I loved FX’s Archer last winter, and no viewer was more excited than me when it got a surprise second season pick up. So when the DVD of the first season came in the mail yesterday (on its release date), I was ecstatic! After reviewing this DVD, I still am, but only for the episodes, not for any special features included, of which this DVD is sorely lacking.
There are no commentaries. There are no cast interviews, or creator interviews. No one talks about where the idea for the series came from, or what’s coming up for season two. The best special feature included was probably a thirty second promo for the show that never aired, my guess, because it was kind of wrong. However, Archer‘s humor often crosses a line, and that’s what makes it great, so I’m not sure how this promo was any worse than what airs during the episodes.
What is included is a roughly twenty minute ‘Making Of’. The ‘Making Of’ is divided into a number of very short segments, almost all having to do with animation. You get to see how the scenes are created, step by step. There’s some bits of storyboard translated into animation. If you’re an animation guru, you probably already are aware of the techniques being used. If you are a casual viewer, you may not care, or be bored by it. As such, I’m not really sure who this feature is geared towards. Because this is an animated show, I’m sure it is rewarding to all the people who work very hard to make it happen to see their contributions rewarded. And they deserve it; they really do. But like an ending credits scroll, not many people are actually interested in most of it. If this was one of a number of features, I would say it was kind of neat. As the sole feature of substance, it disappointed.
There is also about two and a half minutes of deleted scenes, mostly just quick jokes cut out, and a so-called ‘Original Unaired Pilot’. I have serious doubts if this is actually an unaired pilot. It’s actually the exact full episode “Mole Hunt”, the original of which is also included on the DVD, with one big twist that runs through the entire episode. Now I won’t spoil the twist, except to say it was completely unexpected, funny at first, and wore thin long before the episode was over.
As a bonus, FX included the pilots of Louie and The League on the DVD as well. I think both shows are hilarious, and if you haven’t seen them, they’re worth checking out. The League has already completed two full seasons, so putting a pilot on at this point seems odd, but Louie has only done one season, so the timing is great for it.
The price of $19.99, as it is currently listed on Amazon, is a little steep, considering the first season of Archer was only ten half hour episodes. However, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia charged the same price last year for a single, hour-long special episode, so compared to that, it’s a steal. There is currently no Blu Ray release, just the DVD. I would recommend shopping around for a price around $15, which is about the worth I would assign to it. But I totally recommend buying and watching Archer, as it is an awesome comedy.
Archer First Season Episodes: A-
Archer First Season DVD: C-