FX's hit show Archer, which follows the travails of an incompetent spy organization, is no longer about a spy organization. Archer Executive Producer Matt Thompson gave an exclusive interview to Uproxx today previewing the coming fifth season, and announced that the ragtag group of spies will be moving out and moving on from their offices. What does the future hold for the gang? "We are now a f*cking drug cartel," Thompson explained. Wait, what? Why?
"There is a big radical departure this season on Archer and that came about frankly because Adam [Reed] got bored. He is the sole writer of the show and he felt like he was spinning his wheels at some point ... And so you have a show that is successful and/or becoming more successful and we decided to change everything because we were bored and because we just want to make the show that makes us interested and happy in the end.
So Archer, the "animated espionage comedy," is dropping one of its core structures, all because of a bad case of boredom and writer's block. The show has been one of FX's big comedy successes and has been gaining traction and viewers over each of its previous four seasons. It's also the channel's only great comedy show that wasn't banished to the hinterlands of FXX earlier this year. (Sorry, It's Always Sunny).
The ISIS spy agency is gone, and travels to South American drug cartels are in the cards. "[T]hey have one ton of cocaine and they decide that they’re going to sell it," Thompson said of the new story. "They’re just going to sell a ton of cocaine and everybody’s going to become a multi-millionaire and retire. Easy peasy ... And so it goes from there, and as you might expect, they are not so successful at selling one ton of cocaine." New, very different adventures await for the crew.
It's hard to find an appropriate comparison to another TV show changing so dramatically at its peak. Shows like Parks and Rec and Friday Night Lights end at far different points than where they began, but those pale in comparison to Archer's change. A change of Archer magnitude would be like Coach Taylor moving to Oregon and becoming a lumberjack.
Still, FX was supportive of the new plot, at least according to Thompson's account. The characters and their interactions with each other will remain mostly the same, albeit altered by the new drug-peddling dynamics. Cheryl, though, now wants to become a country music star (obviously). So with that, producers will be "putting out a country album with the show this year. Not a joke. A country album," Thompson said. "We’re doing 'Danger Zone' as a country song. We’re doing 'Eastbound & Down,' like from Smokey and the Bandit."
So there you have it. The show that was once about a group of spies is now a country music singalong about coke-dealers. And we can't say we're not excited to watch.