As a critic, there are screeners I watch out of obligation, screeners I watch studiously and screeners I gobble up immediately upon getting them, like a starving man gorging himself on chocolates. FX’s Archer is in the last category, a hilarious animated spy parody (with voice talent including H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Aisha Tyler and Judy Greer) that won me last year with its combination of raunch, family dysfunction and human-resources comedy.
You wouldn’t think that there was much left to be mined from the much-parodied field of espionage, but by combining the traditional elements of spy dramas (and spy parodies) with office comedy, this look inside the halls of ISIS manages to be both an effective spoof and an effective character sitcom. (And probably the best animated comedy now on TV, though Benjamin’s new Bob’s Burgers on Fox is threatening to give it competition.) The first episode of season 2 debuts tonight, which makes it the perfect substitute for whichever half-hour of NBC’s comedy block you prefer to skip.