Friday, April 4, 2014

Archer's great transitions

I've been pretty busy with cruise preparations, raising the question: can a Marxist go on a cruise and still call himself a Marxist?

That question aside, I was also re-watching the first season of Archer, the animated comedy about the dysfunctional and absurd spy agency while I was packing for my cruise. And, oh man, I really dig that show. You may not dig it, for any of a dozen reasons. Perhaps you find the humor a little crude, or the characters too absurd, or maybe you just don't like the animation style (with it's heavy black lines).

But even if you don't love the show, I think we all can learn something about transitions from Archer.

For instance, there's a lot of great x/not-x ironic transitions, as in "What could go wrong?" transitioning to something terrible.

There's also the x/x-in-different-context transition, as in "Look at me," Lana says, as way of arguing that Cyril won't run to another woman, transitioning to the other woman yelling "Look at me" to Cyril as part of their rough sex play.

Then there's the audio wrap-around version of that, where some character says something, then we cut to some other scene where some other character has said that in a different context. ("It's not what it looks like," says Lana, explaining how she's not about to have sex with someone to Cyril; cut to a seemingly dead body and Pam explaining to Malory Archer the same thing.)

There are other transitions, but that's a good start. Interesting that not all of the transitions here are laugh-out-loud funny, but there's a steady sense of connection and forward-movement.

Note: I am writing this while watching the episode "Skytanic," so that's where most of my examples are from.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic show! We need to catch up on this current season.