I feel like making some kind of low, guttural moan right now.
If I was to spell it out, it’d be something like… urghuuuuuuuraaaaaaaaoow.
You know. Along those lines.
And it’s all because of Archer.
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So allow me to explain that “urghuuuuuuuraaaaaaaaoow.” It’s the noise I make when an episode of Archer starts out insanely well, then hits an odd slump in the middle and loses all of the fast-paced with that made me love the opening so much. It’s a very specific noise. I know.
But it’s a noise of truth. The opening of Drift Problem was perfect.
It starts with an obvious set-up for an “everyone was just faking indifference- it’s a surprise party!” moment, sure, but this way the focus is totally and completely on Archer. His endearing(ish) joy for his birthday and subsequent descent into frustrated craziness gave us a whole bunch of fun little moments (my favorite- “those guys at Carvel know what they’re doing”).
And once Archer sees his birthday car, it’s joke after joke after joke, with each one hitting a perfect bullseye. Every snarky bit of Dodge product placement (did that remind anyone else of the relationship between The Simpsons and Fox?), Archer squealing in the background as we get a look at the car’s spy features, the apple juice in the liquor bottle and pretty much everything else in the first ten minutes or so.
Then we get into the actual car-being-stolen aspect and everything falls apart. Well, not really “falls apart,”- more like, “is just ok compared to the rest of the episode.” Pam being a drift racer was moderately funny, and so was Archer’s desire to go on another “rampage,” but there’s nothing that really reaches out and grabs the audience.
The yakuza plot never actually has any tension to it (as we never actually know if the yakuza even have the car, and in the end we find out they don’t), which is fine. The action scenes really aren’t the high point of Archer, and it’s perfectly fine to have an episode that’s heavy on the jokes with a little bit of tensionless action scenes- the Burt Reynolds episode instantly comes to mind here. But the jokes themselves are also just so-so, and by the end of the episode the whole yakuza storyline flew by me without me even realizing the episode was about to end.
And then that ending happened.
You know what I’m talking about.
Actually, you might not know what I’m talking about. Allow me to explain.
That guy that Mallory sells the car to? That guy was a character on Adam “creator of Archer” Reed’s previous show, Frisky Dingo. Frisky Dingo is one of those shows that very few people actually know about but has a huge cult following, and seeing a character from Dingo actually appear in the Archer universe is hu-u-u-uge for the select few that know and love the show.
So of course, my train of thought derailed and exploded in a plume of smoke and flame as thoughts of more Frisky Dingo/Archer crossovers danced around my brain. And now it’s all I can think about. Dingo was cancelled after only two seasons and before the story was anywhere near close to wrapping up, and the prospect of seeing all those character again makes me positively giddy.
See? Just like my train of thought, this review totally went out the window the second that Frisky Dingo reference came up. So to all of you who love Archer and have never seen Frisky Dingo- please, please watch it. I beg of you. Chances are, if you like Archer you’ll like Dingo just as much.
And for those of you who have seen Frisky Dingo, I’d like to ask you to join me in a collective girlish squeal as we all think about Mr. Ford sitting in that Dodge Challenger.
We’ll squeal on three.
Thr- Oh, never mind. You don’t have to squeal. Plus, you’d just be squealing at a computer screen anyway, so it’s probably better to not risk having anyone carted away to a mental institution.
See you all next time!