Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 15
Cover Date: September, 1998
Length: 11 pages
Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.
Cheryl and Archie are at Pembrooke Beach. It’s summer, and Cheryl exposits about how she’s out of Riverdale High and back in Pembrooke. She flirts with Archie.
Cheryl sees cameras and asks a random girl what’s going on. She says they’re shooting a live episode of a knockoff of Hearts Afire. Cheryl says it’s her favorite soap (even though it was actually a primetime sitcom). Against Archie’s advice, Cheryl gets in the shot and ruins the scene by either exposing plot points that certain characters don’t know about or just making shit up (it’s unclear). The guys in charge are too dumb to do anything about it, but eventually the cameras are shut down. How incompetent is this production? Why are they doing a live episode without closing off the beach for a few hours? Anyway, a guy yells at Cheryl, but Cheryl says they could get great publicity for this.
Meanwhile, across town, at the headquarters of a knockoff of MTV (really? MTV is headquartered in Pembrooke? who knew?), the staff is upset about their ratings being down this quarter and hope their summer beach house will boost ratings. They need a “dynamic” host, though. They see Cheryl’s stunt covered on a knockoff of Entertainment Tonight. It’s described as “pandemonium” and “media havoc”, which is…stretching it.
They’re aware of her, so they go to the beach to talk with her. Lucky for them, she’s still there. They pitch the job: introducing music videos and interviewing rock stars. Cheryl plays hard-to-get. She’s gonna have her “agent” send them a list of proposed changes.
Of course, Cheryl’s agent, “Ms. Flowers”, is just Cheryl. The entire exchange is conducted over the phone (they don’t recognize Cheryl’s voice) and via fax machine. There is so much wrong with this, but, for starters, Cheryl would have to give the name of the talent agency, and I’m betting she doesn’t have one. Anyway, these idiot producers sign Cheryl in desperation, because their ratings continue to fall. Cheryl got herself a good deal: the show will be called Cheryl’s Beach Bash!, and she’ll be able to design the beach house in her own style.
Cheryl’s excited to be a TV star for the summer, but, once the contracts arrive, she realizes she forgot she’s a minor and needs her parents’ permission. Nice, Cheryl. How are you gonna explain the fake agent to your parents?
Anyway, let’s pause for a moment and discuss Cheryl’s age. Assuming she’s just on the cusp of turning 18, everything up through her second miniseries (Get a Job) came out before she turned 16 (and thus was eligible to drive). And yet I guess all of that stuff supposedly is still in continuity as of this story? Somehow? Anyway, moving on…
Cheryl’s dad agrees to it, but he’s gonna send someone to keep an eye on the project – both to keep her in line and to protect her, which is actually very sweet. Jason is listening in and has an idea on who can keep an eye on Cheryl. How is it that Jason’s always in the right place at the right time to listen in and fuck with Cheryl’s plans? It’s a running theme in this series, and it’s very contrived.
On another day, at the beach, Cheryl loves how her beach house is coming along. Priscilla/Bunny is excited that they (herself, Cheryl, Cedric, and *sigh* Sidney Snavely) get to hang out here all summer. Cheryl says the Riverdale gang isn’t allowed on the beach. She also says she can “handle” her parents.
Later, the producers have Cheryl do a test run and bring in the Madonna knockoff (her first guest) to help her rehearse.
During the rehearsal, Jason arrives in his yacht and honks the horn and plays loud music, interrupting them. Cheryl goes to deal with it and declines Jason’s offer to join his party. He says he’s not trying to annoy her and is actually delivering the personnel that their dad hired to watch her this summer.
It turns out to be Betty, Veronica, Archie, and Jughead. Cheryl’s upset and tells everyone except Archie to get the fuck out. Betty apologizes (probably insincerely) and explains they were hired to mingle with the Pembrooke crowd. Cheryl says this is sabotage. Ronnie disputes that, saying Clifford just trusts them. Cheryl says she can “deal with” her (or perhaps all of them; it’s unclear).
Unfortunately for Cheryl (and fortunately for Ronnie), Louella McGruff is here to keep an eye on all of them. Wait, so who’s running the inn? Are both Cheryl and Louella going to be tied up all summer with the beach house show and neglecting the inn? Or will Penelope step in and handle things? Cheryl decides to continue with the rehearsal and not let them get the best of her. Reggie, Moose, and Midge arrive, surprising Cheryl. Reggie explains her dad just bought the beach and opened it to the public. Cheryl’s stunned. Priscilla/Bunny demands to know what Cheryl’s going to do about this.
The caption in the final panel says the story continues next issue, but the very next story in this issue could also be seen as a continuation, so I’ll be reviewing them in that order.
This story was pretty good, but I feel the setup was a bit clunky and took longer than needed. It could have been trimmed, and we could have kicked off the beach bash in this very story.
Between Parts 1 and 2 is a 1-page Archie story titled “A Learning Experience”.
After the story is a 1-page Cheryl illustration titled “Cheryl’s Beachy Keen Fashion”.