Wednesday, February 29, 2012

10. Why I like Archer but can't stand Kenny Powers

Recently, I gave HBO's Eastbound and Down a second shot, when the third season began. I didn't like it. I continue to mostly wish Kenny Powers would get beaten with baseball bats repeatedly for most of the time I'm watching it. And I like Danny McBride, and I really enjoyed the addition of Jason Sudekis, but... I just can't get into the show. I find Kenny Powers too obnoxious.

And yet... I love Archer, and there can be no doubt that Sterling Archer and Kenny Powers are cut from the same self-involved cloth. So why the disconnect?

Partly it's the animation thing. I think having Archer animated allows me to swallow the more outrageous elements more easily. Certainly wee baby Seamus wouldn't be anywhere near as funny if they had to have a live infant to do that story.

Partly I think it's a tonal thing. While I'm not generally a fan of Adult Swim, and haven't really watched much Frisky Dingo or Sealab, for whatever reason, Archer hits me right in the right place, comedically. I laugh my way through every episode, and when I re-watch, it still cracks me up. Meanwhile, ignoring aberrations like Anchorman (which I really enjoy), I'm generally not a fan of the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay team that is behind Eastbound and Down. There's a certain smugness, a certain point-of-view that these self-involved characters are at their heart just lovable scamps, that I can't abide. There can be little doubt when watching Archer that the creative team thinks Archer is a total douche. I'm not entirely convinced that the creators of Eastbound and Down see Kenny Powers that way.

But at any rate, I love Archer, and am currently re-watching my way through season two which was just added to Netflix. Meanwhile, my easy access to two seasons of Eastbound and Down on HBO Go remains mostly unused, because I don't have any interest in spending time watching Kenny Powers.

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