Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive on the trailer for Archer season 8, and it’s quite a departure.
The new season, titled Archer: Dreamland, is a complete reimagining of the spy show. The action moves to 1947, Sterling himself is a grizzled private eye, and all the other characters are entirely new versions of themselves. Malory Archer is a gangster (unclear if she’s also still Archer’s mother), Lana is a nightclub bombshell, and Cyril and Pam are competing detectives.
The trailer looks great, and it’s not the first time the show has reinvented itself. Archer Vice moved the action from spy shenanigans to outright drug smuggling, and there have been plenty of other short-lived flights of fancy.
The Archer creators like to get a little bit Elseworlds with the show, in other words.
One thing that’s not changing is the trademark humor, filled in equal parts with obscure references and gross out moments. Pam eating a Twinkie that she finds inside a morgue clinches that.
Here’s the thing, though. This might be the last season of Archer. The show is moving off FX and onto spin-off channel FXX. That’s like moving from ESPN to ESPN2. It’s better than being turned into a web series, but not by much.
Not many TV shows run past 7 seasons, and Dreamland will be Archer’s eighth.
Couple that with the apparent rationale for the change in setting, and things aren’t looking good for the superspies. If you recall, season 7 ended with Archer dying in a swimming pool. Dreamland seems to be positioned as the last moments of a dying mind, Pan’s Labyrinth style. Or Tales of Symphonia style, for this crowd.
Knowing the Archer creators, I wouldn’t put it past them to put out a brief video saying “Yup, that’s right. He’s dead,” and ending it there. It’s a clever, if morbid, way to hedge their bets. If the show gets renewed, Archer wakes back up to reality. If FX passes, then he… doesn’t.
What do you think?
Check out the trailer on EW, right here.