FX’s hit animated series “Archer” was not nominated this year and I wanted to bring it into the broader Emmy discussion.
For those who have not seen it, the show centers around Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), a self-centered, womanizing secret agent who is employed at an agency run by his equally narcissistic mother (Jessica Walter).
The show is slated to begin a fourth season in January of 2013. Since debuting in 2010, it has received very favorable reviews from critics, maintained a core fan base and has even managed to increase it’s viewership with each new season.
While the show has never been nominated for Best Animated Program, it did make a mark at the 2010 Emmys when Benjamin scored his first ever nomination for voice acting on the show. Since then, however, the show has been completely ignored by Emmy voters.
Why have the Emmy voters been so resistant to nominating this show?
The scripts are amazing, the animation is great and the voice acting by all involved is impeccable. FX also makes a point to include the show as part of its Emmy campaign.
The only possible reason I can think of is the crude sexual humor. But lower quality shows with the same sort of humor, such as “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show”, have broken through this barrier.
One other reason might have to do with the nominating process itself. The ballot for Best Animated Program lists a specific episode next to the show and that episode is supposed to be the one on which the nominating committee bases it’s judgement.
This year, “Archer” submitted the first part of its two-episode season finale. While the episode is solid and even features Emmy favorite Bryan Cranston, the people responsible could have picked a stronger episode. Those episodes include “Bloody Ferlin” where the agency’s gay agent returns to West Virginia to help his pot farming brother or “Drift Problem” where Archer’s birthday gift, a super spy car, is stolen.
Whatever the case may be, it’s a travesty that this show has not been nominated after three seasons. I will stay on top of making sure “Archer” receives the attention it deserves but will be sure I don’t go too far in my preachiness. If I do, I’m sure I will have to page Dr. Loggins, because I will be in, as Archer would say, the DANGER ZONE!