A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this spy spoof, although animated, is definitely aimed at mature viewers. The agents thrive on petty office politics, drink heavily, and pursue casual sex rather than supervillains. There’s a good bit of swearing (including "s--t") and several animated sex scenes that feature partial nudity. Characters also carry a range of weapons and get involved in gun battles and fistfights.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Sterling ARCHER (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) is the most daring agent at the supersecret spy agency ISIS -- the International Secret Intelligence Service -- but he seems much more interested in enjoying life than in defending freedom and democracy. In this animated spy-spoof series, he prefers to spend his evenings pursuing women ... and consequently often spends the morning recovering from the excesses of the previous night. The ISIS team as a whole ends up getting caught up in petty office politics, and Archer gives his coworkers plenty of material for gossip -- especially via his tempestuous interactions with fellow agent/ex-girlfriend Lana (Aisha Tyler) and his chilly relationship with his domineering mother (Jessica Walter), the head of ISIS.
Is it any good?
Superspies take themselves so seriously that the genre is ready-made for parody, and Archer hits the bullseye. The spy and his colleagues put as much effort hacking into the company’s health insurance records or trying to overwrite expense account records as agents in other espionage franchises might devote to tracking down a missing nuke or bringing down an international drug cartel.
This witty series flips the conventions of the espionage thriller, creating an entertaining and original show. It’s fun, but it's also best for adults and older teens who can appreciate the source material and handle the language and sexuality.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about who this show is designed to appeal to. Do you think the fact that it's animated gives it more "kid appeal" than a live-action version? Do you think people often assume that anything animated is OK for younger viewers?
What about the superspy genre makes it so ripe for parody?