pacific heat

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Wow, things just got really awkward. If you’ve been going to Netflix anytime within the past two weeks, you might’ve glossed over what you thought was an ARCHER promo. But if you happened to look a little closer, you might’ve noticed that it’s actually the new Australian animated comedy, PACIFIC HEAT.

pacific heat squint

You don’t even need to squint and turn your head to see the difference

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I’ve heard buzz about ARCHER entering into its last season, so when I first approached this show, I suspected it was a spin-off of some sort or a new project from the ARCHER creators to take its place. After doing some research, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. PACIFIC HEAT is solely the Australian knock-off. Watching PACIFIC HEAT is like watching ARCHER on a phone smashed through a broken copier: it’s a little amazing that it plays at all, but still so brazen that one can’t even stand it. In my last review I put NIGHTCAP under fire for its similarities to 30 ROCK, but in retrospect, I would’ve been more lenient after this nightmare.

Instead of our lead secret agent Archer, we now have Todd, who is also known as a “special agent” and supposedly equally handsome, cunning, and egotistical. The only notable difference between them are their accents. Malory Archer, drunken mother of the titular character and head of formerly-ISIS, is replaced by the Chief. I could continue drawing out character foils, but it isn’t entirely necessary to analyze the potential differences between the two shows, as there are none. It is a blatant rip-off just on glance alone.

pacific heat change

Don’t let the change in character design fool you

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Watching this show is painstaking. PACIFIC HEAT is just one failed comedic gag after the other. Maybe things would’ve been more interesting if I hadn’t watched ARCHER, but that’s a big “maybe.” And let’s not forget a couple racist portrayals in the middle of the pilot in the form of an Asian pole dancer! In that moment, PACIFIC HEAT went from “bad” to “completely indefensible.” Sure, there were some funny jokes here and there, but everything seemed so fabricated I wondered if it was a satire of a satire. But that would be giving it too much credit.

pacific heat customer

I can’t even begin to explain how wrong this is

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The episodes to follow are simple. Each follow a different scheme for the special agent unit, each one wackier than the next, all taking place across the Gold Coast in Australia. I’m sure the detail to setting might be the best part of the show, but keep in mind that that’s a low in general. I’ve never been to Australia, nor seen an Australian television show, so even though it’s a bit of new insight, they didn’t necessarily start on the right foot.

Save your time: just watch ARCHER. Even if you’ve already finished the show, and looking for something to replace it, don’t watch this. Watching PACIFIC HEAT because you miss ARCHER is no better than dating someone who looks exactly like your ex. You’re just trying to relive the past and you’re going to be made fun of.

Verdict: Do Not Recommend

Michelle is a guest contributor for Crossfader Magazine. She self-published a book about fairies when she was eight. It sold two copies.

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