Full Name: Sterling Archer
Nationality: American
Organization: ISIS
Occupation Agent

Creator: Adam Reed
Time Span: 2009 - 2021


Sterling Archer is an agent with ISIS.

That acronym does not stand for the terror organization or would-be new Islamic caliphate. It refers to the International Secret Intelligence Service. As the name indicates, the agency is global in scope and deals with gathering, collating, analyzing, and then acting upon data concerning danger spots all over the world.

Exactly when the activities of this operative, and several of his fellow agents as well as those who provide much needed support services, take place is never really stated and, after a considerable number of those stories are told, the time period changes dramatically.

Archer is the best agent that ISIS has - at least in his own mind. To be honest he does accomplish the odd mission here and there so he should be considered successful in his work. Unfortunately, he also spends an inordinate amount of time proving that he is deep down a major narcissist and a woman-chaser. He also has intense mommy-issues stemming from the fact that his mother is Mallory Archer, likely the best agent that ISIS ever had and now its director.

Archer is 36 years old (which makes his whining a bit hard to take). He is extremely good looking, standing 6'2" and in excellent physical shape with black hair and blue eyes. He really is successful as an operative but he often proves the adage it is better to be lucky than good. When he does pull off a mission, it is usually because he has something to gain from it, not because it is what he is supposed to do.

Fighting alongside Archer is Lana Kane, likely ISIS's true best agent. She is (or was) also Archer's girl friend and really does care for him for which she deserves either a medal or therapy or both. Kane is a beautiful, athletic black woman who is extremely deadly with any weapon from her hands to the two Tec-9 machine pistols she prefers to carry.

Providing backup support as well as a host of interesting idiosyncrasies are Pam Poovey, ISIS's HR Director, Cyril Figgis, the comptroller of ISIS, Cheryl Tunt, slightly insane secretary to Mallory Archer, and Dr. Krieger, ISIS's gadgets inventor with some disturbing sexual proclivities.

As mentioned, the time period is which Archer's activities take place changes after a while as does what Archer actually does and who he does it for.

After 4 seasons of exciting adventures, ISIS gets disbanded by the American government and Archer and company have to find some other way to finance their activities (and Archer's more pressing issues like chasing women and drinking and looking after himself). From that point on, things get strange.


Number of Episodes:126
First Appearance:2009
Last Appearance:2021

H. Jon BenjaminSterling Archer [ 1-12 ]
Jessica WalterMalory Archer [ 1-12 ]
Aisha TylerLana Kane [ 1-12 ]
Chris ParnellCyril Figgis [ 1-12 ]

     The first four seasons of Archer were one solid block of exciting adventures of the lead character and others fighting the good fight in a Cold-War-ish time frame.

     Season 5 starts with ISIS being shut down and the first of several "themed" seasons beginning. It is popularly referred to as Archer Vice.
     Season 6 saw a return to "normal" adventures but with Archer and fellows now working for the CIA since by this time the terror group ISIS was in the news all the time.
     Season 7 has Archer now living in Los Angeles and working pretty much as a private investigator, adopting a pseudo-Charlie's Angels vibe.
     Season 8 is subtitled Archer Dreamland and reveals that Archer has been in a coma for some time and the activities he now engages in are in his mind.
     Season 9 is also known as Archer - Danger Island and deals with Archer in a world modeled after the 80's TV program Tales of the Gold Monkey.
     Season 10 takes still comatose Archer into the future and has him operating in outer space. Each of those people who played such a major role in Archer's life remain but drastically changed.
     Season 11 brings Archer out of his coma and back to his previous life as a secret agent but in the years that have transpired, a whole lot has changed in the real world. This is the first season without the show's creator and guiding hand, Adam Reed, running the creative team.



Number of Books:1
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2011

1 How to Archer How to Archer
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 2011

Subtitled The Ultimate Guide to Espionage, Style, Women, and Cocktails Ever Written.
"Lying is like 95% of what I do. But believe me: in this book, I’ll let you know exactly how to become a master spy just like me. Obviously, you won’t be as good at it as I am, but that’s because you’re you, and I’m Sterling Archer. I know, I know, it sucks not being me. But don’t beat yourself up about it, because I’m going to show you all the good stuff—what to wear; what to drink; how to seduce women (and, when necessary, men); how to beat up men (and, when necessary, women); how to tell the difference between call girls and hookers (hint: when they’re dead, they’re just hookers) and everything about weapons, secret devices, lying ex-girlfriends, and turtlenecks. In a word? How to Archer."


     I was excited when I saw the first trailers for the upcoming show. The artwork looked excellently done and the handsome, dashing star looked like a young James Bond promising loads of exciting adventures.

     That all came true so in that regards the trailers were accurate. What I did not expect and was less than thrilled with was the whining that came with Archer (and according to my spouse, I know a thing or two about whining). I really had mixed feelings about his constant problems with his mother - on the one hand they were perpetually annoying and on the other totally justified.

     I stuck with the show for most of the first season but after that just monitored from afar.

     I must admit, though, that while it is not my personal cup of tea, it has to be someone's and apparently a lot of them because no series lasts as long as Archer has without a steady, loyal base.

     While I was not a fan, I did give it a pretty good grade because it did tell a whole lot of exciting, interesting adventures, paying homage as called for to all the cloak & dagger tropes.


My Grade: A-


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