There is very little that the show runners of “Archer” can do that can surprise the audience and that is quite a huge compliment. This is because the fans of “Archer” are constantly expecting the animated series to outdo itself and unsurprisingly enough the show seldom disappoints. Season 7 ended with a massive cliffhanger indicating the possible death of the protagonist of the series, but this bold move ended up being a precursor to the unique setting created by Season 8.

Welcome to Archer’s dreamland

The central premise of the new season is extremely fascinating and is perhaps the most innovative angle the show has ever explored.

The season begins with Archer stuck in a coma after being shot by Veronica Deane. Instead of taking him out of the show and focusing attention on some of the other characters, the series dives deeper into the mind of Sterling Archer, thereby giving us the premise of the new season – “Archer: Dreamland."

We see an exploration of Archer’s mind while he is in a coma, and it looks like he is creating an entirely new world using his own unique brand of imagination. In this reality, Archer is a Private Investigator suffering from PTSD from his time serving in the military. This fictitious world takes a drastic turn when a comatosed Archer overhears Lana and Malory discussing the sudden death of Woodhouse.

This tragic news takes an immediate effect in Archer’s dreamland, translating into the death of his P.I partner Woodhouse. The Season Premiere focuses on Archer’s efforts to find Woodhouse’s killer in his dreamy crime-noir setting.

Re-introducing the gang

As Archer investigates the death of Woodhouse in his coma, he encounters all his friends and co-workers re-imagined to fit the setting.

Malory is a crime lord in this world, while Lana is a popular lounge singer with Ray as her band leader. Krieger is seen as a Bartender with an edge, while Pam and Cyril are cops who aren't especially fond of Archer. Cheryl is also in the picture, and is seen as a cookie heiress looking to employ the private detective.

Over the years, “Archer” has proven to us that it is unafraid to take risks, which is why the show has managed to explore such a unique idea in its eight season.

The last three seasons have been a huge departure from the initial plot of the series as well, but the latest direction is by far the best within the show so far.

We usually expect the joke count to flow like Bourbon in Archer’s hands but the new season hangs back just a bit in order to fully flesh out the new setting. This is why most of the humour in the premiere worked so well, because it was delivered in the unique atmosphere created by the show. The re-imagined versions of our favorite characters are awesome and it will be great to see them developed in their new avatars over the course of the season. The series could not have had a better start to the season, having set up a strong premise and new iterations of popular characters that will easily see them through the rest of the season.