The New Archies, Segment 26 – Horray for Hollywood

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Writers: Pat Allee & Ben Hurst
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, December 5, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:21

Well, here we are, at long last, at the series finale of The New Archies. It definitely felt like the series is a lot longer than it actually is. That’s because I’ve written these reviews a couple minutes of story at a time, for the most part, and, admittedly, I’ve dragged my feet in reviewing this series. Then, after I finished and posted my review of the previous segment, I decided to just watch this segment all in one sitting (something that I hadn’t done for any previous segment while reviewing it), because I remember enjoying it, and I was surprised that it was over so quickly.

Oh, yeah, remember, in my review of the first segment, I mentioned a possible fourteenth episode? Wikipedia and IMDb list the segments as “Got Hair?” and “Teenage Birthday Party”, and the former gives an original air date of December 12, 1987. This info has been copied by other sites. I have found no evidence that these segments were actually made, and, again, thirteen was the standard number of episodes for a network TV season of an animated series at the time. Maybe they’re unproduced segments, but, again, I can’t find anything. So I’m considering “Horray for Hollywood” to be the series finale of The New Archies. And what a way to go out: with a typo in the episode’s title.

Anyway, let’s get into it.

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The segment opens with a lovely nature shot.

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But, okay, the story begins with Betty fixing Archie’s bike. Wow, they actually added one of Betty’s character traits from the comics (being a bit of a mechanic) into the show.

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Archie’s impressed with Betty’s skill.

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Jughead shows up with a hitherto-unmentioned cousin, Cary. Archie gives so little shit for this guy that he immediately gets his name wrong, calling him Terry (note: I’m certain that this was a flub).

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Betty gets a lady-boner for Cary.

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As Cary approaches, Betty tries to make herself presentable. Cary mistakes her for a dude.

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Cary apologizes, but Jughead calls Betty “just one of the guys”.

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Betty and Cary’s formal meeting doesn’t go well, and Betty ends up feeling embarrassed.

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Cary refuses the rag, and Jughead says they gotta go, because they’re on their way to Pop’s. Betty tells “Jerry” that it was nice meeting him. And guess what. We never see or hear of Cary again. I hope you enjoyed his roughly 45 seconds of screentime. Yeah, his sole purpose was so Betty could get embarrassed over her tomboyishness in front of a guy.

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So, yeah, Betty’s feeling very embarrassed, but Archie says he appreciates her.

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Betty get a lady-boner for him.

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Then he calls her “a real pal”, and that’s the end of that.

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On another day, at Riverdale Junior High School, Veronica stops to check herself out in a glass case displaying a sign for the Annual Spring Fling.

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In the gym, Betty is really proud of her decorations; the theme is Nature Welcomes Spring. Veronica is underwhelmed.

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Ethel is making flowers out of toilet tissue. Veronica isn’t impressed, but Betty thinks they’re “cute”.

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Eugene is painting a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Moose. Um, why? Did Betty seriously think cut-outs of the people that will actually be attending the dance was a good idea? It just seems really weird. But I guess it’s a bit less creepy than this:

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Betty then points out the “great” mechanical birds that Eugene made and has Veronica try one out.

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Veronica is impressed.

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Betty admits they still need a little work. She asks Veronica what she thinks.

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Veronica calls the birds old-fashioned and tacky. This disappoints Betty.

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As Veronica goes on about Betty’s choice of decorations, Ethel pop up behind her and makes funny faces to try to cheer Betty up.

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It works.

Veronica eventually discovers what Ethel is doing and leaves in disgust. Betty and Ethel laugh.

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By the next scene, however, as Betty and Ethel are walking along (past DiC’s headquarters, which is based in Riverdale, apparently), Betty has done a complete 180, admitting Veronica’s right.

Ethel’s like “Bullshit! Shopping solves everything!”

How is this supposed to help?

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The saleswoman compliments Betty’s choice of dress, but Ethel says it’s not for “our Betty”. She brings over another dress that she says “is Betty” and calls it “durable and reliable”. What a shitty thing to do.

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See? It’s clear that Betty doesn’t want to always be thought of in the same way by everyone. She’s getting tired of the same old thing.

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At home, Betty is even more depressed, despairing that she even looks like one of the guys. I really don’t see this as an issue, but, then again, I went through school just being myself and giving zero fucks what other people thought of me.

On the other hand, I would find my middle/high school self obnoxious and annoying. I’ve grown way more boring and quiet since then, and I generally try to be non-intrusive and not acknowledge people and hope they’ll treat me likewise (they usually don’t).

My point is people change. I don’t know what Betty’s going through, but I’m guessing she’s hoping for some loving and wishing people wouldn’t be so reliant on her.

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Betty spots an ad in the newspaper (because apparently, like all preteens, she keeps a newspaper in her bedroom): “Mr. Maurice, beauty expert to the stars. Change your looks and change your life.” This is the sole “Hollywood” connection in this story: some dude making a claim in a newspaper ad.

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“I’ll do it!” Um, how? Do you have enough of your allowance saved up? Are you gonna ask your parents for money?

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Bothering only to take off her headband, Betty heads right over to the office of some guy that placed an ad in a newspaper. Did one of her parents drive her? Do they even know she’s out of the house? This is a major problem that I have with this series: these kids are out and about way too much on their own. I never did this when I was their age. Sure, a friend of mine stopped at my house, trick-or-treating with his friends, one Halloween, and some of my friends came by once, so we could pick blackberries from a vacant lot (well, not me; I considered it trespassing and potentially dangerous), but, whenever I wanted to go somewhere, my mom or dad had to drive me. Then again, I live in a rural town, not a suburb, and everything is way more spread out. To get to any kind of store (other than a convenience store), I’d have to cross a busy highway and then go a few miles north. No way was that happening. And I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I can get around and shop just fine, now that I have a car. I’m kind of glad that I didn’t get to go walking around town on my own or with some friends as a kid, because who knows what might have happened?

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Anyway, the first thing that Maurice does is insult Betty’s appearance, making her feel bad.

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Without discussing any payment (that will cum later), the sleazy French guy puts an arm around Betty and has his way with her.

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There’s an abrupt cut to a panning shot of Riverdale Junior High School, where Archie, sans bookbag, is having trouble carrying more books than I ever had to. Seriously, there aren’t even that many periods in a school day.

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This is only to contrast with Veronica, who has a laugh at Archie’s expense, because she has Smithers to carry her unrealistic multitude of books (but no other supplies) for her. Smithers lets out a creepy moan. Yeah, I know he’s supposed to sound like he’s sick of this shit, but it’s still pretty creepy.

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Archie stops at his full-sized locker, which I didn’t have until high school, and then something surprises him.

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Ditto for Reggie and Veronica.

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Jughead is the only one to have a delayed reaction to:

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Oh, dear Goddess…

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In class, Ms. Grundy asks when the Magna Carta was signed. She calls on Jughead.

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What in the actual fuck?

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Anyway, Jughead somehow loses his balance and falls out of his chair, and the class laughs.

Ms. Grundy decides to go to “someone more reliable” and asks Betty.

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Betty responds with “Yo!” Veronica’s pissed (for some reason). Reggie has a boner.

Ms. Grundy is a bit thrown off by Betty’s greeting but repeats the question. Betty will have to get back to Ms. Grundy on that, which surprises her.

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See, Betty didn’t get to do her homework, because she had to do her nails to match her outfit.

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Seen here: absolutely nothing that took more than a few minutes of her time, tops.

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Ms. Grundy gets a bit sassy with Betty and gives her detention, but Betty doesn’t give a fuck.

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Later, at Pop’s, Reggie demands to know why Betty won’t go to the movies with him. Betty gives him a total bullshit answer, citing “the new me” and “the same old you, such as it is”.

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Veronica’s pissed, because Betty’s an hour late.

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Betty’s excuse is “Price of popularity, babe. Everyone wants a piece of your time.” No doubt because you’ve been walking around town in a leotard. Just who, exactly, got a piece of Betty’s time, and did they get a piece of Betty’s anything else as well?

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Veronica, without a hint of irony, finds Betty’s behavior obnoxious. She’s starved and wants to order. Ooh, we get to see Pop’s menu, and it doesn’t include the name of the business on it but does include a generic design that Pop probably threw together in a few minutes in Paintbrush on Windows 1.0 (Windows 2.0 didn’t come out until four days after this segment aired).

I’m gonna pause the review for a moment and talk about food. I hadn’t been to locally-owned restaurants much. There was actually a 1950s-themed diner right on my street, just over a half-mile from my house, open for thirty years (twenty-seven of which I’d lived here), and I never once ate there. I used to work in a small office in the early-to-mid-2000s, and the mom of one of my coworkers owned another 1950s-themed diner. Our whole office would go there one night per month for a kinda-sorta party/event. I ordered ten sliders and a glass of Pepsi each time. It was okay but nothing special. More recently, my mom and I got gift certificates for free breakfast at another diner. This one, as far as atmosphere (and I use the term loosely) went, was New England-themed. We ordered breakfast platters and got basically the same thing that we get at Burger King, except burned. My point is I really don’t “get” locally-owned diners; they just don’t seem that special to me. And I certainly don’t get how the gang (except Veronica and maybe Reggie) can afford to continually hang out at Pop’s. What kind of allowances are they getting?

Anyway, Betty ditches Veronica to get to her acting class, surprising and pissing off Veronica. Betty’s taking an acting class? How is she paying for it? And how is she paying for her numerous new outfits? Is it part of a package deal that Mr. Maurice offers? If so, who actually paid for it?

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Before she leaves, Betty asks Veronica to “be real with” her. Veronica happily agrees, despite being pissed at her a moment earlier. Betty tries out the new name “Jasmine” and asks for Veronica’s opinion. Veronica isn’t quite sure what to say.

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Betty doesn’t have time for an answer, though, and tells Veronica to get back to her on that. Betty teases the decorations for the dance, telling Veronica that she won’t recognize the gym. Veronica’s afraid of that. Then, with a parting “Toodles”, Betty leaves.

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Archie asks Betty to take a look at his bike, but Betty doesn’t “do bikes anymore”.

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When Betty leaves Pop’s, Ethel sees her and comments on her “wild” outfit. She also asks “Whatever happened to blue jeans?” Um, when, precisely, has Betty ever worn blue jeans on this series? She’s a pink overalls kind of girl.

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Betty’s exact response is “Oh, Biggie, get back! I don’t do jeans anymore!” You’ve never done jeans, bitch; shut up.

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Archie comes by with Moose and worriedly asks “Just what does she do now?”

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After the commercial break, Veronica’s at the park, ready to skateboard. Because it was the 1980s, and everybody skateboarded. Even Reagan. Anyway, she asks Jughead if he’s seen Betty Jasmine. Jughead kinda-sorta says yes, implying Betty’s also skateboarding. See? Told ya.

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Jughead comes across Ethel, who complains about Betty’s shitastic ’80s clothes.

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Veronica skates over, complaining about Betty’s hair. Then Reggie skates over and complains about Betty turning down a date with him. Jughead insults Reggie and skates off, and a pissed Reggie gives chase.

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“Motherfucker, don’t you fucking hurt him, or I’mma fucking kill you!”

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Wait, wait, wait. A large chunk of that bridge/path is very blatantly missing. Shouldn’t the area be sealed off to, I dunno, prevent dumbass tweens from trying to skateboard over it?!

Anyway, can we get back to Betty, please? This is supposed to be her story, and I feel this stupid rivalry between Jughead and Reggie is taking away precious time from that.

In case you’re wondering, Jughead puts absolutely no effort into his skateboarding, just standing perfectly still. Because that’s totally believable.

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Anyway, Ethel comes out of nowhere and knocks Reggie into a shallow pool of water. Whatever.

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Veronica has a laugh over it and then tells Smithers that she’s ready. What the fuck? That’s just ridiculous. Besides, why, after recent events, does she still want Smithers to do stuff with her? Also, we just saw Veronica’s regular skateboard earlier in the scene. But anything for a cheap laugh, right?

Whatever. Can we get back to Betty now? Please?

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Later, they go to Riverdale Junior High School for the Spring Fling. Ethel says Betty wouldn’t let anyone in to see it. She can’t wait. They enter the gym.

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Jughead makes a Star Trek reference.

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Honestly, though, it feels more like Star Wars.

Yeah, Betty went with a sci-fi theme for the Spring Fling dance. That’s…different.

Archie suggests checking out the food. Jughead says he’s brave.

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Archie asks about a certain food, and Veronica – the worldly, well-traveled girl – incorrectly identifies it as sushi, even though it’s actually sashimi. Jughead thinks it’s disgusting not after he tries some but after Veronica talks. So typically sitcomy.

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Ethel identifies steak tartare.

Okay, I’m gonna pause the review to talk about food again. I grew up in the 1980s and was raised by two Polish parents that, really, were old enough to be my grandparents, having been born during World War II. One dish that we often made was what they called “tatar” (TAH-tahr). That might be a corruption of tartare or a Polish version of the word. I don’t know, and my mom doesn’t either. Anyway, we made it by mixing raw ground beef in a bowl with olive oil or vegetable oil as well as salt and black pepper. We cut up garlic and onion into little pieces and added it to the mix. We served it on bread (usually Italian). It actually tastes quite good. I often add a homemade Cajun seasoning and/or hot sauce into the mix (after my mom’s taken her share). So it’s not quite like the recipe in the Wikipedia article, and we’ve never used egg yolk. Anyway, just thought I’d share. Now, back to the review.

Jughead takes a piece, sniffs it, and says it looks weird. Ethel says it’s “raw hamburger” (not really accurate). Jughead promptly drops it in disgust. Are we expected to believe Jughead, who lives for hamburgers, has never tried making his own?

Anyway, Jughead declares, this time, Betty’s gone too far.

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Betty comes by, fishing for a compliment from “Juggy” regarding the dance, but he isn’t impressed, and she’s like “What the fuck?”

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Betty asks Archie to dance, but he doesn’t do “that kind of music”, utterly shocking her.

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Betty asks “Ronnie” and “Big Ethel” (this was back when making fun of tall people was considered okay) if they wanna go to the “powder room” with her, but they “don’t do powder rooms anymore”. Considering “powder room” is a euphemism for “restroom” (from back in the days when females wanted to avoid acknowledging they piss and shit), that’s unintentionally hilarious.

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Aaawww. Betty’s sad. Do we feel sorry for her? Well, we shouldn’t, considering it’s already been established Betty’s a horrible piece of shit when freed of any self-restraint.

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Suddenly, Betty brightens up.

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Reggie calls her out on wanting to hang out with him only because everyone else has turned her down. She whimpers sadly and walks away. Reggie considers hanging out with her, but it’s too late: she’s gone.

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Betty goes to Pop’s to drown her sorrows. Pop is surprised to see her (or perhaps surprised at how she currently looks).

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Betty tries to order a root beer float, but she can’t even get it out before she starts crying.

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Eugene walks by Pop’s and is shocked to see a sad Betty. He runs off.

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Back at the gym, Jughead wants to fucking leave already. Yeah, um, why are they still here? They were clearly pissed at Betty, so I don’t think they’d stay out of obligation to her.

Also, Moose is wasted in this segment. He doesn’t really say anything except maybe one line mixed in among other characters’ lines.

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Eugene rushes in and fills them in.

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Archie and Ethel feel bad over how they treated Betty, but Veronica and Reggie defend their actions.

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Reggie goes too far with his suggestion of a bucket of cold water in the face, and the others let him know they disapprove.

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Reggie claims it’s a “joke”.

Ethel feels awful, because Betty was just trying her best with the decorations. Jughead says Betty’s best was “pretty good”. They all miss “good old Betty”.

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Archie suddenly has an idea.

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Back at Pop’s, Betty has recounted everything to Pop. He tries to make her feel better.

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Suddenly, the others show up. After confirming Betty’s still here, Archie signals to the others to be quiet and come on.

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Pop points out that Veronica didn’t work on the decorations.

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Betty realizes, if Veronica wanted other decorations, she could have done the work.

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Betty mentions “Big Ethel” called her “dependable and reliable”. Actually, she’d called the dress, comparing it to Betty, “durable and reliable” (although Ms. Grundy had called Betty “reliable”).

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Anyway, Pop is amused that Betty thinks this is bad, and Betty, knocking her stupid wig off the counter, realizes it isn’t.

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But then Betty gets upset again over Archie and Jughead calling her “just one of the guys”. Actually, just Jughead did; Archie called her “a real pal”.

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There’s some antics as the gang brings in and sets up Betty’s original dance decorations, which they had somehow found (and were damn lucky that she hadn’t thrown out).

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Pop gets a bit creepy when he predicts Betty’s future sexiness.

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Rather than be creeped out, Betty’s just sad; she says it doesn’t matter, because it’s too late now.

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She believes she’s lost all of her friends.

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“Look behind you, dumbass.”

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Pop offers ice cream sodas on the house.

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Jughead asks about hamburgers.

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Betty gets the final line of the series: “I’ve got the best friends in the whole world.”

This segment was really nice and actually my favorite of the entire series. This and “The Awful Truth” are good character studies of Betty. I only wish they were longer, so they could further explore the issues that Betty has. Speaking of those issues, that’s where this segment kind of bungles it toward the end. Through Pop’s questions, we’re led to believe Betty was making a big deal out of nothing and feeling depressed about basic compliments (she even agrees with him), but I always understood Betty’s issues to be not wishing to be thought of in exactly the same, predictable way all of the time; she desired something more, something different. Still, overall, the series went out on a high note.

I will do a recap of the entire series fairly soon.

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Comics – Winter

Betty-and-Veronica-3Writer: Jamie Lee Rotante
Line Art: Sandra Lanz
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica, Vol. 4, No. 3
Cover Date: April, 2019
On-Sale Date: February 27, 2019
Length: 20 pages

Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page. It’s mentioned “Betty no longer wants to go to Pickens U”, something that hasn’t been made clear in the story itself.

After a very brief recap of the previous issue, Veronica finally catches up with Betty after chasing her for four blocks. She asks what’s wrong. Betty says nothing’s wrong but totally makes it clear that she’s pissed. Veronica asks if she thought something was going on between Reggie and her. Betty storms off without a word.

Veronica returns to the school. Reggie’s upset that Veronica didn’t get Betty to talk to her. Veronica’s upset at him and goes back into the school, leaving him upset into late fall / early winter.

On New Year’s Eve, at Pop’s, at Archie’s coordination, he, Kevin, Toni, and Dilton have met to do a (late) Secret Santa gift exchange. Toni asks where Betty and Veronica are. Archie doesn’t know, because they haven’t responded to his texts. Toni calls Kevin “Riverdale’s resident tastemaker“. Shut up, Toni. That’s Veronica and Cheryl. Anyway, Toni mentions Reggie hasn’t been seen all winter break. Archie guesses he has a girlfriend. Dilton agrees while insulting Reggie. Jughead arrives and admonishes Dilton for gossiping. Kevin says it’s all in good fun. Toni teases Jughead about being “the reporter”.

After some more banter and some awkward silence, Archie sees Betty walking outside and rushes out to meet her without opening his gifts.

Archie asks Betty where she’s been and reminds her of the gift exchange. She apologizes, citing the school year. The snow’s starting to come down, so Archie offers her a ride, which she accepts. They get in his car and buckle up. He asks about Veronica. Betty says Veronica’s busy, and they haven’t really seen much of each other. Archie invites them to his New Year’s Eve party tonight. Betty says she’ll be there. Archie guesses maybe Reggie will show up, too. Betty isn’t thrilled about that.

At Sparkle, Veronica writes a response to a reader looking for advice regarding a fight with her bestie. Ginger comes by and tells her to go home, because she’s an intern and freelancer. Veronica focuses better in the office but agrees to leave. They’ll meet up later at Archie’s party tonight.

Veronica drives to Betty’s house, but, once again, she’s not home, and Veronica declines to have Alice let her know she stopped by.

Some time after Veronica leaves, Archie finally drops Betty off at home. Betty will be at Archie’s party after more scholarship and application shit. Through the “rumor mill”, Archie learned about her Pickens scholarship and asks about it. Betty doesn’t wanna go there, which confuses Archie, but he drops it. As Betty exits Archie’s car, she’s happy to sing about how she’s not going to Pickens.

That changes as soon as she’s in the door, due to Alice being present. Hal’s at the unemployment office, sorting something out. That gets Betty thinking about bills. Alice asks her if she’s okay. Betty says she’ll be fine and goes upstairs.

Betty goes into the bathroom, looks in the sink and at her reflection in the mirror, and remembers Veronica wiping her forehead after her anxiety attack and the pinky-swear pact. Alice comes in and informs her that Veronica had stopped by, even though Veronica had declined to have Betty notified. She’s been over every day this week but seemingly hasn’t been with Betty at all. Alice asks if something’s going on with them. Betty says everything’s okay.

Veronica arrives at Pop’s and meets Dilton and Toni outside. Toni gives her a hard time about missing Secret Santa. Dilton tells Toni to give Veronica a break. Toni mentions she and “Dilt” are going over some coursework. Dilton explains Toni’s founded a STEM initiative program for middle schoolers. Veronica is impressed. Toni admits she’s partly doing it to get some volunteer work on her resume. Veronica asks if they’ve seen Betty. Toni, continuing to have a stick up her ass, questions why Veronica doesn’t know.

At home, Betty sits at her desk and writes a handwritten note of apology to Veronica. She then walks to the Lodge mansion in the snow, puts the envelope in the mailbox, and walks away. Because that’s totally what a 21st century teenager would do.

Later, Veronica arrives home. She gets a bunch of mail out of the mailbox, but Betty’s note falls to the ground and goes unnoticed. Veronica checks a letter from Hitchens University before she enters the mansion. Due to a “fabulous recommendation”, they are correcting an “error” on their part and offering Veronica a position in their freshman class.

Veronica is pissed, suspecting her dad pulled some strings, so she marches up to his study and knocks on his door. Not receiving an answer, she enters.

She cries out when she sees Hiram kneeling on the floor in front of his desk, clutching his chest, his papers and drink spilled on the floor.

At Riverdale Hospital, Veronica is sitting with her mom on a bench. A doctor comes by and tells Hermione that Hiram had a “major cardiac event” tonight, but he handled the surgery well. The doctor suggests rest and some dietary and lifestyle changes. Hermione asks to see Hiram, and the doctor allows them in but advises them to not cause him stress. Before they go in, though, Veronica wants to talk with her mom.

After Veronica tells her mom what’s been on her mind, Hermione says Veronica’s happiness means more to them than carrying on the “Hitchens legacy”. Veronica hugs her and asks if Hiram will understand. Hermione says yes but advises waiting until Hiram’s out of here. They go to see him. On the way, Veronica looks into a room and is surprised to see Reggie visiting someone.

At the Andrews’ home, the guests are gathered, the TV’s tuned to ABC, and everyone’s waiting for the ball to drop. I’m not sure who all of these people are supposed to be. One girl insinuates Veronica and Reggie are off fucking. Anyway, they all do the countdown and welcome the new year. Archie wants to kiss Betty, but she gets a text, pushes him away, and runs off.

Suddenly wearing a coat and gloves, Betty runs and comes across Veronica outside. They hug. Betty apologizes. Veronica says it’s fine; he’s going to be okay. Betty clarifies she’s sorry about the way that she’s been acting and says Veronica deserves a better friend than that. Veronica says Betty is the best friend that she could have ever hoped for. They hug again.

Veronica makes Betty promise she’ll give Veronica a chance to explain herself, if she thinks something’s wrong. Veronica suggests a pinky promise, but Betty declines. Yesterday, Veronica found out that she’s going to Pickens, and she declares they’re going to college together. Betty isn’t thrilled but acts excited. The two friends walk, arm in arm, through the snow.

The next story will supposedly offer a “Spring Awakening”.

Sadly, there’s no cover gallery for this issue. There’s a (cropped) cover for the next issue (occurring during the prom) with a blurb that teases more drama. That’s followed by an ad for the trade paperbacks of Mark Waid’s Archie run.

This is another good issue. I look forward to the next one.

The New Archies, Segment 25 – Take My Butler, Please

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-01-title
Writer: Gary Greenfield
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, December 5, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:20

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The segment opens with Smithers picking up Mr. Lodge’s “priceless” new statues at an antique store (creatively called Antiques). He vows to “guard every step”.

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He slips on a banana peel (which he somehow didn’t see while guarding every step) but manages to catch the statues.

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Meanwhile, a couple dumbass workers (one of which is named Louie) push a piano along a sidewalk (instead of using a truck) and lose their grip on it. The piano goes downhill.

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Archie, who happens to be biking along, warns Smithers, who’s running. Um, what happened to guarding every step?

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Archie jumps off his bike and pushes Smithers out of the way, because he’s too stupid to realize a piano’s coming toward him. I assume this piano has wheels.

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Archie tries but fails to save the statues.

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Archie tries to fix them and apologizes to Smithers.

Smithers gets a funny line: “Who cares? They were merely worth millions.” Then he throws the statues away.

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Smithers bad-touches Archie in gratitude for saving his life and vows to be his “humble servant forever”.

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After Archie protests, Smithers undusts him.

Archie realizes he’s supposed to be home in a few minutes and worries. Smithers has an idea.

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At the Andrews’ house, Fred’s raking the leaves and wondering where Archie is.

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Don’t tell me that it took only a few minutes for the helicopter to come to their location, pick them up, and fly to Archie’s house.

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Fred’s pissed that they just destroyed two hours’ worth of work.

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Smithers takes Fred’s rake and gets to work.

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When Archie decides to cut the grass, Smithers abandons raking and takes over, basically forbidding Archie from doing any work whatsoever.

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Archie warns Smithers (too late) about the mower. If a grown man can’t handle it, what makes Archie think he can. By the way, yeah, this is total bullshit. Oh, well, Smithers doesn’t seem fazed by it.

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-19-Andrews-houseTNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-20-Archie-hammockTNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-21-Smithers-washes-Red
Later, Archie relaxes while Smithers washes “Master Red”.

Red runs away. Smithers, declaring “I am relentless”, gives chase, resulting in:

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-22-Smithers-Archie-hammockTNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-23-Veronica-Archie-SmithersTNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-24-Veronica
“What the fuck are you doing, Smithers?!”

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-25-Smithers-carries-Archie
Smithers explains. Then Archie pretends to be tired, so Smithers grabs his ass and carries him off to bed.

YOU THOUGHT I WAS JOKING.

Veronica vows to get Smithers back.

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Smithers has gotten Archie some new pajamas. Kinky.

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He even brushes Archie’s teeth, getting his mouth ready for his cock.

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Archie doesn’t feel sleepy, so Smithers serenades him.

By the way, check out that hitherto-unseen second bed. Smithers is sleeping in Archie’s bedroom. How are Archie’s parents okay with this?!

Oh, and you damn well know that second bed is just for appearances and will go unused.

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Archie wakes up later (in the middle of the night, apparently) and is relieved that Smithers is gone.

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Spoke too soon.

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Smithers starts feeding Archie, but, after only one bite, Archie refuses the rest. Smithers is amused and says “Now, let’s dress for school.” I guess he’s in a hurry to get the young boy naked.

Not to worry, the episode skips over that, literally cutting to the next scene and showing Archie running to the front door while Jughead calls out: “Hey, Arch!”

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-33-Archie-Jughead
Oh, look, Jughead’s at the door, and Archie greets him. I wonder if Jughead’s greeting to Archie wasn’t animated, so they just carelessly placed it before the door opened.

Anyway, Archie wants to get the fuck out of here before Smithers shows up.

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-34-Archie-Jughead-Smithers
Smithers rises up, like he passed through the floor out of the basement, and says “Halt! I shant let you scuff your tennies!” This results in Smithers giving Archie another piggy-back ride. Jughead wants in on it, too, but we never find out if Smithers obliges or not.

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At Riverdale Junior High School, Smithers has to undust Archie’s desk before he can sit down. Archie is pleased.

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Veronica isn’t, though. She’s pissed at both Smithers and Archie.

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Archie gets into it with Veronica.

Veronica tries to pull Smithers home with her (even though the school day just started), to no avail. Smithers refuses to go with her. She storms off. Where’s she going? Is she ditching school?

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-40-Smithers-thermometer
Smithers takes out a large thermometer (which he just keeps in his jacket), declares the room is one degree too warm (by whose standards?), and tries to cool it with a broom or mop or feather duster (which he also keeps in his jacket).

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Ms. Grundy finally shows up from wherever the fuck she’s been and calls out Smithers on his bullshit.

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She also mentions Archie is “plant monitor” and gives him a watering can to start watering the plants. Smithers won’t have that, though. He tells Archie to sit the fuck down and…

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Ms. Grundy is pissed, puts a dunce cap on Smithers, and tells him to sit in the corner.

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Smithers agrees with the punishment.

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Later, the coach tells the kids to do ten push-ups.

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Smithers comes by with a chair, has Archie sit, and does his push-ups for him.

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Well, tries to, anyway.

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After seeing Reggie do pull-ups Smithers tries to do them, and Reggie ends up helping him.

Question: Why the fuck are the teachers and students enabling this behavior?! Smithers should be told to leave school grounds, and, if he refuses, he should be escorted off and barred from re-entry.

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-54-Smithers-Reggie-2TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-55-Smithers-trackTNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-56-Smithers-weights
Anyway, Smithers continues to fail epicly at sports.

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The coach finally gets on Archie’s case about not exercising (took him long enough), but Smithers takes offense to the coach even yelling at Archie. Then the coach just gives up and walks away instead of enforcing the rules.

Archie says they’re even now, but Smithers won’t have it, because his “honor dictates” lifelong servitude to Archie.

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“After all, I have my dignity to uphold.” Okay, that’s pretty funny.

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Archie realizes he has to ditch Smithers.

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Archie and Jughead hide out in the theater. Jughead says Smithers will never find him in here.

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Archie’s eager to see a scary scene that he’s heard about.

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Smithers denies Archie the moment, though, for fear that Archie will have nightmares. If I was Archie, I would have physically assaulted Smithers right then and there, tearing into his flesh like a wild animal. Then I would have sued him for the cost of a movie ticket to see the film again.

Anyway, Archie freaks out, and then everyone else in the theater freaks out…for some reason.

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Archie and Jughead get the fuck out of there. Archie decides they’ll hide in the amusement park.

There are two frames of black space in my copy of the episode, and then the next scene abruptly starts.

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Let’s just dwell on the fact that Riverdale has an amusement park. Not a carnival that’s in town for a while. An actual amusement park. Little town, my ass.

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Archie and Jughead get in a bumper car.

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Somehow, Veronica has found them. Has she been following them around town, or did she just coincidentally decide to go to the amusement park after school and lucked out on coming across them? Anyway, she demands to know where Smithers is. Archie insists he doesn’t know.

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-68-Smithers-bumper-car
For fuck’s sake…

Veronica demands Smithers get over to her. He obliges (even though he had effectively quit his job) and…

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-69-Smithers-ejects
That’s what happens, man. Wear your fucking seatbelt.

Archie and Jughead quickly get out of their car and get out of there, sensing impending mayhem.

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They think they’re safe, but…

TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-71-Archie-Jughead-Smithers-popcornTNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-72-Archie-Jughead-Smithers-popcorn-2TNA-25-Take-My-Butler-Please-73-Archie-cries
Everyone runs away from Smithers, and then…

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You go, girl! Show him who’s boss!

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Actually, she just guilts him over her nightmarish life since he’s been gone. She had to butter her own toast this morning! Yesterday, she tripped, fell down, and had to pick herself up! Y’know, it’s kind of amazing that she’s able to function outside his presence. Oh, wait, no, it’s not; she does it all of the time on this show.

Anyway, Veronica finally admits she misses Smithers. Smithers misses her, too, but also manages to point out her faults. Veronica begs him to come home, saying she’ll be “extra awful”. That’s pretty funny. 🙂 Citing “a matter of honor”, Smithers declines to return. Veronica says she’s gonna hold her breath until he comes home, and then he just leaves. Ha.

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Archie has the idea to go on a boat ride, saying it “can’t fail”. See, when they spot Smithers, Archie will jump overboard. Smithers will dive into the river to save him, and they’ll be even. Solid plan, Arch.

Also, props to the show for actually putting a river in Riverdale. I really don’t recall seeing that in the comics.

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Smithers freaks the fuck out over Archie being on water.

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Unfortunately, Archie had put his feet on two large wads of gum and is now stuck. Ditto for Jughead. Um, gum isn’t that powerful, dudes.

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Archie cries out for help, because, um, reasons. Seriously, is this ride really unsafe?

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Smithers quickly takes off his jacket, kicks off his shoes, and dives into the river. I seriously doubt he’s had much (if any) experience doing this.

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After swimming for a while, Smithers suddenly remembers he can’t swim. *headdesk* THAT MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE! He starts flailing about in the water and cries out for help.

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Veronica kicks off her boots and rushes into the river to save Smithers.

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“You’re not drowning, you fucking dumbass! The water’s only two feet deep!”

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Archie and Jughead rush ashore, and Archie helps Veronica get Smithers out of the river.

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Since Veronica “saved” his life, Smithers will now serve her “forever” instead of Archie. Archie’s cool with that.

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Unfortunately for Veronica, Smithers won’t even allow her to apply her own lipstick.

Smithers vows, when they get home, he’ll wash her hair and paint her toes, and Veronica runs the fuck away before she can hear anything even creepier.

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“Hahahaha, isn’t the creepy old man just hilarious?!”

Archie even yells “Go get her, Smitty!”

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“Get the fuck away from me, you old fucking pervert!”

This segment…Goddess, this fucking segment. Seriously, Smithers, what the fuck?!

Comics – It’s in Her Kiss

cheryl-blossom-23
Writer: Holly G! (Holly Golightly)*
Pencils: Holly G!*
Inking: Rudy Lapick*
Lettering: Bill Yoshida*
Coloring: Barry Grossman*
Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 23
Cover Date: June, 1999
Length: 5 pages

*Only the lead story in the issue is credited. I assume the credits apply to all of the stories.

Before I get into the story, I want to address some material earlier in this issue, which, due to my reviewing “Friendly Fire” from homemade scans, I didn’t make note of in that review. Between Parts 1 and 2, there’s a page of “Cheryl Blossom Sunroom Swimsuits” fashions submitted by fans. Between Parts 2 and 3, there’s a page of fan art.

All of Cheryl’s outfits in this story are by Hillary Child of Lansing, Michigan.

Cheryl is lounging on a chair in her room and excitedly checking out the lip gloss making kit that she’d ordered from her Dee-La’s catalog. Meanwhile, Sugar is checking out the packing peanuts that have fallen out of the box. Cheryl has pictures of herself (actually, just the same picture repeated) on her wall as well as a large picture of Sugar (complete with her name). She has blossom wallpaper and a lamp with a funky shade. A continuity error has Cheryl at a yellow table briefly before being back in her chair. Anyway, the kit has a bunch of fruit flavors (Sugar is eager to try them out). Cheryl decides to use Archie as a “guinea pig” to test her “concoction”. She wonders what flavor would be the most irresistible.

Back at the yellow table (which is a distance from her chair), Cheryl, a bit full of herself, decides to use all of the flavors, including strawberry, watermelon, peach, and cherry. Sugar, standing up on her hind legs, is watching and basically like “What the fuck you doin’, you crazy bitch?”

A few hours later, Cheryl calls Archie and invites him to meet her down at the mall, because she wants to “try out something new” on him. He has Jughead (who’s watching TV) over and mentions this to him. Archie’s excited and in love, but Jughead smells trouble and decides to come with him, because, y’know, that’s a perfectly normal thing to do (about as normal as ditching your friend at your own house to meet a girl at the mall, which I assume was Archie’s intention). Archie’s like “Whatevs.”

Later, at the mall, Archie’s orgasming over Cheryl, even though she looks no different than usual and isn’t wearing anything particularly special. Jughead’s unimpressed. Cheryl checks her watch and notes Archie is “on time as usual”. Ahahahahahaha! One of the most undeserved compliments ever! Jughead thinks Archie’s making an ass of himself over Cheryl. Cheryl asks Archie if he notices anything “irresistible” about her. He mentions her hair and “sparkling” eyes.

She points out her lips, which he calls “luscious”. Jughead frantically gives out a “B V alert”. Veronica alerts Betty to Cheryl being “up to her old tricks again”. Oh, we’re back to that old thing where Cheryl and Archie agreeing to go out constitutes Cheryl being “up to her old tricks”? This is, in no way, a normal reaction. Speaking of abnormal reactions, Betty positively freaks out over Cheryl about to kiss Archie, even though she regularly shares Archie with Veronica. Jughead shoves Archie away and tells him to run. Veronica and Betty get him. An art mistake results in Veronica’s shirt disappearing from under her dress for one panel before reappearing. Yeah, Veronica’s wearing a red sleeveless dress (way too dressed up for the mall) over a white shirt, and Betty’s wearing a Hello Kitty crop top. Anyway, Jughead is relieved, saying “That was close!”, even though he had told Archie to run as the girls were approaching. So…why was he worried, and why is he not worried now? Anyway, Archie compliments the girls’ looks, but Betty knows he’s just trying to cover his ass.

Cheryl’s pissed. Jughead smells something good (including bananas and cherries) and realizes “that scrumptious aroma” is coming from Cheryl’s lips, which freaks her out. Meanwhile, Archie has fed Veronica and Betty a bullshit story that Cheryl and Jughead were meeting, and Archie was going along to play video games. They don’t buy it. Then they see a lustful Jughead chasing after a frightened Cheryl. Veronica tells Archie that they’ll never doubt him again, and Betty gives him some loving. Archie’s satisfied.

Much like “Brotherly Love”, this story is ruined by a bad ending, where Cheryl is made out to be the bad guy simply for dating Archie. Also, Veronica and Betty are idiots for believing Cheryl has any interest in Jughead, especially since they had just seen her about to kiss Archie and would have seen/heard Jughead shoving Archie away and telling him to run.

Comics – Taking Care of Business

Betty-and-Veronica-257.jpg
Writer: Paul Kupperberg
Pencils: Jeff Shultz
Inking: Jim Amash
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica, No. 257
Cover Date: February, 2012
On-Sale Date: December 21, 2011
Length: 24 pages

At the Lodges’ winter lodge (the Lodge Lodge, if you will), as Betty waits to leave on a trip, Veronica is rattling off instructions to Smithers to take care of her shit. Betty points out that there’s a snowstorm on the way, it’s getting late, and they should’ve been on the road an hour ago. They leave the lodge. Veronica’s confident that she’ll have them down the mountain and on the road in no time. Betty pulls Veronica away as she’s about to give Smithers more instructions. Betty says bye to Smithers. Smithers says bye to Betty and wishes (just?) Betty a safe trip.

As they drive off, the girls argue over Veronica’s delegation of tasks to her staff.

As Veronica talks about her travel plan, a deer crosses the road, and Veronica swerves off the road to avoid it, telling Betty to hold on.

They crash into a log. Dazed, Veronica gets out of the car, berating the “stupid deer”. She realizes Betty is in a lot worse shape.

Veronica opens the door. Betty’s still conscious, and Veronica helps “hun” out. Betty asks what happened, and Veronica explains. As Veronica helps her sit on a rock, Betty asks why everything’s spinning. Veronica explains Betty hit her head, says (without proof) she’ll be okay, and tells her to rest. Veronica goes to get her cell phone (to call the lodge) and some other stuff from the car – just before it breaks the log and crashes into some bushes.

Betty falls off the rock. Veronica helps her up and tells her to stay awake, because she might have a concussion. Betty’s tired, but Veronica orders “hun” to her feet. Betty agrees with “Mom”.

Veronica isn’t getting a cell signal, and she sits on a log and panics, convinced they’ll freeze to death. She asks Betty for help. Betty stands up, supporting herself on a tree branch, and suggests making hot cocoa, because it’s very cold. Veronica knows Betty is in no shape to help.

Veronica realizes it’s all on her. She helps Betty sit down but tells her to keep talking and stay awake. Veronica is determined to keep them going until a search party arrives. She’s well aware that everyone thinks she’s helpless without her staff, but she decides, as the supposed future leader of Lodge Industries, to prove she can handle things. She starts thinking of their situation as running a business.

Betty asks for the cocoa. First, though, Veronica makes a makeshift tent out of a fallen branch and plastic rain ponchos. She has Betty get into the tent and instructs her to stay awake.

Veronica goes out and gathers dry wood for a later fire (capital in reserve). She goes back to the tent to check on Betty, who’s sleepy and cold and really wants that cocoa now. Veronica tells “hun” that she’ll get it soon and tells her to stay awake. Betty doesn’t know if she can.

Veronica suggests singing (keeping up morale), so they sing “Let It Snow”.

Later, Betty’s snoring wakes Veronica up. Veronica is momentarily disoriented as to where she is and surprised by Betty’s snoring (but not concerned that she’s asleep) but then, to her delight, realizes her shelter worked, and they made it through the storm. She takes the wood that she’d gathered and clears a space for a fire.

Lacking matches, she uses her nail file and a hitherto-unmentioned piece of quartz that she’d found to start a fire. Veronica keeps making business comparisons as she rips up a magazine to feed the fire.

She gets out her cell phones (or hers and Betty’s), realizes there’s still no reception, but remembers the built-in GPS tracking. She leaves only one on at a time to conserve batteries. Betty wakes up, disappointed that last night wasn’t just a dream. Veronica asks “hun” how she’s feeling.

Betty insists to “Ronnie” that she’s fine, despite Veronica guessing she has a concussion. Betty seems to prove her right and admits it. She’s surprised that Veronica made the shelter and the fire and jokes Smithers found them. Veronica threatens to not share a chicken salad sandwich with her. Betty compliments Veronica.

They talk for a bit as they eat. Betty’s head hurts. Veronica tells her to rest and leaves the tent. Betty says she’s the boss. Veronica tells “baby” that she’s “the chairwoman of the board”. She climbs a snow bank to reach the road but falls and crashes into a tree so hard that she knocks it over a bit. Betty cracks a joke. Bitch.

Veronica starts up a huge, smoky fire (advertising) with some wet wood to attract the attention of the search party. Betty uses some nylon thread and a safety pin from the sewing kit to make a fishing line. Veronica praises her “employee” and also mentions they fish in the river all winter long at the lodge. Veronica gives Betty a “raise”, paid in fish. Betty’s over the business comparisons.

Veronica feeds the fire, names her business “Survival, Incorporated”, and uses a protein bar as bait to catch fish. She catches something. In her battle with “Mr. Fish”, Veronica “The Closer” Lodge falls flat on her ass. Checking to make sure that Betty didn’t see (she didn’t), she tries again. She eventually catches two fish. Betty feels guilty for letting Veronica do all of the work. Veronica tasks Betty with cleaning and cooking the fish. Betty notes more snow is coming.

As she cleans the fish with a nail file, Betty apologizes to Veronica for her earlier comments, saying, when it really mattered, Veronica stepped up and got the job done. Betty adds Veronica probably even saved her life. Betty calls Veronica her best friend and says she loves her. She starts to thank her for something else but then hears snoring and realizes Veronica’s fallen asleep in the tent. Betty tells “Madam Chairwoman” to sleep tight, saying she’s earned it.

The next morning, Veronica wakes up and sits bolt upright at the sound of a voice outside saying there’s nothing down here. Betty slowly wakes up. Angry at being ignored, Veronica gets out of the tent and screams at the rescuers.

Shortly, Veronica and Betty have been pulled up and are being informed by the sheriff (I guess) of the storm delaying their search. He praises Veronica for leaving on her cell phone, so they could track her by GPS. Mr. Lodge arrives, overjoyed that the girls are all right. They were worried sick. Veronica is modest regarding their survival, so Betty tells him the truth. Hiram asks Veronica for confirmation. Veronica says she learned from watching him. He says he’s the world’s worst camper, but Veronica clarifies she was “just taking care of business–Lodge style”. Betty calls Veronica “girlfriend”. The end.

This was a really nice, warm, moving story. There are certain things that I find questionable (the “tent” of plastic ponchos held up by one branch, Veronica starting a fire with a nail file and quartz, Betty just getting over a concussion), but it’s a wonderful exploration of Veronica Lodge as a character and of the Betty/Veronica friendship. Or is it more than friendship?

The story’s only flaw (if you can even call it a flaw) is it’s very basic in a lot of the conversation and actions, feeling decompressed. This review is actually shorter than a lot of my reviews of 20-page stories. Oh, well.

After the story is a one-page “sneak peak” of the alternate cover for the issue (I guess ultimately unpublished, since GCDb doesn’t have it indexed) and an Everything’s Archie preview page. I actually love the alternate cover a lot more than the cover that they went with. It’s very dramatic, showing the immediate aftermath of the accident with a panicking Veronica; the deer running away; and a very dazed, injured Betty sitting in the snow.

Comics – Fall

Betty-and-Veronica-2.jpgWriter: Jamie Lee Rotante
Line Art: Sandra Lanz
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica, Vol. 4, No. 2
Cover Date: March, 2019
On-Sale Date: January 30, 2019
Length: 20 pages

Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page.

Veronica is working as the new editorial intern at Sparkle Publishing. She’s in the middle of a phone call, makes a Baby Spice reference, and then has to convince the person that she’s speaking with that she knows who that is. Cute. 🙂 Ginger comes by and asks Veronica if she’s busy. Nah, of course not. That’s why she was in the middle of a business call.

Outside, Ginger asks Veronica how she likes the internship so far. Veronica likes it. It comes natural to her. Ginger’s dad has taken notice of how Veronica dealt with a minor situation in the break room, so Ginger brings up Veronica having her own column in print. In print?! Holy shit! Um, who cares? What teen is gonna go out and read a column in a print magazine? Anyway, Veronica is excited, assuming it’s a fashion column, but it’s actually an advice column. Veronica doubts she’s the right person for it and suggests Betty as a better fit. Rather than address that, Ginger asks about Betty, noting she hardly sees her anymore.

Veronica flashes back to the pinky-swear pact and learning from Reggie that Betty’s with Archie. Ginger calls Veronica back to the present. Veronica says they’re busy and can’t even meet up themselves. Ginger asks about the advice column, and Veronica doesn’t seem to have an answer.

Betty’s volunteering at a Habitat For Humanity knockoff, and Jughead comes by and pesters her to let him interview her for The Blue and Gold about it, despite her wanting to stay out of the spotlight.

Archie’s here, shirtless and showing off for the ladies. Betty asks Jughead about it. Jughead guesses it’s just another stop on his Bettering Himself Tour. Betty flashes back to drunkenly kissing Archie on the cheek. Raj let Jughead borrow his camera to get some “action shots” of Betty at work. Betty abruptly asks Jughead for the time (because it’s not like she has a cell phone or anything). Jughead seems to guess 4:15. Betty was supposed to tutor Moose at 4:00. Abandoning the tools and her current work, she runs off, saying they’ll have to reschedule the interview. Jughead says it’s due tomorrow, but Betty either doesn’t hear him or doesn’t give a shit.

Betty arrives at Moose’s house and sees Midge outside. He’s still home, and Midge is hoping Betty can get through to him. Betty tries to reassure her of Moose’s feelings for her, but Midge isn’t convinced and angrily leaves.

In the living room, Betty asks Moose if he’s okay. Moose asks her if she thinks he’s an idiot. She says no. He’s convinced everyone else at Riverdale High thinks he is. He can’t do anything except play football, and he can’t even do that anymore, losing out on every football scholarship that he’d applied for. He’s convinced he’s gonna work at his dad’s fishing shop for the rest of his life. Betty tries to encourage him. Moose is doubtful, having missed a month of school. Betty is confident. Moose compares her favorably to Veronica.

Later, as Betty arrives home, she checks her messages. She got a text from Veronica at 4:45 PM, inviting her to Pop’s “around 6ish”. Betty apologizes, saying her tutoring session ran long. She also apologizes to her mom for being late for dinner. Alice informs her that Hal lost his job today. Hal explains there were a lot of layoffs. Betty offers to get a part-time job at the bijou. Hal says she’s too busy and tells her to leave it to them. He also mentions they have an emergency college fund for her but then says no more about it. I wonder what the implication is. Are they gonna dip into it? Alice seconds what Hal said. Hal is hopeful that Betty will get a Pickens scholarship, which will help them out.

Meanwhile, at Lodge Manor, Veronica is checking her texts. She and Betty have to keep putting off seeing each other, due to school obligations. I don’t know if students’ lives during senior year are so hectic today, but I certainly don’t remember being that busy when I was in high school (I graduated in 1996). Of course, I pretty much knew I’d just be attending the local community college, which was near my high school, anyway, so that might explain why I didn’t feel so much pressure. I never did the whole “go away to college” thing. Any younger readers, what are your thoughts on how this series portrays the lives of high school seniors today?

Anyway, Hermione and Hiram come in. Hermione asks Veronica how her day was. It was busy, full of hard work. Veronica senses something’s up. Hiram pretty much insists Veronica attend Hitchens. Veronica agrees to send her application in on Monday. Hiram dismisses that, deciding to pull some strings. Veronica shuts that down right away. She learns from Hiram that the lumber factory just laid off ten people, including Betty’s dad (Hiram is more concerned about how this affects his architectural firm). Veronica needs to call Betty and makes her parents put off their discussion until later.

Veronica calls Betty, and the two of them catch up. Neither of them have applied to Pickens yet, so Betty suggests they both do it now, together, while on the phone. Veronica uses her laptop. Betty fills out a paper application, shockingly seeming to not have a computer. I really don’t find that credible. My parents and I have never held great jobs, but I’m currently on my fourth PC, and my mom has a PC and a laptop. I also have a tablet. We both worked at Walmart until a little over three years ago; now, it’s just me; my dad died five years ago and hadn’t worked for years before that. Betty seems to imply her mom works, so both of her parents were working until just today. And they couldn’t buy even one cheap computer at Walmart for use by the entire family?

Also, before I move on, I need to address the (rejection?) letters that Veronica got from various colleges. There’s Midvale College, Central State, University of Greendale, and Hitchens. Midvale is where Josie and the Pussycats live (in some continuities). Greendale is where Sabrina lives (again, in some continuities). Central is one of Riverdale High’s rivals. Those, in addition to the local Pickens University, total four local institutes of higher learning. There is one college and one technical institute in my county, so Riverdale’s definitely gotta be a more urban environment, yet the lumber factory is one of its “largest industries”. Is Riverdale supposed to be the size of Tampa, Florida, or Forks, Washington?

Some time later, Betty and Toni are walking along a sidewalk. Leaves are falling. Halloween decorations have been set up. Toni asks how college applications are going. Betty’s sent out a bunch and is focusing on scholarship essays now. That’s something else that I never did. Toni’s sent out one application, because it costs $60.00 to apply each time. Betty never thought of that, because her parents have been helping her out with that. They arrive at the park (I guess) and sit on a bench. Toni says Betty’s lucky. Betty agrees but isn’t happy about it. Toni asks her about her and Veronica’s matching Halloween costumes for the dance. They’ve been so busy that they haven’t had the time. Betty watches Archie and Jughead throw a football back and forth and seems to feel guilty about the near-kiss.

Throughout October, Betty and Veronica go into overdrive. Oddly, they both pose in the same weird black dress for their yearbook photos, looking almost gothy but not quite. Betty doesn’t even smile.

On Monday morning, at Riverdale High School, Veronica’s applying her lipstick while looking in her locker’s mirror and casually greets Betty when the latter sleepily bangs her head into the next locker. Veronica has been meaning to talk to her about that night at Pickens. Before she can say anything, though, a pissed Ehtel comes by and manhandles (womanhandles?) Betty off to the cafeteria for the student election meeting. Apparently, in addition to being Ethel’s campaign manager, Betty is also “potential vice president of the student council”. I wonder if Betty had any input in that. Betty apologetically looks at Veronica as she’s dragged off.

In homeroom, Ginger comes by and gives Veronica something that she forgot to give her on Friday: an envelope full of money. Veronica protests, since she’s interning for college credit. Ginger (and George, the head editor at Sparkle) insists. Ginger wants Veronica to pass on a greeting from George to Hiram. Veronica is pissed.

In the cafeteria, Ms. Grundy leads the student election meeting, which Betty sleeps through, which pisses Ethel off. After the meeting. Ethel yells at Betty, and so does Midge, who’s jealous of Betty’s tutoring lessons with Moose. Betty’s like “The fuck?!” Seriously, it was Midge’s idea for Betty to tutor Moose. Betty seriously should just tell both of these bitches to fuck off.

Veronica’s on the phone with her dad and is arguing with him about him pulling strings. She angrily tears down and crumples a flier from the bulletin board for a Lodge Enterprises internship. She and Betty run into each other in a hallway and hug. Betty asks Veronica about Pickens. Veronica puts it off in favor of discussing Halloween costumes.

On Halloween, Betty and Veronica walk arm-in-arm into the Riverdale High gym for the party. Betty’s a devil, and Veronica’s an angel. Veronica excuses herself to take a piss and/or shit. Betty tries to talk to Ethel, but Ethel goes and sits with someone else, so Betty banters for a bit with Jughead.

In the hallway, Veronica meets up with Reggie. Reggie wants her to get him some alone time with Betty. After a moment, Veronica seems to agree. Betty comes out, looking for Ronnie. She sees Veronica and Reggie seeming to kiss (it isn’t clearly shown) and walks off, upset. Veronica calls out to her and goes outside, but Betty’s nowhere to be seen, just leaves blowing in the wind.

The next story will supposedly offer resolutions.

After the story is a one-page cover gallery for this issue, a page of fan art, an ad for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix, and the cover for the next issue (occurring during New Year’s Eve) with a blurb that teases more drama.

This is another good issue. I look forward to the next one.

Comics – Faith, Hope and Cheryl!

Cheryl-Blossom-Special-2.jpg
Writer: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Bill Golliher
Inking: Rudy Lapick
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Scott Fulop
Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 2
Cover Date: 1995
Length: 16 pages (including a 6-page reprint)

One day (presumably Friday) at Pembrooke Academy, at the end of the school day, Cheryl and Jason are leaving their Sociology class, but their teacher, Mr. Goodfellow, wants to see them. Jason’s supposed to meet the guys at the yacht club, and Cheryl wants to go, too, to hang with Jason’s “good-looking” friends. He offers them extra credit. Jason’s grades could use a boost, so he agrees. Not to be outshone, Cheryl agrees as well. Mr. Goodfellow tells them to do volunteer work of their choice and report back to him at the end of the month. The one that does the most work gets the most bonus grade points. Jason and Cheryl exchange some trash talk. This is all a social experiment being conducted by Mr. Goodfellow: making “the most selfish, snobbish students at Pembrooke” do volunteer work; he just hopes he hasn’t unleashed anything too terrible on the world.

Jason finds some causes listed on the bulletin board, and they both decide to be big siblings. Oh, Cheryl casually mentions Archie. Cedric overhears and mentions an incident from “a while back”. This leads to Jason remembering “Color Coded“, and so we’re in flashback/reprint mode now. There are four alterations to the story, from what I can tell:

*Jason suggests something “frivolous” to be painted on Archie’s car instead of something “gay-frivolous”.

*Jason calls Elmo the Spray Doctor an “artist” instead of an “artiste”. I don’t know which possibility is worse: a misguided “correction” or intentional dumbing down.

*Part of Cheryl’s dialogue (“we’ll fool around–“) is removed, and her word balloon is made smaller.

*The “HAH” at the right side of the final panel is recolored from yellow to red, possibly to contrast better against the yellow bijou building.

On Saturday morning, Cheryl speeds in her pink sports car (almost running over a cat and an old lady) to meet her little sibling in a ghetto area. She has a head start on Jason, since she’d stopped at the organization yesterday afternoon.

At the house, Cheryl shakes hands with and introduces herself to a girl named Kay. She decides the house is depressing and pretty much kidnaps Kay, to her mother’s surprise.

Before I move on, I gotta note the cute vanity plate on the front of Cheryl’s car: 2RCH4U.

As she drives, Cheryl decides to call Kay Constance (since Kay is “so common”). At a stoplight, Jason meets up with her. He has two little brothers, due to registering with several agencies. Jason drives off, honking his horn. Deciding this is war, Cheryl has “Constance” give her a list of all of her friends.

Jason and his “brothers” are just leaving the billiards hall (the kids apparently didn’t do too well). Cheryl shows up with six girls crammed into her sports car (which I’m pretty sure is illegal), mentions taking them for mani-pedis, and then takes off. Jason decides to round up more kids before the big street hockey game.

At the salon, a girl asks Cheryl for ice cream. Cheryl agrees if they can work it in between the aerobics class and their massage appointments.

As the weeks go by, Jason teaches his boys to throw rotten fruit at carnival performers and hit on waitresses with lame pick-up lines. Cheryl takes her girls out for sushi (which possibly makes one of them sick), to yoga class, and to the hair salon (overdoing it with the hair).

Cheryl and Jason have dressed their kids like themselves. The girls run into the boys on the street, and Cheryl instructs them to ignore their lame pick-up lines. Jason and Cheryl decide to call it even for the rest of the month, but then Cheryl realizes their kids have disappeared.

The kids find Mr. Goodfellow’s house and complain to him. The girls are worried about Cheryl’s potential plans to take them helicopter skiing in Aspen, and the boys are worried about Jason’s definitive plans of a cliff-diving trip to Acapulco. Mr. Goodfellow decides to see if Cheryl’s Riverdale friends will take on the kids.

The next day, Mr. Goodfellow has Jason and Cheryl stay after class and come with him. Soon, they arrive in an area of Riverdale and see the kids playing baseball with Archie and Betty. Cheryl plans to yell at the kids for seeing other “big siblings” behind their backs, but Mr. Goodfellow points out that they’re happy, carefree, and having a good time (although, I have to point out, one of the girls is wearing a cap with Archie’s face on it). Cheryl takes this to mean he’s saying they weren’t doing a good job. He says maybe they just aren’t suited to working with children and suggests the elderly. Cheryl thinks that’s a great idea. Jason says at least they won’t have to use fake I.D.s (what the hell was he having his boys do?). Mr. Goodfellow tells them to give it their best shot. Cheryl thinks she’ll do well with old people, because she calls Grandma every Christmas.

So, naturally, Cheryl takes two old women named Madge and Clara to a Squashing Tomatoes concert. Cheryl gave Madge pumps, but they’re murder on her bunions. Clara thought they were going to a Sinatra concert.

This story is pretty fun. Sure, Cheryl and Jason went overboard and tried to mold the kids into younger versions of themselves, but, with the exception of the potential ski trip, I think Cheryl was generally a better big sibling than her brother.