The sixth season of the critically acclaimed FX animated spy series Archer began with a bang: that the show would not only be dumping the name ISIS, but would also be an “unreboot” of sorts, heading back to the office from the on-the-road-insanity that was Vice to recapture its unique brand of wacky missions/workplace comedy.
According to creator Adam Reed, Season 7 of Archer, which premieres March 31, will change its setting to Los Angeles, and focus on the gang’s latest mission: running a high-class detective agency in Hollywood.
“I was just trying to give a clean break from the past couple of seasons and L.A. seemed like a fun way to do that—and give our background painters a bunch of extra work that they probably didn’t want,” jokes Reed.
“They’re in L.A. and they’ve started a detective agency,” he continues. “They’re trying to translate their spy skills into private investigation, and it doesn’t always go as smoothly as they would hope. Cyril is the owner of the detective agency because in California, to be a licensed private eye you need to have 2,000 hours of detective work or a criminal justice or law degree, so they all have to work under Cyril’s shingle, and Cyril gets to flex his authority a little bit—much to Archer’s and everybody else’s chagrin.”
Reed was inspired by watching L.A.-based film noirs as well as ’70s and ’80s detective TV shows like Moonlighting, Simon & Simon, Magnum, P.I., and The Rockford Files, though the cases that Sterling (and Malory) Archer, Lana Kane, Cyril Figgis and Co. get mixed up in will be decidedly more glamorous.
“It’s Hollywood-centric,” says Reed. “Malory is mortified by the prospect of the grubbiness that she associates with private detectives, so early on they really try to get their foot in the door with the Hollywood elite, so they have a lot of cases with Hollywood movie stars, directors, and rich producers. So far they’ve all been in L.A. and the back part of the season takes place on a movie set.”
As for the episode Reed is most excited for audiences to see: “We have one episode where it’s a double-Indecent Proposal where one group is charged with seducing a woman and one group is charged with seducing her husband,” he says. “There were a lot of costumes and a lot of wigs involved, which was really fun.”
Some of those Hollywood stars, directors, and rich producers will be voiced by some pretty big names in their own right: Keegan-Michael Key (of Key & Peele fame) will be appearing in multiple episodes, as will Oscar winner J.K. Simmons and Patton Oswalt. Golden Globe winner Christian Slater (Mr. Robot) will be reprising his role as the CIA thorn in the gang’s side, while comedians Jon Daly, Jon Glaser, John O’Hurley, and Dave Willis will all lend their vocal talents as well.
In addition to teasing “a big ongoing mystery” that will trail Archer and the gang throughout the season, Reed says that viewers will be excited by the show’s new look(s).“There’s been a big wardrobe update—people are dressing very California-inspired early ’80s detective shows, and the cars, the offices, etc., are all inspired by that look, too,” he says, adding, “It’s pretty sexy! We’re going lower-cut on everybody—a lot of V-necks.”