The weekly highlight: “Archer: 1999” Season 10, on FXX
Premise: For the third straight “Archer” season that takes place in the titular character’s coma dreams (Sterling Archer has been in a coma ever since getting shot in Season 7), all the former characters in the show now live in a space odyssey. Since Archer’s brain comes up with the story (rather than this theoretically being real life), the world has a faux-futuristic vibe, heavily influenced by what people thought space travel would be like in the 1970s. Archer’s crew flies around space, trying to accomplish various missions and always getting into trouble.
Sum-up: I admire “Archer” for reinventing itself year to year while still finding scenarios for the characters to stay the same. This new season in space feels more or less like the earlier seasons, perhaps helped by the fact that this show never revolved around plot and always just let the characters banter with each other at length.
Heads-up: Going into space makes the show less grounded than ever, meaning the ridiculous moments don’t play as well as they used to when these characters still had to maintain lives in a city. The show used to rely on comedic set-pieces where the characters would get stuck in wild situations, but now the whole conceit is wild at all times.
Look-up: The “1999” in the title doesn’t mean this season takes place in 1999 necessarily. The “1999” is a reference to a European show from the 1970s called “Space: 1999.” I know this because (in what might be viral marketing) a self-proclaimed employee of the production team behind “Archer” wrote a long Reddit post titled “The Unofficial ‘Archer: 1999’ Study Guide.”
Will everyone be talking about this? “Archer” has maintained decent ratings over its first nine seasons, despite a move to the niche FXX network in 2017. This season will likely have a small audience in its initial run, but the entire series will maintain streaming popularity in years to come.
You can watch the trailer for “Archer: 1999” below.
A Couple Of Streaming News Stories From This Week
1. FX will remake the British comedy “Peep Show,” but with female leads. The script remains in development with Karey Dornetto of “Portlandia” and “Community” attached to write.
2. Hulu plans to adapt the recent hit novel “Normal People” by Sally Rooney. I have the book currently sitting on my bookshelf; maybe this news will fill me with the motivation to finally give it a go.