Animated spy spoof will amuse older viewers; not for kids.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The people at the show's fictional spy agency seem more interested in petty office politics and advancing their own interests than in doing their jobs.

Positive role models

Archer is a superspy with loose ethics who's not above lying to his superiors and abusing his expense account to live very well. He's self-centered and immature and generally tries to find the easy way out of any situation.


Some animated fight scenes -- including fistfights and gun battles -- but no blood or gore, and few injuries. Some characters carry lots of weapons, including guns, spearguns, poison darts, and daggers.


Many references to sex, and several animated sex scenes that include partial nudity. Some female characters wear skimpy outfits.


Some swearing, including ”s--t,” “bitch,” “fricking,” “ass,” “douche,” “bastard,” “butt,” “crap,” and “screw.”

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some scenes feature characters drinking, sometimes to excess. Drunken characters sometimes engage in casual sex.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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 makes this show a spoof? How do Archer’s assignments differ from those of James Bond or the Mission: Impossible team? Does his after-hours social life seem Bond-like?

  • What about the superspy genre makes it so ripe for parody?

TV details

Cast:Aisha Tyler, H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walter
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byage 10+ October 16, 2011


This show is ONLY for the most mature teens as it is EXTREMLY RAUNCHY and has tons of swearing.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old July 9, 2010


Very bad for anyone younger than 13 to be watching this show, but it still wicked good. Their is violence, sexual stuff, violence, and drinking. One character smokes. Watch it if you want to laugh, but be aware!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bySynchronicity January 24, 2010
Archer is from the creators of Frisky Dingo and Sealab 2021, two hilariously raunchy [adult swim] shows. Not to mention, Archer is on FX. Doesn't that tell you something? Hmm...let's see...Archer's not suitable for children? You've got it. But for older teens, this show is awesome. The titular character, who has an unflattering codename ("Duchess") is a jerk by day and a spy/woman-catcher by night. His mother is his boss and, like everyone else around him, always bickers at his sharp comments about...everything. The frequent verbal clashes are hilarious, but sometimes they can contain strong language ("f**k" and "c**t" are bleeped, but since this is the FX network, nothing else is). There's also some animated sex and nudity, but it's not as graphic as some other shows. Quite a bit of innuendos are exchanged, some of them graphic. The violence is not as bad as Frisky Dingo (no blood splattering everywhere), but bullet holes can sometimes be seen. Overall, what Frisky Dingo and Sealab 2021 did for superheroes, Archer does for James Bond. And that's exactly what I wanted. Thanks, FX, for making a show that isn't a drama.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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