A tough, highly trained US operative is chained to a wall soon to be tortured by a nasty European. Even when his captor brings out the jump leads, you just know he won’t talk. No, it’s not the 348th day of 24 but Archer (Fiver, Thu 25 Feb, 10.30pm), an acerbic little animated number from the humble people who helped bring you the Adult Swim cable channel. Seemingly, creator Adam Reed dreamed up the concept while sitting in a café, wondering why he didn’t have the balls to stroll up to a Spanish lady he fancied the look of. But then, who would? A spy, of course. And so Sterling Archer (Codename Duchess) was bo(u)rn(e), a slick drunkard and womanising jackass who, in the opening episode, concocts a mole in the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) to deflect attention from his flamboyant attitude to the expense account.
Intriguingly, each character has been sketched with the voice actor very much in mind, so the brusque phone-sex loving chief executive at ISIS looks exactly like Jessica Walter while Archer’s ex-squeeze, the voluptuous agent Lana Kane bears more than a passing resemblance to Aisha Tyler. Archer has the feel of a more thrusting King of the Hill with equally subtle comedic sensibilities while its Cold War 60s chic exudes the whiff of a cartoon Mad Men with less smoking, and more (very funny) jokes about bestiality, erections and Oedipal Complexes.