4/10. New look, old jokes. Archer S10E01 might be the start of Archer: 1999, but once again, a different setting has failed to conjure any renewed interest. What was once of my favourite shows on television, feels like it’s long lost its charm.

For those unfamiliar with this now tenth season, Archer: 1999 takes the Archer crew into space. It’s another alternate reality for the series and while I admire trying something new, I worry it still feels stale. At least from the first episode.

In a nutshell, S10E01 is forgettable.

Literally most of the lines don’t stay with me and none of the jokes feel funny anymore. Yes, the same dynamics are there but everything has lost impact. After ten seasons of knowing who these characters are, I’ve actually become bored with what they have to say.

Archer used to be known for fast paced witty dialogue and memorable one liners. But somewhere after the sixth season mark, the gags didn’t work in their new settings.

Part of this is because the same type of joke grew old quickly. Familiar character dynamics still remain from Archer making fun of Cyril; Pam being overtly crude; Lana being angry and infatuated at Archer, and Malory as the alcoholic overly worried but completely vain mother. All of which feels completely overdone by now.

And the other part is even though a change of scenery allowed different jokes to be made, most of them simply weren’t as funny as the first three seasons. S10E01 attempts some space humour, which is actually not new to the series (see S0312), but most of it just gets a “meh” reaction. It’s fine. Just nothing special.

The best part about this new series is the visuals.

I particularly love the spaceship battle sequences with the animation showing wonderful bursts of colour. Hopefully they continue to expand on this further by perhaps showing the Archer crew visit different and whacky alien worlds (akin to Rick & Morty). Honestly that’s the only thing that will keep me watching but even then, I’m not sure if I will.

I’ve been through this before with Archer: Dreamland and Archer: Danger Island.

I have excitement for the new season and direction but then watch the first episode. While I don’t feel it was terrible, something just isn’t the same. So, I then try to stick it out for a few more episodes before I conclude I’m bored and stop.

I really do hope that isn’t the case with the next episode for Archer:1999. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it is, nor if this might actually be the last season.


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