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If you have to watch one Netflix show this May, stream this one

The cast of Archer in promo art for Archer season 5.
FX Productions

Fans of romance movies and shows on Netflix are probably locked into watching the first part of Bridgerton season 3, while drama lovers may gravitate toward A Man in Full, which is currently one of the most popular shows on Netflix. Animation is also well-represented this month with a new season of Blood of Zeus and the premiere of Jurassic World: Chaos Theory. But our choice for the one Netflix show this May that you have to stream is the animated spy comedy Archer.

Adam Reed created Archer for FX in 2009, and the series has had remarkable staying power. Through 14 seasons, Archer has amassed 145 episodes. This series has been streaming on Hulu for years, but now it has a chance to attract an even wider audience on Netflix, which is no stranger to adult-oriented animated shows like Big Mouth and BoJack Horseman.

Ahead of the Netflix premiere of the show later this month, we’re sharing the five reasons why you should watch Archer in May.

It has a fantastic voice cast

The cast of Archer.
FX Productions

Archer may not have the flashiest animation, but its voice cast is second to none. H. Jon Benjamin (who is currently lending his voice to Boy Kills World) leads the series as Sterling Archer, a womanizing Bond-like spy without the self-awareness or a British accent. Benjamin’s voice perfectly embodies this immature man-child, who does have his moments of competency.

The rest of the cast are equally hilarious performers, including Aisha Tyler, Judy Greer, Chris Parnell, Lucky Yates, and Amber Nash. Jessica Walter and George Coe both passed away during the show’s 14-season run, but Archer wouldn’t have been the same series without their respective roles as Mallory Archer and Woodhouse, the longtime Archer family butler. Even Reed has a major supporting role as Ray Gillette, one of the spies working alongside Archer.

The writing is sharp and witty

12 Seasons of Sterling Archer’s Best Moments | Archer | FXX

Through the first nine seasons, Reed wrote or co-wrote almost every episode of Archer. Although Reed largely pulled back from scripting episodes after season 10, he had over 100 episodes of this show to his name. That’s an amazing accomplishment in its own right, especially considering how consistently funny the show is.

Many of the jokes are often at Archer’s expense, but Reed managed to give each member of the cast their own unique personas, including Nash’s over-the-top Pam Poovey. More importantly, Reed made sure that all of the characters got their chance to shine with funny one-liners or witty bits of dialogue. This was almost by necessity, given the show’s limited animation. But Archer wouldn’t have lasted as long if it wasn’t for the series’ signature sense of humor.

It subverts more than just spies

Promo art for Archer Vice.
FX Productions

If it’s a movie or a TV series about spies, it’s fair game for Archer to spoof. The series wasn’t tied down to any specific place in time, which let it shift from early James Bond movies to The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, and more.

Later seasons moved outside of the spy genre to take on Magnum: P.I., Miami Vice, noir films, and even Space: 1999, a 1970s sci-fi series that’s largely been forgotten.

The series has reinvented itself several times

Promo art for Archer: 1999.
FX Productions

Another key reason for Archer‘s longevity is that the series has shifted its premise multiple times. That started in the fifth season with, Archer Vice, which followed the team’s ill-advised attempt to break into the drug trade after getting drummed out of the spy business.

Seasons 8 through 10 moved the show into even wilder territory where storylines took place in the completely alternate realities of Archer’s coma dreams. That includes the previously mentioned season-long parody of Space: 1999.

Archer has an actual ending for the show

The cast of Archer from the series finale, Into the Cold.
FX Productions

When an animated series breaks out, there’s very little that can stop it from going on forever. The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park have no end in sight decades after they debuted. Archer is unique in that group because it was allowed to end with a conclusion that wrapped up the show’s storylines.

However, fans may have to wait a little longer to see that ending on Netflix. Only the first 13 seasons of Archer will be available on Netflix in May. The 14th and final season will hopefully arrive on Netflix some time after that.

Watch Archer on Netflix starting on May 13.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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