There’s something to say for getting weird as hell. It’s freeing, really, just throwing your plans and general structure out the window and doing whatever you want instead. It’s also one of the things I appreciate about Archer. The show was a smart, wickedly funny spy comedy for a few seasons, then it wasn’t because they started selling drugs. Then it was again, kind of. Then everyone became detectives in Los Angeles. I like to picture creator Adam Reed sitting at his laptop four hours into a Wikipedia rabbit hole, empty Starbucks cups all over the floor, looking at an entry about circus performers and seriously debating whether to make Pam a trapeze artist for a season. Archer is a fun show. That’s my point here.
All of which brings us to this: Archer returns for its eighth season this week, and after the drug-dealing escapades in Archer Vice and the team’s detective work last season, the show is heading back in time for Dreamland, a 1940s detective mystery that features Sterling as a hard-drinking private investigator, Lana as a lounge singer, and Pam as a… well, Pam is a man now. It’s a whole thing. And like the previous season-long tangents, it all actually does tie back into the main “they were spies and it all went to hell” arc of the show. As you may remember, last season ended with Archer face down in a pool, bleeding from a gunshot wound. The new season picks up after that, with Archer in a coma and his brain running amok. Hence, Dreamland. It’s all a little like the “International Assassin” episode of The Leftovers, but with substantially fewer murdered children.
Also, Cheryl Tunt is now “Cheryl Van Der Tunt.” Please make a note.