THE SHOW "Archer"

WHEN | WHERE Thursday at 10 p.m. on FX

REASON TO WATCH Believe it or not, "Archer" has made it to a third season, and Burt Reynolds helps with the celebration.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT "Oh, my God, you're Burt Reynolds!" Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) says with ill-disguised glee upon meeting someone who does, in fact, look suspiciously like the actor. Archer had just gotten the brushoff from a woman he tried to pick up in a bar.

The self-described World's Greatest Secret Agent explains that he was one of Reynolds' biggest fans as a kid, and saw all the magnificent films of his oeuvre "at least five times [including] 'Sam Whiskey,' 'Navajo Joe,' 'Fuzz' . . . obviously 'Gator.' I even saw 'At Long Last Love.' "

Archer's ardor, however, cools when he learns that Burt (voiced by Reynolds) is dating his mother, Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), chief of International Secret Intelligence Service. Meanwhile, Archer has been targeted by a Cuban hit squad. Fortunately, Reynolds knows how to get around this challenge -- from behind the wheel of a very fast car.

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MY SAY This is technically the easiest review I've ever written, given the fact that "Archer" is one of the funniest shows on TV and among the most skillfully voiced animated series, too, on a par with "The Simpsons." What's not to like? What's never not to like?

Tonight's employment of an underemployed legend is just about inspired, and hits exactly the right tone -- in a nutty, over-the-top, and highly amusing kind of way that only "Archer" can so effortlessly achieve. Yeah, "Archer" very much remains an acquired taste, but once acquired stays that way.

BOTTOM LINE Good start to the third season, and from what I sampled, it builds from there.