FX debuts a new animated comedy, "Archer," tonight at 10 p.m. with two back-to-back episodes.
It's about a spy (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) who works for an intelligence agency. He's got the James Bond looks and skills (mostly) but is also a lecherous moron with serious mother issues. That's probably because his mom (Jessica Walter, channelling her inner Lucille Bluth) is the head of the spy agency.
I've seen comparisons of "Archer" to "Get Smart," but in reality, it's more like a much raunchier version of "The Office," complete with an HR person and a dorky accountant (Chris Parnell). The agency also has an Emma Peel-like female spy (Aisha Tyler) and a secretary (Judy Greer) whose name changes every week.
"Archer" is at its best when mixing in "Office"-like situations into the spy world, such as needing more diversity among its staff or Archer fudging his expenses to cover up hiring hookers, etc.
Animation-wise, it's not very distinctive. Created by the same guys who do Cartoon Network's "SeaLab 2021." It's an animation style not too dissimilar from "TV Funhouse." I'd have preferred a more distinctive style, such as the ironically poorly drawn characters on "South Park," for example.
But when "Archer" does work, it's on the strength of its writing, which delivers the same amount of raunchiness as other FX fare like "It's Always Sunny" and "The League." It's worth checking out.
THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: Really, these days, I should just list "The Tonight Show" as the overall best bet, since it's been wildly entertaining these days as host Conan O'Brien (and some of his guests) have unloaded upon NBC. However, Conan might be upstaged tonight by "The Jay Leno Show" (NBC, 10 p.m.), in which Jay welcomes guest Jimmy Kimmel, who ripped Leno for the entire hour of his show two nights ago.
Meanwhile, there are other guests galore on NBC, including Jack Black on "Community," Will Arnett on "Parks & Recreation" and James Franco on "30 Rock," which airs two new episodes tonight from 9-10 p.m.
Meanwhile, ABC does another crossover between "Grey's Anatomy" at 9 p.m. and "Private Practice" at 10 p.m.
CBS airs a new "CSI" at 9 p.m. and "Mentalist" at 10 p.m., while Fox has a new "Bones" at 8 p.m. and "Fringe" at 9 p.m. Hopefully, they won't be showing "Fringe" out of order like they did with Monday's episode.
Finally, on cable, Lifetime kicks off the new season of "Project Runway" at 10 p.m.