Since the beginning, Archer has always been an animated workplace comedy about a bunch of screw-ups…who happen to be spies. It’s kind of like Space Ghost: Coast To Coast meets Get Smart. But in the episodes collected in Archer The Complete Season Five Blu-ray and DVD, the writers turned this hilarious spy spoof on its head by having Archer and his coworkers become drug smugglers.
For those who didn’t watch the episodes on the Archer The Complete Season Five Blu-ray and DVD when they aired on FX, the season kicks off with the FBI infiltrating the offices of International Secret Intelligence Service because, as it turns out, I.S.I.S. didn’t actually have permission to be spies. But while talking about what they’re going to do next, now that they can’t be spies anymore, Archer reminds everyone that they still have a ton of cocaine (“literally, not figuratively”) from last season, maybe they could do something with that, and, well, one thing leads to another. Which is why this season was dubbed Archer Vice. Though it doesn’t really explain how Cheryl ends up becoming a weirdly successful country singer.
Though while this radical change to the premise might make the episodes on the Archer The Complete Season Five Blu-ray and DVD sound like they have nothing in common with the ones on the previous four, don’t worry. Because apparently smuggling drugs is as difficult, and requires the same skill set, as being spy. Which is why these episodes are as funny as the ones on the previous four as well.
Speaking of which, as with the previous collections, the Archer The Complete Season Five Blu-ray and DVD presents those episodes as they were meant to be seen: with clear picture and sound, with no commercials or mid-episode promos, and no worrying that your Internet won’t stay connected for at least twenty-two minutes straight.
Along with the thirteen episodes, Archer The Complete Season Five also includes some fun (though not entirely necessary) extras. Just not enough of them.
And no, an instructional video on how to run a successful cocaine empire is not one of them.
For starters, Archer The Complete Season Five capitalized on the Cheryl’s success as a country singer with footage of her interview from Wake Up Country, as well as a fun (if stereotypical) music video for her song “Midnight Blues” that stars her coworkers. But while the former is hilarious, it’s only two minutes long, while the latter is a bit too straight to be funny.
Then there’s “Old MacDonald Pa Poovey Had a Farm, The Musical,” which has Pam singing an uncomfortably honest (though still funny) version of “Old MacDonald.” And then Cyril shows up.
Sadly, these are the only extras included on Archer The Complete Season Five Blu-ray and DVD. Granted, there may not have been any deleted scenes, but some cast commentaries would’ve been nice, as would an interview with creator/writer Adam Reed on why he went with the whole Archer Vice thing. Or maybe something about how Cheryl’s music — which was released as the album Cherlene — was made by the guys from the band Drivin’ ’N’ Cryin’ and country singer Jessy Lynn Martens.
At the very least they could’ve included the funny promos they made for this season.
Even with the extras being a bit lacking, though, the Archer The Complete Season Five is still worth getting, if only so you can watch these episodes as they should be seen. Because while this season may have turned things on its head, Archer is still one of the funniest and smartest shows on TV, workplace comedy or otherwise.