44. Archer: Season 3 (2011 – 2012)

It’s Got: Pirates and jungles, Burt Reynolds, train fights, Archer in space.

I don’t watch Archer live, so I always welcome the latest season when it finally hits Netflix. The first seven seasons at least, I’m a little iffy on what the show’s become. There’s something kind of cool, at least in theory, about Adam Reed radically retooling the premise and characters every season because that’s more creatively interesting for him, but I signed on for a spy comedy.

That said, I’m still a viewer, and I’m liable to burn through a new season so fast, individual episodes and jokes don’t make a huge impression. But I remember every single episode in Season 3.

The episodes this year were the most memorable and the funniest for me… and that’s pretty much all I’ve got for this pick. I love Archer’s adventures in the jungle and at sea, with Patrick Warburton and David Cross in tow. I love that Malory dates Burt Reynolds (playing himself). I love that Archer finds out that a fight on top of a train isn’t as awesome as he thought it’d be. I love his unrestrained joy at the martini tray in the glove department of his new spy car. And I love that Barry is such a huge thorn in everyone’s side this season, whether he’s screwing Archer’s cyborg fiance or following them into outer space.

The third season has pretty much reached the point where it’s nailed down the character dynamics and comedic rhythms, and it’s got enough funny situations to comfortably sustain a thirteen episode run. It’s a confident, consistently hilarious collection of episodes.

If I Had to Nitpick…: Nothing, really. There are just shows I like more than Archer.

Notable Episodes: A three episode run in the middle, “The Limited,” “Drift Problem,” and “Lo Scandalo,” is more or less flawless.

#45 | THE LIST | #43

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