Archie’s Weird Mysteries, Episode 03 – Me! Me! Me!

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-01-Riverdale-ReporterWriter: Michael Patrick Dobkins
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 16, 1999
Length: 22:19

Note: This episode is placed second on the DVD set.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-02-titleThe episode opens on a panning shot of Riverdale.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-03-RHSIt then zooms in on Riverdale High School, giving us a nice aerial view of the campus.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-04-ThinkerAh, here’s the scene of last episode‘s final battle.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-05-Archie-booksArchie comes out, carrying a shit-ton of books. Then Veronica calls him back to open the door for her. He apologizes and does so.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-06-Veronica-elbowsShe then hits him for his trouble.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-07-Veronica-ThinkerHe drops all of the books. She gets on his case for being “so clumsy”.

Yeah, this is a Veronica-is-a-bitch episode. Strap in.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-08-gangThe rest of the gang come out. Reggie observes “Veronica’s in top form today.” Jughead says “The Queen of Whine commands her loyal subject.”

Veronica’s impatient, wanting Archie to hurry the fuck up, so she can get home. Archie picks up all of the books and follows her.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-09-Betty-Reggie-JugheadBetty, in one of the most horrible lines in this series, tells Reggie and Jughead to “show Veronica a little understanding”, because this is “just a stage” that she’s going through. NO. The correct line, addressed to Veronica, would be “Carry your own books, you lazy fucking bitch.” Anyway, Reggie and Jughead make fun of this advice – and of Veronica in general.

Archie observes the many books that Veronica’s bringing home and guesses she has a lot of homework. Veronica says she’d rather bring all of her books home every day than memorize her locker combination. Archie says “Very sensible” and drops her books in the back seat of his car. NO. The correct action would have been to drop all of her books on the ground, say “Carry them home yourself, you lazy fucking bitch”, and then tear off. Why’s Archie taking all of this abuse? Does Veronica let him put his dick anywhere?

He also has to open the door for her. I’m surprised that she doesn’t make him fasten her seatbelt.

After Archie’s closed his door, fastened his sealtbelt, and gotten his keys out, Veronica whines about the top being down and the wind fucking up her hair.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-10-Archie-topAs Archie struggles with the top, Reggie and Jughead insult Veronica by making corny puns. Betty says it could be worse: they could be Archie.

The episode moves on to the next scene instead of waiting for Archie to get the top up.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-11-Lodge-gateAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-12-Lodge-mansionAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-13-Veronica-poolsideAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-14-Veronica-poolside-2AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-15-Veronica-yogurtLater, at Lodge Manor, Veronica is chillaxing poolside, reading an untitled magazine and enjoying yogurt.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-16-Veronica-blue-eyesI don’t know what’s in it, but it fucks up her eyes.

She drops her spoon, so she whines at Smithers to get her a new one.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-17-Lodge-angryMr. Lodge witnesses her spoiled, bratty behavior and is pretty angry about it.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-18-spoonSmithers brings her a spoon, which apparently must be carried on a napkin on a platter.

Veronica objects to the size of the spoon, because her “dainty mouth” requires a small spoon.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-19-SmithersWhat’s with all of the blue in this scene?

Smithers is voiced by Jerry Longe, the same guy that voices Doctor Beaumont.

Mr. Lodge starts to get an idea.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-20-Veronica-phoneThe poolside phone rings, and she has Smithers come back and get it for her, because it’s “too far”.

Mr. Lodge (John Michael Lee) declares “Someone needs a major attitude adjustment.” Mr. Lodge has a Boston Brahmin accent, which is appropriate, because one of Veronica’s two origins in the comics was as a Boston sub-deb. Think Thurston Howell III on “Gilligan’s Island”.

Smithers reminds himself that Mr. Lodge pays for six weeks of vacation every year due to days like this. Smithers answers the phone and hands it to Veronica.

It’s Archie, inviting Veronica to Pop’s. Veronica accepts on the condition that Archie drives.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-21-Veronica-LodgeAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-22-Lodge-phoneMr. Lodge snatches the phone away and tells Archie that Veronica will meet him later, after she does a chore. Veronica whines. Her dad’s like “I’m sick of your shit, you selfish twat. What if everyone acted like that?” Veronica’s like “That’d be awesome.” Her dad lectures her about needing to know how to run the company someday. Veronica admits she hates hard work and then asks about the chore. Mr. Lodge is happy.

Fade out. Fade in (no commercial break, since the music is continuous). It fades back in on the swimming pool, even though Veronica and her dad have gone back inside, I guess so we’re left wondering for a bit exactly what Veronica has to do.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-23-Veronica-LodgeVeronica has an hour to pack up a bunch of stuff for the museum before the workers arrive to pick them up. She whines about not being able to do it alone. Her dad says Smithers will be here. Veronica is relieved, guessing she merely has to supervise Smithers.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-24-Smithers-Lodge-VeronicaNope. Other way around.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-25-Veronica-sadAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-26-Pop'sSeriously, who doesn’t put the name on a business’ building?

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-27-Jughead-Reggie-Betty-boothAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-28-Pop-burgersAnyway, Pop happily serves Jughead, Reggie, and Betty. But what kind of restaurant puts the food directly onto a serving tray with no individual plates for the customers?

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-29-Jughead-ReggieAnyway, Reggie is supposedly shocked that Jughead just shoved an entire hamburger in his mouth, but he was actually making this face before Jughead did that. Reggie then gives his hamburger to Jughead, because he’s lost his appetite. Jughead happily takes it.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-30-Betty-burgerHmm, I guess these are technically cheeseburgers. Anyway, Betty note Pop’s “merry mood”. Pop’s all “Life’s good!”, but he doesn’t specify anything that would make him particularly happy on this specific day.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-31-gangArchie comes by. Betty asks if there’s any word on Veronica. He’s like “Still packing.”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-32-Betty-ArchieBetty’s excited for the show to open and has been looking through the exhibit catalog for “weeks”. I guess she did a lot of re-reading. Archie looks through it and muses about a possible “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” column.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-33-idolArchie comes across something that I don’t know how to spell. He pronounces it like “Snakebah” or “Snakebod” or something. Betty says, according to legend, it means “granter of wishes”.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-34-Veronica-idolVeronica just happens to be holding it. How did Mr. Lodge get all of these artifacts? Does he fund expeditions to find this stuff and then donates/loans the stuff to the local museum? Does he make any money off it?

Anyway, Veronica asks Smithers where he want her to put it (the last item). He tells her. She whines about all of the “boring” “junk”.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-35-SmithersSmithers says “Not everyone is like you, Veronica. Maybe you should make an effort to understand how others think and feel.” Veronica’s like “Wah, no one tries to understand me, wah!”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-36-idolVeronica wishes everyone would become just like her. Then she says something that I can’t understand. The ground shakes. Smithers reacts. Veronica doesn’t; she just asks Smithers if she can go now. Smithers starts to ask her about the quake but then realizes she’s a self-absorbed twat and just lets her go.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-37-Smithers-LodgeLater, Mr. Lodge is amazed at Veronica’s work. The doorbell rings. Mr. Lodge politely asks Smithers to let the museum workers in.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-38-Smithers-Lodge-2Smithers suddenly whines about it.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-39-Smithers-Lodge-3“Okay, dude, chill.” Wait, if Mr. Lodge can stand up to his own daughter for this behavior, then why can’t he stand up to his hired help?

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-40-burgersBack at Pop’s, Jughead is chowing down a shitload of cheeseburgers. Reggie has gone from sick to fascinated about Jughead’s metabolism.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-41-gang-boothArchie theorizes about a black hole in Jughead’s stomach that funnels the food to an alternate universe, where it feeds thousands. Mmmkay. Betty just says Jughead’s metabolism is “incredibly strange”. C’mon, girl, you’re not getting into the spirit of the discussion. Put forth more effort. Theorize!

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-42-Jughead-ReggieAnyway, Jughead insists he’s “just a growing boy” and says he has room for more. Reggie says they can’t “deny this force of nature”, so Archie orders another round of burgers for the “human garbage disposal”. Pop whines about it and tells them to make the burgers themselves.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-43-gang-stunned“The fuck?”

Pop also tells them to stop staring at him and leave him the fuck alone. Reggie, Betty, and Archie discuss it. Archie says “Maximum weirdness.” He also finds Pop’s behavior “somehow familiar”. He decides to use the pay phone outside to call the doctor just in case. Ah, the days before cell phones. Wait, never mind, this is ten years after Zack Morris had a cell phone and three years after Katie Lemore and Fran.

Anyway, Archie says “Things can’t get weirder than this” and leaves. Jughead wonders about his next plate of burgers.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-44-Pop-filesAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-45-PopPop files his nails. Did he just happen to have a nail file handy? Did a customer leave it?

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-46-gang-lightSuddenly, a mysterious white light affects everyone in the diner…

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-47-Archie-Veronica…except Archie, I guess. Anyway, just as he walks outside, Veronica shows up. Archie’s glad to see her and tells her that “Pop Tate is acting awfully weird”. They go inside.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-48-PoperonicaArchie notices this, but Veronica doesn’t; she’s merely concerned that she’s double-parked outside. So why’d she do that? Didn’t she want to hang out at Pop’s with Archie? She makes it sound like they need to leave.

Anyway, Archie realizes “it can always get weirder than this” and faints.

Fade out. Fade in.

Archie comes to and sees this:

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-49-Poperonica-VeronicaAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-50-gangBoth Poperonica and Veronica whine at him. Archie gasps and backs away.

Both of them insist they’re the real Veronica. Archie says “This should be a lot more fun than it’s turning out to be.” Yeah, you know what that means: Archie was looking forward to a threesome with Veronica and Pop Tate.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-51-Veronica-pulls-ArchieAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-52-Poperonica-pulls-ArchieFor fuck’s sake…

Jughead and Reggie comment on the situation. Betty is more direct:

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-53-Betty-breaks-up“Knock it off, bitches!”

Veronica calls Poperonica an “imposter” and insults his (her?) outfit. Poperonica talks herself up.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-54-Betty-breaks-up-2“I said ‘Knock it off’, you fucking bitches!”

Betty has Reggie and Jughead lock Poperonica in the stock room while they sort this out. Archie complains about his head, but I don’t know if it’s due to him passing out and falling on the floor or the constant complaining.

Betty explains to Veronica that Pop changed into a duplicate of her. Veronica says that doesn’t make sense, forgetting she’s living in Riverdale. Archie suggests searching for the explanation. Veronica whines. Betty shoots her a look and then suggests checking newspapers at the library for recent odd news. Why doesn’t Betty mention the white light? Why doesn’t Veronica mention her wish?

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-55-Betty-bagBetty picks up her bag (interesting that she doesn’t carry a purse; of course, that got destroyed), and they leave without Reggie and Jughead. They don’t even tell them that they’re leaving.

As they go outside, Archie says “At least, the problem is isolated to Pop Tate.” You know what that means.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-56-Veronicas-1AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-57-Veronicas-2AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-58-Veronicas-3AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-59-Veronicas-4Archie tries to get himself to no longer say shit like this. Also, couldn’t they have picked a wider variety of outfits for the Veronicas?

Betty makes a silly “trendsetter” joke to Veronica.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-60-Veronica-Betty-Archie“Look! I’m stealing my car!” That’s pretty funny. πŸ™‚

As Veronica runs through the crowd of Veronicas, one of them gasps upon seeing her. Why? It’s not like any of them noticed anything was wrong up to this point.

Betty yells at Veronica to come back, because, yeah, it’s stupid to run off into a crowd of yourselves – especially if some of them are wearing your outfit.

Archie also yells after Veronica, saying they’ll lose her. Betty suggests going after her.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-61-Veronicas-carAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-62-Veronicas-demands“Outta my car, bitch!”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-63-Veronica-duplicate-carMy car, bitch!” She speeds off.

Veronica yells at Officer Veronica to fucking do something.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-64-Officer-Veronica“But that’s, like, work!”

Veronica lectures her about responsibility. Officer Veronica whines at her.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-65-Veronica-forget“Forget it, bitch.”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-66-Officer-Veronica-files“Okay.”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-67-Mail-Carrier-Veronica“This is so exhausting! Someone else do it! Mail is stupid!”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-68-Veronica-realizesThis is the moment when Veronica realizes, yes, she does in fact sound like a lazy, whiny, fucking bitch.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-69-Veronica-mimeI love the fact that Veronica is completely shocked and aghast to see herself as a mime.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-70-Mime-VeronicaMime Veronica eventually realizes miming is stupid and starts describing what she’s doing. That’s hilarious. πŸ™‚

Veronica runs off and comes face to face with…

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-71-Veronicas-1AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-72-Veronicas-2…an army of Veronicas that want to attack her…for some reason.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-73-Veronicas-3With her back against the wall (literally), Veronica yells at them to quit their fucking whining.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-74-Veronicas-4They respond by…making grabbing or waving motions in front of her…but no actual attempts to grab her. She runs away.

As Archie and Betty search, Archie makes a funny joke. Betty talks about the stupidity of what Veronica had done and suggests someone should have warned her. You’re realizing this just now?!

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-75-Veronica-Archie-BettyVeronica finds them and apologizes to Archie for her whining. Betty’s like “We’ve been looking all over for you, bitch!”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-76-Veronica-Betty-hugThe girls hug it out. Veronica casually mentions her wish.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-77-Betty-realizesYou can practically see the gears turning in Betty’s head.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-78-Betty-presses-VeronicaShe presses Veronica for info. Archie gets an idea and asks Betty for the exhibit catalog.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-79-Archie-catalogWow, that idol was put on the front page, too. It seems like the museum people considered it to be major.

Anyway, Archie opens the catalog to a picture of the idol (ignoring the one on the front cover) and asks Veronica if she was holding it at the time of her wish. She confirms it. He shows it to Betty. Archie guesses Veronica’s wish goes through stages: whiny and selfish…

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-80-Veronica-ashamed“Like me.” Yeah, she actually admits it, and she feels ashamed.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-81-Betty“And then they fucking become you!” Seriously, why does Betty look so pissed?

Archie tells Veronica to call her dad and get the idol back.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-82-Lodge-Smithers-poolsideNo luck. The phone’s out of reach!

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-83-Lodge-yogurt“You get up and answer it, fatass!”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-84-Smithers-magazine“Fuck you, old man! You get up and answer it!”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-85-Veronica-phone“Pick up, damn it!”

Archie says they’ll have to go to the museum.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-86-barWow, there’s an actual bar in Riverdale.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-87-Veronica-Betty-Archie-carVeronica doesn’t understand why Archie and Betty haven’t been affected. Archie says Veronica’s wish covers everyone in the world and probably works gradually, hitting people at different speeds.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-88-Betty-Archie-carBetty and Archie realize what this means, which is fucking obvious.

Fade out. Fade in.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-89-Betty-Veronica-carBetty reads about how the idol was originally kept on a high pedestal surrounded by death traps to prevent people from taking advantage of its powers, and the museum has faithfully recreated all of it. Exsqueeze me, fucking what?! That’s a massive lawsuit waiting to happen. Who on the museum’s board approved that?! And why would Mr. Lodge want to do business with this museum?! None of them address this. Archie simply laughs off the death traps. Oh, and I guess Betty missed that little detail during her “weeks” of reading this brochure.

Then they run out of gas, because Archie fails at life.

Betty says they’ll have to run to the museum and hops out of the car (she wasn’t wearing her seatbelt). Archie gets out of his car normally. Veronica whines about how she hates running.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-90-Betty-Veronica-Archie-carAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-91-Betty-intimidating“Outta the car, bitch.”

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-92-Betty-VeronicaVeronica apologizes for the “force of habit”.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-93-Riverdale-MuseumDamn, for a “little town”, Riverdale’s got a big museum. Our heroes run toward it, Veronica lagging behind Archie and Betty.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-94-Veronica-restsSure, stop and rest. It’s not like time is of the essence or anything.

There’s a bit of walking, probably meant to pad out the episode.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-95-museum-interiorArchie comments on the enormity of the place, and, yeah, no fucking kidding. This is, like, a New York City-sized museum, not one for a supposedly podunk town like Riverdale.

Anyway, Betty suggests asking a security guard for the location of the exhibit.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-96-guard-VeronicaWho didn’t see that coming?

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-97-Betty-Archie-VeronicaThem, apparently.

Anyway, Security Guaronica whines at them but also makes a guess, so they run in that direction, although Veronica and Betty discuss the “darkness” of the corridor first. Seriously?

As they’re running, there’s a flash of white light. Veronica shields her eyes. Then she admits she’s afraid of the dark and tells Betty to hold her hand. Sure, I’d ship them.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-98-Betty-whinesBetty whines at Veronica.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-99-Veronica-pulls-Betty“I will make us a couple!”

Betty keeps whining at her.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-100-Veronica-shakes-Betty“Snap out of it, bitch!”

Betty insists her name’s Veronica.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-101-Veronica-criesVeronica leaves her behind and heads for the exhibit, lamenting what she’s done and criticizing herself.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-102-Veronica-owAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-103-Veronica-floorShe then hits her head against the top of the exhibit’s faithful recreation of the low-clearance entrance and knocks herself out.

Okay, fun drinking game:

Take one shot whenever:

*someone passes out
*someone says “weird”
*someone says “mystery”
*someone learns a lesson

Take two shots whenever:

*someone says “weird mystery”

More rules will be added as I think of them.

Fade out. Fade in.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-104-Veronica-wakes-upVeronica comes to, thinking it was a dream.

Seriously, what’s with all of the blue eyes and teeth in this episode? It’s especially inexcusable in this particular shot!

Anyway, she tells “Archiekins” to pull her up, and he whines at her. She gets up and apologizes.

She starts walking, talks to herself for a bit, and finally realizes it’s all up to her. Then, hilariously, she asks why she’s talking to herself.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-105-Veronica-exhibitAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-106-idolShe gasps when the idol is within her sight.

Veronica guesses it seems safe enough and starts walking toward the idol.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-107-rockSuddenly, a rock falls behind her, narrowly missing her. She guesses they’re in “death trap mode”. She makes a run for it…

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-108-stoneAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-109-Veronica-projectilesAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-110-Veronica-projectiles-2…and triggers another death trap.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-111-Veronica-cocky“That all you got?!”Β Bitch, haven’t you learned from Archie to not say this kind of shit?

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-112-Veronica-pillarAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-113-Veronica-pillar-2See?

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-114-Veronica-grabs-ropeAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-115-Veronica-danglesAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-116-Veronica-climbsWhile complaining to…the death traps(?), Veronica manages to jump across the chasm (admittedly, she has to grab hold of the ledge and climb out).

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-117-Veronica-idolAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-118-Veronica-idol-2She then thanks…whoever, picks up the idol, and chats with it for a while, admitting her mistakes.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-119-Veronica-idol-3She then asks it to take back her wish…and waits…

Guessing it didn’t work, she returns the idol to its pedestal. She wishes everything would return to normal.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-120-idolBecause she used the magic word, the idol does as she requests. There’s even an earthquake to signal it, but Veronica still isn’t quite sure.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-121-Lodge-Smithers“Whafuck?”

We learn Veronica likes extra-scrumptious strawberry-flavored non-fat frozen yogurt, and Mr. Lodge doesn’t.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-122-Pop-Reggie-JugheadAWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-123-Jughead-Reggie-thrownAt Pop’s, Pop kicks open the door of the stock room and throws Jughead and Reggie into a booth (I thought they were supposed to lock him in there, not go in there with him; what were they doing with “her” this whole time?). He also wonders about this:

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-124-Pop-nail-polishOutside, everyone’s back to normal.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-125-Archie-BettyBack in the museum, Archie and Betty meet up with Veronica, who realizes she reversed her wish. Before leaving, she thanks the idol.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-126-VeronicaThen she realizes there’s still a chasm separating her from her friends and asks them for help. But then she doesn’t wait for an answer before deciding to handle it herself. Veronica, honey, I think you’re allowed to ask for help in this case. You don’t need to be Lara Croft (although you totally were in this episode).

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-127-Veronica-Archie-BettyOutside, Veronica tells them her heroic tale. Betty and Archie praise her, Archie even telling Veronica that she saved Riverdale and the world (which is true). Veronica guesses she must be “some tough hero-type lady”. Then she gets pissed that she broke a nail.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-128-Veronica-gotchaArchie and Betty begin to lose hope that Veronica has evolved, but she was just dicking with them.

Fade out. Fade in.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-129-Andrews-houseArchie’s typing up his column. Of course, no one remembers anything.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-130-Archie-laptopVeronica is a lot less whiny nowadays.

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-131-Archie-windowArchie says “Be careful what you wish for; you might get it” is always good advice…

AWM-03-Me!-Me!-Me!-132-Riverdale…in a little town called Riverdale.

This was a pretty cool episode. Veronica (unknowingly) fucked things up and then needed to step up and save the day. That’s awesome. We also got our first look at Veronica’s cool yellow sports car (I assume she gets it back). While Veronica does relax by the swimming pool, there isn’t a definite placement for this episode. It could occur in spring but also just as easily in early autumn.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Archie’s Weird Mysteries, Episode 02 – Driven to Distraction

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-01-Riverdale-ReporterWriter: Michael Patrick Dobkins
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 9, 1999
Length: 22:18

Note: This episode is placed third on the DVD set.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-02-titleAfter the commercial break, the episode opens on a shot of Riverdale.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-03-RiverdaleWe see some of the streets and buildings.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-04-Veronica-Betty-stretchVeronica and Betty are standing in front of Betty’s house and stretching in preparation to take a little jog around the park.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-05-Veronica-Betty-stretch-2I was going to make a comment about compression artifacts in this shot, but they don’t appear in the screencap – nor whenever I play the video anywhere other than my video editor. I remember seeing the video in this episode going really compressed at some points when I first watched the DVD; however, things appear to be fine; it might depend on the player.

Anyway, Betty wants to clear the cobwebs out of their heads after doing a lot of homework.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-06-Veronica-BettyBetty is able to touch her toes, which is impressive. Veronica wants to show off her new exercise outfit.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-07-Veronica-Betty-eavsdropThey hear Archie saying nice things about an unspecified girl and go over to the fence (I guess Archie and Betty are next-door neighbors) to eavesdrop. Betty assumes Archie’s talking about one of them. Veronica assumes Archie is talking about her. Betty’s a bit irritated and figures there’s only one way to find out for certain.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-08-Betty-Veronica-surprisedAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-09-Archie-Jughead-carAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-10-Archie-polishes-carYeah, Archie’s in love with his fucking car, which is female to him.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-11-Jughead-unimpressedJughead thinks that’s stupid.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-12-Archie-kisses-carFor fuck’s sake…

Archie and Jughead argue over “Betsy” (yeah, Archie named his car). Archie gets on Jughead’s case about crumbs, because he just vacuumed Betsy’s back seat. Jughead apologizes in amusement. Archie has rules, including “No eating in Betsy”, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Archie has explored ways to eat out Betsy. Jughead gets out of the car and complains.

Veronica’s like “WTF?” about Archie’s car obsession.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-13-Archie-BettyBetty goes over and asks Archie to the spring dance. Distracted, he agrees. Veronica’s pissed at the “little minx” for beating her to it. While she’s saying this line, Veronica briefly sounds Southern – like on the old radio show and Filmation cartoons – for no real reason. In fact, the voices seem slightly off in general in this episode. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the pilot.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-14-Archie-Betty-2Betty’s excited, but Archie’s too obsessed with his car to pay attention.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-15-gang-carAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-16-Veronica-ArchieVeronica comes over and out-does Betty. She’s “decided to let” “Archiekins” take her to the movies on Friday. Distracted, he agrees, suggesting the drive-in. She’s irritated that he doesn’t sound excited. He walks off, because “Betsy needs another coat of wax”. Veronica audibly gasps.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-17-girls-JugheadJughead’s like “Archie would rather fuck a car than you.”

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-18-Pop'sAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-19-Veronica-Betty-boothLater, at Pop’s, Veronica and Betty drown their sorrows. They complain about Archie, and Veronica manages to insult Betty (which she ignores).

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-20-Veronica-Betty-sighReggie comes by and, not getting the response that he expected from the girls, learns of their situation. He tries to get them to go out with “Mantle the Magnificent”, but they decline. Then Betty brings up the car.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-21-girls-ReggieReggie is “morally offended” at Archie’s “unnatural” and “wasteful” behavior and decides to set him straight.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-22-Reggie-ArchieLater, just as Archie finishes with his car, Reggie comes over to talk some sense into him as only Reggie can.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-23-Reggie-kicks-carHe also kicks Archie’s car. Archie’s new alarm system, which he just installed, says “Please step away from the car.” It has a female voice. Reggie says Archie’s piece-of-shit car is unstealable. Archie accuses Reggie of being “jealous of Betsy”.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-24-Archie-drivesHe then drives off, so they don’t have to take Reggie’s “abuse”.

Reggie shouts after Archie, denying being jealous and saying he owns a new sports car.

Archie grumbles about Reggie while driving. Then he stops in excitement for something that he’s been looking for for months.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-25-Archie-shopThis is Doctor Beaumont’s Emporium of Curios, Novelties, Antiquities, and Hard Lessons. I’m not sure where he’s reading that, because, like Pop’s, Doctor Beaumont’s shop seems to have no sign. Anyway, he’s never seen it before and guesses it’s new.

This is what caught Archie’s attention:

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-26-Archie-diceAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-27-Archie-shop-2He goes inside and calls out but gets no answer.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-28-Archie-jewelry“Do not touch the cursed jewelry.”

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-29-Archie-fishAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-30-Archie-fish-2Wow, that’s pretty creepy.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-31-Archie-book“You read a spell book, you’ve just bought a spell book.”

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-32-candlestick-holderArchie wonders what the fuck kind of shop this is.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-33-BeaumontThis is the proprietor, Doctor Beaumont (Jerry Longe). He’s currently using his psychic powers to place a long-distance order. That’s pretty funny. πŸ™‚

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-34-Archie-WTFThat’d be my reaction, too.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-35-Beaumont-ArchieAfter he’s done placing the order, Doctor Beaumont stands up. He knows Archie and also mentions it’s spring.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-36-Archie-surprisedArchie’s surprised, but it’s more being in awe than being freaked out. And, wow, Doctor Beaumont is tall!

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-37-BeaumontAnd kinda scary. He introduces himself at “the mysterious Doctor Horatio Beauregard Beaumont”. The room goes dark as he speaks.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-38-Beaumont-lightBut it’s just a light fixture that he’s gonna have to get fixed one of these days. He asks Archie why he’s come – and recites the full name of his shop.

There’s a gag where Doctor Beaumont makes guesses as to what Archie wants before he can say it, including:

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-39-Beaumont-carda card entitling him to full borrowing privileges at the Library of Alexandria (unless Doctor Beaumont can send Archie back in time, he’d have to wait three years to use it)

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-40-Beaumont-amuletthe Amulet of Good Ruling

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-41-Beaumont-CDa compact disc of Ron Dante‘s Greatest Hits (ha! cute πŸ™‚ )

Archie just wants to buy the fucking dice, but Doctor Beaumont strongly recommends not buying them, due to “some very nasty consequences” being attached to owning them. Archie insists and asks for the price. Doctor Beaumont says $21.43.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-42-Beaumont-Archie-diceThat’s exactly what Archie has in his pocket. However, Doctor Beaumont drops hints that maybe Archie has something – or someone – else to spend money on. He specifically brings up Archie’s Friday movie date with Veronica, but Archie’s so fucking dense and distracted that he just hands his money over and talks about prettying up his car with the dice.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-43-Beaumont-Archie-cashLooks like Archie short-changed Doctor Beaumont by either $1.43 or $20.43. Beaumont doesn’t seem to care, though.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-44-BeaumontInstead, he (seemingly) breaks the fourth wall, saying he always hates it when they go for the hard lessons.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-45-dice-boxOnce Archie gets home, he take out the dice. Why did Doctor Beaumont give him a special box to carry them in? Did he feel guilty for overcharging him for the dice? Of course, considering Archie short-changed him, I’m not sure what to make of this.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-46-dice-mirrorYay.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-47-Archie-car-diceI guess I should point out that the dots on the dice don’t match up from shot to shot.

Archie gets out of his car.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-48-dice-glowThe dice don’t even wait before they start doing freaky shit.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-49-car-eyesIt’s alive!

Fade out. Fade in.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-50-Archie-carThe next day (I guess), Archie’s working on his car. There’s a “funny” detail where the oil stain on his face is in the same Tic-tac-toe pattern as in his hair.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-51-Archie-pats-carSomehow, he fails to notice this.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-52-Archie-JugheadSo does Jughead. He’s too busy relishing in the fact that Veronica’s gonna murder Archie, because he’s supposed to pick her up in fifteen minutes.

Archie complete forgot (which surprises Jughead), so he rushes inside and, despite Jughead commenting on his appearance, merely puts on his jacket.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-53-Archie-brokeA comment from Jughead then reminds Archie that he’s “broke”, despite short-changing Doctor Beaumont. So what did he spend the rest of his money on?

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-54-Jughead-ArchieJughead immediately writes Archie off as dead as shit.

Archie asks his “amigo” to “float” him a twenty until his next allowance. Well, this is a reversal from the comics. Usually, it’s Jughead bumming money from Archie. Jughead even points this out, accusing Archie of “subverting the natural order of the universe”.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-55-Archie-begs-JugheadArchie gets on his knees and says “Please, Jughead, it’s a matter of life or death.” This might be a reference to their little skit that always opened the old-time radio show. Anyway, Archie grovels a bit more (even fake-crying), and Jughead gives in.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-56-Jughead-Archie-cashA twenty being floated

Jughead wants to keep this a secret, because it could ruin his “reputation” (as a fucking mooch). Archie thanks him and takes off. Jughead feels used. I love how he delivers the line, too, like he’s just been fucked and tossed aside (which isn’t far from the truth).

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-57-car-RiverdaleAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-58-Veronica-Archie-carLater, Archie’s apparently taking Veronica out to eat in the boonies.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-59-car-eyesVeronica has failed to noticed the fucking green, glowing eyes on the car as well.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-60-Veronica-Archie-car-2Archie talks about eating at Pop’s and then going to the movies. Could he do that with only $20, even in 1999-2000?

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-61-Veronica-carVeronica is happy, saying it’s like having the “old” him back. She kind of has a point. I mean Archie usually is an inconsiderate, absent-minded ass, but I’ve never seen him obsessed with his car outside this episode.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-62-Veronica-Archie-car-3Veronica cozies up to Archie and tries to convince him that sex is better when done with a human being.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-63-Betsy-jealousBetsy disagrees. She veers off the road, taking control away from Archie. It takes Veronica a while to notice. Luckily, the brake still works, and Archie brings the car to a halt.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-64-Veronica-Archie-car-4“Whafuck?”

Archie tries to excuse the car’s behavior and turns off the engine. Veronica says she knows classic cars, which Archie’s car isn’t.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-65-Veronica-seat-backAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-66-Veronica-seat-forwardBetsy gets back at her for the insult.

Archie asks Veronica if she’s all right; Veronica thinks so.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-67-car-Pop'sAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-68-car-spaceThey finally arrive at Pop’s (which Archie feels the need to announce), much to Veronica’s relief.

Veronica unfastens her seatbelt and theorizes about Archie’s “wreck” falling apart completely.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-69-Veronica-windowBetsy doesn’t like that, deciding to suffocate Veronica against the windshield (seriously, Veronica can’t breathe).

Archie stands up and kicks Veronica’s seat back into position, saving her life.

Veronica gets out of the car and theorizes about it being intelligent. Archie’s like “That’s bullshit.” He unfastens his seatbelt and gets out.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-70-Veronica-car-eyesThey go inside to get dinner, neither of them noticing the green, glowing eyes. Veronica agrees with Archie, dismissing her concerns.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-71-Archie-Veronica-boothThere’s a very short shot (less than a second long) of Archie and Veronica eating ice cream in Pop’s. Veronica has the bigger serving, surprisingly.

Oh, and no one pays any attention to the evil, green, glowing eyes on the car outside.

Reggie walks by Archie’s car and comments on the “disaster on wheels”.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-72-Betsy-chases-ReggieThat’s what happens, man.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-73-Veronica-feeds-ArchieThe fact that Archie’s car took off goes unnoticed by the lovebirds inside, because Veronica is too busy cramming something wet and delicious into Archie’s mouth.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-74-Veronica-eatsAnd Veronica is all-too-happy to get it as good as she gives it.

Anyway, Archie realizes he’s been neglecting his friends.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-75-Reggie-carHOW DO THEY NOT SEE THIS HAPPENING?!

Anyway, Veronica wants Archie to pay more attention to her, but Archie feels, when he does, she’s too busy to notice. I can’t tell if Veronica is happy or frustrated with that statement.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-76-Reggie-climbs-poleReggie gets out of reach of Christine Betsy…for the moment.

Back inside, Veronica says, if she’s not careful, she could really fall for Archie. So…she not completely into Archie? This is just a fun amusement for her?

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-77-Reggie-poleOutside, things aren’t going well for Reggie.

Back inside, Archie’s about the say something to Veronica (ask her to go steady, perhaps?), but she finally notices what’s going on outside. Without looking, Archie accuses her of “knocking Betsy”. Veronica’s like “Look out the window, dumbass.”

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-78-Archie-Veronica-boothNope, nothing unusual. Nothing at all.

How did Betsy know to go back to her spot at that moment?

Archie’s upset that Veronica talked shit about an “innocently-parked car”. Veronica is at a loss for words.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-79-Reggie-dropsOutside, Reggie lets go of the lamp post and drops down to the concrete – and somehow doesn’t injure himself. He runs away.

Inside, Archie’s like “Date’s over, you lying bitch.” He gets up and leaves the diner, stiffing Veronica with the bill and complaining of his friends’ supposed jealousy of Betsy. Veronica follows him. Did she leave any money on the table?

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-80-Archie-VeronicaVeronica doesn’t want to fight.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-81-Betsy-hoodSuddenly, Betsy’s like “Hands off my man, bitch.” This, not the glowing eyes, surprises them. Yeah, Betsy’s speaking through the new alarm system that Archie installed.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-82-Veronica-oilBetsy pisses all over Veronica.

Pissed on and off, Veronica tells Archie that he can take Betsy to the movie (which works out, because they were going to the drive-in), and she’s taking a cab home.

Archie talks with Betsy. Betsy makes it seem like she’s always been aware of things. So…the dice didn’t give her consciousness, just cured her of being a shut-in? That’s fucked up.

She offers herself as a replacement girlfriend, opens the driver’s door, and tells Archie to get in. Dumbass that he is, he obeys. She doesn’t like Archie’s friends and doesn’t want him to see them anymore. She fastens Archie’s seatbelt and drives, going on about him spending all of his time with her. Why is Archie not freaking the fuck out?

Fade out. Fade in.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-83-car-drivesIt’s now daybreak, but Betsy’s still driving Archie around Riverdale. Archie says it’s been fun but wants to get the fuck home. Betsy whines. Archie’s tired. Betsy is suspicious that Archie’s gonna sneak off to meet Betty at the spring dance (because that’s totally how dates work). Archie denies it and sweet-talks her. She drives him home.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-84-garage-door-openShe asks what the fuck he’s doing, and he says he’s putting her in the garage, bullshitting about possible rain later tonight. One of the garage doors seems to have been open all night.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-85-Betsy-smilesBetsy smiles in appreciation. As he gets out, she suggests an oil change after his nap. He agrees.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-86-Archie-glowAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-87-eye-glowsShe turns her high beams on, making him feel uneasy.

Archie leaves the garage, and the door somehow automatically closes.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-88-Archie-locksHe locks the door. Betsy’s like “What the fuck you doin’?” Rather than saying “I’m making sure that no one steals you”, Archie tells her that he’s going to the spring dance.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-89-Betsy-sadAwww…

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-90-Betsy-pissedOh, shit.

Archie then says, when he gets back, he’s gonna figure out how to change her back to normal. Shut up, dude!

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-91-Archie-looksHe hears her engine start in the garage, turns around, and looks.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-92-Archie-surprisedAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-93-Archie-scaredRUN, YOU DUMBASS!

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-94-Archie-carThat’s what happens, man.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-95-car-moonWhile Archie’s on the ground, Betsy tries to run him over…

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-96-Betsy-Archie-ground…but then hits the brakes and threatens to murder his friends.

She tears off, letting Archie breathe her exhaust.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-97-RHSAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-98-gymAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-99-gang-waitsAt Riverdale High School, the dance is over, and Archie still hasn’t shown up.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-100-gang-waits-2The gang came to the dance in their regular clothes. Would it have bothered the animators to put them in formal clothes?

Anyway, Betty’s worried, but Veronica’s given up all hope of Archie ever noticing them again.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-101-gang-profilesAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-102-carArchie’s car shows up at the school, and the gang doesn’t react much to the fact that no one’s driving it. I guess they’re not surprised by this point, but they really should be freaking out.

There’s a hilarious (but simultaneously really stupid) gag where Jughead observes the car is heading straight for them, and then they look at each other for a moment before exclaiming the same thing and freaking out. They run back inside the gym.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-103-car-lightsBetsy bursts through the doors, causing damage to the gym, and turns on way more lights than she should have.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-104-gang-glow-1AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-105-gang-glow-2Betsy drives into the gym and toward them.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-106-Archie-bushesDude, you’ve been hiding in the bushes this whole time? Who do you think you are? Sean Spicer?

Having taken his sweet time during the entire dance, Archie suddenly makes a mad dash for the school, hoping he’s not too late to save the gang. By the way, Andrew Rannells’ delivery is really stiff and awkward here.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-107-Archie-gymHe’s seemingly too late.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-108-Chuck-NancyChuck and Nancy come out of hiding. Archie’s happy to see them.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-109-Nancy-ChuckAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-110-Nancy-Archie-ChuckThey explain what happened. Apparently, they were locking up after the dance, which sounds like something that students would definitely not be put in charge of. Anyway, they managed to get into the locker room before they were hurt. The gang ran out the doors, and the car went after them. Chuck’s never seen Jughead move so fast, and he definitely wants to let Archie know that, because he yells it as Archie runs toward the doors. He can hear you just fine, dude.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-111-gang-statueAWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-112-gang-statue-carThe gang has taken refuge atop the Thinker replica statue outside the school.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-113-gang-statue-2Betsy taunts them, and Reggie has a comeback ready.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-114-Reggie-saved-BettyAs Betsy talks, Betty loses her grip on the statue, but Reggie saves her.

Betty wants to discuss things with Betsy, and Veronica tries to hook Betsy up with a luxury sedan, but bitch ain’t having it. The guys pull the girls (Reggie/Betty, Jughead/Veronica) up. Betsy circles around menacingly for a while.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-115-Archie-moonArchie arrives and cries out about…Jughead. Not the girls, even though they’re in danger, too. Jughead.

Jughead falls, announcing it as he does so, but he didn’t appear to be in any danger until after Archie cried out his name. Archie runs toward him.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-116-Jughead-scratches-statueThat statue’s made out of some flimsy shit.

Jughead finally hits the ground. Betsy prepares to run him over. The wind (or whatever) blows Jughead’s hat (which he’d lost in the fall) back onto his head. That was convenient.

Betsy confirms she’s been aware of everything this whole time (which is very creepy) by referencing Jughead eating cookies in her back seat earlier.

Archie jumps onto a bench and then directly into the driver’s seat. He turns the wheel, so Betsy doesn’t hit Jughead. She allows him to do this?

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-117-Archie-carSome wild driving goes on. Betsy tries to throw Archie out of her, but he grabs onto a seatbelt. She’s feeling betrayed and shit. More wild driving. Archie talks friendship; they’re people; she’s “just a thing”.

More driving. Reggie and the girls climb down from the statue.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-118-Archie-car-2Betsy keeps talking betrayal. Kill this bitch already.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-119-diceArchie only now realizes the dice caused this shit. Like, fucking duh! He tries to get to them, but Betsy doesn’t make it easy. Maybe he shouldn’t have announced what he knows.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-120-Archie-diceHe finally yanks the dice off the mirror, and the car slows down.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-121-gang-runsYeah, get out of the way, everyone.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-122-crashArchie survives this.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-123-gangThe gang’s worried and concerned.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-124-gang-2It’s all good, though.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-125-car-wreckedEh, you can just buff that out; it’ll be fine.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-126-gang-3No, seriously, the car will be fine. By Betty’s estimate, it will take Archie “weeks” to repair all of that damage. She’s assuming he’s gonna be doing all of this major repair work. After Jughead complains about not seeing Archie, Archie decides to “get some auto shop” to fix Betsy. The car is fine, though, in every other episode of the series, regardless of the proper order. That’s some fast repair work.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-127-gang-4The gang is happy with Archie’s decision.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-128-moonA meteorite or comet shoots across the sky for no apparent reason. It’s green. Might it represent the dice’s power? Is it not over?

Nah, it’s over. We never get an answer to this.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-129-gang-5The gang walks away.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-130-Beaumont-diceDoctor Beaumont, who apparently has been following Betsy, picks up the dice, cleans them, and talks about retrieving them before someone needlessly learns the same lesson, because not everyone needs to.

Fade out. Fade in.

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-131-Andrews-houseAt dusk or dawn (not sure which), Archie types up his column. As the shot slowly zooms in on Archie’s bedroom (but never enters it), Archie talks about allowing himself to forget people are more important than things, which he calls one of the weirdest mysteries that ever happened…

AWM-02-Driven-to-Distraction-132-Riverdale…in a little town called Riverdale.

So this was a pretty enjoyable episode. Reggie and Jughead got to perform some heroics. Veronica got noticeably more screen time than Betty, which is interesting. Chuck and Nancy got to talk. The only thing that the episode suffers from is everyone apparently being fucking blind.

Tune in next Wednesday!

The New Archies, Segment 13 – Red to the Rescue

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-01-title
Writer: Eleanor Burian-Mohr & Jack Hanrahan
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 24, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:20

Kudos for using a title card featuring Red.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-02-RJHS
The segment opens with an unusually long, slow zoom-in on Riverdale Junior High School. Might this be a budgetary move?

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-03-poor-composition
Then we get a poorly-composited shot where Ms. Grundy is barely visible.

Anyway, Ms. Grundy is looking over this year’s “unusual” science projects, despite the fact that they already did science projects earlier.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-04-Betty-Veronica-phone
Betty is listening to Veronica gossip on one of those tin-can phones, which better not be a science project, because that’s fucking lazy, and this is from a guy that did the fresh-water-versus-salt-water-plant-growth project; yeah, I got a low grade.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-05-Betty-Veronica-split-screen
Anyway, there’s a funny split-screen gag where Ms. Grundy yanks the “phone” away from them.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-06-Veronica-shadow
Veronica apologizes. Nice touch with Ms. Grundy’s shadow falling over her.

Veronica explains she was just demonstrating her “silver-plated tin-can phone”. Ooh, it’s silver-plated?! That makes it better.

Ms. Grundy merely lifts her foot slightly higher to step over the string (this necessitates a sound effect for some reason).

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-07-Jughead-telescopeTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-08-hamburger
Jughead thinks he’s found “spontaneous life” in his onion rings. That’s…disgusting.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-09-Grundy
“What the fuck kind of lazy-ass bullshit is this?!”

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-10-Grundy-Eugene
Ms. Grundy is impressed by Eugene’s “lunar-powered photosynthetic photographic synthesystem”. He calls it the “Luncam”. Let’s file it under B for “Bullshit”.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-11-Grundy-Reggie
Ms. Grundy gets a little sassy with “Reginald” over his “invisible project”. That earns her some laughs.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-12-Reggie-accuses-Archie
Reggie blames Archie, saying Archie’s dog ate his “bread mold” project. That’s morbidly hilarious.

Archie disputes it, saying he tied Red up with a half-inch nylon that a truck couldn’t break…

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-13-Red-window
Son of a fuck.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-14-Jughead-Red
Red immediately eats Jughead’s hamburger.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-15-circle-effect
There’s a go-to-black effect, even though this isn’t anywhere close to a commercial break.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-16-Archie-Red-bath
The same effect in reverse brings us to the next scene, where Archie is giving Red a bath.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-17-Jughead-Archie-Red-bathTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-18-Veronica-Betty-Hot-Dog
Meanwhile, Veronica and Betty are prettying-up Jughead’s dog, Hot Dog. Betty doesn’t believe Red’s the culprit. Veronica doesn’t even believe Reggie did a science project.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-19-gang-dogsTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-20-Schweckner-bike
An old woman gets Archie’s attention. The gang isn’t happy to see her but greet her anyway. Then Veronica adds a little laugh at the end. She’s awesome.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-21-Red-no
Red really isn’t happy to see this woman.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-22-Schweckner
The bitch on the bike is Mrs. Schweckner, a rip-off of Miss Gulch from “The Wizard of Oz”. Also, Red is the same breed as Toto. What’s with the Wizard of Oz references on this series?

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-23-Muffin
Anyway, Mrs. Schweckner rants about all of the shit that Red’s done to her and her cat, and then we see that she keeps her cat, Muffin, unsecured in a basket on the back of her bike. Fuck this bitch.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-24-list
“I’ve got a fucking list, asshole!”

Archie insists Red loves Muffin.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-25-Red-licks-Muffin
And, yeah, Red does indeed want to mate with her.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-26-Schweckner-eek
“Get your fucking dog away from my pussy!”

Mrs. Schweckner declares she’s reporting this “vicious beast” to Animal Control and rides off, consoling Muffin and threatening Red at the same time. Red jumps back in the bath and hides beneath the bubbles.

Archie makes a half-assed attempt at calling after Mrs. Schweckner and then takes Red out of the bath.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-27-Jughead-Red-Archie
Jughead feels so bad for Red that he offers him some of his hamburger to cheer him up. Awww…

Muffin escapes from Mrs. Schweckner’s basket, and she doesn’t even notice, because she’s grossly negligent and shouldn’t be allowed to have pets.

The shot, which zooms in on Mrs. Schweckner’s head, goes on too long. Maybe the script was under time?

Before we move on, I wanna say I love the dark sky in this scene, like it’s about ready to storm.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-28-Andrews-houseTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-29-Andrews-house-2
That night, sure enough! Kudos for not making this a simple establishing shot.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-30-Eugene-Luncam
Eugene declares his Luncam “works!” and should photograph everything that moves. Well, supposedly, anything that moves that’s attached by a string to the camera. Seriously, there are a bunch of strings coming from the camera.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-31-Jughead-trash-cans
Jughead covers the trash cans (which have been tied with the strings). He then knocks them over, because he’s an uncoordinated dumbass.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-32-Archie-Red
Archie, with Red, thanks “Gene” for helping them clear Red’s name.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-33-Andrews-house
Later that night, a noise outside wakes up Archie. He tries to alert Jughead (who’s sleeping over and…has his own bed), but dude’s sound asleep, so…

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-34-Archie-whacks-JugheadTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-35-cat-shadowTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-36-LuncamTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-37-Red-shadow
The Luncam takes pics of the shenanigans going on outside, including a bunch of boxes and trash cans falling over. That’s great, but the pics are taken after they fall over, which won’t prove anything.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-38-Archie-Jughead-window
Jughead so doesn’t give a shit.

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Archie and Jughead run outside to investigate. Jughead has to bring along food, of course.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-40-doghouse
Red’s gone.

They completely run around a square fence and wind up back where they started before they see the knocked-over trash cans and boxes. Um,…stupidity for the sake of padding?

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-41-Archie-Jughead-spyTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-42-police-Schweckner
Archie and Jughead go over and spy on Mrs. Schweckner, who had one of Riverdale’s Animal Control officers come over to her house (it’s the next morning, I guess), so she could complain about Red’s supposed misdeeds.

A dejected Archie declares his life is over. Jughead declares it’s enough to make a guy lose his appetite.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-43-police-Schweckner-2
“Caught ya, ya fuckin’ hoodlums!”

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-44-Schweckner-notice
“Your foul creature is goin’ to the slammer! It’s official and shit!”

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-45-officer
“Sorry, kid, you’re shit outta luck; she has a warrant.”

Archie again insists Red loves Muffin and then says he’s gone. Mrs. Schweckner is gonna “help” Archie find “that vicious animal”. The old hag then yanks the Animal Control officer along. Yeah, no fucking way.

Jughead declares he can’t eat – while chewing some food.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-46-Eugene-Archie-Jughead-Hot-Dog
Later, Archie, Jughead, and Hot Dog go to Eugene’s to drop off the Luncam. Archie insists on Red’s innocence. Eugene says he’ll have prints for them later. Archie thanks him.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-47-Reggie-bike
Archie flags down Reggie, who’s riding his bike…in the pouring rain (is he delivering newspapers?). He begs Reggie to help them find Red. Reggie gives a half-assed, not-at-all-convincing “too busy” excuse, reconsiders his explanation, sticks with it, and then just pedals away. Kinda funny. πŸ™‚

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-48-Archie-Jughead
“Too much bread mold?” Also kinda funny. πŸ™‚

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-49-Veronica-Betty-raincoats
Archie’s mom told Veronica and Betty about Red, so they rush over to help look for him.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-50-gang-raincoats
Archie suggests they split up.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-51-Hot-Dog
Later, Hot Dog’s picked up Red’s scent.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-52-bushes
Target acquired.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-53-chair
Or not.

Mrs. Schweckner forces the Animal Control schmuck to drive slowly behind her as she pedals toward the gang in rage! She gets off her bike and runs toward them.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-54-gang
“The fuck, you crazy old bitch?!”

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-55-Schweckner-dives
She dives into the bushes!

Archie “tries” to “warn” her, but…

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-56-Schweckner-lands
…the springs are so strong that they expel her from the bushes, and she lands on her ass.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-57-Archie-Schweckner
The crazy bitch actually tells Archie that he’ll “rue this day”. “Rue”! Fucking “rue”! WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?!

Anyway, Archie says he already does.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-58-officer-laughs
The Animal Control guy laughs, no doubt at the bitch’s misfortune.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-59-Eugene-develops
Meanwhile, Eugene is having difficulty developing the film. This is a guy that has his own personal darkroom! I didn’t have this much trouble when I took Photography class in high school. Michael from “Maniac Mansion” would kick Eugene’s ass out of a sense of shame!

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-60-Hot-Dog
Jughead thinks they’re on to something, because it’s not like Hot Dog’s been wrong so far.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-61-Archie-Jughead
Archie tells Hot Dog to find his buddy.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-62-Betty-Veronica-1
The girls are walking a bit behind them. Veronica has a delayed reaction to Jughead’s announcement…

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-63-Betty-Veronica-2
…and then delays in picking up the pace.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-64-Schweckner-officer
The bitch and Barney Fife (that should be the name of a tragicomedy) are in hot pursuit.

Jughead declares Hot Dog’s nose is “infallible”.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-65-gang-restaurant
Yeah, as infallible as the fucking pope.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-66-butcher-boneTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-67-Hot-Dog-salivating
Betty asks Jughead if Hot Dog comes here (the butcher shop) often. Jughead says every day.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-68-Archie-Veronica-Betty
“Well, what did you expect, you dickcheese?”

The old hag catches up with them. The butcher tosses the bone up in the air (I guess so Hot Dog could catch it). The bitch threatens to get the butcher’s license revoked for “aiding and abetting”. Seriously. Then, though:

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-69-Schweckner-bone
Perfect.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-70-Eugene-darkroom
More problems for Eugene in the darkroom. He pounds the counter in frustration! In the writers’ efforts to delay the resolution, they’ve made Eugene into an incompetent idiot.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-71-Betty-Veronica-inspect
After the commercial break, Betty and Veronica have come across dog paw prints, but Veronica guesses they’re kind of big for Red. Betty claims prints look bigger in the mud (um, okay) and urges Veronica to come the fuck on. They walk for a bit and come across this:

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-72-Hot-Dog-Archie-JugheadTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-73-guys-girls
Veronica calms Hot Dog down, while Betty frees the guys. Veronica realizes they’ve been following Hot Dog (after checking his paw against a paw print). Betty says splitting up is a bust and suggests sticking together.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-74-Jughead-Veronica
Jughead sits down to eat (because it’s not like time is of the essence or anything). Veronica’s like “Your pooch be cray-cray.” Jughead dismisses it with “Hunger makes him cray-cray.”

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-75-Hot-Dog-sandwich
He tosses Hot Dog a big sandwich for “lunch” (it’s noon already?).

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-76-Jughead-burger
Jughead also tosses a hamburger to himself, catches it in his mouth, and gets the whole thing inside before he starts chewing. Bullshit.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-77-Schweckner-officer
The old bitch is still on their tail. She leads the poor Animal Control officer by the hand and then swipes his net from him. He advises her against whatever she’s about to do. She proceeds to catch:

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-78-Hot-Dog-Jughead-netted
Jughead offers the bitch a sandwich, which is a lot kinder than how I would have reacted.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-79-Eugene-darkroom
Back in the darkroom, Eugene is down to the last three shots, so he’s gotta get it right. Wait, so he’s been fucking up potential evidence this whole time? I don’t remember much about photography from high school, but I thought, as long as you don’t expose the film to light, you could try making prints as many times as you want.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-80-Eugene-excited
Anyway, he’s excited, because he thinks he’s got something. He turns on a fan to help the pictures dry faster, and the first one flies off the line and lands in the developing tray.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-81-Eugene-pounds-wall
“Fuuuuuuck!!!”

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The gang’s walking along.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-83-gang-barnTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-84-barn
They come to “Old Man Murray’s barn”. Betty mentions Red loves to play hide-and-seek in his haystack (even though this location seems way out of the way). The gang rushes toward it.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-85-Hot-Dog-other-way
Suddenly, Hot Dog turns and wants to go the other way, barking.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-86-Veronica-Hot-Dog
“This way, you stupid fucknugget!”

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-87-Schweckner-officer
The bitch is making the poor Animal Control officer follow her on foot as she follows these underage kids around town (and beyond). He warns her against a swamp, but she thinks he’s lying to help the kids. She does indeed fall into a swamp (off-screen) and yells at him to get her out. Leave her, dude.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-88-Hot-Dog-Jughead-Archie
Jughead has let Hot Dog loose, because he (Jughead) has heard Mrs. Schweckner “or a wet bobcat”.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-89-swamp-hat
They arrive at the swamp. Jughead sees her hat and declares “She melted!” Okay, enough referencing of “The Wizard of Oz”. Just wrap this up.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-90-Veronica-shakes-Jughead
“That makes no sense, you fucking idiot! Snap out of it!”

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-91-Schweckner-ropeTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-92-officer-rope
The Animal Control officer is pulling the bitch out with a rope, which I guess he threw to her and told her to tie around herself. The net went missing after she accidentally nabbed Jughead and Hot Dog.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-93-Eugene-darkroom
We check in with Eugene again.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-94-photo
It turns out that Red was “taking the rap” for a family of raccoons.

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Eugene jokes this news is too late for the evening edition. Quit dicking around and get to the gang, asshole!

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We see Reggie carrying a stack of papers while his (unseen) dad (Ricky Mantle) chews him out for blaming Red for eating a “non-existent” science project (so Veronica was right). Reggie is sentenced to three months of doing…something…for his dad. If they’re going by the comics, Reggie’s dad is the editor (or editor-in-chief or owner) of the town’s newspaper, so Reggie could be helping him there. He was probably delivering newspapers for his dad earlier, and he didn’t wanna let anyone know.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-98-gang-searches
The gang is searching. Jughead suggests calling off the search.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-99-Archie-slides
Suddenly, Archie slips, falls, and slides backward, crashing into the others and causing Veronica to lose her hat.

The Animal Control officer seconds Jughead’s suggestion. Suddenly, Archie hears and recognizes Red’s bark. He gets up and runs toward the sound.

We get a slow zoom-in on the haystack. Then:

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-100-Archie-haystackTNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-101-Archie-haystack-2TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-102-Schweckner-pissed
“Don’t you fucking smile at me! Officer, arrest that fucker!”

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-103-Schweckner-happy
Her tune suddenly changes, though, when she sees:

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-104-kittens
It turns out that Red was helping Muffin out after she got knocked up.

TNA-13-Red-to-the-Rescue-105-Muffin-licks-Archie
Licks are given all around, and the segment ends with no apology from the bitch and Eugene’s subplot being rendered entirely pointless.

This segment was pretty good. Not great, though. Eugene’s whole film-development subplot really was pointless (and nonsensical – and would be obsolete if this story was made today). Reggie was barely in the segment, and his subplot (which we didn’t even know was a subplot until toward the end) was pointless as well. Still, I love animals, and this was a pretty sweet story that showed them being awesome.

We have reached the halfway point of the series.

Before I end this post, I have two announcements:

The first season of “Riverdale” comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on August 15 – less than two weeks from now. Once that happens, I’ll start reviewing it on this blog. Depending on how fast that I’m able to review a 40-minute episode (in general, live-action seems to go faster for me, probably because it’s less densely packed than animation), I’ll either review the season straight through or alternate from week to week with “The New Archies” (which is the more likely approach).

Check out Phil’s review of “ALF Loves a Mystery”, a 1987 NBC Saturday morning preview special. “The New Archies” is previewed, and Archie himself narrates. You can see the special for yourself here.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Essay – Are Floppy Comics Worth It?

Introduction

For over a decade, I have followed the monthly sales charts of comic books in the North American direct market (meaning the local comic shop; no subscription, digital, or newsstands sales). I have long thought the monthly comic book is doomed.

Recently, I read an article that indicates there is indeed trouble for the format and the stores that carry them.

In this essay, I will be exploring, specifically, comic books from Archie Comics.

My Comic-Collecting Background

I got into Archie through one specific digest, which my mom bought for me at the supermarket. She got me another one later. Those two digests were my only Archies for a while. My sister got me a subscription to the regular floppy “Archie” title around 1993 (I remember seeing the ad for the “Super Mario Bros.” movie).

I started buying regular floppy comics, this time exclusively starring the female characters, in December of 1998 and kept it up until around 2001 or 2002. Then I sold a bunch. Then I got back into it. I wasn’t buying just Archie. I was buying pretty much every female-centric title from DC and Marvel – as well as “Witchblade”, “Tomb Raider”, “Fathom”, and various adaptations of 1980s cartoon properties. A lot of these went unread. During this time, I would drive way out of my way (sometimes an hour away) to get to the nearest comic-carrying bookstore to buy goddamn comic books. At least, they were usually just monthly trips.

Around 2005, I sold most of these and quit the habit.

I got back into digests around 2008 and started buying the AU horror titles in 2013. I also started getting into the last few issues of the Classic Archie titles in 2015. Then came New Riverdale. There was also a new “Tomb Raider” title, “Power Rangers Pink” (Kimberly!), “Back to the Future” (new, canon Jennifer Parker content!), a “Jem and the Holograms” comic (finally!), and so on. At least, I stayed the fuck away from superheroes this time. With no local comic shop, I bought these online through TFAW. If I risked waiting a week or two to combine multiple comics into one order (to save on shipping), I risked an issue no longer being available. If I bought only one issue in a single week, the added shipping basically meant I was paying around $7.00 for a motherfucking 20-page comic book.

In December of 2016, I quit buying physical comic books cold turkey. At the same time, I stopped using my credit card, so that would be one less thing that would be showing up in the mail on a monthly basis. I was helping the environment! Try it! πŸ™‚

I also gave away all of the issues that I’d bought of New Riverdale “Jughead” – along with a bunch of DVDs, most of my digests, and some video games – to a local thrift store.

Yeah, most of those comics had gone unread.

So far, with the exception of the first issue of “Your Pal Archie”, I haven’t bought any digital comics. I can’t really say I miss it either.

Archie Comics’ Problems

The first sign of trouble came when there was a five-month gap between issues #6 (July 23) and #7 (December 10) of “Afterlife with Archie” in 2014.

Likewise, there was a six-month gap between issues #1 (October 8, 2014) and #2 (April 15, 2015) of Archie’s second AU horror title, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”.

There was also a five-month gap until issue #8 of “Afterlife with Archie” (May 6, 2015).

Issue #3 of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” came out only one month after #2 (May 27), followed by #4 two months later (July 29). Not bad.

But…

Archie Comics attracted criticism for launching a Kickstarter to help fund production of “Jughead”, “Betty and Veronica”, and a post-college Classic Archie title called “Life With Kevin” (from Kevin Keller’s creator, writer/artist Dan Parent). The Kickstarter was finally cancelled in mid-2015, and the titles were delayed. I’ll discuss the first two below. Regarding “Life With Kevin”, it did only three issues from June 22 to December 28 of 2016, and there’s been nothing since. It’s likely been cancelled.

The final story arc of the Classic “Betty and Veronica” title had been delayed for so long that the final issue didn’t come out until October 21, 2015 – after the first three issues of New Riverdale “Archie” and the first issue of New Riverdale “Jughead” had already come out.

While “Archie” and “Jughead” came out regularly, the horror titles went completely off the rails. Issue #5 of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” didn’t come out until nearly ten months after #4 (May 18, 2016). This was followed one week later by the long-delayed issue #9 of “Afterlife with Archie” (over one year since the previous issue).

Issue #6 of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” came out on July 13, 2016, about two months after issue #5. It looked like things were getting back on track. It would be nearly one year (July 5, 2017) before issue #7 was farted out.

Issue #10 of “Afterlife with Archie” came out just over three months after #9 (August 31, 2016). Things were looking good here, too. That’s been the last issue to date.

Over at New Riverdale, the long-delayed “Betty and Veronica” title debuted on July 20, 2016 – from a writer/artist that attracted controversy from the moment that he was announced (Adam Hughes). Issue #2 was delayed for nearly four months until November 9. Then nothing until Hughes farted out issue #3 over seven months later (June 14, 2017), hastily wrapping up his story arc with a “Never mind, it was all for show” excuse that doesn’t hold water. He’s off the book, and there hasn’t been a new issue since then, leading to speculation that the title’s been cancelled.

Speaking of cancellations:

On December 12, 2016, Archie Comics announced four one-shots: Jughead: The Hunger (an AU horror story in which Jughead becomes a werewolf), Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Back to School, Little Josie and the Pussycats, and Little Sabrina. Only “Jughead: The Hunger” came out (March 29, 2017). By May 30, the other three one-shots had been cancelled.

On June 23, 2017, Mark Waid off-handedly mentioned in an interview that “Jughead” was “on hiatus” (read: cancelled after 16 issues) and also mentioned “Archie” is “the only ‘New Riverdale’ series”, which basically confirms the cancellations of not only “Betty and Veronica” (after 3 issues) but also “Josie and the Pussycats” (after 8 issues).

There was a “Reggie and Me” miniseries that ran from December 7, 2016, to May 3, 2017, putting out five issues, but no one really noticed them. Ditto for the Big Moose one-shot on April 26. On July 11, Archie Comics announced ongoing titles based on “Jughead: The Hunger” and the “The Archies” one-shot from May 24. They can barely keep titles coming out regularly – and sticking around – as it is. How are they gonna handle two more? I’ll believe it when I see it.

In May, rumors swirled that the long-running “Sonic the Hedgehog” comic book, the longest-running comic book based on a video game (with a combined total of well over 500 issues, once you account for the main series, miniseries, spin-offs, crossovers, and one-shots), had been cancelled after a run that stretched back to 1992. The cancellation was officially confirmed on July 19. Sega had pulled the Sonic license from Archie. There’s no official explanation but plenty of rumors: licensing fees, the above-mentioned Kickstarter backlash, “Riverdale”, and a lawsuit. Whatever the cause, an era has come to an end.

So, after all of that, what does Archie Comics have left? “Archie”. Some digests, which contain mostly reprints but also some new stories set in Classic Archie continuity. “Your Pal Archie”. And an ongoing “Riverdale” comic series that started on April 5 after a one-shot on March 1. Oh, and there’s also “Road to Riverdale” and “Riverdale Digest”, which are both just reprints of New Riverdale comics (seriously, they’re the same thing). That’s about it.

Doing the Math

An issue of a New Riverdale title (also known as “Archie”) or “Your Pal Archie” costs $3.99 and is 20 pages long. You’re paying nearly 20 cents for each page of story. Remember Jughead falling down the cliff? That shit cost me 20 cents. The whole sequence of Jughead trying to drive Archie’s car? $1.00.

Let’s look at the “xoxo, Betty and Veronica” novels. This was a series of three novels that were published in 2011 as part of Archie Comics’ 70th anniversary celebration. They’re similar to the old “Riverdale High” novels that were published from 1991 to 1992 as part of Archie Comics’ 50th anniversary celebration. There are some differences, such as third person instead of first, no full-page illustrations, and authors other than the regular comic writers. Still, they’re pretty enjoyable.

Let’s assume one page of prose equals one comic page. I realize one comic page can be novelized in far less than one page of prose, but let’s keep it simple for this essay. Each novel is around 156 pages long and priced at $4.99. That’s like getting a little over 7 issues for $4.99 – or a single issue for a little over 70 cents. I’m talking old-school 22-page issues. It’s be like getting a modern 20-page issue for about 64 cents. Yes, I realize you don’t see the characters and have to, y’know, use your imagination, but I’m doing this to illustrate how much more of a value that novels are compared to comic books.

Even the old “Riverdale High” novels were a better value than the comic books of the time. I’ll use “Bad News Boyfriend” as an example. At $2.99 each and with 124 pages (mostly prose, but also some illustrated), that’s like getting a little over 5 issues for $2.99 – or a single issue for 53 cents. A regular comic book from Archie cost $1.00 in 1991. The trade paperback of the corresponding 2007 comic adaptation retails for $7.95.

Now, let’s look at “Riverdale”. One episode is 40+ minutes long, so let’s consider that to be roughly equal to two issues of a comic book. Setting aside the fact that you can watch it for free online (if you’re willing to wait one day), you can buy an episode on the day before it’s televised on Amazon Video (at least, those are the release dates that the site provides) for $2.99. That’s like getting 2 issues for $2.99 – or 1 issue for $1.50.

Finally, let’s pretend “Your Pal Archie” is a television series. A typical episode would feature a complete 12-minute story, a partial 8-minute story (to be continued in the next episode), and one of the segments from the old Filmation cartoon tacked on as a “bonus”. Each episode would retail for $3.99. Would you buy it or wait for the complete season to come out on Blu-ray?

Price per page/minute (in descending order from best value to worst value):

Riverdale High novel (1991) = $2.99/124 – $0.0241129032258065 per page
xoxo, Betty and Veronica novel (2011) = $4.99/156 = $0.0319871794871795 per page
monthly comic book (1991) = $1.00/22 = $0.0454545454545455 per page
trade paperback collection (2007) = $7.95/110* = $0.0722727272727273 per page
Riverdale = $2.99/40 = $0.07475 per minute
monthly comic book (2017) = $3.99/20 = $0.1995 per page

*I’m using the cumulative total pages in the original digest printings.

Conclusion

So, yeah, there it is. Monthly comic books aren’t a good value, no matter how you look at it. And comics from Archie are worse. Other publishers at least reduce the price of earlier issues of ongoing series, but every New Riverdale, “Afterlife with Archie”, and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” issue is still the same price as on release day.

And this is just Archie, which cancels and delays issues and has cancelled some series (while others might as well be cancelled). If you were a follower of DC or Marvel, which each puts out a cumulative total of dozens of titles per month, ranging in price from $2.99 (more commonly $3.99) to $10 (Ten Motherfucking Dollars!), then you’d go broke trying to keep up.

In this climate, it’s no wonder that more and more people are dropping monthly installments and waiting for the trade. The days of the monthly comic book surely are numbered.

Comics – The Road Worrier

Your-Pal-Archie-1.jpgWriter: Ty Templeton
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Ty Templeton
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Your Pal Archie, No. 1
Cover Date: September, 2017
On-Sale Date: July 26, 2017
Length: 12 pages

I’m sorry that this is a bit late.

So, after largely giving up on New Riverdale (which also largely gave up on us), I decided to try out this new series. This came out yesterday, so I bought the digital version off Amazon. It’s a new Classic Archie title, the first new one since the classic “Betty and Veronica” title farted out its last issue after New Riverdale had already started in 2015. The pencils are done by Dan Parent, who has been described as “the last Classic Archie guy left” at the company. He continues doing new 5-page stories for the digests, but that’s pretty much been the sole new Classic Archie content for the past two years – until now.

Parent has updated the Archie house style somewhat, incorporating elements from “Riverdale”. As you can see, Betty’s hair is completely pulled back (while it works on the show just fine, it makes her look less attractive here), Veronica has a slightly darker skin tone (which is fine), and Archie is more muscular. The main thing that I have to complain about is Archie’s hair. What the fuck is that?! Parent kept the silly Tic-Tac-Toe pattern but also gave Archie that stupid…thing up front. Ugh.

The format of the series is interesting. There’s a complete story, part of a serial story, and a classic reprint. I’ll be reviewing just the complete story here. I’ll review the serial story once it’s finished.

First, there’s a credits page, and Archie previews the upcoming main story.

The story starts with Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead at Pop’s. I want to note what everyone’s having. Archie has a hamburger (partially eaten) and a milkshake. Betty has already eaten her hamburger and has a soda (I guess). Veronica is eating some kind of dish that is probably meant to be healthy and also has a drink. Jughead is a glutton with three hamburgers, a side of fries, a slice of pie, a hot dog, and a milkshake.

Parent gave Jughead some facial hair on his chin. That’s fine. It’s been done before.

Anyway, Archie says his family is visiting his aunt for a couple weeks on a “real working farm”. He’s looking forward to it. He asks the others what they’re doing with their vacation time. Betty is helping her sister paint her apartment. Veronica’s dad is taking the family to the Caribbean. Jughead is going to learn to drive. The others can’t believe Jughead wants to put effort into learning something. Jughead doesn’t think it’ll be hard. Betty jokingly worries for “drivers everywhere”. Jughead has signed up for Professor Flutesnoot’s Driver’s Ed course through the school. He vows, by Monday, he will “rule the roads of Riverdale”.

Jughead disastrously crashes the car on Monday, so Flutesnoot angrily sends him away. On Tuesday, Jughead does the same thing at Defensive Drivers of America School. On Wednesday, he actually manages to get a car set on fire at Bob’s Discount Drivers School.

On Thursday, he comes over to Archie’s house and reveals every driving instructor in the state has banned him (word gets around). Jughead tries to get Archie to teach him to drive, or else he’ll be cut off from Pop’s burgers for the summer, because apparently everyone is going out of town soon (everyone being Archie and Veronica as far as we know; Polly lives nearby, so Betty ain’t going anywhere), so Jughead won’t be able to “bum a ride” from them. He’s such an asshole. There’s some banter where Archie suggests eating at home and trying vegetables and Jughead trying to get Archie to “clear” the “debt” that he might “someday” owe Jughead for saving his life. Archie gives up and drives Jughead out to the middle of nowhere to teach him.

Out in the middle of nowhere, Jughead makes fun of Archie for naming his car (Betsy) and learns he’s only Archie’s second-best friend (Betsy is first).

The next five goddamn pages are devoted to Jughead’s driving mishaps, including crashing into a fence, backing up onto a road (yeah, it’s an issue), driving backwards, discussing a “Grand Theft Auto”-like video game, crashing through a guard rail, driving down a cliff, and driving on the driver-side wheels through an alleyway to avoid killing a cat. One nice thing during this sequence is the mention of Doyle’s Field, a reference to former Archie Comics head writer Frank Doyle.

A frustrated Archie calls Jughead the worst driver in history and says Jughead will never drive his car again. Jughead tells Archie that he can stop teaching him, because he’s not getting his own car; he planned on borrowing Archie’s while his family was at the farm. Goddess, Jughead is such an asshole! Jughead mentions Pop’s is across town from where he lives (only because it’s convenient to the plot). Archie tells him to get the fuck out, but then Jughead “decides” to get out. He asks Archie if he’s walking home. He doesn’t get an answer, so the next page has Jughead stepping over a wooden fence, falling down a hill (or huge pile of dirt), and landing by Pop’s.

Pop is happy to see Jughead, because he hasn’t seen him in four days. Jughead sits at the counter and orders four burgers with everything, because he has a “long walk home”.

This story is okay, I guess, but it’s nothing special. If you wanted to know what the gang has been up to in the Classic Archieverse, this issue provides the answer: same old shit. For a twelve-page story, not a whole hell of a lot actually happened. A total of six pages (half of the story) are taken up by “action” sequences.

So is this issue, which contains twenty pages of new content, worth $3.99? *inhales deeply* Not sure. Probably not. I plan to address comic pricing and what’s been going on with Archie Comics in an essay, which will be a bonus of sorts before next Wednesday’s review, so stay tuned for that.

The New Archies, Segment 12 – Goodby Ms. Grundy

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Writer: Herb Engelhardt
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 17, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:19

It’s not a good sign when the episode’s title card fails at basic spelling and punctuation.

On the plus side, the show is actually calling her Ms. Grundy (at least in this title), so I’ll be calling her that from now on.

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The segment opens with a shot of Ms. Grundy’s ride, a beat-up old Jeep that’s in worse shape than Archie’s eventual car will be.

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Looks like Ms. Grundy had put in a fence and bought a new mailbox since the last time that we saw her house:

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She carries out a stack of books, kicks her gate closed, and is surprised that her fence needs painting again already; last time, it cost her two weeks’ pay.

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She gets “some more bills” out of her mailbox.

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Wow, her Jeep really sucks ass.

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At Riverdale Junior High School, Ms. Grundy’s class is goofing off, chatting, or just being bored while waiting for her to show up. Has anyone ever actually had a late teacher, or is this the kind of thing that happens only in sitcoms?

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Amani makes fun of a fashion.

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Veronica declares “New Wave is history” and offers herself up as a model. Bitch, you wear the same ridiculous outfit every day. You are not one to be making fashion declarations.

Reggie guesses they’re gonna start with history. Wait, so they have Ms. Grundy for the entire school day? I hadn’t had only one teacher since elementary school. Is that what the kids are in? Granted, it hasn’t been specified up to this point, and I’ve been calling them tweens and junior high schools based on assumption. If they are elementary kids, then…why were they de-aged so much for this series? But Betty and Veronica are cheerleaders on this series, and elementary schools don’t have those (nor sports teams for which to cheer). They’ve gotta be junior high students, and someone on the staff simply was confused.

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Anyway, Archie agrees, and then he falls victim to a prank by Reggie, who got smoke to come out of his textbook. Some. Fucking. How.

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Betty’s frustrated over…something (I can’t understand her). She crumples up a sheet of paper and throws it toward the trash can.

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It makes it in after “comically” sliding across Ms. Grundy’s desk, and…wait a minute. Ms. Grundy’s been sitting here the whole time? Then why was everyone goofing off?

An unenthusiastic Ms. Grundy tells everyone to sit down and shut up, so they can begin. Moose is still lifting the girl and her desk, so Ms. Grundy yells at him.

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Moose responds by dropping the girl, and the force of the impact with the floor is so great that the desk breaks into pieces (to say nothing of the girl). Yeah. Let that sink in. No one can be that stupid, so I can only assume it was deliberate cruelty.

How does Ms. Grundy react? By being mildly frustrated at Moose’s stupidity.

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Moose gets up off the floor (having not been shown sitting down) and walks over to his desk. The class “oohs” or gasps or something for whatever reason.

Notice the bits of debris from the girl’s desk on the floor. Is that all that’s left of her?

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Reggie quickly slips a whoopie cushion on Moose’s seat before he sits down. The class cracks up. Moose is pissed, but Ms. Grundy tells them to knock it the fuck off. She says they’re beginning with geography and tells them to get out their maps.

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A tardy Jughead does a piss-poor job of trying to sneak in undetected. Ms. Grundy asks him about what he’s carrying and guesses it’s related to him being late. Jughead says they’re samples for his biology project.

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Jughead Jones: animal abuser

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“Kill him! Kill him!”

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“It’s horrible!”

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“It’s adorable!”

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Veronica invites Betty to pet the bunny.

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Hehehehehehe!

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There’s some animal-related hijinx.

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Ms. Grundy’s so over this shit. She tiredly opens a window to let the animals out. We learn she’s been teaching for thirty years.

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There’s some more hijinx. Reggie and Eugene jump out the window. Whatever.

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Jughead decides to take Violet (the skunk) to lunch…at the beginning of the school day. She’s Jughead’s cousin Frank’s favorite pet.

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“I’m so fucking over this bullshit.”

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Later, in the faculty lounge, Ms. Grundy is too exhausted to eat. She decides to read her mail.

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If Archie Comics is so adamant about not specifying Riverdale’s location (they actually will in one story decades later: Kevin’s car has a New York license plate), then why did they show the envelope? A real piece of mail would never be sent like this.

Anyway, Ms. Grundy reads the letter from “the fanciest boarding school in the state”. She looks at the letter for less than a second before declaring they want her to head their English department.

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Daydream time! Ms. Grundy says this is like a dream come true.

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In his office, Mr. Weatherbee is bored, so he takes out his wallet, looks at an old photo, and declares his love for Ms. Grundy.

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Ms. Grundy ignores Archie’s greeting and walks right into Mr. Weatherbee’s office (which is right next to a hallway instead of inside a main office), surprising him. Archie listens in, somehow undetected. Ms. Grundy explains her job offer to Mr. Weatherbee.

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He then reads the letter and is somehow shocked over the same information in written form. He tries to dissuade Ms. Grundy from taking the job.

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She’s giving it “serious consideration”. Check out the cute background detail of Archie’s eyes bugging out. Anyway, Ms. Grundy favorably contrasts the “well-mannered young ladies” against the assholes in her class. She starts to bring up the incident from this morning.

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The frog somehow finds its way back into the school.

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“I could just croak!” <— actual quote

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Ms. Grundy gets up to leave, and Archie quickly leaves before he’s spotted. I like how Ms. Grundy is so over this shit that she doesn’t even bother with the frog and seemingly gives it a ride back to her classroom.

TNA-12-Goodby-Ms.-Grundy-54-Grundy-frog-Archie
Mr. Weatherbee is worried, and so is Archie. Archie decides this is a “gang” mission.

A super-speed sound effect is added as he runs off, but he just runs at normal speed.

TNA-12-Goodby-Ms.-Grundy-55-Pop'sTNA-12-Goodby-Ms.-Grundy-56-Archie-bike
Having somehow not made contact with his friends for the rest of the school day, Archie tears over to Pop’s to make the announcement, because it’s not like his friends could have gone home or anything.

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Moose is like “Shut up, asshole! Jughead’s on a roll, and Pop’s giving us a burger for every nine replays!” Yeah, Moose makes it sound like they all get a burger based on Jughead’s gameplay.

Anyway, Jughead loses, earning them only three burgers each. He announces this like it’s a bad thing.

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Later, Moose and Jughead are enjoying their burgers.

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Amani’s like “What’s up with Archie?” Betty’s like “Beats me, but he got us out of cheerleader practice, so it’s gotta be some serious shit.” She then cheerfully asks Archie what’s going on.

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Archie explains.

Amani says Ms. Grundy is the best teacher that they ever had and guesses they’re offering her more money.

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Betty takes charge, demanding everyone be on their best fucking behavior.

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She puts Moose in charge of beating up the troublemakers.

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It’s a pact!

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That night, Betty tutors a tired Moose in math.

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The next day, in class, Ms. Grundy is surprised – and a bit weirded out – that her students are silent and well-behaved. She tells everyone that has their homework to pass it forward.

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Archie presents her with the homework – from everyone.

Ms. Grundy is surprised and then decides to quiz them – by asking anyone to answer a geography question. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to accomplish.

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Ms. Grundy is shocked that “Forsythe Jones” raised his hand. She mispronounces the name of the river, and Jughead seems to get the information wrong, but she’s impressed.

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Reggie can’t resist trying to get Jughead with the whoopie cushion, but Moose stops him…

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…and threatens his life.

Reggie gets the message.

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“Good boy!”

There’s a dramatic zoom-in on the clock right before the commercial break. It’s 9:30 AM. Right before the fade-out, the image gets fuzzy, as if they were going for a simple scene fade and then decided to stick the commercial break here instead.

After the commercial break, we see the same clock, and it’s now 3:30 PM. There’s a dramatic zoom-out.

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Ms. Grundy is confused over her students’ “almost perfect” homework and their behavior in general. She doubts it’ll last, because it’s “too good to be true”.

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After school, Archie meets Jughead outside Pop’s. Jughead wants to “play [Archie] a game”. I guess he means play video games with Archie.

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Archie declines in order to study division, and Jughead decides to study with him, because nobody’s at Pop’s anyway.

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In class, Ms. Grundy praises Archie for the “fine solution”, and…it is. Yeah, it’s actually correct. Props for accurate details.

Archie praises Ms. Grundy for her great teaching.

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Ms. Grundy dismisses the class. Everyone respectfully walks past her desk in silence. Betty offers to erase the board, but her mouth doesn’t move as she walks into frame. Anyway, a happy Ms. Grundy thanks her and offers her appreciation.

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The other students leave. Veronica notably stops and looks back into the classroom with a smile before closing the door. This is never addressed. I just thought it was a nice moment.

Ms. Grundy can’t believe her students are “still acting so wonderfully” after two weeks. She realizes High Point won’t wait forever and wonders what to do.

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Mr. Weatherbee comes in through the open door (the one that Veronica had just closed) and congratulates Ms. Grundy, because her class got the highest test scores in the school. He’s proud of her for turning things around in here. Ms. Grundy thanks him but can’t take the credit.

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Mr. Weatherbee is confused, because she’s their teacher. She sadly says they’ve learned to motivate themselves and don’t need her anymore. She then happily declares her work here done and then adds she’s going to accept the position at High Point.

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This so shocks Mr. Weatherbee that he loses his grip on his print-out. Betty is surprised as well.

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As Betty and Ms. Grundy talk, Mr. Weatherbee spins counter-clockwise, seemingly intentionally wrapping the print-out around himself. What the actual fuck?

Betty says Ms. Grundy can’t leave them now. Ms. Grundy says they’re doing fine; just keep up the good work. Betty says they want her to stay. Ms. Grundy is surprised but says she can’t; she must do what’s best for herself. Betty sadly goes off to break the bad news to the gang.

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No.

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The gang meets at Pop’s. Jughead’s lost his appetite. Reggie blames Archie for suppressing his humor (I think that’s what he was getting at; the score has brief moments of loud guitar). Amani says Reggie’s only fan is himself. Betty says it was her idea to act like angels that made Ms. Grundy decide to leave. Then she adds “So lay off, Archie!” That’s…odd. Archie wasn’t casting blame on anyone. Maybe Betty was telling Reggie to “lay off Archie”, but Lisa Coristine delivers the line in a way that suggests otherwise.

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“I have a line – and an idea!” Yes, 9:29 into the fucking segment, and Eugene finally speaks.

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Hilariously, Archie, Jughead, and Betty are excited by this. Yes, I realize this was probably meant to be a reaction to Eugene having an idea, and they put it in too early, but it comes across as them simply reacting to the fact that Eugene is speaking. “Our token black male friend can talk! Amazing!”

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Anyway, we don’t actually get to hear Eugene’s plan. Instead, he basically just restates the problem (as already stated by Betty), and then the gang gets in a huddle, and he does that cartoon-whisper thing that sounds like buzzing.

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Well, they didn’t get it right on the banner either, but at least it’s better than the title card.

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They’re having a goodbye ceremony for Ms. Grundy in the auditorium.

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The gang is up to something.

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Eugene says they’ll give Mr. Weatherbee a minute to get going, and then they’ll “cut it loose”.

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So Mr. Weatherbee starts speaking, and he’s obviously sad about this.

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Eugene lets Mr. Weatherbee speak for only eight seconds before leaping into the air and putting his plan into motion. Why telegraph it like this? Subtlety, dude, learn it.

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The plan consists of paper bags…

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…that contain party favors.

They raise the curtain (somehow) and pass out the party supplies.

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Eugene projects some graphics on the screen through…science shit. Also, Mr. Weatherbee and Ms. Grundy turn into floating apparitions. Or the animators cut off their legs. Hard to tell which.

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Reggie hits Ethel with a water balloon, because he’s an asshole.

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Mr. Weatherbee demands the students stop this, because this is a “serious occasion”, but they ignore him.

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“Sit down and shut up, you fucking assholes!”

They do.

She lectures them, totally falling for the idea that they’re prematurely running wild before she leaves.

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She decides to stay. Everyone’s happy.

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Archie calls Eugene a genius. Eugene makes a joke. They yuck it up.

This segment was pretty nice. We get an exploration of Ms. Grundy’s relationship with her students and with Mr. Weatherbee. I wouldn’t call it realistic. Then again, I never had a teacher in elementary school (nor, to my recollection, in middle school) that left or (to our knowledge) was thinking of leaving. Still, good story.

Tune in next Wednesday!

The New Archies, Segment 11 – Hamburger Helpers

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Writers: Pat Allee & Ben Hurst
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 17, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:21

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The segment opens with Miss Grundy’s class learning about the four basic food groups (as Mr. Weatherbee walks by outside, eating what I’m guessing is an apple).

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There’s some “hilarity” with the chart rolling back up. The class finds it hilarious anyway.

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Miss Grundy’s pissed but tries to continue with the lesson.

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Betty and Veronica give good answers.

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There’s a funny joke where the class beats Jughead to yelling out “hamburgers”.

Jughead tries to make the case that hamburgers are the perfect food: they combine all four food groups. Well, maybe cheeseburgers. Anyway, Miss Grundy tries to argue with him, but then…

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Daydream time! It occurs at pretty much the same time as in the previous segment.

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Jughead likes his women like he likes his hamburgers.

Miss Grundy and some students yell at Jughead, which brings him back to reality. Miss Grundy warns him about someday waking up and looking like a hamburger.

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Reggie uses the opportunity to insult Jughead’s looks. The class cracks up – except Jughead.

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After school, Betty cautions Jughead against eating just hamburgers for his whole life. Jughead doesn’t see the big deal, and Veronica advises Betty to forget it. Jughead seconds that. Veronica guesses Jughead can’t give up hamburgers.

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Archie and Reggie skateboard over to them. Oh, look, there’s a karate dojo near Pop’s.

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Jughead and the girls are positively in awe over Archie and Reggie’s skateboards, which were apparently projects that they’d been working on for three months and finally finished (or at least Archie was; it’s unclear if Reggie was). I once hung out with some kids in elementary school or middle school, and one of them built his own bike out of various parts. Even we weren’t in awe like these easily-impressed characters are. In fact, I remember some concern over safety.

So what happened to Archie’s previous skateboard? Anyway, he shows off for a bit.

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Not to be outdone, Reggie shows off as well.

The others don’t care and go into Pop’s before he finishes his (admittedly impressive) stunts. Reggie goes in after them.

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Ah, the 1980s: back when arcade machines were actually worth playing. There’s a local movie theater in this county that still has a few outdated arcade games (Jurassic Park III, The Fast and the Furious, etc.); somehow, I have a feeling that they don’t make any money off them. Anyway, the arcade game verbally congratulates Eugene by name. Not impossible, I suppose.

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Oh, for fuck’s sake, this is gonna be a judgmental story, isn’t it?

Betty wants “Juggie” to at least try other foods.

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Jughead has Betty read his lips before it was cool.

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He claims he could give hamburgers up today if he wanted to. Veronica argues with him about it. She eventually proposes a wager: if he can give up hamburgers for a week, she’ll buy all that he can eat for a whole day.

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Reggie and Archie argue over it as well. Archie supports Jughead. Reggie asks if Archie bets his skateboard on it, which gives Archie second thoughts. Jughead and Betty advise against it. Reggie proposes Archie’s skateboard against one month of Reggie’s allowance.

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Jughead clearly doesn’t inspire confidence in Archie. Regardless, Archie accepts the bet. Veronica asks Jughead. Jughead nervously accepts her bet.

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Reggie and Archie shake on it (as do Veronica and Jughead), and Reggie shocks Archie with a joy buzzer.

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Veronica makes a disappointed Jughead start the bet now, therefore giving up the huge stack of burgers that he had ordered for lunch. How could he even pay for all of those?

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That night, the camera zooms in on a window on the top floor of the Jones house. This is implied to be Jughead’s bedroom.

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But Jughead clearly has the light on in his room. Also, he’s got a picture of his one true love on the wall. He sadly flips it over to not be tempted.

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NOT THAT THAT WOULD DO ANY FUCKING GOOD.

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The next day (I guess), Jughead puts an X on the first day of the month. Funny how the month is unlisted. Realistically, this would be April of 1987. Anyway, Jughead gets upset over the amount of time that he has left to go.

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At school, Miss Grundy’s class is taking a test.

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Jughead can’t concentrate.

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He has an orgasm when he spots Amani’s lunch bag on the floor. Why’d she bring it to class with her instead of putting it in her locker?

Anyway, he imagines it’s a hamburger, or there’s a hamburger inside the bag (it’s unclear). For some reason, during the transformation, the scene fades nearly to black. That’s an…odd effect to add. Not sure why they did that.

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Jughead tries to steal Amani’s lunch, and she calls him out on it. Jughead counters with “It’s my destiny!”

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They fight over the bag. Check out Moose just enjoying the whole spectacle.

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Somehow, a hole opens in the bottom of the bag, and the contents fall out. Jughead is disappointed in the non-hamburgerness of the food.

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Only now does Miss Grundy intervene. What took her so long?

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Later, in the hallway, Betty and Archie watch Jughead write on the blackboard. Archie declares Jughead’s out of control.

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Betty agrees, relating an incident from yesterday: they threw him out of the market for trying to defrost hamburger with his breath.

Archie and Betty agree to stick to Jughead like glue and not let him out of their sight. They simultaneously declare “Jughead won’t fail!”

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Y’know, it occurs to me that this bet (and thus the entire premise of this story) makes no sense, since what’s to stop Jughead from having hamburgers in the freezer at home?

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We get a panning shot, which gives us a nice view of the Lodges’ property.

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Veronica and Reggie are playing tennis. Reggie says Jughead’s lasted three days.