TV review: “Archer” gets criminally funny

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From the January 9, 2014 edition

“Archer” has been one of the funniest shows on television recently, and Season 5 continues that trend while being a departure from the usual spy antics. Big changes in the premiere send the ISIS team down a new path. From here, I’ll be getting into slightly spoiler-y plot elements of the premiere, but it’s necessary. And let’s face it. you’re not watching “Archer” for the plot.

The premiere sets up what looks like a season-long arc of ISIS employees needing new jobs because the government finally realizes these “spies” have been operating illegally. So, in true “Archer” fashion, ISIS decides to move into drug dealing — a metric ton of cocaine!

Season 5 is dubbed “Archer Vice,” and it’s the anti-“Miami Vice.” Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), Lana (Aisha Tyler) and the rest of the gang are slanging coke by any means necessary. Obviously, crazy s--- ensues.

Through five episodes “Archer” is still the same whiplash blast of jokes, but it does feel slightly different without the spy stuff. That’s not a bad thing though, because these are still the same crazy characters.

Archer and Lana are still at each other’s throats, but there’s something more at play. Pam (Amber Nash) is as bat s--- as ever because [unnecessary spoiler alert] she really likes cocaine. Cheryl/Carol (Judy Greer) has a very interesting transition that’s quite hilarious.

This should be an exciting transformation for “Archer” that gives the characters fun, new chronicles. Thankfully it’s still funny as hell.

Photo courtesy of FX