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As 'Archer' Season 8 Wraps 'Dreamland,' Creator Adam Reed Plots The Series' Endgame.

Even before Sterling and Malory Archer left behind their spy organization, ISIS, for narcotrafficking in "Archer" Season 5, subtitled "Vice," "Archer" has experimented with serial storytelling and storytelling variations on its James Bond spoof origins. Last season saw the "Archer" ensemble move to Los Angeles to become private detectives. But this year's eighth season alters the show more than ever before, recasting Pam Poovey, Malory, Lana Kane, Cyril Figgis, Barry Dillon, Cheryl Tunt and Dr. Krieger in radically different roles, transposing them into a 1947 noir setting. With one episode left to air in the season, creator Adam Reed has been looking ahead to "Archer'"s final two seasons, each of which promises to be just as different as Season 8.

"I do have an end in mind, but that's pretty far down the road for me as a writer," Reed said during a conference call to promote the Season 8 finale, airing Wednesday. "Right now I'm just concentrated and focused on Season 9."

Just about all Reed would say is that the next season of "Archer " will consist of eight episodes. "They won't let me do just one really long episode," he explained.

Beyond that, there's really way to know how the show will reinvent itself next. At the end of Season 7, Archer was shot and left for dead "Sunset Boulevard " -style, face down in a pool. Season 8 opens with Archer in a hospital bed, the actual events of the season - Archer as a traumatized World War 2 vet turned private eye, hunting down whoever killed his partner - take place within his comatose mind. Though many of the events are more consequential than ever (Krieger is far more than an eccentric tinkerer this year), the future of "Archer " will likely return to the waking world.

While the "Dreamland" subtitle for this season would suggest a certain irreality, it fits perfectly with the instinctual, improvised way the show has always evolved. Describing his research as "half-assed," Reed said he let cultural instinct guide his hand in recreating 1947. Sure, he watched "The Big Sleep," "The Maltese Falcon " and "Casablanca," but Reed said, "I think a lot of it is just growing up in America and being a fan of the genre. For me, at least, it seeps into you, whether you're paying attention or not."

Medical conditions in his life further refined Archer's experience in the coma-induced Dreamland. "I tore my rotator cuff and two episodes in I had to have reconstructive surgery on my shoulder and I had to sit in a chair for two months. And I wasn't really sleeping that much, that and painkillers sort of ended up in the script," Reed said, further describing the Season 8 writing process as "pain, insomnia and frustration and typing with one hand."

That looseness and willingness to follow his instincts have led "Archer" down so many strange and entertaining paths over the years. "My partner Matt Thompson would probably prefer I didn't bounce around from era to era, requiring all new costumes and backgrounds, but that's one of my favorite parts," Reed said.

That endless inventiveness has come to define "Archer," almost more than its well-developed ensemble and bevy of catchphrases. As the show's stint in 1947 comes to a close, we may not know what the future holds ("I'm not going to spoil it, like 'oh, they're going to be race car drivers," Reed said) for Sterling, Lana and Malory, but we know it will be a radically different adventure from the one that came before. Describing the final two seasons, Reed said, "they're going to be different from 'Dreamland' and from each other."

"Archer" Season 8 concludes May 24 with the "Dreamland" season finale, " AuflAaAaAeA sung," on FX
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:May 25, 2017
Words:623
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