Review: Archer Dreamland “Jane Doe”

Who is she?

As Archer continues, so too does Dreamland. At the conclusion of “Bernice,” Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and his client Charlotte Vandertunt (Judy Greer) are caught disposing of a body by detectives Poovey (Amber Nash) and Figgis (Chris Parnell). However, Archer insists it’s not what it looks like. So what does it look like? “Murder,” Archer matter of factly states when queried by Figgis. Reassuringly, Archer corrects that it’s merely accessory after the fact.

Archer and Vandertunt end up thrown in jail, with Vandertunt entered as a Jane Doe. Crooked cop Figgis Len Trexler’s Chinese prostitutes (Jeffrey Tambor). Figgis plans to use Vandertunt as a hostage, as she’s the heir to the vast Vandertunt publishing fortune.Meanwhile, Archer collaborates with the Dreamland quartet, Ray, Floyd, Verl, and Cliff, thrown in jail for toking up. Ray continuously gets into a heap of trouble when the “marijuana cigarettes” come out. In two flashbacks, Ray is shown saying something about “marijuana cigarettes” before getting Together, Archer, the Dreamland quartet, and Vandertunt must escape captivity.

As is so well done on Archer, running gags continuously delight. One of my favorites is that upon Charlotte Vandertunt’s introduction, someone always asks, “The heir to the vast Vandertunt publishing fortune?” Additionally, Vandertunt explains that her family is quasi-incestual. When asked how incestual, Vandertunt replies “About a four.” Yet she never gives a scale. Is this out of five, 10? It’s unclear. Which makes this recurring conversation so riotously funny.

I appreciate how Archer Dreamland refrains from showing what’s occurring in the real-world. This continues to foster the Dreamland environment and reality. The Dreamland personalities are quite enjoyable. Notably, Charlotte Vandertunt is one of my favorite Dreamland personas. She’s completely bonkers, in an endearing yet terrifying way. The two are not mutually exclusive. I really hope the Dreamland quartet reappears again, as they easily stole the episode. The supporting cast shines, and the retro setting makes for a fun dynamic.

The writing is marvelous with both dialogue and story arc continuing to delight. As in “Bernice,” “Jane Doe” uses noir elements to truly embody its setting. There’s the garb of course and topically relevant subjects like Al Capone. But it’s the crooked cops, mob bosses, and noir narrative aspects that posit Dreamland as a period piece. Lines like “You look like you should be policing a corn field.,” “Arresting crows, and shit.” When Poovey confronts Archer and company attempting to escape, Poovey warns they’ll have to fight, “But keep in mind, I’m gradually gonna get more tired, but also gradually more berserker.” Then there’s Lana’s (Aisha Tyler) impressively awful standup. For some reason, all Lana can think to joke about is syphilis. Moreover, her delivery is terrible.

Archer Dreamland may present its characters in new means and a different atmosphere, but its wit and dry humor keep it a familiar Archer that’s at its most enjoyable to date.


Moe Long

Moe Long is a writer and editor based out of NC. In addition writing for Bubbleblabber, Moe is managing editor of htpcBeginner, staff writer at MakeuseOf, and runs his own website, Cup of Moe. When he's not hammering away at the keyboard, you can find him, running, reading, drinking far too much coffee, and listening to vinyl.

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