The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

Friday, March 15, 2013


One Angry Black Chick I Can Get Down With: Archer's Lana Kane

I’m a big fan of “adult” cartoons: The Venture Bros., Boondocks, Robot Chicken, etc. Basically, if I lost my subscription to the Cartoon Network, I’d probably fall into a deep depression. One of my new great loves is the FX Network cartoon, Archer, a spoof on the 1960s spy/agent TV shows. I’ve watched it since its first season and I love the witty, irreverent writing and the characters: Sterling Archer, the handsome ISIS agent and all around macho, self-involved a%@#hole; Pam Poovey, the insane HR director who is the office resident gossip, participates in fight clubs, and loves anything dairy; Cheryl Tunt, the office secretary who has a pet ocelot and a disturbing affinity for strangulation during sex; and last but not least, my girl… Lana Kane!

Lana is one pissed off chick!
Let me just say that Lana is awesome! Voiced by the gorgeous blerd herself, Aisha Tyler, Lana is the only reappearing black character on the show and the only black agent at the ISIS agency. She doesn’t hesitate to take charge and will jump into the line of fire. She’s sexy and she’s funny, but unfortunately, her love life is a hot mess! She’s had an on-again, off-again relationship with Sterling who cheated on her multiple times, took phone calls from his mom while they were in bed together, and makes fun of her large hands by calling her “Truckasaurus.”  She’s had her heartbroken by ISIS comptroller Cyril Figgis, a guy who initially came off as overly clingy (he used to prepare meals for her at his office desk, chopping board included) and then turned out to be just as big a cheater as Sterling.

Another trait that cracks me up about Lana – she’s always angry. She resents being ignored and disrespected by the higher ups at ISIS like Malory Archer – Sterling’s mom. She’s angry that she can’t find a decent guy who’s her equal who won’t cheat on her. Because she’s an environmentalist, she’s angry at companies who destroy the planet and gets pissed whenever ISIS takes spy contracts with these companies. She is one black, green-eyed ball of pint-up rage. Usually, I’m not fond of black female stereotypes. (Why does the one black chick on the show always have to be so angry?) But it works for Lana. I can identify with her frustration. She’s the one normal person in a crazy cartoon world and no one will listen to her. We’ve all felt that way at some point in our lives… right?

I heart Lana and hope to see more characters like her on TV. I hope to talk more about Lana on Monday, March 18, Black Girl Nerds podcast.

Archer appears on the FX Network on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.

-    Black Girl Nerds contributor, Shelly Ellis


  1. Appreciate your thoughts on Lana. I have to admit I gave up on the show when I saw the stereotype re enacted again. I can understand why now and hope the writers will take a cool twist like let her come out as a lesbian or actually have a orgasm or a growth moment scene, instead of the tired stuck in the 80's thinking.

  2. I adore Lana! Nice post! I don't think her anger is a stereotype because she is complicated and real character. But it certainly makes for comedy gold :)