The New Archies, Segment 06 – Sir Jughead Jones

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Writer: Kimmer Ringwald
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, September 26, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:20

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Miss Grundy’s class is on a field trip to the museum. She points out a 2,000-year-old, $1,000,000 vase (which, of course, has no security around it).

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Jughead makes a dumb joke, and he and Archie yuck it up.

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Reggie acts all sophisticated and shit and criticizes them.

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Veronica claims they have three or four of these vases at home; her daddy uses them for trash cans.

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Veronica accidentally tips the vase over, and they get out of there. A security guard notices, rushes over, and catches it.

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He then decides to undust it. Guess what happens.

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Close. The force of his own sneeze knocks him back…somehow. He collides with the students and knocks them back. Then he’s launched forward, hits the pedestal, and tries to catch the vase for a bit; it eventually falls on the floor and shatters.

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This causes Dr. Wily to flip his shit and try to take over the world again.

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Nah, this is some dude associated with the museum and/or vase (they don’t say). He declares his life is over, but Veronica tells him to quit his fucking whining and assures him that she’s all right. Hehehe, okay, that was pretty funny. Not funny if the dude ends up killing himself but, y’know, funny for now.

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Later, Miss Grundy presents “the famous Gugenstein collection”.

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Betty appreciates it. Veronica doesn’t. Betty wants to own just one of these multi-thousand-dollar paintings. Veronica says her daddy bought a truckful of them; they use them for wallpaper. Betty is irritated at Veronica. Jughead makes another dumb joke. Betty likes it. Veronica doesn’t and walks away. Reggie sides Veronica and criticizes the lower-class dumbasses. Jughead makes yet another dumb joke, but, at least this time, the others groan at it (in addition to laughing).

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Reggie walks over to Veronica and tries to compare himself favorably to her, calling the others “all peasants”. He notices the portrait that Veronica’s looking at:

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Yeah, it turns out that Jughead is descended from nobility, and his noble ancestor just happened to have his name. How has this never been discovered before?!

Veronica and Reggie immediately decide to become really close to Jughead, because he might be “heir to the Jones family fortune”. Yeah, this is the contrived plot that they’re going with this time.

Time for a daydream sequence, courtesy of Veronica:

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…and Reggie (much to Veronica’s irritation). Okay, that’s kinda funny.

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Anyway, Veronica and Reggie agree to team up to become Jughead’s new best friends in order to benefit from his supposed wealth that they don’t even know exists.

These characters are behaving more like elementary students than junior high students.

Veronica is gonna call her daddy, whose lawyers will find out if Jughead is related to the viscount that shares his name and looks just like him. Why not find out if he really has a fortune, dumbass?

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Reggie decides to hide the portrait, so the others won’t see it and want in on the fortune. Veronica believes sharing money is a “disgusting idea”.

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Reggie covers the portrait with a cover that had been over a chair for whatever reason. I guess he assumes no one will uncover the portrait before the class leaves the museum.

And apparently they don’t. Huh.

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Through Veronica’s doing, Mr. Lodge buys every piece of art in the gallery and sends a moving van (apparently from his own moving company) to the museum to pick it up. Naturally, the van is parked right behind the (unmarked) school bus.

Anyway, this leads to Dr. Wily cutting the field trip short and kicking them out.

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Cute. ūüôā

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Back at Riverdale Junior High, Veronica and Reggie suck up to “Juggie”.

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Archie and Betty are going to Pop’s after school for pizza and invite Jughead to come along, but “Juggie” is coming to tea at Veronica’s mansion after school.

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At the Lodge mansion, Veronica shows Jughead the portrait. Jughead exclaims “Wow! Dig this!” I distinctly remember a commercial for “The New Archies” (I believe on The Family Channel in the early 1990s) in which this line was dubbed over footage of Jughead messing with the spaceship in “The Visitor“. Just an interesting choice of editing that I thought I’d point out.

Veronica reveals her daddy’s lawyers traced Jughead’s family, confirming Jughead is related to the guy that looks exactly like him and has his name (the twists and turns that this story takes…). She says he’s the heir to “the Jones family fortune and title”. Jughead asks what he does now. Veronica summons Smithers.

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Veronica gives Jughead a jacket as the first step in getting him ready for his “new circle of friends”. Jughead says he’s “already got a bunch of good friends”, but Veronica and Reggie won’t have it.

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Oh, no, she didn’t!

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Veronica gives Jughead a new hat.

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Reggie gives him a scarf and uses the opportunity to cop a feel. Veronica calls Jughead “Juggiekins”. *vomits* She then actually bows to him and dubs him “Sir Jughead Jones”. Why not Forsythe?

Jughead’s impressed with this for whatever reason.

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Veronica tries to get Jughead to act all sophisticated and shit, but he gives her “some skin”.

After some banter, Veronica allows Reggie, the “much bigger snob” (yeah, right), to teach Jughead how to be a snob.

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At a baseball game, Jughead’s already acting snobby, and Archie’s getting sick of this shit.

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The things that Veronica will do for (more) money…

Jughead then rejects all of her bats and takes another one. Veronica drops the bats in frustration.

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Jughead gets Reggie to undust his shoe.

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Betty pitches.

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Jughead hits the ball and then summons Smithers to run the bases for him, which is illegal, but the show never addresses it.

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Smithers, who isn’t exactly in the best of shape, dives for home, creating a dust cloud, and is tagged out by Archie. Jughead disputes it, and Archie calls him out on his latest bullshit.

Side note: during this argument, the animators went the extra mile and had Smithers gasping for breath.

“Sir Jughead Jones” leaves with Veronica and “Reginald”, leaving “Archibald” to his “uncivilized” game.

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Later, Jughead is playing croquet with a rich, snobby Archie clone named Winthrop.

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Jughead summons “Reginald” to carry him to his ball. Even Winthrop is surprised at this level of snobbery.

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For some reason, Archie, Betty, and Eugene have come to watch this game. Eugene states the obvious.

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Reggie fetches a chair, so Jughead can sit.

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Jughead has Veronica bring him some lemonade, and Reggie’s just about had enough of this bullshit. Veronica agrees but reminds him that Jughead’s family fortune is arriving today, so they’ve gotta kiss his ass.

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As if on cue, a limousine arrives, and Veronica somehow knows it’s carrying the Jones family fortune. The stuffy, rich dude is (get this) Horace T. Silverspoon, Esquire. He officially announces the fortune of Viscount Forsythe P. Jones now belongs to his heir, and he uses Jughead’s nickname instead of his legal name.

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Jughead gets the viscount’s crown and bag of marbles.

All of the actual valuables are gone, because the viscount spent all of his fortune buying “beanie weenies” for the peasants.

Also, royalty turned their backs on the viscount for “behavior unbecoming a member of the upper crust”.

Somehow, none of this information was uncovered beforehand.

Anyway, Winthrop claims he knew Jughead was full of shit all along and leaves.

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Veronica and Reggie are pissed. Veronica takes back her fancy shit (except the jacket, which Reggie takes, though presumably he’ll give it to Veronica). They leave, and the departing limo blows exhaust in Jughead’s face, sending him into a coughing fit.

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Jughead is sad, but Archie and Betty come by, and Archie asks him if he’s okay. Jughead admits he was an asshole.

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Betty doesn’t exactly agree, but she doesn’t exactly dispute it either.

Jughead wishes he’d realized being Jughead is just fine earlier.

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Archie crowns Jughead with his old crown (I guess), which he got from Veronica (I guess).

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Betty and Archie take Jughead to Pop’s for a burger. Jughead guesses, with pals like them, he’s a rich guy after all. They all have a laugh over this “joke” (which really didn’t seem like a joke, but whatever).

This segment was okay. It was mildly entertaining. However, like all of these segments, it “works” only due to a jump to conclusions and a lack of information.

Tune in next Wednesday!

The New Archies, Segment 05 – I Gotta Be Me or Is It You?

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Writer: Jon Cohen
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, September 26, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:21

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In the school gym, Archie and Eugene play basketball. Eugene asks Archie if he’s gonna ask somebody to the “after-school rock¬†hop”. Archie says yeah. Eugene asks how to do it. Archie says just walk up and ask. Eugene lacks confidence.

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Apparently, Reggie’s playing too. He asks Eugene who he has in mind. Take a guess. You’re right.

Oh, Eugene says “Kinda, sorta, yeah” twice. No reason for it. It’s really odd.

Eugene is intimidated, because Amani is “hip, happenin’, together”. He then squats, makes constipation grunts, and tries to take a dump.

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YOU THOUGHT I WAS JOKING.

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Archie and Reggie encourage Eugene to ask Amani.

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Then they just abruptly run away, leaving him alone. Seriously. It’s fucking hilarious. Eugene mopes to himself.

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In class, Miss Grundy concludes the discussion on the life cycle of the white rat. Shockingly, no one has any questions.

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Amani is daydreaming about having Eugene’s huge cock in her mouth.

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So is Eugene.

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Miss Grundy has Eugene pass tonight’s homework assignment out.

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Eugene tells Amani that he’s giving her tonight’s assignment, and she takes it without a word. Eugene is dejected that she “doesn’t even know [he’s] alive”.

More importantly, though, he handed her the one copy of the assignment that he had held onto, and the story doesn’t even address it.

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The reason that Amani ignored him, though, was because she’s infatuated with his photo (huh?), which she keeps in her book.

Miss Grundy dismisses the class. No bell rings at all.

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Mr. Weatherbee stops outside the door and farts around with his appearance (he has a crush on Miss Grundy) long enough to be “surprised” by the students running out into the hallway. He doesn’t admonish them at all.

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Miss Grundy has to tell a daydreaming Amani that class is dismissed. Amani knocks the cage (which Miss Grundy had set on the edge of Amani’s desk for whatever fucking reason) over, and the white rat gets out.

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Mr. Weatherbee has a delayed reaction, the reaction being running around the classroom and engaging in slapstick humor like a fucking toddler before finally:

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“It’s okay, I still love you.”

Miss Grundy puts “killer” (not sure if it’s the rat’s actual name or not) back in its cage. She says Amani is usually one of her best students and asks if there’s something on her mind. Amani says no. Mr. Weatherbee falls over, and trash flies everywhere. Ha.

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In the…dance hall (or whatever the fuck this building is; they had the Sadie Hawkins Day dance in the gym), Veronica, Betty, and Amani are putting up the decorations. What’s with this series and kids using ladders? Riverdale Junior High would get sued into oblivion.

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Anyway, Amani is daydreaming and has Eugene’s photo taped to the fucking ladder. Guess where this is going.

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Sued into oblivion, I say!

Veronica chews out Amani.

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Eugene’s photo floats down to Amani, even though she and Betty had climbed up the ladder. Betty learns of Amani’s hunger for Eugene’s geekcock and suggests they “talk”.

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After the commercial break, Archie tries to cheer Eugene up by suggesting the tried-and-true trip to the science museum.

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Eugene’s like “Amani makes my thingy feel good.”

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After some banter, Reggie, a self-described “pro”, decides to give Eugene a “new image”. This does not bode well.

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Betty has the same idea, and she and Veronica take Amani to, of all places, a motherfucking antique shop. That’s great if Amani wants to wear the latest 1900s fashions. Betty actually blames Eugene for being not fashionable. Veronica piles on by saying Eugene’s a nerd even by nerds’ standards. Oh, and then Betty calls Eugene a dumbass (which is the opposite of what Veronica was saying). How does this relate to Amani getting a makeover?

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Veronica and Betty continue piling on insults. Look at Betty. That’s her best “trying to be tactful but really enjoying myself” face.

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Betty and Veronica insult Eugene some more, and then Amani comes out in her new “dull and boring” look.

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The bitches approve, but then Veronica adds the finishing touch:

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Success!

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At Reggie’s house, Reggie, ever the showman, presents “Gene the Riverdale Hipness Machine”.

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Of course, this being Reggie, he dressed Eugene as a “Miami Vice” reject.

Third segment in a row with this shit. What the fuck?

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Anyway, Archie and Jughead approve, and then Jughead swallows some falling fruit that he’d been juggling (because that’s a totally safe thing to do), amazing Archie.

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“Gene” references someone named Monty (probably not Monty Hall, but I don’t know who else) and then does a white-person’s interpretation of how black people dance.

He then trips over himself and falls on something (off-screen), breaking it and sending shards of glass flying everywhere. Ha.

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The next day (I guess), after a bunch of kids run into the school, the guys hang out by the entrance and give Eugene some last-minute advice.

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After they go inside, the girls show up, somehow having not seen the guys, and Veronica and Betty give Amani the opposite advice.

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Amani hugs the door and lets out a moan. It took me a moment to realize the glasses fucked with her vision (Veronica got them off a mannequin; why don’t they have plain glass¬†or no glass?). At first, I thought she was humping the door. It makes as much sense as anything else on this show.

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Amani is a klutz in the cafeteria (so they’re eating lunch after recess?), earning her a scowl from the cashier. This goes on for way too long.

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Meanwhile, “Gene” tries to be friends with Fangs but gets his name wrong (“Fang”).

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That’s his smallest fuck-up.

Surprisingly, nothing comes of this. Fangs lets Eugene live.

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Amani bores a random girl with her faux sophisticated talk, causing her to get up and leave.

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There’s a “gag” where Amani realizes she can’t swallow peanut butter and has to drink water. Hilarious.

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In what’s apparently their first meeting, halfway through the school day, “Gene” comes over and white-blacks at Amani.

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Poor Fangs.

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A bit more of this, and Fangs flips his shit, declaring a food fight. This causes the entire cafeteria to go nuts. Has something like this ever happened at school?

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Somehow this leads to Miss Grundy giving Eugene and Amani a month’s worth of detention for “starting the worst food fight in the history of this school”, because fuck hearing their side of the story or listening to other eyewitnesses or taking into account Fangs’ loud declaration. She then goes on to lecture them about her disappointment in them! This is bullshit!¬†Also, it’s 2:50 PM (the end of the school day), and she’s only just now talking to them about their punishment (which Mr. Weatherbee should have already given them). And none of them have bothered to clean up.

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She leaves them alone in the room (more bullshit), and they blame each other. They confess their desire for each other and are happy but then act cold and distant. This goes on for way too long.

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Finally, Amani and Eugene decide to trade glasses and have a laugh over being such dumbasses.

Amani points out that they’re missing the “rock hop”. That okay with Eugene, because he doesn’t know how to dance anyway. This surprises Amani, who offers to teach Eugene in exchange for him teaching her how to use computers. It’s a deal.

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Amani and Eugene rehearse for “Dancing with the Whitewashed Black Folks”.

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The fucking end.

This segment was pretty lame and predictable. Worst of all, it was boring. So, so boring. Almost nothing actually happened.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Archie, Vol. 2, No. 14

Archie-14.jpgWriters: Mark Waid with Lori Matsumoto
Pencils: Joe Eisma
Lettering: Jack Morelli
Coloring: Andre Szymanowicz
Original Publication: Archie, Vol. 2, No. 14
Cover Date: January, 2017
Length: 20 pages

First, that variant cover is a fucking lie. Cheryl hasn’t reached Riverdale yet and certainly hasn’t met Archie yet.¬†It is gorgeous, though. Random note: “Introducing” was changed to “Featuring” on the final cover.

The first page isn’t so much part of a chapter as a teaser. Archie and Jughead are dressed as each other. Archie is letting Jughead explain this one.

Chapter One: The Pavement King (pages 02-07)

Archie is helping Jughead shop for a phone, because it drives Archie “nuts” that Jughead doesn’t have a phone. Jughead has no use for a phone. Archie had wanted Jughead to try out for baseball, but Jughead doesn’t want to. Ugh, this is a pet peeve of mine: I hate when someone tries to get me to do/try things that I have no interest in, and I hate when one character does that to another in a story as well.

Oh, and there’s an unfunny gag where Jughead is drawn as an old man, because he has no use for technology or sports.

Jughead insists he doesn’t want to waste his life, but Archie reminds him that he said he wants to waste his life (when they were six). Jughead takes that part back. Archie claims he’s a “high achiever”, but he hasn’t done shit to put together his parents’ surprise 20th anniversary party (which is in two weeks).

Madison Lee, a pretty girl, comes by and flirts with Archie. Jughead lets us know she’s acting attracted to Archie only because he dated Veronica. I guess dating a guy that used to date a socialite that’s no longer around makes you cool in Riverdale. Oh, and I hate when characters directly address the audience. It’s lazy exposition. Archie was doing this shit at the beginning of the series.

Anyway, Archie still likes Veronica but doesn’t want to hurt Madison, so he agrees to dinner at her house with her parents. Madison’s dad owns a paving company.

Six hours later, Archie shows up at Jughead’s, completely dirty. Jughead washes Archie’s clothes. Archie explains the “pavement king” got mad and accused Archie of leading his daughter on. He tells Jughead that he was right and always is. Jughead demands to know what he’s supposedly been right about. What the fuck? Why’s Jughead overreacting to a compliment?

Anyway, the “joke” is Archie adapts Jughead’s don’t-give-a-fuck philosophy and starts turning into him.

Chapter Two: Meanwhile, in…Switzerland (pages 08-11)

Veronica is about to sit at a table in Cafe Raclette, but Mackenzie, one of Cheryl’s friends/groupies/whatever, tells her that that’s Cheryl’s table. Veronica doesn’t give a fuck and sits down. Cheryl arrives and is pissed. Cheryl sits down and tries to chat with Veronica, but Veronica ignores her. Cheryl decides to forgive “lambie” for leaving her party. Veronica calls Cheryl out on what she did to Julia. Veronica gets up to leave, but Cheryl doesn’t allow it. She tells Veronica to remember her “station”. Veronica has had enough and walks away. Cheryl compares Veronica to her father and brings up his “two-bit election” loss in a “one-horse town”. Veronica storms back over to Cheryl. Cheryl calls her and her father losers. There’s¬†a humorous bit where Mackenzie interjects useless trivia, and Cheryl casually tells her to shut up.

Veronica stares in fury at Cheryl for a moment – and then suddenly smiles. This makes Cheryl feel uneasy. Veronica grins and says “Game on.”

Chapter Three: Invasive is Fine (pages 12-13)

Archie’s eating like a pig. Jughead’s dad’s like “What the fuck?” Jughead’s like “No worries.” Archie falls into a “food coma”. An ambulance is called, and he’s rushed to the hospital.

At the hospital, Archie’s parents have arrived to see him. Archie’s mom’s like “What the fuck?” Archie espouses his new fuck-that-shit mentality and calls Jughead his “number one role model in this life”. Archie’s parents freak out to the doctor and are like “Fucking do something!” Archie basically tells his parents that their twenty years together have amounted to jack shit. Jughead reminds Archie of the party. Archie’s like “Fuck that shit.”

Chapter Four: Simultaneously, in…Switzerland (pages 14-19)

Mr. Lodge calls Veronica up and demands to know what’s with all of¬†the fucking charges on his credit cards. Veronica explains she’s taken his advice and gone to “war” against her “adversary”. She’s thrown an anti-Cheryl party and gotten a bunch of girls to side with her to stop Cheryl’s “reign of terror”. Here’s where things get confusing. Veronica has a plan, but the word balloon has fucking pictures instead of words, and the only thing that I can figure is it has something to do with Paris. Oh, and the girls get massages (in the name of Veronica acquiring and maintaining “allied relationships”), charged to Mr. Lodge, because of course they do. One of the girls went and told Cheryl whatever Veronica said regarding Paris. Cheryl bought a plane ticket to Paris. Veronica references the table from the cafe in a silly statement and then hangs up, leaving her dad confused. Mr. Lodge confesses to Smithers that he may have taught her too well. Smithers says she listens to Mr. Lodge more than Mr. Lodge realizes.

Later, Veronica has gathered the girls for a party at Cafe Raclette. The girl that told Cheryl earlier now tells Veronica that it’s party time. Veronica prepares them to greet their “final guest”.

In Paris (yet still somehow riding in her sports car), Cheryl arrives at a building. She opens the door. It’s a bakery.

The baker that Veronica paid off texts her photos of a pissed-off Cheryl. The girls have a laugh, because “Cheryl hates carbs”. Veronica texts Cheryl a photo of herself leading the party at the cafe, which further infuriates Cheryl.

Two girls toast Veronica, but she’s hesitant to thank them. She goes into a closet and calls her father. She feels bad about winning, which confuses Mr. Lodge. She hangs up and looks at a photo of Archie. It turns out that Riverdale has given her a “soul”, so she feels she can’t survive in her current environment.

Chapter Five: Victory…? (page 20)

Jughead has ransacked Archie’s room in search of party plans but has found none. He puts on Archie’s letter jacket (the same one that was in Jughead’s washing machine?) and finally gets “a fistful of half-achieved goals” from one of the pockets. He vows he has to save his best friend from Jughead Jones.

There’s a reprint of the first chapter of Jughead #10, which is a move that’s lazy beyond words.

This story is uneven. I don’t care for the Archie story, which feels more like a Jughead story. I just don’t like Jughead.

The Veronica story is more enjoyable, but I still don’t know what the fuck Veronica’s plan was nor how it managed to work.

Also, the cliffhanger (of Cheryl setting her sights on Archie) from the end of the previous issue was dropped.

Finally, I don’t like the set-up of alternating between two separate stories in the same issue (and calling them chapters of the same story; the only tenuous thematic similarity is Archie and Veronica each question who they are). I realize the “Betty and Veronica” title has fallen comically behind schedule, so there’s really nowhere else to do Veronica’s storyline, but there’s gotta be a better method than this.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Archie, Vol. 2, No. 13

Archie-13.jpgWriters: Mark Waid with Lori Matsumoto
Pencils: Joe Eisma
Lettering: Jack Morelli
Coloring: Andre Szymanowicz
Original Publication: Archie, Vol. 2, No. 13
Cover Date: December, 2016
Length: 20 pages

I decided to review a New Riverdale story this week, specifically the introduction of Cheryl Blossom into New Riverdale continuity. Let’s get into it:

Each New Riverdale issue has a blurb on the inside-front cover to get readers caught up. Archie and Betty have patched up their friendship after months of estrangement, but this splits up Archie/Veronica and Betty/Sayid (Sayid Ali was apparently Betty’s new boyfriend). Archie and Veronica patched things up. Mr. Lodge lost Riverdale’s mayoral election and, in embarrassment, moved the family far away. I admit I haven’t read every issue of the current “Archie” title, so I’m unfamiliar with a lot of these events, but the details don’t really matter to this story. The point is Archie, Betty, and Veronica are depressed.

Chapter One: Worlds Apart (pages 01-04)

Archie’s walking down the street, singing “Sugar, Sugar“, and sees a poster for a Josie and the Pussycats concert Tuesday at the Beacon. He turns to automatically ask Veronica about getting tickets and realizes she’s not there.

He also imagines Veronica in his car (talking about taking a road trip) and singing while he plays guitar in the garage.

Lying on his bed, Archie tells an absent Veronica that he misses her so much.

Lying on her bed, Veronica is crying.

Chapter Two: Seeing Red (pages 05-11)

Mr. Lodge has moved elsewhere and shipped Veronica to a boarding school for girls, the vaunted Lycee Camembert in Switzerland. Veronica is completely cut off from her old friends in Riverdale, having no phone or Internet access (bullshit) and her friends’ attempted calls and e-mails bouncing (double bullshit), because Mr. Lodge owns all of the connectivity in the entire country (extreme fucking bullshit). Bitch, just borrow someone else’s cell phone or go to an Internet cafe; it’s not hard.

Veronica has to wear a school uniform and gives herself pep talks in the mirror, referring to herself in the plural. Her classes “are not so horrible”, though she has a ton of books on her desk. She plays polo. She holds “court” at the lunch table.

A week in, she’s begun to adjust. Cheryl comes by during lunch (or whenever) and introduces herself. They greet each other in French. Cheryl says she’s happy that Veronica’s here to “class up the joint”. Cheryl looks familiar to Veronica. Cheryl says she was on the same reality show as her, two seasons later. The “dinner party” episode involved Cheryl holding a wine glass and holding onto a rope ladder while fire surrounded her. Veronica is impressed and a little frightened. Cheryl is throwing a party on Friday and invites Veronica, promising “no Molotovs“. Veronica hasn’t been in a party mood lately. Cheryl offers to get coffee for herself and “Chickadee“, so Veronica can tell her all about it. Veronica doesn’t want to, but Cheryl gets an employee named Julia to bring them two espressos. Cheryl tells Veronica to spill and puts a comforting arm around her as Veronica unloads everything on her. Mr. Lodge “expresses his guilt in footwear”, so Veronica got some good shoes out of all of the shit that she went through. Veronica misses Riverdale (even though she was horrified to move there), not just Archie, because she was starting to feel like she belonged somewhere. Cheryl says Veronica belongs here, and she alone understands her. Cheryl invites Veronica on a ski trip to Dubai (she knows a “fantastic” kombucha bar) next weekend. Veronica says maybe and gets Cheryl to keep her secret. Cheryl gets Veronica to come to the off-campus party that she’s throwing for Julia’s birthday. Julia, the daughter of journalists, is here as a student on a scholarship. She has to work here to make ends meet. A chauffeur arrives with Cheryl’s sports car. So Cheryl didn’t drive there herself? After a hug (during which Veronica agrees to come to the party), Cheryl leaves, insisting she’s always right.

Chapter Three: Meanwhile… (pages 12-14)

Archie is still depressed while hanging out with Jughead (who just eats), and Betty is still depressed while playing video games with Kevin. Jughead and Kevin each suggest going out.

Archie and Jughead go to the movies. Betty and Kevin toss a baseball around in a baseball field. Jughead and Archie fly a kite. Betty and Kevin go on a roller coaster. Archie and Jughead play music. Archie feels good. Jughead suggests celebrating with a burger. Betty and Kevin play with a multitude of kittens. Betty feels good. Kevin suggests celebrating with pie.

At Pop’s, Archie tells Jughead about Veronica’s silence (not realizing it’s due to Mr. Lodge’s black-magic Internet and phone service), and Betty tells Kevin of Sayid’s silence (although she’d previously been shown trying to contact Veronica). Apparently, Sayid used to be in their band. Archie feels bad for Sayid, and Betty feels bad for Veronica. The “funny” part is the two pairs of friends are having pretty much the exact same conversation in adjacent booths and either don’t realize it or don’t care. Oh, the hilarity!

Chapter Four: Surprise Party (pages 15-20)

Julia arrives at Veronica’s room to borrow formal clothes for the party. Veronica decides to be Julia’s “personal stylist”, and Julia is overwhelmed by the clothing selection.

Many hours and many dresses later, Veronica¬†has selected the perfect outfit for Julia. Julia doesn’t know how to thank Veronica, but Veronica dismisses it. Julia feels so overwhelmed this semester, and it means so much for people to be kind to her. Veronica gives Julia money as carfare to the party. Why not just drive her herself?

On Friday, Veronica gets dolled up. She looks at pictures of herself and Archie and wishes he was here.

Veronica arrives at the party, and Cheryl greets her “girl”. Veronica is surprised it’s a welcome party for her and asks if Julia’s here. Cheryl had given “the help” the address of the city dump. Y’know, this deception really wouldn’t have worked if Veronica had offered to take Julia – or if Julia had entered the address into her phone’s GPS. A girl named Binky sends pictures of Julia sobbing at the dump. Veronica looks at the pictures and calls all of them monsters. She gets in her car and drives off over Cheryl’s protest. Veronica – she without Internet access – has Siri give her directions to the local dump.

Veronica arrives at the dump. Julia’s gone.

Arriving back at the dorm, Veronica climbs the stairs (barefoot for some reason), knocks on Julia’s door, and calls to her. Julia (whose last name is Finch) opens the door long enough to hand back Veronica’s dress and shoes (but not the earrings and clutch) and tell her to get the fuck out. Veronica insists she didn’t know what was going on and apologizes, but Julia slams the door in her face. Veronica, heartbroken, keeps insisting she didn’t know. Julia opens the door, tells her to shut the fuck up, says she saw the pictures of Veronica at the real party, says Veronica is just like them, and begs Veronica to leave and let her spend the rest of her birthday in peace. Veronica – she without Internet¬†access – takes out her phone and sees the picture that “Cherylbee” posted of her at the party (never mind that Cheryl was never shown holding a cell phone during the brief time that Veronica was at the party¬†and instead seemed more interested in getting Veronica started on the glug-glug). That’s the end of Veronica’s first week in Switzerland.

It turns out that the narrative captions in this story was Cheryl’s narration. She’s telling the story to her brother Jason over the Internet while sitting on her comfy bed and holding a tablet. Cheryl says she’s only just getting warmed up. Jason observes Cheryl likes starting new projects. Cheryl says she’s “queen” around here and is not about to get dethroned by a Lodge. She has plans and says Veronica won’t know what hit her. Cheryl has learned “Miss Priss” has a weak spot: “some hayseed” named Archie. It seems Cheryl has a picture of Archie and Veronica. I think.

A box in the lower-right corner of the final panel says “Veronica vs. the World”. I can’t tell if that’s supposed to be the title of the next story or this story. This story seems to have no unifying title as far as I can tell.

There’s a reprint of “Dare to Be Bare” (with an introduction by Mark Waid), Cheryl’s first appearance in Classic Archie continuity.

This is a pretty good story. It’s definitely more of an introduction to Cheryl than how it was handled back in the days when no one gave a shit about continuity. Cheryl truly is made out to be a bitch. I don’t understand her plan, though. She used Julia to make Veronica seem like a bitch but also threw a party to welcome Veronica into the fold – all, seemingly, in the name of not getting “dethroned” by Veronica. And now she wants to involve Archie somehow. What’s her goal?

Also, Mr. Lodge’s highly selective Internet and phone service is such bad writing. While I appreciate the more modern take on the Archieverse, it means nothing when the writer doesn’t understand how the Internet and cell phones work.

Finally, I realize I was wrong on the Introduction page about Cheryl attending Pembrooke Academy in New Riverdale continuity. I’ll fix that.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Sabrina’s Secret Life, Episode 07 – Rather, Rinse, Repent

“Aren’t you skipping a series?” you ask?

Well, yes, I am, but there’s a reason for that. Multiple reasons, actually. Here’s some history:

Due to the success of the live-action series, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch“, Hartbreak Films partnered with – who else? – DiC to make an animated Sabrina series. The appropriately, albeit uninspiringly, named “Sabrina: The Animated Series” premiered on Monday, September 6, 1999, and ran for one season of 65 episodes, ending on Sunday, February 27, 2000 (as always, be wary of “original air dates” on the Internet for older episodes). It re-imagined Sabrina as a 12-year-old witch attending middle school and living in Greendale (her home in the comics), so it was in no way canon to the live-action series. In a nice bit of casting, Melissa Joan Hart voiced Aunts Hilda and Zelda, and her younger sister, Emily Hart, voiced Sabrina. Nick Backay (of the live-action series) continued to voice Salem. Harvey was voiced by Bill Switzer. Characters created specifically for this series include Uncle Quigley (Jay Brazeau), Sabrina’s maternal great-uncle and the household’s adult guardian; Chloe Flan (Cree Summer), Sabrina’s mortal best friend that knows her secret; Gemini “Gem” Stone (Chantal Strand), the rich mean girl that competes with Sabrina for Harvey; Perry “Pi” McDonald (Chantal Strand), Harvey’s best friend and basically a Chinese version of Jughead; Horace a.k.a. Slugloafe (Jason Michas), the school bully; Bernard (Chantal Strand), basically a bald Dilton Doiley; Tim the Witch Smeller (Bob Bergen), a recurring witch hunter; Enchantra (unknown voice actor), the queen of all witches and head of the Witches’ Council; and (at least according to IMDb) Lalania Lindbjerg, reprising her role of Katy Lemore from the live-action movie. There are a lot of actors for this series listed at IMDb. A suspiciously high number, actually. How big of a budget did this series have?

Anyway, Sabrina deals with typical problems and has access to a Spookie Jar (David Sobolov), a genie or demon that lives in a purple cookie jar in the kitchen and speaks entirely in rhymes. He provides Sabrina with spells that don’t go as expected.

From what I’ve seen, it’s an okay series, featuring a memorable theme song by Irish pop group B*Witched. Some videos games were made based on it.

Sabrina-TTW-32Sabrina-1Sabrina-37
Archie Comics ended its regular Sabrina series after 32 issues in December of 1999 (cover date) and launched a new Animated tie-in series, “Sabrina”, in January of 2000 (cover date). It ran for 37 issues, ending that incarnation in December of 2002 (cover date), greatly outlasting the cartoon series. The plot, in a convoluted move by Archie Comics, involved Repulsa the Goblin Queen sending Sabrina back in time to relive her childhood, so she’d be out of the way while Repulsa attempted to conquer Enchantra’s realm. So does that mean the Animated Series isn’t how Sabrina’s childhood originally went down? Or is it, and the comic book is the do-over? So confusing.

Sabrina-38.jpg
Regardless, the title changed to “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” with #38, and the Repulsa plot was resolved. The following issue started chronicling Sabrina’s life as a teenager again. Issue #57 in July of 2004 (cover date) was the last one to feature an insert of Melissa Joan Hart on the cover. By this time, even though the live-action series had already ended, Sabrina had taken on an appearance similar to Hart’s.

Sabrina-57Sabrina-58
From issues #58-100, running from August of 2004 to April of 2009 (cover dates), Sabrina made the world look like manga, because of course she did.

Sabrina-100
After that, the final four issues of the series were hijacked by Salem for a prequel miniseries about his warlock days, so the whole thing technically ended in September of 2009 (cover date).

So, yeah, Melissa Joan Hart and her mother, Paula Hart, had a huge hand in reviving the Sabrina character and bringing it to the masses. So why am I skipping such a big series? Patience.

Sabrina-TAS-V1.jpg
The first 32 episodes of the series were released on DVD on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, by Mill Creek Entertainment, but the rest of the series failed to get a DVD release.

Well, except one episode. “La Femme Sabrina” was included as a bonus episode on disc 1 of “Archie’s Weird Mysteries“. Why they decided to showcase the 64th episode, I don’t know, but it’s the only episode that I have on DVD. I’m not reviewing it, because it omits a lot of characters.

Sabrina-Friends-Forever-DVD.jpg
On Sunday, October 6, 2002, “Sabrina: Friends Forever” premiered as the first movie of Nickelodeon Sunday Movie Toons (of which there were 13 total). This 74-minute movie was a continuation of “Sabrina: The Animated Series” – but without the Harts’ involvement (despite the live-action series still being in production). The character designs were basically the same. Sabrina turns 13 years old and receives her first magic wand from Enchantra. She then goes off to Witch Academy. There, she meets a new friend (Nicole) and a snobby, rich mean girl (Portia). Sabrina was now voiced by Britt McKillip. Portia was voiced by her older sister, Carly McKillip. Nicole Candler was voiced by Alexandra Carter. Aunt Hilda was voiced by Moneca Stori. Aunt Zelda was voiced by Bettina Bush. Salem was voiced by Louis Chirillo, and his take on the character really didn’t impress me. Enchantra was voiced by Jane Mortifee. Jay Brazeau (Uncle Quigley from the Animated Series) had a cameo as the different Uncle Eustace.

I bought the movie years ago out of the cheap bin at Kmart but only recently watched the thing. It’s…okay. Just okay. Major characters and concepts from the Animated Series were dropped without explanation, and new characters were introduced.

And then guess what.

They did it again.

A new animated series, “Sabrina’s Secret Life“, premiered on Monday, November 10, 2003, and ran for 26 episodes, concluding on Tuesday, February 3, 2004, bringing an end to the once-mighty Sabrina juggernaut.

In this new series, Sabrina (Britt McKillip) is 14 years old and starting to attend Greendale High School. The Witch Academy and the new characters from “Sabrina: Friends Forever” (including, amusingly, Nicole, the girl with which Sabrina was to be “friends forever”) were dropped without explanation (Witch Academy is understandable, since Sabrina graduated at the end of the movie). Wikipedia says Chloe has moved away, and Gem attends a private school far from Greendale, but I recently watched all 26 episodes for the first time on Netflix, and I swear none of the Animated Series characters were ever mentioned.

Sabrina now has a new best friend, Maritza (Vanessa Tomasino), who looks just like Chloe. She’s black¬†or Hispanic and has…some kind of accent.

Bill Switzer returns as Harvey from The Animated Series. Salem is now voiced by Maurice LaMarche, and it’s a huge improvement over his “Friends Forever” voice. Hilda and Zelda’s voice actors return from “Friends Forever”.

Sabrina attends witch class, accessed through a door in the basement of Greendale High School. Two of her regular school teachers (Ms. Magrooney and the pointy-eared Mr. Snipe) also teach her witch class. Her sole classmate is fellow witch and enemy, Cassandra (Tifanie Christun, credited as Tifanie Chaney), the niece of Enchantra (Jane Mortifee, returning from “Friends Forever”). Cassandra looks like Portia from “Friends Forever” and is rich like her, but she has a new voice actor, and her hair is a darker shade of brown. She’s basically a magical replacement for Gem Stone. Wikipedia says Cassandra used to be Sabrina’s best friend, but I don’t recall hearing that in the series. They do become best friends in the final episode, though.

The series never received a DVD release, but it’s available on Netflix and Amazon Video, so I suggest you check it out. It’s my favorite animated incarnation of Sabrina and possibly my favorite incarnation overall. Despite shitty continuity between incarnations, “Sabrina’s Secret Life” is meant to be one phase of the 1999-2004 Sabrina animated continuity, and it’s certainly the best part. That’s why I’m reviewing an episode of this series.

One episode, “Lather, Rinse, Repent”, was included as a bonus episode on disc 2 of “Archie’s Weird Mysteries”. It’s not my favorite episode (that would be the series finale), but every episode is good. Obviously, it’s the one that I’ll be reviewing.

Writer: Hans Lukas
Director: Pascal Gaugry
Original Air Date: Monday, December 1, 2003
Length: 21:13

The theme song is pretty catchy. It runs 45 seconds. I wish I knew who sang it (as well as the “lalala” music throughout the series). It’s very pleasant to listen to, kind of like the music on “Gilmore Girls”. The music for the series was written by Jean-Michel Guirao, who cowrote the music for “Archie’s Weird Mysteries”. Speaking of that, Mike Piccirillo, who wrote the theme song for that series, has an “English Lyrics Music Consultant” credit for this series, whatever that means¬†(IMDb says he flat-out wrote the music). The sequence is comprised of shots from various episodes.

SSL-07-01-series-titleSSL-07-02-titleSSL-07-03-MaritzaThe episode opens with Maritza telling Sabrina to hurry the fuck up in the restroom, because they’ll be late for math. Sabrina says her hair is a “disaster”. Maritza calls her vain and asks how bad it could be.

SSL-07-04-Sabrina-hairMaritza yucks it up. Sabrina yells at her and goes back into the restroom. Maritza apologizes and goes into the restroom, claiming she can fix it.

SSL-07-05-Sabrina-howWhy is there a row of lockers in the girls’ restroom? I get it’s in a hallway outside the gym, but that doesn’t make it a locker room.

Maritza begins the painful (for Sabrina) work of fixing Sabrina’s hair.

SSL-07-06-door-transitionThe series has fun with “magical” scene transitions, which were also done in “Friends Forever”.

SSL-07-07-Sabrina-hairHahahahahaha.

Sabrina takes care to avoid detection. To what end? She has to go to math class anyway.

SSL-07-08-Sabrina-hair-downSabrina’s hair is so strong that it slams Harvey’s locker door on him, and the door is so strong that it causes both of Sabrina’s pigtails to…drop. Huh?

SSL-07-09-Harvey-bookSSL-07-10-Sabrina-HarveySabrina steals Harvey’s book to cover the top of her head (never mind her pigtails). Fortunately for her, Harvey is a dumbass and thinks she’s reading in a weird way.

SSL-07-11-Sabrina-madSabrina claims her hair looks awful, and she doesn’t want Harvey to see it.

SSL-07-12-Sabrina-HarveySeen here: hair.

Anyway, Harvey wants to see the hair that he apparently can’t see right now.

SSL-07-13-Sabrina-hair-upAfter encouragement from Maritza, Sabrina takes off the book, and her pigtails shoot straight up. Why?

Harvey says Sabrina looks great and lectures her about obsessing about her looks. He guesses vanity is a sin “or something”. Sabrina asks him if she really looks okay.

SSL-07-14-Harvey-tearHarvey says she looks just like his old Cocker Spaniel. He wipes away a tear as he declares he loved her.

SSL-07-15-Sabrina-mad“Asshole, I don’t give a shit about your dead fucking dog.”

SSL-07-16-Sabrina-drops-bookThat’s what happens, man.

Harvey angrily asks if he said something wrong, and Maritza angrily walks past him without explaining.

SSL-07-17-Sabrina-boyA boy walks past Sabrina, whistling. As he does so, Sabrina steals his cap from his pocket.

SSL-07-18-dragon-transition-1SSL-07-19-dragon-transition-2My favorite scene transition is when the little dragon walks into the shot and fills the screen with fire.

SSL-07-20-Sabrina-Maritza-sneakSabrina and Maritza sneak into math class.

SSL-07-21-Maritza-Sabrina-winkDespite the fact that Mr. Snipe turns around before they sit down, they think they’ve gotten away with it.

SSL-07-22-SnipeMr. Snipe brings up only the fact that Sabrina is violating the dress code by wearing a hat in class.

SSL-07-23-Sabrina-booksSabrina completely ignores him with a smile and opens a book. Damn, girl.

SSL-07-24-Sabrina-hairSSL-07-25-Snipe-capMr. Snipe presses her on the issue. Before Sabrina can remove the cap on her own, her super-afro does it for her.

SSL-07-26-class-laughsThe (incredibly small) class laughs at her. Seriously, what kind of high school math class has only six people in it?

SSL-07-27-hat-transition-1SSL-07-28-hat-transition-2SSL-07-29-full-moonSSL-07-30-GreendaleSSL-07-31-Spellman-houseSSL-07-32-Zelda-washes-SabrinaSSL-07-33-Zelda-SabrinaThat evening, during the full moon, Zelda washes Sabrina’s hair.

SSL-07-34-Hilda-ZeldaHilda brings by another formula to try, despite the fact that the one that Zelda just tried hasn’t been proven ineffective yet.

SSL-07-35-Hilda-1The three of them bicker for a while. Hilda tosses her mixing spoon away and hits Salem (off-screen).

SSL-07-36-Hilda-2SSL-07-37-Hilda-3SSL-07-38-Hilda-4SSL-07-39-Hilda-5She totally doesn’t apologize and even gets some enjoyment out of it.

SSL-07-40-Sabrina-green-hairYeah, Hilda’s latest shampoo doesn’t work either.

SSL-07-41-Sabrina-reflection-madSSL-07-42-Sabrina-reflection-surprisedFor some reason, Sabrina’s angry before she looks in the mirror but not after.

SSL-07-43-Salem-transitionSSL-07-44-TVSSL-07-45-TV-SalemSSL-07-46-Salem-bedLater, Salem is watching something on Sabrina’s computer. I’m guessing it’s either a DVD or downloaded video, because YouTube and streaming series didn’t exist yet.

SSL-07-47-Sabrina-walks-inSSL-07-48-Sabrina-wants-answersSSL-07-49-Sabrina-pissedSabrina comes in, demanding some fucking answers about “Madame Medusa’s Tress Tamer”. Amusingly, the way that she pronounces it, it sounds like Sabrina is saying “Ma-damn Medusa”.

They argue for a bit, and Salem finally tells her to look on page 743 of her spell book.

Okay, let’s stop for a moment. Was an entire reference removed from the previous scene that would shed some light on whatever the fuck Sabrina’s talking about?

SSL-07-50-Sabrina-evilA brief look of evil intentions

Sabrina is surprised to learn it’s magic. What? The spell book? She doesn’t know? How could she not know? Or is she referring to the Tress Tamer?

Oh, and Salem is holding a remote control for some reason, despite clearly watching a computer monitor – unless Sabrina is using a television set as a computer monitor.

SSL-07-51-spell-bookSalem reminds Sabrina of a “minor rule”: no using magic at mortal school for personal gain. Gah, fuck you, personal gain rule. I’ve had enough of you from “Charmed”.

Sabrina reads a spell.

SSL-07-52-salesmanIt makes her computer/TV tune into a witchy shopping network.

SSL-07-53-Sabrina-bottleSabrina is given a bottle of Madame Medusa’s Tress Tamer and warned to avoid water (on any part of her body) at all cost, because it’ll make it stop working forever.

SSL-07-54-pink-transitionSSL-07-55-Greendale-High-SchoolSSL-07-56-Sabrina-usesThe next day, at school, Sabrina checks to make sure that no one else is in the girls’ locker room and then uses the Tress Tamer, despite the fact that her hair had been straightened out naturally last night. Her hair absorbs it.

SSL-07-57-Medusa-hairSabrina smells something burning.

SSL-07-58-smokeShe realizes it’s her.

SSL-07-59-sunSSL-07-60-boys-aweSSL-07-61-girls-aweSSL-07-62-Maritza-complimentsAfter the commercial break, boys and girls alike are in awe of…

SSL-07-63-Sabrina…Sabrina’s completely normal hair.

SSL-07-64-Cassandra-upsetHijinks ensue. Cassandra is upset that her besties are complimenting Sabrina’s hair.

SSL-07-65-Sabrina-hairThere’s a harp sound effect and everything.

SSL-07-66-Cassandra-pissedCassandra doesn’t take it well.

SSL-07-67-mice-transitionSSL-07-68-Sabrina-boysLater, Sabrina is a hit with the boys.

SSL-07-69-boy-trashWell, most of them.

Sabrina sits at a table and lets her hair flow (complete with harp sound effect), making the boys in awe of her again.

SSL-07-70-Sabrina-meHarvey wants to take a picture of Sabrina, and she’s all full of herself over it but “acting” humble.

SSL-07-71-groupMaritza explains the yearbook staff voted Sabrina best hair of the year and best hair ever. Holy shit, the yearbook staff?! Are you serious?! That makes it, like, official!

SSL-07-72-Cassandra-bestiesAnyway, Cassandra and her besties don’t like it.

SSL-07-73-Cassandra-growlsCassandra even growls. Growls, I tell you!

Anyway, time for a photo montage!

SSL-07-74-picture-1SSL-07-75-picture-2SSL-07-76-picture-3SSL-07-77-picture-4What the fuck?! Did Sabrina just reveal her powers in front of everyone?! (Yes, this does indeed go completely unaddressed.)

SSL-07-78-picture-5SSL-07-79-Cassandra-throwsCassandra is so pissed that she steals a guy’s meal and throws it at Sabrina. Harvey tries to warn her, but…

SSL-07-80-Sabrina-splatThis earns her a round of gasps from her adoring fans. Cassandra initially doesn’t even fucking care and just walks away, but then she gets curious and runs back toward the crowd. Sabrina is grossed out by the mess but then shakes it off, and her hair magically returns to being gorgeous, which earns her a round of applause from her adoring fans.

SSL-07-81-Cassandra-pissedCassandra takes it about as well as you’d expect.

SSL-07-82-Sabrina-basksSabrina basks in adoration.

SSL-07-83-girls-aweSSL-07-84-servantsSabrina’s reign of awesomeness continues.

SSL-07-85-Harvey-clothesHowever, it’s definitely gone to her head. She won’t even acknowledge Harvey when he greets her. By the way, Harvey calls her “Brina”, which is a bit weird. I guess I’m used to “Bri” being short for Sabrina (on “Charlie’s Angels”).

SSL-07-86-birdSSL-07-87-girls-trackSome time later, Sabrina and three other girls are running track.

SSL-07-88-Sabrina-waterA sprinkler turns on. Despite Sabrina clearly coming into contact with water, we’re supposed to pretend she doesn’t.

SSL-07-89-Sabrina-shovesShe turns and runs away, shoving the other girls to the pavement, because she’s a bitch.

SSL-07-90-girls-wetSSL-07-91-Sabrina-hairSSL-07-92-Sabrina-cutsAt the movie theater, Sabrina uses the power of awesome hair to cut to the front of the line.

SSL-07-93-Sabrina-wavesShe waves goodbye to Maritza, like “The fuck with you”, and just goes inside, because she’s a bitch.

SSL-07-94-Cassandra-spiesBack at school (the next day, I guess), Cassandra spies and sees Sabrina using the magic ‘poo (as I like to call it).

SSL-07-95-Sabrina-HarveyAt lunch (on…some day), Harvey is grossed out by a dirty (and probably stinky) Sabrina.

SSL-07-96-broom-transitionSSL-07-97-Aunts-masksEven her aunts can’t stand the stench (and can’t eat either). Why don’t they ask Sabrina what’s up?

SSL-07-98-Cassandra-spiesBack at school, Cassandra continues spying on Sabrina.

Maritza calls Sabrina, and Sabrina nervously tosses the bottle to her bag before Maritza enters, but the bottle bounces off and falls on the floor.

Maritza wants Sabrina to be her “buddy” for a make-up swim test. Sabrina declines, citing her reasons, and Maritza gets upset at her and leaves. Sabrina goes after her, offering to help with a “stalker test” or bowling. What in the actual fuck?

SSL-07-99-Cassandra-bottleAfter they leave, Cassandra comes out of hiding and finds the bottle. She hears a door slam and hides again.

SSL-07-100-Sabrina-hairSabrina returns, lovingly strokes her hair (what else could she be doing?), and picks up her bag. Cassandra comes out of hiding with no indication that Sabrina had left (the shot was either never animated or cut).

SSL-07-101-Salem-breathesThat night, Salem opens the window, because he can’t breathe.

SSL-07-102-Sabrina-fliesWhy are the aunts putting up with this bullshit? Also, why are flies attracted to Sabrina? I’ve gone a few days without showering while I’m sick, and I’ve never had flies attracted to me. Then again, I’ve never really done anything to get very dirty, and I at least washed my hands after using the restroom. Great. Now, I’m imagining Sabrina taking a shit, wiping her ass, getting some on her fingers, and then eating a sandwich.

Salem and Sabrina argue. Sabrina searches her bag for the bottle and only now realizes she doesn’t have it. I find it hard to believe Sabrina went the rest of the school day without trying to use it.

SSL-07-103-witch-hatsSalem is sarcastic about the situation but gets out of there (leaving behind a bunch of…little witch hats) when Sabrina puts on her angry face and stands up.

SSL-07-104-bat-transition-1SSL-07-105-bat-transition-2SSL-07-106-Sabrina-hitLater that night, Sabrina is out looking for her magic ‘poo, nowhere near school, and gets hit in the head by the bottle.

SSL-07-107-limoSabrina recognizes Cassandra’s limo.

SSL-07-108-Sabrina-Cassandra-limoWhen the limo stops at a red light, Sabrina barges in and confronts Cassandra. How big of an idiot do you have to be to keep your limo door unlocked on a public street?

SSL-07-109-Cassandra-ew“You reek, bitch. Get the fuck out.”

Anyway, Cassandra insults Sabrina. She didn’t use the magic ‘poo herself but won’t say what she did with it. Sabrina nervously guesses she gave it to mortals. Cassandra basically admits it but doesn’t see the big deal.

SSL-07-110-bestie-1SSL-07-111-bestie-2Yeah, Cassandra gave the magic ‘poo to her two besties…in a vial…for whatever reason. Maybe the bottle gave away that it was magic? Anyway, Cassandra’s besties are named Tiffany and Margo, though I don’t know which is which, and Wikipedia and IMDb aren’t any help. They’re basically just minor characters that hang around the resident popular girl, such as What’s Her Name and Um Yeah in the live-action series. At least Fran and Freddie were somewhat developed by comparison. Anyway, Asian!Bestie has a Valley Girl accent and uses “like” as a verbal pause. Of course.

Oh, and “crunchy” and “chewy” are apparently mid-2000s slang for “awesome”. I guess.

SSL-07-112-werewolf-1SSL-07-113-werewolf-2The magic ‘poo transforms them into werewolves. Of course. It also provides them with larger versions of their clothes, so they won’t be naked as werewolves.

SSL-07-114-house-full-moonSSL-07-115-Cassandra-Sabrina-houseAfter the commercial break, the limo drops Cassandra and Sabrina off at…whoever’s house. Sabrina is in a hurry, but Cassandra still doesn’t see the big deal. Sabrina points out the fine print on the bottle: it has the “opposite” effect on mortals. Cassandra doesn’t understand what that means.

SSL-07-116-werewolvesIt’s that, apparently. Wouldn’t the “opposite” mean it just messes up your hair?

SSL-07-117-werewolves-full-moonWait, so does the full moon have something to do with it or not?

SSL-07-118-Sabrina-Cassandra-groundThis somehow causes Sabrina and Cassandra to fall flat on their asses. Also, Sabrina drops the bottle for whatever reason.

SSL-07-119-Cassandra-amusedAfter the werewolves leave, Cassandra amusingly points out the logical flaw in this absurd situation. Sabrina tells her to tell Madame Medusa. So why was Sabrina convinced something bad was going to happen?

SSL-07-120-girls-garbageLater, the girls come across an overturned garbage can. Sabrina complains about the “nasty” smell of the garbage, but Cassandra says it smells better than her, which upsets Sabrina. They hear howls.

SSL-07-121-mallSSL-07-122-Cassandra-explainsLater, Cassandra takes Sabrina to the mall, explaining the werewolves are Tiffany and Margo.

SSL-07-123-werewolvesSure enough, the werewolves have shoplifted from the mall.

SSL-07-124-CassandraCassandra has an “Aaawww” moment when she says Tiff’s been wanting those jeans forever (it’s still unclear who’s who). That’s pretty cute.

The werewolves fight over a piece of clothing and tear it in two.

SSL-07-125-baitSSL-07-126-girls-bushesLater (after the use of a normal fade), Cassandra is sorrowfully using “such a cute top” as werewolf bait.¬†The girls duck as a werewolf approaches, and little witch hats can be seen above their heads briefly. Is this a visual gag that the series uses whenever someone gets out of view quickly?

A werewolf comes by and sniffs the top, and Cassandra can’t tell who it is. She really hopes it’s Tiffany, because she’s got “much better taste” than Margo.

SSL-07-127-girls-werewolfMargo has overheard, though, and Cassandra apologizes. Okay, Margo’s the Asian one with the glasses, which means Tiffany is the black one. Anyway, Cassandra casually insults Margo’s outfit from yesterday. Wow, she’s being awfully calm in this situation. Even Sabrina’s not reacting much.

SSL-07-128-werewolf-caughtSSL-07-129-Sabrina-pullsAnyway, Tiffany steps into the rope like a dumbass and grabs the top. Sabrina traps her foot in the rope and pulls. That was incredibly fortunate. But what, exactly, is the plan? Tiffany pulls Sabrina away, and then Cassandra runs away from Margo. A big chase ensues. Sabrina yells to Cassandra for help, but Cassandra is wary of endangering her own life. Sabrina yells at Cassandra to go right.

SSL-07-130-Cassandra-jumps-ropeCassandra does so by jumping over the rope. As Margo approaches, Sabrina lets go of the rope, which wraps around Margo’s feet. The weight pulls Tiffany and Margo toward each other (because a rope is totally that strong and wouldn’t break or anything).

SSL-07-131-Sabrina-werewolvesSabrina gets up, shakes her hair head, and casually observes the tangled-up werewolves.

SSL-07-132-Cassandra-upsetCassandra is upset that Sabrina’s hair still looks great. Sabrina’s starting to wonder if it’s worth it.

Cassandra again insults Margo’s outfit from yesterday, and Margo tries to bite her. The werewolves howl, and Sabrina thinks she hears more werewolves but nervously laughs off the possibility.

SSL-07-133-Sabrina-fistThat’s when Cassandra admits she did a very bad thing in the name of being “funny”. I love how Sabrina’s clenched fist shakes in anger/nervousness during Cassandra’s confession.

SSL-07-134-Cassandra-sighs“Fuuuuuuck, you’re really not gonna like this, but I gave the magic ‘poo to more people. You’re gonna have to wait until after the commercial break to find out exactly how many, though.”

SSL-07-135-girls-werewolvesAfter the commercial break, more werewolves show up. Sabrina wishes for her broom.

SSL-07-136-Salem-broom-moonSalem shows up, having followed her smell.

SSL-07-137-girls-Salem-werewolvesThis initially doesn’t seem to do any good (or maybe the characters are just slow-witted dumbasses), but then Sabrina grabs hold of the broom and tells Cassandra to get on. Cassandra refuses, because Salem isn’t her kind of pussy. Salem reminds her of one simple fact:

SSL-07-138-Cassandra-werewolves“Om-nom-nom-nom!”

This convinces Cassandra to go along with them, but first she has to tell them to wait, because they were already in the process of leaving her to a grisly fate.

Cassandra’s happy that they made it, but Sabrina says they can’t leave their friends as werewolves.

SSL-07-139-broom-rideSabrina brings her broom to a screeching halt and decides they’re gonna swoop down and get the werewolves to chase them. Cassandra thinks Sabrina’s fucking insane.

SSL-07-140-Cassandra-werewolves“Fresh meat! Come and get it!”

SSL-07-141-Sabrina-fliesThe plan works. Sabrina declares they’re going to the high school and tells someone (Salem and Cassandra? the broom?) to not lose the werewolves.

SSL-07-142-Sabrina-wavesSabrina, not wanting to lose the werewolves, logically flies over the school and lands on the football field. She then sends Salem home, because escape plans are for pussies.

SSL-07-143-Cassandra-Sabrina-fieldCassandra doesn’t think highly of Sabrina’s plan.

SSL-07-144-Sabrina-smilesSabrina hears the howls and is pleased, though.

The werewolves come out of the school (why’d they bother going through the school in the first place) and onto the field. Cassandra is worried as to whether Sabrina actually has a plan or not, but Sabrina says she does.

SSL-07-145-girls-sprinklersCan you guess what it is?

SSL-07-146-Sabrina-checks-timeSSL-07-147-sprinklersSSL-07-148-water-transitionA water transition splash on the screen saves the animators from having to animate a de-transformation sequence.

Okay, so let’s talk about this plan. It’s bullshit. Just because Sabrina saw the sprinklers turn on during the day doesn’t mean she’ll know when they turn on at night, and it also doesn’t mean the sprinklers were working on a timer. In short, Sabrina got damn lucky. Since she’d sent Salem off with her broom, she and Cassandra would be fucking dead by now if those sprinklers didn’t come on.

SSL-07-149-confused-kidsSSL-07-150-Cassandra-moonAnyway, as you can imagine, the kids are hella confused, so Sabrina explain they were “all sleepwalking”, which is such bullshit, but Cassandra backs her up, blaming it on the full moon and calling it “weird”.

So did the moon have anything to do with the ridiculous werewolf transformations or not?

SSL-07-151-Sabrina-wetMaritza feels bad for Sabrina’s ruined hair, but it’s no big deal to Sabrina. Harvey likes her hair this way, because it reminds him of his Cocker Spaniel. Sabrina suddenly seems genuinely pleased at the comparison and thanks him. That’s not what I would have done. My reaction would have been more like…

SSL-07-152-Cassandra-upsetYeah, that.

SSL-07-153-Maritza-CassandraSabrina asks Maritza how her swim test went. Maritza says she’s doing it tomorrow; she couldn’t find a buddy. Sabrina offers to be Maritza’s buddy if she wants. Maritza gladly accepts and even invites Sabrina over, so they can finish their homework together. Sabrina declines, feeling an intense need to go home and take a shower. I guess she’ll be walking home, soaking wet. Why the fuck did she send Salem and her broom away?

SSL-07-154-circle.jpgThe end credits use footage from various episodes and an instrumental version of the opening theme.

SSL-07-155-creditsSSL-07-156-LSTSSL-07-157-DiCSo that’s an episode of “Sabrina’s Secret Life”. Numerous what-the-fuck moments aside, it really is a good series, and it’s enjoyable regardless of these script problems. This particular episode is pretty good, though I need to point out that this is the one time when Cassandra’s frequent nickname for Sabrina, Smellman, would have fit perfectly, yet she didn’t use it. What the fuck?

Let’s talk Sabrina/Cassandra. I ship them. Besides that, though, it’s clear to me that Sabrina and Cassandra are meant to become best friends. Cassandra is featured more often than Maritza in the credits (particularly the end credits) and has much more screen time throughout the series than Maritza does. Cassandra is essentially the second main character. At least, she’s the strongest supporting character. She’s also not entirely bad. Yeah, she did something stupid in this episode, but she didn’t intend any malice. Over the course of the series, Sabrina seems to be responsible for the trouble as much as – or more than – Cassandra. Cassandra also has little nice moments, such as in this episode when she stuck around and waited to see how Sabrina and Maritza’s friendship was going to turn out. It’s the combination of rivalry and cooperation that makes the Sabrina/Cassandra relationship so interesting. When they finally become best friends in the final episode, you really believe it.

I’m sorry that there was no review last week and for the lateness of this week’s review. My work schedule is horrible. I often have to go to bed early, and I usually try to watch something before that. On top of that, I’m addicted to YouTube videos (particularly fan reactions to episodes of “Supergirl” and “Riverdale”), and I also read other episode-review blogs. Oh, and my computer was acting weird on Tuesday to the point that I thought I’d have to take it in to the shop (I fixed the problem on my own), so I lost a day’s worth of work there. Please bear with me. I have one more Sabrina series to look at as well as the Josie movie, but I think I’ll be sticking to “The New Archies” and “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” for the foreseeable future, depending on my work schedule.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Cheryl and Cheryl Alike!

Betty-and-Veronica-Double-Digest-Magazine-240.jpg
Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Lettering: Jack Morelli
Inking: Digikore Studios
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica Comics Annual (Double Digest Magazine), No. 240
Cover Date: March, 2016
Length: 10 pages

I’m sorry that there was no review last week. My DSL modem gave out on Saturday the 4th, and the earliest that I could order a replacement was Monday morning. I figured I’d be offline for quite a while, so I used the time to make progress on writing stories and watching my huge backlog of DVDs and Blu-rays. Then the UPS guy dropped off the new modem on Tuesday afternoon. I thought “Do I wanna do a rush job on the review? Nah.”

As a side note, this is actually the last of the modern digests that I own. I had stopped purchasing digests a few months ago, because the cost was adding up, and the available space in my room (I live in a mobile home) was shrinking. I recently made two huge purges of my digests and DVDs. I held on to this one just to review this story.

Before I get into the story, though, let’s address the title of the digest. This is not the 240th annual. Obviously. It’s just a double digest (maybe with more pages; I don’t know) renamed to make it seem like it’s an annual, because Archie Comics is too cheap and/or financially strapped to publish a separate annual anymore.

Anyway, the story itself is notable for being a new Classic Archie story that came out after New Riverdale had started. Any new Classic Archie stories (if there are any) are relegated to the digests. The “real” comics are for New Riverdale, bitches.

This story, nominally a Betty and Veronica story¬†(although that’s a fucking lie, since they disappear 2/3rds of the way through page 2), was written and drawn by longtime Archie Comics writer/artist, Dan Parent, “the last Classic Archie guy left” (at least, that’s what I’d read a while ago). This was part of a series of stories called “The Many Loves of Archie Andrews!!”, which isn’t so much a series as a branding. Each story is standalone and focuses on Archie’s relationship with one of his girlfriends (Archie’s a player in the comics). Let’s get into it:

During winter, Archie, Betty, and Veronica are walking along outside. Veronica is happy that they have Archie all to themselves, which is rare. Archie says it’s their lucky day. Betty calls him out on being full of himself. Archie claims he was just kidding (I’m not so sure). His phone rings, and he answers it. He’s “summoned” by Cheryl, who claims she needs him for an emergency. Veronica calls Cheryl a “loudmouth loser” and demands Archie turn off his phone. She doesn’t believe in the “emergency”, but Archie does and takes off running. Veronica calls him a “poor fool”.

Archie rushes over to the Blossom mansion. Cheryl’s “emergency” is she’s bored at a family function (everybody hates her) and wants Archie to entertain her. She’s confused about the hatred but then yells at her cousin Ed to stop staring at her. Cheryl says it’s mostly her Granny Winslow that hates her. Granny Winslow is going to leave her whole charitable foundation, Arts for America, to Cheryl’s cousin Lily, “a doofus do-gooder”. Granny loves Lily and is always nice to her and mean to Cheryl. Cheryl would love to inherit the foundation. Archie suggests Cheryl try being nice to her grandmother. Cheryl offers to get something for Granny, but Granny burns her. Archie seems to recognize Granny. She recognizes him. He then recognizes her as Olivia Winslow and realizes he did work for her and her foundation¬†(how did he not put it together when Cheryl mentioned the foundation’s name?), spending hours teaching music to needy children. Cheryl is astonished. Olivia is astonished to learn Archie is friends with Cheryl. Cheryl cozies up to Archie and declares Archie’s her boyfriend. Olivia is astonished. Cheryl tries to make herself look good. Olivia starts to wonder about it, but then Jason walks by and tries to sabotage Cheryl’s act. Cheryl tells him to shut the fuck up but then dials it down for appearances. Cheryl not-so-subtlely suggests Olivia leave the foundation to her and throws Archie in to sweeten the deal. Olivia decides to keep an open mind. Lily protests, but Olivia won’t have it. Cheryl sticks out her tongue at Lily behind Olivia’s back. Lily hates Cheryl.

Cheryl leads a finger-painting group for children, but it’s so boring that she turns it into a face-painting group. Olivia is upset. Cheryl insists she’s just being her “wacky self”. Olivia tells Archie to keep Cheryl in line. Archie has a gig tonight and has to leave soon. Cheryl tries to guilt her “only hope” into staying, but Archie gets her to take him to the dance this Saturday, even though she was going with Johnny Williams (don’t worry, this is a non-character that we never see). Cheryl agrees twice, which is sloppy writing. Cheryl and Archie rib each other over their sneakiness.

Archie and Cheryl don black outfits and dance for the kids, even though they have no idea what the fuck they’re doing.

Later, Archie is playing a guitar and singing “Kumbaya” for puppies while Cheryl is forced to sit and endure it. She feels like a fool. Olivia tells her to “dance for the doggies”, and “poor, gullible Cheryl” does so. Olivia and Lily laugh, and Cheryl realizes it was all a joke. Olivia reveals they were “teasing” Cheryl. Olivia admits she initially took Cheryl seriously, but then Lily showed her some episodes of Cheryl’s reality show, “Keeping Up with the Blossoms” (during which Cheryl treats the staff horribly). I wish I could tell you if there was an earlier mention of such a series, but there probably wasn’t. Olivia calls Cheryl “terrible” and advises Archie to run the fuck away from her. Cheryl kicks the guitar away and insults Lily’s (presumably) fake hair extensions and personality. Cheryl then makes a grabbing motion at…something and throws a temper tantrum. Archie admits she has personality.

This is an okay story. Cheryl is…mildly devious in wanting to get in good with Granny, so she might someday take over a foundation that’s never been mentioned before. For this, she’s teased and forced to do a bunch of bullshit. Two things that I hate are when people tease me or waste my time, so I feel a bit sorry for Cheryl.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Miss-Cast!

betty-and-veronica-comics-digest-magazine-175
Writer: Mike Pellowski
Pencils: Bob Bolling
Inking: Al Milgrom
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica Comics Digest Magazine, No. 175
Cover Date: July, 2007
Length: 6 pages

Betty and Veronica are visiting a movie studio and have all-access passes that give them free rein of the place. Veronica had invited Betty on this weekend trip to California.

As they explore the lot, Betty and Veronica wonder about some casting decisions, such as casting an actor with long hair as a bald man and making him wear a bald wig – and casting a bald actor as a long-haired man and making him wear a long-hair wig. The latter guy can barely swim and had to do a swimming scene. They also come across a scrawny actor that voice-acts as a super-hero.

Later, Mr. Lodge’s client offers Betty and Veronica bit parts in a movie. Veronica asks Mr. Lodge for permission for her and Betty to be in the movie, and he gladly grants it. Veronica is cast as a snobby, spoiled girl shopper, and Betty is cast as her nice, down-to-Earth friend. Veronica is upset about being “miscast”, but Betty amusingly thinks there is such a thing as perfect casting after all.

This is a cute story. I like it a lot better than the lead story.

Tune in next Wednesday!