Comics – Stress Struck

bettys-diary-17
Writer: George Gladir
Pencils: Stan Goldberg
Inking: Mike Esposito
Original Publication: Betty’s Diary, No. 17
Cover Date: June, 1988
Length: 5 pages

I’m sorry for doing a quickie this week, but I want to devote extra attention to something pretty neat for next week’s review.

This week, I’ve decided to review another story from the “Betty’s Diary” series.

Betty muses about how, these days, “almost every teen” complains about stress. However, Betty feels, if one anticipates problem situations and plans ahead, stress can be eliminated.

As an example, she uses “Big” Ethel always complaining about the hassle of getting to school on time. The “poor girl” uses up all of her energy just getting to school, so she’s drained before the school day even begins. Betty wishes Ethel would learn to set her alarm like her to avoid the stress. Here’s something odd. Ethel wakes up at 8:25. After quickly getting dressed and grabbing her books, she just misses the school bus. Betty sets her alarm for 7:00. Why so early?

For her next example, Betty uses Veronica getting out of the shower and stumbling and sliding to her bedroom’s phone, stressing over the idea that it might be “important” (to a teen), only to discover it’s a wrong number. Haha, the days before cell phones. In a similar situation, Betty takes a bubble bath and doesn’t panic when her phone rings, reasoning they’ll call back if it’s important.

Betty’s next diary box is mistakenly not colored in. For her next example, Betty uses Archie stressing and cramming the night before an exam (while the TV and boombox are on). As Betty passes by Ethel’s (first-floor) bedroom window, Ethel is studying and asking Betty about it. Betty says she finished studying yesterday and believes in relaxing the night before an exam.

For her next example (set in Pop’s), Betty uses Midge stressing over Moose not having asked her to the dance yet. Betty tells her to relax, because Midge is the only girl in Moose’s life. Midge asks Betty if it bothers her that Archie asked Veronica. Betty admits it does but then says she’s attractive and is sure that some other boy will ask her. That’s a rare bit of vanity on Betty’s part. Sure enough, at that very moment, a guy named Roger comes over and asks Betty to the spring dance, and she accepts. Betty feels justified, but Midge says it doesn’t help her. Moose comes by and asks if he forgot to ask Midge to the dance (Moose’s hair is colored more brown in this panel). Midge tells the dumbass yes. As Moose leaves, Betty tells Midge that she worked herself up over nothing. Midge admits it but then freaks out over having nothing to wear to the dance, which is a few days away. Betty is like “WTF?”

The story concludes with Betty worrying over having no problems, her life being “too perfect”, and a potential, unknown “something” that might ruin it.

She goes downstairs and stares out the living room window at the full moon and a bright star. As Alice and Hal watch her, Alice says Betty seems so restless and fidgety “lately” (despite the fact that Betty only just now started worrying). Hal (whose hair was white during this time) guesses it must be stress; he hears there’s a lot of it going around.

This story is pretty good. It has a cute ending. I was worried that Betty would end up stressing over Archie or something equally stupid, but that didn’t happen.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Archie Pilot – The Electric Cupid (1964)

Writer: Ray Allen
Director: Gene Nelson
Original Air Date: unaired?
Length: 34:20

If I had known this was on YouTube (believe me, I looked), I would have reviewed it far earlier.

This was the second attempt to create an Archie television series. The first was a 1962 pilot called “Life with Archie” (which IMDb calls a “TV movie”, implying it actually aired), starring Frank Bank (Clarence Rutherford of “Leave It to Beaver”). According to IMDb: “According to Frank Bank, the pilot was not picked up because the sponsors felt that viewers would still see him as “Lumpy” from Leave It to Beaver (1957).” It’s the general belief that the 1962 pilot has never seen the light of day (though I’ve seen one person claim to have it). I have no info on the plot of the pilot. According to IMDb, ABC produced it. Supposedly, IMDb’s cast list for this pilot is mostly wrong. According to second-hand info, quoting an audio interview with Frank Bank from one of the “Leave It to Beaver” DVD sets, Desilu produced this pilot. Frank said it was “funny and cool” and also said “I thought it was a good show.” He mentioned the cast. In addition to him, “Jimmy Hawkings” (possibly Jimmy Hawkins) was Jughead, Norm Grabowski was Moose, Cheryl Holdridge was Betty (and the only actor to come back in the 1964 pilot), Barbara Parkins was Veronica, and Paul Ford was Mr. Weatherbee.

The second pilot (which I’m reviewing today), called “Archie” but also known as “The Electric Cupid”, is from 1964. According to IMDb, Screen Gems produced it, and ABC distributed it. However, IMDb also gives a runtime of 43 minutes (which is far longer than the version that I downloaded). If it indeed aired as a “TV movie” as IMDb claims, it would have been packed with commercials. I realize my copy might be incomplete (it’s definitely an unusual length), but it feels (mostly) complete to me, and I can’t find a version that’s any longer. Whatever the case, I’m guessing, if the series had been picked up, it would have been a standard half-hour sitcom with a runtime of 20+ minutes. I’m relying on IMDb for some of the cast members of this pilot, because the pilot itself refuses to credit them (see the credits note near the end of the review). Finally, because IMDb incorrectly claims more cast overlap between the two pilots than there actually was, the number of credits for Veronica, Mr. Andrews, and Mr. Weatherbee’s actors is actually one less than what I report below.

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The pilot opens with a shot of the Andrews’ house. A logo from the group that uploaded this pilot is in the lower-right corner for a few seconds. Sorry about that.

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Mary comes by with the coffee for breakfast. Fred notes Mary hasn’t called Archie yet. Mary checks her watch and says Archie still has “almost a whole minute” and talks about the value of sleep.

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Mary Andrews is played by Jean Vander Pyl, the voice of Wilma Flintstone. That was actually her sole role in the last few years of her life. She died on April 10, 1999, at age 79, having racked up 87 credits in a career that spanned 1954-1997.

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Fred Andrews is played by William Schallert. He racked up a whopping 382 credits in a huge career that spanned 1947-2014. He died on May 8, 2016, at the age of 93.

They have a bit of a discussion about Archie and Benjamin Franklin.

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Mary finds a note attached to a control of some kind (which, somehow, neither of them noticed earlier). In this particular incarnation, contrary to every other depiction, Archie is really interested in science and is an amateur inventor (kind of like Dilton Doiley, I guess). He invites his mom to try out “the newest miracle” by pushing the button when it’s time for him to get up.

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Fred’s curiosity is piqued.

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Mary pushes the button.

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There’s then a neat special effect (which I initially mistook for tape damage) where the audience basically goes up to the second floor to check on Archie.

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Archie’s machine starts up.

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A pre-recorded tape starts playing, giving the impression that Archie is actually waking up. How Archie is not actually waking up, due to all of this noise, is anyone’s guess.

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The machine also moves Archie’s shoes to make it seem like he’s walking around.

Downstairs, Mary and Fred are impressed.

Upstairs, the machine releases the shade on Archie’s window, letting it open. It also somehow shuts the window.

Downstairs, Mary wishes Archie would fix the window shade and remember to stop banging the window.

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Upstairs, the machine turns on Archie’s shower. Archie starts singing on the tape.

Downstairs, Fred is having his doubts. He knows Archie doesn’t drink (this was in 1964, but even then it was an issue that had to be considered), and he dismisses the ideas that he brought his entire class home to spend the night or has a horse in his room, but then he suddenly changes his mind, because he hears Archie tap-dancing in the shower with his shoes on. He goes upstairs to investigate, but Mary think he’s being silly and tells Fred to tell Archie that she’s putting his breakfast on the table.

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Fred is denied entry to Archie’s bedroom.

He finally gets in, gets past the machine, shuts off the shower, and wakes Archie up.

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He has Archie turn the machine off. Archie is impressed that his machine worked. Fred’s like “What the fuck?”

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Archie’s like “I needed extra sleep. I was up ’til four.”

Archie Andrews is played by John Simpson. This was his first role. After this pilot wasn’t picked up to series, his sole other acting role was as a zombie in “Night of the Living Dead”, four years later. IMDb gives an “alternative name” of Paul Simpson and says he’s a retired calculus teacher living in Clymer, Pennsylvania.

Fred brings up Archie’s hero:

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They exchange quotes. Fred’s like “What were you doing up that late?” Archie’s like “Building this.” Ha.

Fred gives up and leaves. Fade out.

The opening title sequence consists of a series of characters, each saying “Archie” in a different way:

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“That’s me!”

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The opening theme song starts up. It’s a typical theme song from that era. Kinda goofy but fun. It sounds kind of like a commercial jingle.

The picture cuts out shortly before the song abruptly ends. Keep in mind that this is just a pilot.

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Fade in. Archie’s eating breakfast. Fred is drinking coffee and reading his newspaper (happily? unhappily?).

Archie starts talking about “talking man to man” and “bridg[ing] the gulf between the generations”. He also mentions Fred is a psychologist. Fred cuts through the bullshit and immediately turns down whatever Archie wants before he even asks it. After a bit of dry humor, Fred points out that Archie got his full allowance only three days ago. Archie explain Betty asked him to take her to the “PTA Get Acquainted Party”, and he’s gotta get her a corsage. Fred’s like “Tough shit.” (Side note: “scooties” is mid-1960s teen slang for dollars.)

Fred foresees Veronica making Archie take him and advises not asking Betty (I thought Betty asked him) until he knows Veronica won’t pull some shit. Archie gives the typical line about being unable to make up his mind between them. Fred finds this amusing.

Archie asks Fred how to know who’s the right girl. Fred gives us a fun word to use: propinquity. Yeah, he believes proximity, not any other factor, is responsible for pairing people up.

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“Oh?”

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“Oh, shit.”

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Fred quickly makes an exception for himself and Mary. They’re totally soulmates. But then Fred mentions the “remarkable coincidence” that she “happened to live in the next block”.

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The doorbell (which sounds like a telephone) rings. Archie gets up and opens the door.

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It’s Betty, here to pick up Archie, so they can walk to school together.

Betty Cooper is played by Cheryl Holdridge. She had a sporadic career, racking up only 28 credits from 1956 to 2000 (with the vast majority of her work being in the 1960s). She died on January 6, 2009, at the too-young age of 64.

Mary gets on Archie’s case for not carrying Betty’s books. Betty says they’re all Archie’s books; he left them over at her house last night. How does one manage to do that? And where are Betty’s books? AND WHY THE FUCK ISN’T ARCHIE CARRYING HIS OWN BOOKS?!

Anyway, Betty and Archie leave, and Fred makes a “joke” about Betty not holding the door open for Archie.

Fade out. Fade back in.

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We get an exterior shot of Riverdale High School.

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In his office, a weary Mr. Weatherbee looks at the incoming students and then talks to himself about his problems. When I say talks to himself, I mean he has a back-and-forth conversation with himself. We actually hear his inner voice respond. It basically boils down to Archie being the source of his problems. Oh, and Riverdale High’s student population is 800.

Mr. Weatherbee is played by Roland Winters. He racked up 102 credits (plus he wrote 3 stories for theater-based shows) in a career that spanned 1941-1982. He died on October 22, 1989, at the age of 84.

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As Betty and Archie walk down a hall, they’re joined by Veronica, who hands Archie a blueprint. Archie gives an extra book to Betty to carry, so he can take a look at the blueprint. Ass.

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Jughead comes by and asks Archie about it.

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Archie explains they’re the plans for the new “electronic computing machine” that Mr. Lodge put in his bank. Veronica borrowed them for Archie. Why would Mr. Lodge let Archie, of all people, get a hold of this? Or does he not know Archie has it?

Veronica Lodge is played by Mikki Jamison. She racked up 22 credits in a career that spanned 1962-1978. She died on June 10, 2013, at the too-young age of 70.

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Veronica casually pulls Jughead out of the way of her locker. I fucking love that.

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Veronica, in the most seductive, come-fuck-me way possible, suggests Archie drop the plans by her house this evening. Archie agrees, saying it’s the least that he could do. Oh, I’m sure that you’ll be doing plenty more, Arch. Betty sees this for what it is but doesn’t say anything.

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Archie and Jughead orgasm over computers for a bit. Archie wants to use the bank’s computer. Jughead asks what he’d use it for. Archie doesn’t know yet.

Jughead Jones is played by Jerry Brite. This pilot was literally his only role. IMDb doesn’t even claim he was in the 1962 pilot.

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More of Mr. Weatherbee talking to himself about Archie.

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Class is about to start.

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Miss Grundy is played by Mary Grace Canfield. She racked up 44 credits in a career that spanned 1954-1993. Her most famous roles are probably Harriet Kravitz on “Bewitched” and Ralph Monroe on “Green Acres”. Further witchy work includes a guest spot on “Tabitha” (the “Bewitched” spinoff). She died on February 15, 2014, at the age of 89.

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She reads a “social note” from the PTA president, Mrs. Finch, even though the note itself was actually written by Mr. Weatherbee. Why does Miss Grundy have to read this? Why doesn’t Mr. Weatherbee announce it to the entire school over the intercom? Anyway, there’s a PTA Get-Together Party this Saturday night. Oh, and Mr. Weatherbee’s initials are L.J.; I guess they hadn’t decided on his first name being Waldo yet. Insert “Where’s Waldo?” joke here.

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Jughead whispers advice about getting an A for the semester: fix it so Miss Grundy has a date with Mr. Weatherbee.

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Miss Grundy makes a sarcastic comment about the students’ lack of enthusiasm for the dance. She has to go into the next classroom for a moment and tells them to start reading chapter 14 or daydream about the dance. She then suddenly gets all serious and leaves.

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Jughead asks a girl named Buffie to the party. She playfully tells him that he’s “so funny” (which is a really nice way of saying “Fuck off”). Jughead, uncharacteristically, says he’s a “lover”, not a comedian.

Buffie is played by Kathy Bennett. She had a very short, albeit very prolific, career, racking up 12 credits (16 separate roles) from 1962 to 1964. This was her next-to-last role. No idea what happened to her.

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Reggie comes by and says, for a lover, Jughead’s pretty funny. Buffie finds that hilarious. Jughead doesn’t.

Reggie Mantle is played by Wayne Adams. He acted in only 3 things from 1963 to 1965 (this being his middle role).

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Reggie asks Veronica to the party. Veronica want to go with Archie.

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Betty tells “dear heart” that Archie’s taking her. What’s with the romantic-sounding nickname?

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“Ha!”

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“Fuck off.”

Archie tells them to calm the fuck down. Jughead guesses even Rock Hudson doesn’t have Archie’s kind of trouble. Sometimes, Archie doesn’t think they care about him; they’re the Giants and the Packers, and he’s just their football. That’s…actually pretty accurate.

Veronica asks Betty to bet her allowance against Veronica’s over Archie not taking Veronica, giving Betty considerable odds. Betty starts getting into Veronica’s dad’s wealth, and Archie tells them to either stop fighting or stop being best friends. Both of them tell him to fuck off.

Miss Grundy returns. Everyone returns to their seats.

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She wants to get started on the chapter and tells everyone to keep quiet.

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Reggie points at Archie, and a sound effect tries to convince us that he threw something at him. Archie yells.

Miss Grundy yells at Archie. Betty takes the blame. Miss Grundy tells Betty to “subdue [her] protective instincts” and sends Archie to the principal’s office. Jughead protests, saying Archie is a “three-time loser”. What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Archie picks up his stuff and leaves. The rest of the students sing the funeral march as he walks out. Miss Grundy tells them to shut the fuck up and tells Archie to just follow the rug that he’s worn (despite the fact that there aren’t rugs in the hallways). Why doesn’t Archie explain what happened? Also, Veronica must have seen it. Why doesn’t she say anything?

During the transition to the next scene, the music score picks up the funeral march. That’s pretty cool.

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Archie walks into the main office and over to Mr. Weatherbee’s receptionist, Miss Kenny (in the comics, the receptionist is Miss Phlips, though I don’t know if she’d appeared yet in the comics or not). Archie flirts with her for a bit. He asks about the mood of “the warden”. She says rough, adding Mrs. Finch is in there.

Miss Kenney is played by Maggie Pierce. She racked up 43 credits in a career that spanned 1959-1967. She died on April 5, 2010, at the age of 78.

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Archie goes and listens in on the conversation.

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Basically, Mrs. Finch is on Mr. Weatherbee’s case for not pushing kids to attend the party, and Mr. Weatherbee’s like “Fuck off, it’s their choice.”

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Mrs. Finch is played by Harriet E. MacGibbon. She racked up 52 credits in a career that spanned 1930-1980. She died on February 8, 1987, at the age of 81.

Anyway, Mr. Weatherbee has to put up with both Mrs. Finch and his inner voice. Mrs. Finch is concerned that only the popular students, not the shy ones, always attend.

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Why the fuck is Archie sitting like that?

Anyway, he has an idea of how to get out of trouble.

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“ZOMG! Best. Idea. EVER!”

Yeah, Archie wants to use the bank’s “electrical computer” to pair the students up in an early version of computer matchmaking.

Ignoring Mr. Weatherbee’s protests and appealing to Mrs. Finch, Archie pitches his idea. Mr. Weatherbee says a computer won’t drag the shy students to the dance. Archie says it will give them an excuse, and then he brings up propinquity. Mrs. Finch mentions her late husband and her grew up only three doors apart.

Mrs. Finch is sold on the idea, tells Mr. Weatherbee that he will cooperate, tells Archie that he’s “a nice boy”, thanks him, and leaves.

Mr. Weatherbee is about to go out and ask Miss Kenney but then figures out on his own that Archie had been listening in. Archie doesn’t deny it and wants to start putting their idea into action. They banter for a bit about terminology and Mr. Weatherbee’s worries and their supposed friendship, and then Mr. Weatherbee tells Archie to get the fuck out without asking why he was in the office in the first place.

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During lunch, the gang is making a big spectacle of handing out computer cards to the students. Apparently, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead are to punch the cards according to each student’s size, weight, hobbies, likes, and dislikes. Do they even know how to do that? Did they take a crash course in computing? Anyway, on Friday afternoon, in the gym, an “electronic computer” will match them with their perfect date for the Get Acquainted Party.

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Veronica seductively rubs her card on two guys like it’s dripping with her cum or something, and she gets them to each pay a nickel in the hope of getting paired with her. Archie praises this tactic.

Oh, and “chappies” is mid-1960s slang for guys, apparently.

Jughead announces the arrival of “the champ of the bashful ones”:

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Mildred. She’s played by Karen Green. She racked up 28 credits in a sporadic career that spanned 1952-2006 (mostly in the 1950s and 1960s, though the 1970s was technically her only inactive decade). No idea what happened to her.

Archie calls out to Mildred. She runs away. He gives chase.

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He offers her a card (unpunched, I guess). She snatches it and runs away.

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Archie gets two girls to agree to his scheme. The one in the glasses didn’t want to “break training” (I think that’s what she said), but the other says “I will if you will”, and that convinces her. I have no idea what that was about. The actors are uncredited.

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One guy claims he bought his “ticket” (maybe he means for the dance, but that’s not relevant here) purely out of scientific curiosity; he wants to see how the computer works. Archie promises he’ll see it and get a perfect date on Friday afternoon. I thought this was going to lead to some kind of investigation subplot, but the guy just accepts it and thanks Archie. The actor is uncredited.

Veronica takes Archie aside to speak with him privately.

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“So, um, hehe, I totally lied; you can’t use the computer; I fully admit I’m a fucking bitch, but you didn’t wanna go with me, so I didn’t ask Daddy.”

Archie basically reiterates what Veronica just said, like he’s just coming to this realization.

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A self-satisfied Veronica congratulates “chappie” on his amazing intellect.

Archie doesn’t want to break his date with Betty and appeals to Veronica to look at the “poor, bashful kids” and think about their hopes of getting laid. Veronica is unmoved. Archie leaves in frustration and takes Betty behind the stage to break their date privately. Betty slaps him (off-screen).

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Veronica is pleased.

Archie runs after Betty.

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Jughead comes by and asks what “sparked” that. Veronica says electricity is wonderful, but there are some things that a girl just has to handle herself.

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Archie catches up with Betty and apologizes to her. She’s still pissed at him. We learn she was crazy about him even before his voice changed.

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Veronica tells “chappie” to leave everything to the “magic machine”. Was the term “chappie” really common back then?

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Reggie comes over and feeds Veronica a lie about overhearing Archie planning to take Betty to the dance once he’s done with the computer.

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Archie tells Betty that he’s gonna put a card in for her to guarantee her a date for the party.

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Betty laughs it off.

Reggie spins it as Betty and Archie laughing at Veronica. Betty goes into the school. Reggie suggests Veronica “beat Archie to the punch” by telling him that she’s going to the party with Reggie.

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“Nose out, Reggie!” I guess that’s mid-1960s slang for “Mind your own fucking business!”

Veronica takes Archie behind the stage and slaps him (off-screen).

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In Mr. Weatherbee’s office, he’s on the phone with Mrs. Finch and giving her a positive update regarding the dance – but then has a hard time ending the conversation.

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It seems the beginning of this scene was cut (I guess), because Miss Grundy tries to resume a conversation from before the phone call. She mentions she argued with Mr. Weatherbee about Archie’s plan, but she still doesn’t have a partner for the party.

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“Get the fuck out.” Damn, dude, can’t you tell she wants you?

Miss Grundy leaves, disappointed.

Fade out. Fade back in.

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That night, Archie’s got Jughead over. Archie’s working on a scheme. Jughead suggests calling Veronica again. Archie refuses to beg after Veronica’s turned him down eleven times already.

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Archie’s plan is to make a fake computer, and Jughead will sit inside it and pair up the students (this isn’t stated yet, but it will become apparent soon).

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Fred comes in. Jughead and Fred impersonate German scientists.

They do a test run:

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Fred compliments them. Archie asks his dad about the (unseen) ethical question (regarding what they’re doing) that he’d asked earlier (was something cut?). Fred’s okay with it, justifying it as a means of getting boys and girls together, so propinquity can take over. He then lists a bunch of “illusions” in romance: music, flowers, perfume, and the moon. Archie is surprised but pleased, because he “knew” he was “right all along” but appreciates his dad explaining why.

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Later, downstairs, Fred asks Mary if they over-Spocked Archie. Mary laughs and says she thinks they Spocked him just right. They hear some sound effects or whatever coming from upstairs (it goes unexplained; probably has to do with the “computer”).

Fade out. Fade back in.

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The next day (I guess), Archie is having the “computer” pair the students up.

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At least one girl seems amused by the whole thing.

Anyway, the next named couple is:

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Roger (the science dude from earlier) and Heather. The actors aren’t credited.

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Veronica is curious about Archie’s computer, but Reggie had been under the impression that it’s her dad’s. Reggie excuses himself and walks off.

The next “perfect date” is:

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Buffie…

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…and Jughead

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Jughead’s pleased with himself, of course, but this actually surprises Archie, and Reggie keeps an eye out.

Buffie questions Archie about the outcome, and Archie just says it’s “what the machine says, and science can’t be wrong”. Buffie’s in disbelief but tries to accept it. Jughead’s still pleased with himself. Archie says “Jughead isn’t here today, but he’ll be fine for the party.” This arouses Reggie’s suspicion, and he walks off.

The next couple is:

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Bernard (a geophysics nerd) and Luna (an idiot). The other students groan and express their disapproval. The actors aren’t credited.

Archie asks if everybody’s happy, and they all (improbably) say yeah and wave their cards in excitement.

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Archie waits for the other students to leave. Before all of them do, Jughead demands to be let out, but Archie tells him to shut the fuck up.

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Finally, when the room is clear, Archie opens the back panel to let Jughead out.

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Mr. Weatherbee and Reggie come in. Mr. Weatherbee thanks him and, over his protests, sends him away. Archie puts the panel back on, trapping Jughead inside the box.

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Archie nervously touts success and wants to fucking leave, but Mr. Weatherbee wants to see the inside of the computer. Archie tries to stop him, citing the delicate technology. Mr. Weatherbee brings up the cheap plywood box that supposedly houses the expensive machinery. Archie tries to quote Ben Franklin, but Jughead responds to Mr. Weatherbee’s knocks with knocks of his own and then yells out. Archie still tries to convince him that nothing’s up. Mr. Weatherbee finally has enough and…

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Archie still tries to lie. Mr. Weatherbee and Archie get Jughead out of the box. Mr. Weatherbee’s pissed, but Archie tries to spin it as their “secret”. He then quotes Ben Franklin, basically threatening Mr. Weatherbee’s and Jughead’s lives.

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Mr. Weatherbee assures punishment for both of them. He and Archie help Jughead to his feet. Mr. Weatherbee throws Jughead out and tells Archie to report to his office in five minutes. If Jughead’s being punished too, why wasn’t he told to report to the office?

After Archie leaves, Mr. Weatherbee gets in a short, frustrating conversation with his inner voice.

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Later, in Mr. Weatherbee’s office, Archie tries to talk him out of punishing him.

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He raises the blinds and looks out at the “poor kids”, who will soon be “disappointed”. He invites Mr. Weatherbee to join him. He does – over a warning from his inner voice.

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Archie brings up the happiness of the previously dateless students and then brings up his father’s reasoning of a lot of illusion in romance: Brahms’ music, perfume, a bouquet of flowers, and the moon. Mr. Weatherbee’s inner voice warns him, and Mr. Weatherbee tells him to shut up, which shocks Archie. Mr. Weatherbee comes around to Archie’s way of thinking. Archie compliments the “highest type educator” for being “always willing to learn”.

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“Get the fuck out, asshole.”

After Archie leaves, Mr. Weatherbee sits down, and his inner voice repeats a claim from earlier that Mr. Weatherbee likes Archie.

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Fade out. Fade back in.

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Archie watches the students walk into the school and is upset that he doesn’t have a date.

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Archie sees Jughead and Buffie arrive, so he quickly hides. Why? Is he afraid that she’ll be upset? Well, she’s not. They actually seem to be getting along just fine. Of course, it’s all built on a lie, but y’know.

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Archie comes out of hiding, sees Betty and Veronica arrive with their dates, and hides again. The girls don’t care for their dates. They also insult Archie.

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And Archie’s actually perplexed at this.

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Miss Grundy arrives – to Mr. Weatherbee’s delight. She was coming alone, but he takes her inside as his date. This makes Archie happy. Propinquity at work.

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Due to the success of the dance, Mr. Weatherbee is suddenly popular with the ladies. Miss Grundy is amused.

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Mildred watches the dates go in and then notices Archie. She ducks to avoid being seen. Archie’s upset about Mr. Weatherbee getting the credit for the dance’s success.

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He sees Mildred and gets her out of the bushes. They talk for a while. Mildred was too bashful to come to the school yesterday, when the cards were matched. Archie apologizes for prying. She runs away, upset. Archie gives chase.

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He catches up with her and reveals their cards match perfectly, saying she was supposed to be his date. If he really did plan this out, it’s a nice thing for him to do, but keep in mind that he probably had his card punched to match hers only after Betty and Veronica dumped his ass.

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Mildred doesn’t wanna go.

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Archie says she’d ruin his evening, so she agrees to go with him.

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Archie and Mildred go into the dance together. The audience applauds. The theme song reprises in a fuller version. The end credits come on. Only Miss Grundy, Mary Andrews, Jughead, Miss Kenney, Mrs. Finch, Buffie, Mildred, and Reggie’s actors are credited, surprisingly (plus Archie’s actor in the opening theme). It abruptly cuts off after a while.

So that’s the second attempt to bring Archie to television. I think it’s pretty good. It’s entertaining enough. The cast was good in their roles. If it was made today, the plot would be modernized to Archie running a fraudulent dating site, and Nickelodeon would be the only channel that would air it. Still, I wish it had gone to series back in the day. It was no worse than anything that was airing at the time.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – With Friends Like These

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Writer: Kathleen Webb
Pencils: Stan Goldberg
Inking: Mike Esposito
Original Publication: Betty’s Diary, No. 17
Cover Date: June, 1988
Length: 5 pages

I’m sorry for doing a quickie this week, but I recently found something really cool that I want to devote extra attention to for next week’s review.

This week, I’ve decided to review another story from the “Betty’s Diary” series. This time, I want to focus on Betty and Veronica’s friendship as perceived by Betty.

Betty muses about how, sometimes, she wonders why she tries to be friends with Veronica Lodge. This morning, Veronica criticized Betty’s choice of clothing colors (blue and white), which made her “look even more dowdy than normal”. She also criticized the material, which “just hangs” on Betty. Betty eventually got so pissed off that she was like “Fuck this shit” and left. Veronica took it as Betty not wanting her “help”.

“Thoroughly disgusted”, Betty came home, went up to her bedroom, back-kicked her door closed (startling her car, Caramel), and started writing in her diary. She has to write this all down and work it all out in her mind. She poses the question: “Why am I friends with Veronica Lodge?”

She has more reasons against their friendship than for it. She decides to list them, so she can examine them one by one:

Sometimes, if Betty tells Veronica a secret dream of hers, Veronica laughs at it. Example: They passed by a bookstore, and Betty expressed her dream of becoming a famous author someday. Veronica said, if Betty wrote her memoirs, she’d bore people to tears. Veronica spread it to some girls at Pop’s. Due to Veronica’s “insensitivity”, Betty had her milkshake at the counter, alone.

If Betty gets a date with Archie, Veronica tries to break it. Example: Veronica “reminded” Archie of a (never-made) previous date with her.

If Betty gets a date with any handsome boy, Veronica tries to break it. Example: Veronica asks Betty if she’d mind if Veronica danced with her date. Betty did mind but also said that didn’t fucking matter.

Veronica gets Betty sucky blind dates. Example: A snob insulted Betty’s intelligence, and Betty made a comeback that doesn’t make sense.

Veronica had previously put down Betty’s taste in clothes.

Veronica often ridicules Betty’s choice of hobbies. Examples: dollhouses and teddy bears. Veronica told Betty to “grow up and be a woman”. Betty asked why, adding Veronica hasn’t yet.

Veronica often flaunts her wealth in front of Betty’s face. Example: As they passed by a travel agency, Veronica mentioned her parents were taking her to Europe for the summer, adding Betty couldn’t “afford a chance to gain culture like that”. Betty couldn’t even afford bus fare home.

Veronica often brags about her breeding. Example: While in the Lodge family gallery, Veronica said the Lodges “date back to kings and queens” (without specifically saying they’re descended from royalty). She also said the Coopers were “just common stock”. Betty asked if her family makes good soup. Cheesy but funny.

If they make plans to go somewhere together (such as spending a whole Saturday shopping), Veronica will cancel if something better comes along (such as Archie wanting to take a drive in the country).

After all of that, Betty still doesn’t know why she’s Veronica’s friend, because Veronica’s so fucking selfish.

Then Betty remember one time when Veronica really needed her friendship. Veronica came over to Betty in tears, because her dad lost a million dollars in the stock exchange. Despite Mr. Lodge still having “vast millions” left, Veronica considered them to be “paupers” and was frightened that they’ll be in the “poorhouse” next. There’s a slight typo: “looses” instead of “loses”. While Betty knew Veronica was overreacting, she comforted her anyway. Soon, it was all over, and Veronica was all smiles again, but she admitted she never would have weathered it if it wasn’t for Betty. Betty told Veronica to call her whenever she’s down. Betty knows anybody would’ve thought Veronica was crazy; only Betty understood Veronica’s eccentric fears.

Betty goes on to realize, if it wasn’t for her, Veronica wouldn’t have any friends at all, because none of the other girls want to bother putting up with her; Betty is the only one that tries to understand her.

Betty realizes Veronica does have her good moments. Lots of times, Veronica has taken her along traveling with her family, given her nice clothes, and “shared boy talk”.

Betty justifies most of the hurt that Veronica does to her as being “caused by her pampered, spoiled, selfish lifestyle”, reasoning “she can’t help her upbringing”.

Betty looks at her framed photo of Veronica and again asks why she’s friends with her. She concludes it’s because, more than she needs Veronica’s friendship, Veronica needs hers.

As she sees Veronica approaching her house and waving to her, Betty waves back, thinking that’s what true friendship is all about.

This story. Wow. Where to begin? It’s nice to have a story in which Betty does an in-depth examination of her friendship with Veronica. Here’s the problem with this particular story, though: all of the negatives are valid points (which Betty wrongly excuses, believing Veronica “can’t help” it), but all of the supposed positives are hollow. To summarize, Betty puts up with a lot of shit (the bad kind) from Veronica (who is, by all appearances, incredibly selfish and neurotic) in the hope of getting free shit (the good kind). She also sees herself as being Veronica’s savior in a way: the one person that’s willing to be Veronica’s friend (because Veronica is apparently nowhere close to being popular, and there is apparently no other girl willing to get in good with the rich girl). This story makes the Betty/Veronica friendship pretty sad. Betty sees herself taking on this responsibility as being “what true friendship is all about”. No, Betty. If you want to be Veronica’s friend, so she won’t be lonely, that’s fine, but true friendship also involves calling your friend out on her shit, repeatedly, until she knocks it the fuck off.

Tune in next Wednesday!

The New Archies, Segment 09 – Future Shock

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Writer: Scott Anderson
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 10, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:20

We get a panning shot of kids having fun. An announcer welcomes them to the annual Riverdale school picnic. That’s it, just “Riverdale school”; he doesn’t specify which school.

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Despite the welcome just occurring, Betty and Reggie are already in a race. Betty declares she’s gonna win. Reggie disputes that, but Betty re-asserts it.

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Archie’s just relaxing.

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Suddenly, he spots a kid about to drown and swims over and rescues him.

That abruptly ends before they come ashore and is replaced by another panning shot of kids having fun.

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Eugene and Amani are boogeying down to generic, stereotypical 1950s rock and roll music (known to be loved by kids in the 1980s). It looks like she finally taught him how to dance.

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Mr. Weatherbee compliments Miss Grundy on her dance moves. She says rock and roll is in her soul (seriously).

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The fuck?

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We suddenly cut back to the rescue. The mom rushes over, and her first action is to offer Archie a reward, because that’s what all mothers would do after nearly losing their children. Archie hands the kid over to her and does the honorable thing by declining the reward. Someone off-screen sighs and says “My hero”, and the three of them look to see who it is.

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Oh, it’s just Ethel watching Jughead pig out.

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Meanwhile, Smithers gets Veronica liquored up while she gets off on herself.

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The race is still going on. They’re nearing the dock.

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Suddenly, Betty turns into Supergirl or some shit and rows at an inhumanly fast speed to win the race, because that’s funny, amirite?

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The unnamed coach gives Betty her trophy and congratulates her. Reggie claims he lost only because he hurt his arm. The onlookers laugh at him, not buying it.

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Even Betty laughs at him.

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The top of the left oar disappears for two frames. One thing that “The New Archies” will not be praised for is the quality of its animation.

The announcer tells all candidates for “picnic king and queen” to report to the dance pavilion at once.

Reggie and Betty row away from the dock to park their boats elsewhere, I guess.

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Later, at the dance pavilion, to thunderous cheers (by DiC’s standards), Miss Grundy announces the nominees:

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Couple #1: Archie and Veronica

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Couple #2: Betty and Reggie

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Miss Grundy only now notices the names of the third couple have been covered by mustard.

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The guilty, fat fucker promises they’ll have it figured out in time for the coronation ceremonies. Miss Grundy wishes good luck to the couples, whoever they may be.

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For some reason, this is cause for celebration.

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Miss Grundy reminds them that every couple that has ever been named Riverdale Picnic King and Queen have gone on to be married. Whaaaaaat? Seriously, that’s some contrived bullshit. Even the couples don’t believe it.

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Miss Grundy blushes and mentions one exception. Guess who.

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Oh, never mind, a handy flashback shows us.

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Back in the present, Mr. Weatherbee brings up the possibility of marriage “someday”. Miss Grundy is open to the possibility. How many decades has it been? What the fuck are you waiting for?!

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Later, Archie sits down and ponders (in awe) the odd fact about the Riverdale Picnic King and Queen getting married.

Time for another daydream sequence!

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In Archie’s imaginative future, he owns a business and sucks at punctuation (apparently taking after whichever idiot designed the above sign that can’t spell “Riverdale” right).

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The business is a combination car wash / shoe shine station (because that’s totally still a thing) / diner / barber shop. Oh, and Archie’s still the same age for some reason.

There’s really no need for me to screencap all of this shit that doesn’t count for anything. Needless to say, he’s overworked and fucks everything up.

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Anyway, he’s working his ass off, because his wife Veronica loves money. Yes, I realize this makes no sense whatsoever.

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Back at the mansion, Archie drags in a large bag of money to satisfy Veronica.

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Oh, and Veronica’s a lazy bitch.

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I find it hard to believe Veronica hasn’t yet blown through all of this money or at least deposited it in the bank. I guess Archie doesn’t know Veronica very well.

Veronica demands more money. Then Archie’s daydream ends, and he suddenly hates the idea of being married to Veronica.

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Veronica’s turn.

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In her daydream, she and Archie live in a dump of an apartment and eat nothing but turnip soup. Interesting choice. Oh, and neither of them have aged, of course.

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Archie has refused to get a real job in favor of “doing good deeds” and never taking the rewards. Surely, this is grounds for divorce.

Veronica rightly yells at him, and he reacts this way:

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and this way:

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Veronica reveals Archie never lets her dad give them any money, and then she whines about not having money.

Archie says they don’t need money, because doing good is all the reward that they’ll ever need. This repulses Veronica so much that she pulls her hand away from Archie between shots (or maybe it’s just shitty continuity, I dunno).

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Veronica breaks down and cries.

Her daydream ends, and she declares being married to Archie is “a real poor idea”. Ha.

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After the commercial break, it’s Reggie’s turn.

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In his daydream, he and Betty live on a farm (still the same age) and have two identical twin daughters that look exactly like Betty. She won’t let him do any work. Reggie wants to work?!

Abruptly, Betty runs off like she’s Supergirl.

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Betty feels like only she’s qualified to wrap hands around those sweet, sweet udders.

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Reggie tries to prove her wrong.

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The cow, wanting only Betty’s loving caress, kicks Reggie away. I love how his daughters don’t react at all.

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After Betty quickly milks the cow (putting only a few squirts into each bucket), she runs over her husband, causing him additional pain.

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Betty superhumanly chops an entire tree into a neat pile of wood.

Oh, and, apparently, she has identical triplets.

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Reggie’s having trouble getting the tractor started, so Betty quickly fixes the problem and then tears off like a fucking maniac, leaving her husband in the dirt.

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Reggie tries to hang a door, but it falls on him, so Betty, without checking on her husband, hammers the door into place (which I’m pretty sure is not how it’s done, but this is Reggie’s daydream, so whatever).

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Oh, and Reggie’s literally been flattened (in that cartoony way), so Betty just picks him up and carries him off.

Two of the kids inform Reggie that Betty has the flu and is too sick to run the farm. This makes Reggie happy, because he finally has something to do.

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Oh, I’m sorry, slight correction: Betty and Reggie have identical septuplets!

There’s a boring montage (which goes on for way too long) of farm work in which the kids are doing all of the work, and Reggie just stands around. The only thing of note is this moment when Reggie inexplicably tries to take a basket full of eggs away from one of his daughters (I guess he’s just really desperate for something to do):

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That’s what happens, man.

The montage goes on…and on…and on. NOTHING’S HAPPENING EXCEPT REGGIE’S USELESS HUR-HUR-HUR.

Reggie concludes it’s not easy being married to Betty, his daydream ends, he screams about how he can’t do it, and…

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Ha.

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We’re nine minutes into the story, and it’s finally time for Betty’s turn. Okay, Betty, show us what kind of nightmare future that you can think up.

Reggie is glad that he got the fake wood paneling up in time for their party.

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Reggie’s bald and has to wear a toupée. Sheesh, Betty, you’re the only one that imagines anyone looking any different in “the future”, and this is what you do?

Reggie asks if his toupée is fake, and Betty agrees.

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Betty offers Reggie an appetizer. She made his favorite: salami and cheddar cheese substitute. Is she thinking Reggie’s starting to have digestive problems in his old age?

Anyway, if my wife looked at me like that while offering me an “appetizer”, I’d politely decline and then run the fuck away.

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Oh, all of the guests are fake, because Reggie won’t allow real guests, because he’s a self-professed “fake”. Their whole life is fake: fake plants, fake furs (Betty makes a drawn-out “Ohhhh” sound like she’s just now realizing what’s going on), and…

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…fake kids. That’s kinda creepy. And did Betty know those kids were fake?

Well?

Did she?

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No. She didn’t.

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Her daydream ends, and Betty is utterly horrified.

Miss Grundy gets on the loudspeaker and says they’re ready to announce the winning couple. There’s 1:24 left in this segment, so it’s about fucking time.

Everyone arrives at the dance pavilion. Miss Grundy asks the couples to step forward.

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Eugene and Amani wonder where the couples are. Ethel spots them.

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Wow, those are some sad motherfuckers.

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Veronica is the only person to voice her dread, declaring she can’t live without money.

Amani asks what’s wrong with them. Eugene doesn’t know but hopes their names aren’t on the list.

Miss Grundy asks Mr. Weatherbee for the envelope. She opens it and takes out the card.

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Miss Grundy is shocked (and pleased) that the winning couple is Jughead and Big Ethel. If I haven’t mentioned it before, “Big Ethel” was Ethel’s nickname in the comics at the time. Because she’s tall. And tall girls are to be made fun of. And fuck whoever thought that was a good idea. “Saved by the Bell” and “Coach” did the same fucking shit.

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The “losers” are happier than the winners.

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Going completely against Jughead’s characterization in the comic books, he enjoys being involved with Ethel, even if it is just some stupid annual town tradition. They start to daydream about their “wonderful” eventual marriage:

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Since we’ve got eleven seconds left, they give us a quick, shared daydream: Ethel feeds Jughead. Of course. Why are they the only ones to imagine themselves older than their current ages? Also, why are the cheers from the audience still going on during the daydream sequence? Oh, well, whatever, the story’s over, thank fucking Goddess.

This segment was pretty stupid. Almost nothing in it mattered. We got to see what the characters think of each other, but the daydreams were so stupid that you can’t take them seriously.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch, Episode 03 – Ice Giant for Tea

Nine years after the end of the last Sabrina series, Sabrina Spellman returned to television in a 3-D computer-animated series called “Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch“, which ran for 26 episodes (the same length as “Sabrina’s Secret Life”) from Saturday, October 12, 2013, to Saturday, June 7, 2014.

This new series was developed by Pamela Hickey and Dennys McCoy and produced by Archie Comics, MoonScoop Group (a now-defunct French animation and production company that was founded in 2003 (with roots going back to 1984) and was bought by Mike and Liz Young of Ellipsanime for $820,518 and re-branded as Splash Entertainment on February 4, 2014, which likely is the reason why there was never a second season), and DSK Group (a business conglomerate headquartered in India).

The series premiered on Hub Network. Similar to the issue with PAX back when “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” first aired, a lot of people didn’t know what Hub Network was. It was the 2013-2014 iteration of the network that was previously known as Discovery Kids (1996-2010) and The Hub (2010-2013) and is now known as Discovery Family (2014-present).

The premise is similar to that of “Sabrina’s Secret Life”, except Witch School is in Witch World, not in the basement of Greendale High School, and Sabrina has more than one classmate. Also, in this incarnation only, Sabrina is a witch princess, destined to rule Witch World one day as queen.

Some of the characters in this series were pulled from the manga iteration of the comics (which I’d mentioned previously). Shinji is based on Shinji Yamagi, a fellow teenage witch that attends spellcasting school with Sabrina. He competes with Harvey for Sabrina’s affections. The version on this show is Enchantra’s son. Amy is based on Amy Reinhardt, a popular girl that competes with Sabrina for Harvey’s affections. The version on this show competes with Sabrina for Jim’s affections. Side note: Amy is similar to Libby Chessler from the live-action series, but the manga-inspired comics actually integrated Libby into the comic continuity.

Former Disney Channel star and current pop singer Ashley Tisdale was cast in the crucial role of Sabrina. Here is the entire main voice cast:

Ashley Tisdale – Sabrina Spellman
Ian James Corlett – Salem / Professor Geist
Tabitha St. Germain – Hilda Spellman / Veralupa (half-human/half-werewolf friend of Sabrina’s)
Erin Matthews – Zelda Spellman / Jessie
Maryke Hendrikse – Amy/Londa
Kathleen Barr – Enchantra / Tiffany Titan (security officer at Greendale High) / Zanda
Matthew Erickson – Harvey Kinkle
Andrew Francis – Ambrose
James Higuchi – Shinji
David A. Kaye – Jim
Jamie Leipert (uncredited) – Spugent (according IMDb and to Wikipedia)
Rebecca Shoichet – Spella (Enchantra’s older sister, Shinji’s maternal aunt)

The series never received a proper DVD release. However, three compilation movies exist, editing together three or four episodes each. Two were released on DVD, and one is exclusive to Amazon Video:

Sabrina-A-Witch-and-the-WerewolfSabrina-Magic-of-the-Red-RoseSabrina-The-Troll-Princess
I chose this particular episode to review, because it’s the first stand-alone episode that I happened to watch.

Writers: Pamela Hickey & Dennys McCoy (head), Dan Wicksman & Noria Wicksman
Director: Trevor Wall
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Length: 22:00

SSoaTW-03-01-Londa-Zanda-flyingThe episode opens with two witches named Londa and Zanda flying.

SSoaTW-03-02-trollA troll is after them.

SSoaTW-03-03-Londa-Zanda-broomsSSoaTW-03-04-Londa-wandLonda declares she’s gonna roast the troll but ends up making it even madder.

SSoaTW-03-05-crumblesHowever, Londa actually destroyed the troll’s weapon.

SSoaTW-03-06-Londa-Zanda-yeahSSoaTW-03-07-Geist-1It turns out that their teacher, Professor Geist, was reviewing their actions in their “fighting in pairs” exam. He praises them. For some reason, he has a Scottish accent.

SSoaTW-03-08-Geist-2Also, he’s missing the lower half of his body. Sure, why not?

Sabrina offers to gives the girls a high five, but they think Sabrina thinks their names are High and Five. How the fuck can people be that dumb? Also, witches have never heard of high fives?

SSoaTW-03-09-Sabrina-AmbroseSabrina tries to explain the high five to them but is confused about it herself.

The blond guy sitting next to Sabrina is her cousin Ambrose. Quite a bit of an upgrade from the Filmation series:

sabrina-1969-59-ambrose-bagSSoaTW-03-10-Shinji-boastsShinji isn’t impressed and boasts about completing the exam faster than anyone so far.

Professor Geist pairs Ambrose and Sabrina together and has them pick a monster. Sabrina lets Ambrose pick it.

SSoaTW-03-11-Ambrose-talks-trashAmbrose starts talking trash but then gets afraid that he’ll choose the ice giant.

SSoaTW-03-12-SabrinaSSoaTW-03-13-ice-giant-cardSabrina is happy to report he chose the ice giant.

SSoaTW-03-14-Ambrose-scaredAmbrose gets a chill, hugs himself, and calls for his mommy. I love Sabrina’s expression, like she’s thinking “Bitch, please.”

The theme song, written by Noam Kaniel and Nicholas Varley and performed by Bridgette Hammers (with background vocals by Noam Kaniel), is pretty catchy. It runs one minute. My only complaint: Why didn’t they get Ashley Tisdale herself to record the song? Girl’s a pop singer!

SSoaTW-03-15-theme-01SSoaTW-03-16-theme-02SSoaTW-03-17-theme-03SSoaTW-03-18-theme-04SSoaTW-03-19-theme-05SSoaTW-03-20-theme-06SSoaTW-03-21-theme-07SSoaTW-03-22-theme-08SSoaTW-03-23-theme-09SSoaTW-03-24-theme-10SSoaTW-03-25-theme-11SSoaTW-03-26-theme-12SSoaTW-03-27-theme-13SSoaTW-03-28-theme-14SSoaTW-03-29-theme-15SSoaTW-03-30-theme-16SSoaTW-03-31-theme-17SSoaTW-03-32-theme-18SSoaTW-03-33-theme-19SSoaTW-03-34-theme-20SSoaTW-03-35-theme-21SSoaTW-03-36-theme-22SSoaTW-03-37-theme-23The sequence uses the interesting approach of showing Sabrina’s human life as sketches in her notebook and then switching to her magic book and a completely different style to show her witch life.

SSoaTW-03-38-titleSSoaTW-03-39-Sabrina-AmbroseAfter the theme song, Ambrose flatters Sabrina, and it takes her a moment to realize he’s talking about her.

SSoaTW-03-40-classroomLooks like being Enchantra’s son gives Shinji quite a few perks, such as a desk to himself, away from the other students. They’re literally beneath him.

SSoaTW-03-41-Shinji-boastsSpeaking of Shinji, he boasts he’s the best witch and insults Sabrina.

SSoaTW-03-42-Sabrina-castsSSoaTW-03-43-Londa-Zanda-laughSSoaTW-03-44-Shinji-earsSSoaTW-03-45-Londa-Zanda-laughSSoaTW-03-46-Shinji-tailThat’s what happens, man.

Sabrina asks Ambrose why he’s so worried about the ice giant. When he was a kid, his parents used the ice giant as a threat to get him to eat his “blood root”.

SSoaTW-03-47-Sabrina-high-fiveSabrina tries to encourage Ambrose and wants him to give her a high five.

SSoaTW-03-48-Ambrose-cluelessAmbrose is clueless, so Sabrina decides to go over the rules of the high five…some other time.

SSoaTW-03-49-houseWow, the Spellmans’ house has really been downgraded for this series. Check out their house in previous incarnations:

sabrina-1969-02-housesabrina-movie-080-housesabrina-001-47-house-daySSL-07-31-Spellman-houseSSoaTW-03-50-Salem-asleepSalem is asleep. You just know something’s gonna happen.

SSoaTW-03-51-Sabrina-jumpsOn this series, Sabrina has a scooter, and she likes to drive to and from Witch World on it at high speeds and jump off it like an action star before it crashes (in this case, into Salem).

SSoaTW-03-52-Sabrina-helmet“Oopsie.”

SSoaTW-03-53-house-interiorSSoaTW-03-54-Sabrina-drinksSSoaTW-03-55-Sabrina-excitedLater, Sabrina’s human friend, Marnie Jenny Valerie Chloe Roxie Jessie, is over and asks Sabrina how Witch School went. Sabrina replies while preparing magical drinks for the two of them.

SSoaTW-03-56-Jessie-SabrinaJessie mentions she’s directing the school play, and Sabrina gets a funny line in. Jessie invites Sabrina to watch a rehearsal. It’s a British play called “Clotted Cream and Jam”. Sabrina enthusiastically agrees.

SSoaTW-03-57-Greendale-High-SchoolSSoaTW-03-58-Jim-rehearsesSSoaTW-03-59-Jim-rehearses-2Later, at Greendale High School, Sabrina attends the rehearsal. Sabrina’s love interest, Jim, is playing one of the leads.

SSoaTW-03-60-Amy-Jim-rehearsePopular girl Katy Lemore Libby Chessler Gem Stone Portia Cassandra Amy is playing the other lead (Jim’s character’s wife). Both of them are doing bad British accents. Jessie loves it.

SSoaTW-03-61-Amy-noAmy’s “not feelin’ it”, though. She wants to wear her costume, despite the fact that this isn’t a dress rehearsal (she’s a “method actress”). Jessie tells Sabrina to give Amy the hat. Sabrina tosses the hat to Amy.

SSoaTW-03-62-Amy-hatAmy says she doesn’t play catch, because she’s an actress.

SSoaTW-03-63-Sabrina-Jessie“So…act like you’re playing catch.” I fucking love Sabrina.

SSoaTW-03-64-Amy-puckersSSoaTW-03-65-Jim-scaredAmy wants to do the kissing scene, which Jim is scared to do because of Sabrina’s presence.

SSoaTW-03-66-Jim-confusedHe looks to Sabrina for guidance. Sabrina seems to give the go-ahead but then…

SSoaTW-03-67-Sabrina-barfSSoaTW-03-68-Sabrina-clothesSabrina randomly stands up and leans against a rolling costume trunk (why’s it here?), sending it rolling. Jessie orders “Follow that trunk!” Jim does, pissing off Amy.

SSoaTW-03-69-trunk-doorsThere’s no way that a trunk of costumes could open the auditorium’s doors.

SSoaTW-03-70-Sabrina-chasesSabrina joins Jim in chasing after the trunk.

SSoaTW-03-71-Sabrina-magicAs the trunk rolls down the sidewalk, Sabrina decides to try some “magic heavy lifting”.

SSoaTW-03-72-Jim-dumpsterShe slightly moves a dumpster in an attempt to block the trunk, and Jim falls into it. Ha.

Off-screen costume carnage and exposition from Jim let us know the wardrobe trunk is now in Lake Greendale.

SSoaTW-03-73-Greendale-High-SchoolSSoaTW-03-74-groupBack in the auditorium, Jessie gets a phone call that makes her day worse.

SSoaTW-03-75-favorSSoaTW-03-76-Sabrina-scaredMarcy broke her leg, so Jessie asks Sabrina to play the maid. Sabrina has stage fright and pretends to pass out or something. I love her humor on this series.

Jessie begs her “best friend” to help her in her “hour of need”. Sabrina doesn’t agree, but Jessie goes ahead and announces her in the role.

SSoaTW-03-77-Sabrina-oh-shit“Oh, shit.”

Sharing the stage with Sabrina pisses Amy off. Sabrina’s unable to voice her objection to Jessie. Jessie makes an “artistic decision” to do a modern version of this play in modern clothes. Amy decides to keep her hat.

SSoaTW-03-78-groupHarvey comes in, announcing he’s taping the play for the school. Wait, wait, wait, taping? Are tape-based video cameras even made anymore?

SSoaTW-03-79-HarveySSoaTW-03-80-groupWow, they really nerded Harvey up for this series. He’s hoping the play will now include aliens, monsters, and special effects. Jessie’s like “Fuck no, just modern clothes.” Amy’s like “Except for my hat, bitch.”

Sabrina takes Jessie aside to chat.

SSoaTW-03-81-Jessie-SabrinaOutside, Sabrina brings up the scheduling conflict between the play and her exam. Jessie brings up Sabrina’s magic hourglass, which means eight hours in Witch World equals one hour here. Sabrina isn’t sure.

SSoaTW-03-82-Ambrose-GeistOne week later, Ambrose nervously wonders when Sabrina will get here.

SSoaTW-03-83-houseSeriously, this house looks like a dump.

SSoaTW-03-84-aunts-SabrinaThe play’s in less than an hour, so Sabrina has nearly eight hours for her exam with Ambrose.

SSoaTW-03-85-Sabrina-auntsHilda and Zelda give Sabrina some last-minute pointers. Sabrina thanks them.

Zelda has a New York accent on this series, which is a really odd choice for someone from another dimension (though no more so than a Scottish accent).

SSoaTW-03-86-Shinji-doorSSoaTW-03-87-ShinjiIn Witch World, Shinji does a spell to lock the door between Sabrina’s house and Witch World to prevent her from taking her exam (he’s so insecure over her upstaging him).

Oh, and the goblin that he’d caught during his exam sneezes blue snot on him. Whatever.

SSoaTW-03-88-hourglassBack home, Sabrina flips her magic hourglass and then tears off on her scooter like a fucking maniac.

SSoaTW-03-89-no-goSSoaTW-03-90-Sabrina-hex“What the hex?!” Okay, that’s cute. 🙂

Sabrina whips out her wand and shoots her magic all over that goo, but it doesn’t work. She has a good sense of humor about it, though.

SSoaTW-03-91-Zelda-pissedHilda identifies the goo, and Zelda’s pissed about having to clean it up, which will take them at least a day. Sabrina brings up Ambrose and the ice giant. Hilda proposes a solution.

SSoaTW-03-92-teleport-broochThe solution is a teleport brooch, activated by a dusting of dwarf toenails. Of course.

Zelda recommends a barf bag, but Sabrina tries out the brooch and likes it. Hilda mentions the brooch cancels out the power of the magic hourglass, so time passes at the same rate in both worlds.

SSoaTW-03-93-Sabrina-pissed“What the fuck, bitches?!”

Zelda offers Sabrina another barf bag.

SSoaTW-03-94-Ambrose-ShinjiIn Witch World, Shinji shows up to taunt Ambrose over Sabrina’s absence. Geist is like “What the fuck?”

SSoaTW-03-95-ShinjiShinji actually exclaims “Long live the me!” For fuck’s sake…

SSoaTW-03-96-Ambrose-SabrinaSabrina suddenly bamfs in and apologizes for being late. Shinji’s like “What the fuck?!”

SSoaTW-03-97-Ambrose-hugs-SabrinaAmbrose hugs Sabrina and thanks “the skies”. Really? That’s so obviously euphemistic and intended to be inoffensive. Why not say “Thank the Goddess” or “Thank the Lady”? Real witches generally worship a female deity.

Ambrose manages to compose himself and tries a more subdued reaction, calling her “Brina” (like Harvey did back in the day), which I still find weird. I love how Sabrina casually cleans herself (of cooties, I guess).

Geist tells them to not “shilly-shally”. Nice try, but nobody gives that advice quite like Tifa Lockhart.

Shinji makes a shitty attempt at a burn and then takes off. Geist acts like a ring announcer and then gets the fuck away.

SSoaTW-03-99-ice-giantThe ice giant shows up. Did he politely wait until Geist left, or did Geist know when he’d be showing up?

Anyway, the ice giant lets out a mighty roar, and Sabrina is casually impressed by it and appreciative of Ambrose’s terror. I fucking love Sabrina on this series.

Ambrose is glad that Sabrina’s here, but she informs him that she “may have to duck out from time to time”.

SSoaTW-03-100-Sabrina-Ambrose-ice-giantShe then tells him to literally “Duck!”, and they avoid getting hit. Sabrina gets up but gets knocked on her ass again.

SSoaTW-03-101-Sabrina-wandSSoaTW-03-102-Sabrina-zapsShe heats up the ice and makes the ice giant fall through (somehow not melting him in the process).

SSoaTW-03-103-Sabrina-reminderSSoaTW-03-104-clock“The fuck?! Whoops, sorry, Ambrose, I’m outty!”

SSoaTW-03-105-Sabrina-castsSSoaTW-03-106-ice-giant-thrownAs a parting gift, Sabrina tosses the ice giant into the distance.

SSoaTW-03-107-Shinji-seesShinji sees Sabrina bamf out and figures out that she used a magic brooch to bypass the portal.

SSoaTW-03-108-Greendale-High-SchoolSSoaTW-03-109-audienceSSoaTW-03-110-Jim-AmyAt Greendale High School, the audience is inexplicably enthusiastic about this play about stuffy British aristocrats.

SSoaTW-03-111-Sabrina-JessieBackstage, Jessie is worriedly pacing. Sabrina bamfs in. Jessie’s like “Bitch, where the fuck you been?!” Sabrina apologizes, saying she lost track of time, which isn’t true, since she has an automatic reminder.

SSoaTW-03-112-Jessie-pushes-SabrinaJessie pushes Sabrina toward the stage.

SSoaTW-03-113-Sabrina-Jim-AmyThe audience applauds as Sabrina walks on.

SSoaTW-03-114-Hilda-cheersHilda is especially enthusiastic, telling Sabrina to “go for a touchdown”. Zelda corrects her.

SSoaTW-03-115-Harvey-boredMeanwhile, Harvey is bored, because this play sucks ass.

SSoaTW-03-116-AmyAmy is looking forward to bossing Sabrina around.

SSoaTW-03-117-Sabrina-actsSabrina’s acting is comedically horrible.

Amy’s next line insults Sabrina, and I can’t tell if it’s part of the script or if she improvised it, but it gets a laugh out of the audience.

SSoaTW-03-118-Sabrina-curtsiesSabrina curtsies and nervously goes backstage.

Backstage, Jessie is happy for Sabrina, and Sabrina quickly bamfs out.

SSoaTW-03-119-Jessie-shockedFor some reason, this shocks Jessie.

Back in Witch World, Ambrose isn’t doing well against the ice giant, who knocks him on his ass. Ambrose nervously tries to distract the ice giant by pointing to a non-existent squirrel. For some reason, the ice giant actually briefly looks, but it doesn’t help Ambrose.

SSoaTW-03-120-ice-giant-hitSSoaTW-03-121-Sabrina-wandSabrina announces her “dramatic entrance” with a blast from her wand.

SSoaTW-03-122-Ambrose-ice-ballThe ice giant gets pissed and throws a series of giant ice balls at Ambrose, barely missing him. This monster’s got shitty aim. Ambrose runs away in terror, promising to eat his blood root.

SSoaTW-03-123-Sabrina-backflipSabrina, in contrast, uses her acrobatic talent (a tradition from the live-action movie and series) to avoid getting hit.

SSoaTW-03-124-Sabrina-landsSSoaTW-03-125-Sabrina-tauntsShe also casually taunts the ice giant.

SSoaTW-03-126-Shinji-castsShinji has been observing all of this and casts a spell to give the ice giant “a little help”.

It doesn’t seem to make any difference, though. The ice giant still somehow manages to miss Sabrina and Ambrose. One of the ice balls goes past them in slo-mo, and I can’t tell if that was the result of Shinji’s spell or for dramatic effect.

SSoaTW-03-127-broochUnfortunately, Sabrina’s brooch gets hit and broken. Sabrina hopes it came with a warranty.

SSoaTW-03-128-Sabrina-bamfsShe charges up an attack but then bamfs out without warning.

SSoaTW-03-129-Sabrina-attacksSSoaTW-03-130-audienceSSoaTW-03-131-audience-shockedShe bamfs into the auditorium, and her attack flies past the audience and hits the wall.

Jessie runs over to Sabrina and is like “What the fuck?!”

SSoaTW-03-132-Jessie-upsetThen she gets upset, because her play is “ruined”. Because that’s the most pressing concern.

SSoaTW-03-133-Sabrina-actionSabrina has an idea, though.

SSoaTW-03-134-Sabrina-Jim-AmySSoaTW-03-135-Sabrina-bullshitsSSoaTW-03-136-Sabrina-bullshits-2SSoaTW-03-137-Sabrina-bullshits-3She works the magic into the play as an alien invasion storyline. Naturally. Sabrina is a horrible actor, but it’s so fun to watch her try to bullshit everyone.

SSoaTW-03-138-Jessie-shockedJessie is shocked and horrified by Sabrina’s rewrite.

SSoaTW-03-139-audience-approvesThe audience, particularly Harvey, loves it, though. They even let out a gasp at the sheer cleverness of this plot twist.

SSoaTW-03-140-Jim-AmyJim tries to play along, but he’s clearly thrown off by all of this, and you can practically hear “This is most unorthodox!” in your head.

SSoaTW-03-141-SabrinaSabrina continues bullshitting.

SSoaTW-03-142-AmyAmy’s character gets into an argument with Sabrina’s character.

SSoaTW-03-143-SabrinaSabrina barely misses a beat and continues piling on the bullshit. For those of you that are curious, this play now involves aliens invading 19th-century England to pay their respects to Shakespeare.

SSoaTW-03-144-Harvey-reviewsThe aunts (particularly Hilda) and Harvey love it. Kudos to the music department for the weird, alien-sounding music.

SSoaTW-03-145-Amy-arguesAmy’s like “Bitch, what the fuck are you doing to this play?!” Jim tries to give Sabrina an opportunity to take back her story.

SSoaTW-03-146-Amy-FrenchAmy hastily blames the French. Kudos to music again for inserting a bit of “La Marseillaise“.

Sabrina says she’ll get back to them about that and runs backstage.

SSoaTW-03-147-Sabrina-hits-broochShe repeatedly hits her brooch (a guaranteed fix), and Jessie’s like “Bitch, what the fuck’s going on?!”

SSoaTW-03-148-Sabrina-audienceOkay, correction: “backstage” is actually off to the side of the stage and in full fucking view of the audience. How has the audience not seen her bamf in and out so far?

Anyway, Sabrina blames it on a “wardrobe malfunction”. She hopes Ambrose is okay.

In Witch World, Ambrose is still running away from the ice giant and crying out for Sabrina.

SSoaTW-03-149-Greendale-High-SchoolSSoaTW-03-150-Sabrina-pissedBack at Greendale High School, Sabrina is getting pissed at her brooch.

SSoaTW-03-151-Sabrina-JessieJessie comes by with a tray for Sabrina in time for “the tea and crumpets scene”.

SSoaTW-03-152-Sabrina-salutesSabrina fumbles for words and then gives Jessie a salute.

SSoaTW-03-153-Amy-overactsAmy is overacting in the hope of fucking Jim right on the stage.

SSoaTW-03-154-Sabrina-crumpetblocksUnfortunately, she’s crumpetblocked by Sabrina.

SSoaTW-03-155-Sabrina-tray“THIS IS SOME GOOD SHIT, YO! YOU SHOULD TOTALLY HAVE SOME!”

SSoaTW-03-156-Sabrina-bamfsSabrina suddenly bamfs out. Without warning. In front of everyone.

SSoaTW-03-157-audience-gaspsThe audience gasps. Zelda is rightly worried. Hilda seems…pleased? Harvey calls these the best special effects ever. Amy asks what the fuck’s going on.

SSoaTW-03-158-Jessie-leverSSoaTW-03-159-trap-doorJessie happens to see the lever for the trap door and gives that as the explanation, despite the fact that Sabrina very clearly vanished in plain sight. They seem to buy it. Jim gets back into character and claims the “maid” has been abducted by the aliens. Amy gets back into character and gives a line that gets a good laugh from the audience.

SSoaTW-03-160-ice-giant-AmbroseBack in Witch World, Ambrose is facing certain death.

SSoaTW-03-161-Sabrina-traySabrina suddenly bamfs in and jokes around with the ice giant. The ice giant drops Ambrose and goes after Sabrina. He suddenly grabs her tray and…

SSoaTW-03-162-ice-giant-tray“Om-nom-nom-nom!”

Sabrina’s like “Huh. Okay. Gotta remember that one. Might be on a test someday.”

SSoaTW-03-163-Sabrina-Ambrose-runAfter he finishes his tea and crumpets, the ice giant roars and starts throwing ice balls at Sabrina and Ambrose, so they run the fuck away. Oh, and they can jump really high too. Witch power?

SSoaTW-03-164-Sabrina-chargesSabrina charges up an attack (she can fire from the palms of her hands on this series), but something goes wrong.

SSoaTW-03-165-Amy-JimSSoaTW-03-166-Amy-Sabrina-JimBack at Greendale High School, Amy tries to get a little somethin’-somethin’ from Jim but is broochblocked by Sabrina. So that’s what was going on with her in the previous scene. Why didn’t it just show her bamfing out?

Jim discovers a force field is surrounding Sabrina and asks what the budget for this play is. I’m not going to criticize him for not knowing force fields don’t actually exist, because, until recently, I didn’t know anti-gravity chambers don’t actually exist. (The 1980s “Alvin and the Chipmunks” series had the military using one matter-of-factly.)

SSoaTW-03-167-Sabrina-helps-AmySabrina passes through the force field (Jim doesn’t question this) and helps Amy to her feet. Jim gets back into character and asks “the maid” if she was abducted. Sabrina plays along, figuring it’s as good a cover as any. The force field disappears, and Sabrina drops Amy on her ass.

SSoaTW-03-168-Sabrina-horrifiedSabrina is horrified at what she’s done.

SSoaTW-03-169-Amy-pissedAmy is pissed. I’m not sure if it’s because Sabrina dropped her or because the audience is laughing at her. Maybe both.

SSoaTW-03-170-Sabrina-Jim-help-AmySabrina and Jim help Amy to her feet. Jim, in character, questions Sabrina’s “strange garments”. Sabrina claims this is what they wear in “Alienland”.

SSoaTW-03-171-Amy-pissed-2She bamfs out without warning (and clearly not over the trap door). Jim freaks out and drops Amy, who lands on her ass again. The audience yucks it up.

Y’know, I actually feel sorry for Amy.

SSoaTW-03-172-Sabrina-AmbroseBack in Witch World, Ambrose is running away from the ice balls. Sabrina bamfs in, and Ambrose falls on his ass.

Sabrina jumps incredibly high to avoid an ice ball, and Ambrose runs away.

SSoaTW-03-173-Sabrina-lands“This is how you stylishly land, bitches!”

SSoaTW-03-174-Sabrina-ice-giantSabrina jumps on the ice giant and somehow manages to knock him on his ass.

Sabrina’s brooch goes off, so she figures the best course of action is to…

SSoaTW-03-175-Sabrina-tooth…stick her hand in the ice giant’s mouth and grab his tooth. Of course.

SSoaTW-03-176-Sabrina-ice-giantAs they’re about to bamf out, Sabrina says “Yep,…that’s happening.” What the fuck does she expect?

Ambrose runs by and wonders where the fuck they went.

SSoaTW-03-177-Greendale-High-SchoolSSoaTW-03-178-AmyBack at the play, Amy makes another attempt to kiss Jim but…

SSoaTW-03-179-Amy-kisses-ice-giantHa.

SSoaTW-03-180-audience-amazedThe audience is, once again, amazed.

Amy freaks out and runs away.

SSoaTW-03-181-Sabrina-actsSabrina goes into her bad acting again and passes the ice giant off as “the alien king”. Oh, and Amy’s “true love” for him melted his heart. Yeah.

SSoaTW-03-182-aunts-impressedThe aunts are impressed.

SSoaTW-03-183-Amy-wipesAmy spits and wipes away the ice giant’s…germs?

SSoaTW-03-184-groupShe then quits the “stupid play” and storms off.

SSoaTW-03-185-ice-giant-hurtAwww, the ice giant had fallen in love with her, and she’s broken his heart.

SSoaTW-03-186-ice-giant-Jim-SabrinaSabrina gets into character again (well, as much as a person of her acting ability is capable of doing) and tries to make the ice giant feel better while also wrapping up the damn play.

SSoaTW-03-187-Jim-Sabrina-hold-handsOh, and Jim and Sabrina’s characters are getting married. Yay.

SSoaTW-03-188-ice-giant-happyThis makes the ice giant happy.

SSoaTW-03-189-holding-handsSSoaTW-03-190-play-endsThey receive a standing ovation.

Harvey is brought to (invisible) tears.

SSoaTW-03-191-Jessie-yeahJessie is overjoyed that the play was a hit.

SSoaTW-03-192-Jim-SabrinaJim and Sabrina and pretty happy too.

SSoaTW-03-193-Sabrina-eyerollSabrina repeatedly tells Jessie to close the curtain and finally just does it magically. For some reason, this merits another standing ovation.

SSoaTW-03-194-Witch-SchoolLater, at Witch School, we hear Professor Geist praising one of his “finest students”.

SSoaTW-03-195-ice-giant-classIt turns out to be the ice giant, who’s apparently…practicing “Hamlet”. Okay.

SSoaTW-03-196-Geist-excitedHe does such a great job that Geist gets excited and says he believes him.

SSoaTW-03-197-ice-giant-happyThis makes the ice giant happy.

SSoaTW-03-198-end-creditsThe end credits uses this still image of Witch World while a shortened version of the opening theme plays.

SSoaTW-03-199-end-credits-2SSoaTW-03-200-logosSSoaTW-03-201-Archie-ComicsSSoaTW-03-202-MoonScoopSo that’s an episode of “Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch”. It’s pretty good. While I prefer traditional animation in general (CGI can feel somewhat cold), this isn’t bad. The characters generally look all right.

I love Sabrina’s personality in this series. She’s so humorous and peppy. Ashley Tisdale does a fantastic job. The supporting cast is pretty fun. We didn’t see all of them in this episode, but most of them are here. Amy’s a good mean girl / frenemy, though I prefer Cassandra. Jim is basically Harvey. Harvey has been turned into a total nerd for some reason. I don’t know what the reasoning for the change was. Jessie is an okay best friend for Sabrina. Ambrose is the comedic scaredy cat. Shinji is an annoying ass. The aunts are okay. I like Hilda better than Zelda. Zelda’s accent gets annoying. We didn’t see much of Salem in this episode. I don’t care for this incarnation of the character. He seems to be spying on Sabrina for Enchantra (who we also don’t see in this episode) in order to make Sabrina hate Earth life and want to live in Witch World, so Enchantra can steal Sabrina’s powers. Overall, it’s pretty good, and I look forward to watching more episodes.

I’m sorry that this review is late, but I didn’t want to do another quickie review this week and delay this review again.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Telling It Like It Is

bettys-diary-17
Writer: George Gladir
Pencils: Stan Goldberg
Inking: Mike Esposito
Original Publication: Betty’s Diary, No. 17
Cover Date: June, 1988
Length: 5 pages

Hey, I’m sorry for doing a quickie this week, but it’s been crazy with interruptions, so the review that I’d been planning to get up today isn’t done.

Before I start, I want to advertise something that I’ve created: Riverdale Radio, a custom station on Pandora. Basically, I seed songs and artists (as much as are available on Pandora) that have been featured in any production based on Archie Comics (although, obviously, the station will play much more than that, and I do little to limit that). Obviously, the biggest influences are the 1996-2003 live-action Sabrina series as well as “Riverdale”, but I think everything is represented in some way. The station is updated every so often as I identify songs from Sabrina, or a new episode of “Riverdale” airs. Check it out.

This week, I’ve decided to review another story from the “Betty’s Diary” series. This time, I want to focus on the relationship between Betty and her older sister, Polly.

Polly Cooper takes some explaining. Originally, Betty didn’t have any siblings. However, in the “The Adventures of Little Archie” title, writer/artist Bob Bolling created an older sister (Polly) for Betty. Polly first appeared in #23 (cover-dated Summer of 1962). Bolling also created an older brother (Chic). His first appearance seems to be in Little Archie Mystery #1 (cover-dated August of 1963). Their existence was ignored in the mainstream Archie titles until they were eventually introduced into “normal” “continuity”. Adult Polly was introduced in Betty’s Diary #11 (cover-dated September of 1987). Adult Chic’s first appearance seems to be in Betty #4 (cover-dated February of 1993). Polly was a news reporter in San Francisco, and Chic was a spy(!). That explained why they weren’t around. Polly eventually moved back to Riverdale and was seen more often (in contrast, Chic has rarely ever been acknowledged; I count eight Adult Chic stories total), but the story that I’m reviewing today takes place before that; in fact, it seems to be her second appearance.

Betty muses about how, back in sixth grade, she imagined high school would be all sports and parties – and ended up being way wrong. Of note, sixth-grade Betty imagines The Archies playing music, so either she’s the one that came up with the idea for the band, or they were already playing music in sixth grade.

Betty’s had plenty of fun times at school with the gang – but greatly underestimated the amount of studying involved. Lately, she’s been wondering if her A average is worth the effort and considers settling for a C or D average. She questions the usefulness of algebra and a foreign language.

Suddenly, a screech of tires outside her window (apparently, Betty’s bedroom overlooks the street) alerts Betty. She goes out to meet the visitor and announces “Golly! It’s Polly!” They hug. Polly explains her TV station sent her to cover a story here, and she’s the only one on the staff that knows any Spanish. Polly asks about their mom and dad, but Betty says they won’t be back until much later. Having only an hour together, Polly takes Betty for a bite to eat.

During the drive, Polly asks Betty about “Riverdale’s teen-queen”. Betty’s like “All of this fucking school work sucks.”

After they get out of the car and are heading for the eatery, Polly tells her that it will all pay off. This is a problem that I’ve noticed with comics: characters seemingly have short conversations over long periods of time. It’s a result of sequential panels occurring in different locations, which itself is a result of limited pages in which to tell the story.

Anyway, Betty wonders if it will really pay off, and…why the fuck is Polly leading Betty everywhere by the wrist? That’s so rude.

After they’ve gotten their stuff (Betty got a sandwich and drink, and Polly got a coffee or hot tea) and are sitting in a booth, Polly tells Betty about an incident that happened when she went to Riverdale High.

Polly and two others from the honors class volunteered to clean up the stands after a football game. Sharon Miller, the “social butterfly and most popular girl in school”, came over. Polly doesn’t believe Sharon missed a single party or dance during her entire four years in school. Sharon unintentionally insults the “grade grinds” while trying to compliment them. Cathy is now a banking officer in Boston, and Nina is a “glamorous” advertising executive in New York.

When they get up to pay, the woman behind the counter asks them if they enjoyed the sandwiches that she made (I guess Polly just chowed hers down before starting her story). Polly recognizes the woman as Sharon Miller (I guess the sandwiches weren’t prepared fresh when they came in). Sharon has heard about Polly’s career and is impressed. Polly says it’s exciting but also hard work.

Outside, Betty asks Polly if that’s the woman from her story, because she’s a dumbass. Polly confirms it (the identity of the woman, that is).

On the drive back home, Polly beats Betty over the head with the moral of the story: you can’t have your cake and eat it too, and you’ve got to pay your dues to be someone in life.

After Polly drops Betty off and drives off, the two of them wave to each other. Archie comes by and asks Betty if she’s doing anything tonight. Betty says she can’t go to the spring dance, because she has to study. Archie tells “kiddo” (that’s rude) that he needs help with his algebra.

Betty agrees to help, and they study into the night while having cookies and hot chocolate. Betty writes in her diary that Polly was wrong about one thing: sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Okay, let’s talk about this story. It goes the “hard work pays off, and slacking off doesn’t” route. However, there are plenty of factors involved in the real world. I was an average student in school. I didn’t strive for excellence but didn’t totally slack off either (as Betty was considering in this story). I went to college after high school and got a four-year degree in Business Administration. I then fell into the “no job without experience and no experience without a job” rut. I’ve had one office job, but I’ve primarily worked in retail, because that’s what makes up most of the private sector. Today, I’m a nobody at the company, but I’m making more money than I ever had before. It’s not great, but it’s enough to live on, barring anything truly bad happening. Part of it is my own doing, but it’s not due to not studying; it’s the simple fact that I have no motivation to excel and “move up” in someone else’s company; that means kissing ass and following someone else’s rules. If I ever get the nerve to take the plunge and open my own business, I’ll at least be happier. I wouldn’t be happy being a department manager or even a store manager where I work. If I don’t have that kind of drive (and a lot of people don’t), getting the best grades in the world won’t matter. There’s also the economy where I live (which makes Riverdale looks like a metropolis in comparison), which sucks and is worse than the state average. In contrast to my situation, I’ve worked for people that are, to put it lightly, dumbass motherfuckers, but they’re the ones that are in charge, because they have that drive (or they’re just lucky); they’re “social butterflies” if you will. So this story simplifies a complex issue.

Tune in next Wednesday!

The New Archies, Segment 08 – Jughead Predicts

I’m sorry that this is a bit late.

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Writer: Eleanor Burian-Mohr & Jack Hanrahan
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 3, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:20

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The guys are playing soccer.

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Well, except Jughead, naturally. How does he not get in trouble for this?

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Betty is into horoscopes and asks Jughead for his sign. I could go into detail about how newspaper horoscopes are bogus, and true astrology goes much deeper than a short piece of advice based on your “sign” (meaning your sun sign), but let’s just move along.

Anyway, Jughead makes a joke and takes another burger out of his gym shorts (at least, it’s wrapped) and starts eating it.

Betty laughs (not necessarily at Jughead’s joke) and entertains herself with the newspaper’s horoscope. She assumes Jughead isn’t a Capricorn; Capricorns are “supposed to watch for flying objects today”.

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Who didn’t see that coming?

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Archie asks “Juggie” if he’s okay and uses the scent of the burger to bring Jughead back to normal. (Kudos for the slightly weird/mystical music playing.)

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The rest of the team belatedly shows up, showing “concern” for Jughead.

Jughead says he saw “this kind of picture” of Mr. Weatherbee when he closed his eyes.

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Ethel belatedly comes by, showing “concern” for Jughead.

Jughead explains Mr. Weatherbee was “sort of floating on a big, soft thing”.

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Ethel picks Jughead up and carries him, ostensibly out of concern, but we really know it’s just so she’ll have an excuse to palm his ass.

Archie asks what Jughead means, and Jughead points at the basement window.

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-10-Weatherbee-basement
In the basement, Mr. Weatherbee declares to the audience himself that it’s time for the annual sprinkler system check (something that the school principal would totally do, I’m sure).

He hears water running and guesses the custodian (Mr. Svenson?) accidentally left it running when he went to lunch. He opens a door, and…

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Yeah, no.

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-13-awesome
The kids find this cool. Then they realize Jughead’s vision came true. Ethel, Betty, and Moose take turns touching Jughead’s head and let him know he’s a psychic (or, as Moose puts it, a psycho).

Jughead finishes his burgers and complains he’s still hungry.

A crowd of kids gathers, and they all ask Jughead to predict stuff for them.

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-14-Jughead-lifted
For fuck’s sake…

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In Miss Grundy’s whatever class, she’s somehow trying to make a case for long division being a useful tool for solving word problems. Yeah, I don’t fucking know. Even the class lets out a collective groan. By the way, the answer to the bottom problem is 1892973.

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-17-Jughead-Reggie
Reggie questions Jughead about his report card (because he thinks Miss Grundy is gonna flunk him), but Jughead’s asleep.

Miss Grundy comes over and tells “Reginald” to stop bothering Jughead while he’s “studying”. How does she not see he’s asleep?!

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As if in a trance, Jughead stands and declares “Tomorrow, Veronica will be…the sweetest girl in class. So I have spoken! So it will be.”

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Naturally, Veronica is happy to hear this.

Then Jughead sits down, admits he added that last part himself, and asks Veronica if she liked it. Students laugh, so Veronica swears to Miss Grundy that she had nothing to do with this. She then blows a kiss to Jughead and thanks him, adding she’ll wear her best dress tomorrow.

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The next day, the class takes a field trip to Riverdale Candy Company.

Veronica, for whatever reason, is eager for a closer look at the bon bon dipping machine and pushes her way past everyone, annoying Archie, who takes issue with Jughead’s prediction. Jughead’s like “Whatevs.”

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-25-Veronica-dress
The tour guide cautions Veronica, but…

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-26-Veronica-coated
Reggie needlessly exposits about how Jughead’s prediction came true, because kids are dumbasses, amirite?

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-27-Veronica-boards-bus
Later, Veronica boards the school bus, having not been cleaned off in the slightest. C’mon! They could have let her use the factory’s restroom!

Jughead explains to Archie about how he had a vision of Veronica looking like that. So why didn’t he fucking say that earlier?

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Anyway, the others are amazed.

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-29-Veronica-bus
Veronica threatens Jughead. Amazing how her sunglasses got really clean. Are they the one thing that she insisted on cleaning?

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Reggie begs Jughead for a prediction about his report card.

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He even buys Jughead lunch. Why aren’t they at school?

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Unfortunately, the others find Jughead at Pop’s and pester him. Veronica’s pissed. Archie’s surprised. Reggie’s like “Fuck off, assholes.” Jughead’s like “I ain’t doin’ this shit no more.”

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-33-cleaning-bill
Veronica gives Jughead the cleaning bill for her dress.

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-34-Jughead-trancel
Jughead suddenly goes into a trance mid-sentence, and everyone hopes Jughead will predict something about them. Reggie even tries to force Jughead to point at him.

Then Jughead points out the door and says “Beware the bad-news beast that will interrupt the feast.” Afterwards, he admits he added the rhyme and asks if it was a nice touch. Sheesh, Jughead sounds like Trump. Only smarter.

Everyone wonders what Jughead’s prediction means. Jughead says he doesn’t explain that (although that doesn’t mean he can’t).

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-35-paperboy
Oh, it’s just the paperboy throwing the (midday?) newspaper into the diner (for whatever fucking reason). It lands on the table and opens over Jughead’s lunch.

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What the motherfuck? No. Just…no.

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Also, who took these pictures?

Veronica leaves, upset. I don’t blame her.

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-40-Ethel-Jughead
Jughead’s upset over his ruined lunch (a newspaper can’t cause that much damage!). Meanwhile, Ethel invades Jughead’s personal space.

Reggie wants Jughead to predict his report card next, but Jughead just gets up and leaves with his lunch.

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Archie chases after Jughead. Jughead can’t take it and wants to get rid of his “miraculous supernatural power”.

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They suddenly simultaneously come up with an idea.

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-43-Archie-balls
They go to the school’s soccer field, and Archie starts kicking balls at Jughead. I could make a joke here, but I’m above that.

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For some reason, it’s very difficult for these two dumbasses to accomplish “Archie hits Jughead with a soccer ball”.

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Reggie arrives, and…is it foggy or misty or something?

Anyway, Reggie tries to bribe Jughead with a bunch of free shit in exchange for a prediction, but Jughead ain’t having it.

Reggie then bounces a soccer ball on the ground, turns around, and bikes away. The soccer ball bounces off a tree and…

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-46-Jughead-hitTNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-47-Grundy-watering
Jughead goes into a trance again and starts listing stuff that he sees, including Miss Grundy (who’s watering the flowers on school grounds – as teachers are known to do), someone dancing the tango inside the school, and a frog.

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Somehow, this gives Reggie an idea to save his grades. He dumps all of the shit that he’d gotten for Jughead on the ground and tears off.

Archie asks Jughead if he’s okay. Jughead says he’s back to his “own spaced-out self again”. They yuck it up. I guess it really doesn’t take much to make these characters laugh.

Due to shitty animation, Jughead’s expression abruptly changes from this:

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to this:

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He and Archie run over and pick up the free shit.

TNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-51-auditorium-entranceTNA-08-Jughead-Predicts-52-demonstration
The next day (I guess), in the auditorium, Miss Grundy is teaching tweens how to brush their teeth. Seriously. She even has a rhyme: “Up and down, all around. That’s the way we defray decay.” This feels more like an elementary school than a junior high school.

The students start to repeat the rhyme, but they burst out laughing when they see:

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After being forced to tango for a while, Miss Grundy exposes “Reginald”, who immediately blames Jughead.

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Miss Grundy reveals Reggie was in no danger of failing but adds he’ll pay for this.

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We then immediately get this static shot of the auditorium, empty. Huh? It lasts for about five seconds before moving on to the next scene. If they wanted to waste time, they could have at least put all of the characters in there.

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Later, Reggie is clapping erasers outside school and vows to get Jughead. The screen fills up with chalk dust. Ha.

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Archie and Jughead ride by with the free shit. Archie says they have to drop the ball off (why’d they take it?) and asks something that I can’t understand. Jughead makes some dumb “prediction” about Veronica getting bitten on the foot by giant jaws. The two of them yuck it up. Archie tosses the soccer ball. It bounces off a tree and goes into the auditorium.

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Veronica and Betty are goofing off in the auditorium after school for whatever reason. Why’d Miss Grundy leave her props here? Veronica has a laugh over Reggie in his frog outfit. Betty asks Veronica if she’s a Scorpio. Veronica says yes. Betty reads out her horoscope: “Beware being bitten on the foot today.” Veronica laughs and says that’s as dumb as Jughead’s predictions.

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Ha.

This segment was okay, I guess. Not bad but not particularly good either.

Tune in next Wednesday!