30 Productions, who did Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo for Adult Swim. The animation style has evolved considerably but at its core it's not dissimilar to what they did posing old Hanna-Barbera assets on Sealab, they just have way more and better experience and technology and budgets now. But there's still that stiffness in the characters, just muuuuch smoother and with a lot of care going into more dynamic animation where they can, and a lot of 3d setpiece work that wasn't there in the other series. And Sealab was basically the same animation style (based on the money saving idea at Cartoon Network of cheaply repurposing old assets they owned for original content) as what Mike Lazzo was doing on Space Ghost Coast to Coast, so really there's a direct line back to early 90s Cartoon Network before Adult Swim came along!
posted by jason_steakums at 10:16 PM on April 7 [7 favorites]

"But there's still that stiffness in the characters, just muuuuch smoother and with a lot of care going into more dynamic animation where they can, and a lot of 3d setpiece work that wasn't there in the other series."

Yeah, when I was watching the episode and the animation caught my attention, I began to notice what seemed to me this peculiar meld of stiff, minimalist animation that gives off "cheap" vibes with little touches that show beauty and craftsmanship. I know essentially nothing about the art, technique, history, and technology of animation, but, as the man said, I do know what I like. And I like this. I don't know if I'd say I love it or that it has the je ne sais quoi of the sublime or arresting animation I've seen -- but for this purpose, I think it works well and is very, um, comfortable.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:20 AM on April 8

Love the new intro.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:34 PM on April 12

A stylistic technique in ep 4 got me to rewatch this to see if my comment about the artistry held (yes, sorry, I was pretty incoherent. bourbon.).

Woodhouse's gravestone caught my eye;

Arthur Henry
June 28, 1894
May 9, 19

posted by porpoise at 7:25 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]

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