In the past 30 or so years, animated shows on television made the leap from children’s cartoons, that were veiled in adult humor and violence, to full-fledged adult entertainment. It probably began with The Simpsons, an animated segment on the Tracy Ulman Show that went primetime in 1989 and became FOX’s first grown-up cartoon blockbuster. The MTV Network had animation for the adult crowd with Ren & Stimpy and later Bevis & Butthead, and not to long after that, Comedy Central pushed the envelope with the frequently offensive South Park. When Cartoon Network introduced Adult Swim, the late-night mature-audiences cartoon line-up, a constantly increasing number of new adult-oriented animated shows were being created. Other cable networks started following suit. One was the FX Network, which released Archer on September 17th, 2009, and the slickly animated, TV-MA series became an instant success.
Archer is a half-hour comedy series created by Adam Reed. I guess you could say it is loosely based on the secret-gent shows of the 1960’s, brought up-to-date. The main character Sterling Archer, could be described as a combination James Bond/Maxwell Smart type secret agent. He is an extremely narcissistic and incredibly hansom ladies man who probably wouldn’t have made it as far as he has, except his mother, Malory Archer, happens to be the head of the spy agency that he works for, I.S.I.S.. The series follows the Archers and the rest of the agents and staff of I.S.I.S. as they mostly argue and bungle their way through the clandestine world of espionage and black-ops security. Each episode explores the strange characters and their even stranger relationships with each other, as they go on missions, and try to keep the privately owned spy agency in business.