Comics – Telling It Like It Is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tune in next Wednesday!

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The New Archies, Segment 08 – Jughead Predicts

I’m sorry that this is a bit late.

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

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The guys are playing soccer.

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

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

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

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

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Who didn’t see that coming?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Yeah, no.

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

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

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

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For fuck’s sake…

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

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

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

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

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Naturally, Veronica is happy to hear this.

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

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

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

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The tour guide cautions Veronica, but…

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Reggie needlessly exposits about how Jughead’s prediction came true, because kids are dumbasses, amirite?

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

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

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Anyway, the others are amazed.

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Veronica threatens Jughead. Amazing how her sunglasses got really clean. Are they the one thing that she insisted on cleaning?

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Reggie begs Jughead for a prediction about his report card.

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

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

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Veronica gives Jughead the cleaning bill for her dress.

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

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

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

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

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What the motherfuck? No. Just…no.

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Also, who took these pictures?

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

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

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

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

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They suddenly simultaneously come up with an idea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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to this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ha.

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

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Betty and Veronica’s Scrapbook

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Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica Double Digest Magazine, No. 150
Cover Date: May, 2007
Length: 12 pages

This isn’t a story. It’s meant to be Betty and Veronica’s scrapbook, giving some details about the girls’ history.

I got the title from the fact that, on page 1, Betty and Veronica hold up a book with the title of “Betty and Veronica’s Scrapbook”. It’s dumb that the registered trademark symbol is on their own scrapbook, though. Come on, Archie Comics, couldn’t you have withheld that in this case?

Betty and Veronica present their scrapbook to the readers on page 1. As a personal rule, stories in which the characters are aware that they’re fictional characters aren’t canon. That means, to me, none of the information in this story can be trusted.

There are some dumb items that Betty and Veronica saved throughout the years, which I won’t get into here. I’m going to focus on the history of the girls as presented here.

There are pictures of Betty and Veronica as babies. There are also pictures of themselves as little kids. They actually call themselves “Little Betty” and “Little Veronica”.

Betty and Veronica first met when they were in their “Little” stages – or slightly older (they met Archie around that time, too). Please note that their ages at their first meeting have varied from story to story across the decades – from as recently as the current school year to lying next to each other in the hospital’s nursery.

There are pictures of Betty and Veronica fighting over Archie (who took this?!) and making up.

There’s a picture of Veronica in a pretty dress with the text: “Becoming a Fashion Plate!” Meanwhile, Betty’s picture has “Happy in T-shirt and Jeans!”

The core five are at Veronica’s fancy seventh birthday party somewhere. Veronica also had a fancy invitation sent out. For Betty’s birthday party, Betty, Veronica, and Archie celebrate at Pop’s.

For their first dance at junior high, there was a coin toss to see who would get to go with Archie. Betty won. Veronica went with Reggie, but Reggie stared at himself in the mirror for a while. He did dance with Veronica, though.

One of Betty’s honor roll report cards (from eighth grade) is included. She had Math, Science, Geography, Spanish, Health, Home Ec., and Gym (the last subject was obscured, but this is my guess based on Veronica’s report card, which otherwise matches Betty’s precisely). Betty got an A or A- in every subject for every quarter. Veronica was too embarrassed by her own report card, so she covered it with a photo of herself.

Betty responds by including a photo of herself, wearing an ensemble that she made herself.

They started playing together as The Archies when they started high school.

They met new friends: Brigitte Reilly, Chuck and Nancy,…

The scrapbook is interrupted by a “Learn To Draw Veronica” page (oh, come on! why here of all places?!) and a “TMNT: The Video Game” ad.

…and Ginger Lopez. There’s also a mention of Maria Rodriguez being thrilled when Frankie Valdez moved back to Riverdale (no mention of when Betty and Veronica met either, though).

There’s a picture of a young Jellybean (though not at her birth as the text suggests), who is “a lot cuter than that brother of hers” (with a picture of Jughead sticking out his tongue).

There’s mention of a “dark” period when Cheryl Blossom moved back (no mention of her first time here). The “Love Showdown” logo is partially seen, and it’s mentioned Betty and Veronica almost lost Archie for good, got him back, and still don’t trust Cheryl (the stories where they hang out together apparently didn’t happen).

Betty and Veronica then list other boyfriends that have “filled in” for Archie – Adam (a boyfriend for Betty during this time period, Reggie, and Jason Blossom – but they “always go back to that lovable klutz”.

There’s a picture of Veronica introducing Betty to The Veronicas (is it from the issue of “Veronica” that introduced them?) as well as their album cover.

There’s some text from Betty and Veronica in quotes, which is confusing. Are they supposed to be saying those things to the readers at that point? If so, then why is the text in the scrapbook? I think I might have an explanation for this. You see,…nah, they just fucked up.

The next text reads “And now, here we are, getting ready to go out into the world!” The included photos are Betty reading a physics book and Veronica filling out a college application online. This means Betty and Veronica are high school seniors.

They wonder what the future will hold for them.

They praise their families (pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Lodge, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper, and “Chick” and Polly are included) and friends (a picture of Ethel, Moose, Archie, Midge, Brigitte, Dilton, and Jughead is included).

A pair of scissors is shown on the scrapbook, which makes no sense if they’re currently showing the scrapbook to us.

Of course, Betty and Veronica don’t know which one of them will end up with Archie.

This was pretty enjoyable, but Betty and Veronica’s histories seem a bit too simplified.

Tune in next Wednesday!

The New Archies, Segment 07 – The Awful Truth

I’m sorry that this is a bit late.

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Writer: Scott Anderson
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 3, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:21

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At Riverdale Junior High School, the girls and guys are excited for something.

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Jughead, however, hangs back and goes to his locker for some food.

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This shot, which goes on way too long (remember, DiC is short for “Do It Cheap”), indicates the students are excited for some kind of posted announcement. Also, I swear I hear an “Omigod” among the ad-libbed lines.

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Through some exposition from the girls, we learn this is about a beauty contest, and Amani didn’t even try out, because she doesn’t believe in beauty contests.

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Veronica is certain she’s “definitely” on the list of finalists for Junior Miss Riverdale. Betty asks her how she knows, and Veronica’s like “Check out this bod. I am.”

There’s a dumb gag where Veronica blows her reflection a kiss, and her reflection returns the gesture (afterward). What’s with this series and images being alive?

Amani falsely reports a Michael J. Fox sighting to get all of the other girls away from the bulletin board. A huge crowd of girls (way more than were actually gathered) run in the direction that Amani points in, and guess what. It’s the same eight girls repeated over and over again (Do It Cheap’s way of drawing less and eating up more running time: 8 seconds worth). You can even briefly still see girl #1 on the right side of the screen after she’s already re-appeared on the left side (although it wouldn’t be obvious in a screencap). Same for girl #8.

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Anyway, Betty deems this feat worthy of a high five.

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Archie and Reggie stop by Jughead’s locker and ask him where the girls went. Jughead lazily points them out, because he’s too busy still deciding on food (or just decided to stay and eat at his locker; I dunno).

There’s a 3.5-second shot of girls’ feet running, recycling 10 frames of animation repeatedly.

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Ha.

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Later, outside school, the guys have “found the girls” and get into the Lodge family’s limousine (which apparently was used to transport Horace T. Silverspoon in the previous segment), which was waiting for them outside the school. Archie, Reggie, and Jughead can’t wait to try out Veronica’s new pool, water slide, and barbecue, respectively. Archie tells Veronica to come the fuck on, because she’s going to be late for her own party.

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Betty is excited that she’s a Junior Miss Riverdale finalist.

Archie comes out and drags them to the limo.

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After a wipe, there’s a zoom-in on the Lodge mansion that lasts way too long and ends with both a fade-to-black and fade-to-scene – as if the editors couldn’t make up their minds.

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Anyway, this pool party is really jumping, what with all of these characters standing almost perfectly still. It’s too intense to take in!

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This rock band is so trippy that I can’t tell if I’m listening to their music or the scene’s musical score. Wild!

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Eugene, ever the nerd, is late to the party, because he was finishing work on his science project, which he then decided to bring over to Veronica’s house…and park next to a pool full of water. A brilliant mind at work.

Anyway, Eugene is confident that it will win him the Young Inventor of the Year Award.

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He turns it on, and all that it apparently does is light up some lights on the top and kinda shake a bit. However, it’s apparently an “amazing truth-telling machine” that makes people tell nothing but the truth.

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He offers to let Veronica help him test it, but the idea frightens and/or repulses her, and she declines, suggesting Betty. Eugene and Archie think that’s a great idea.

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Amani passes on Veronica’s important interview tip to Betty: be yourself. What would this show do without Amani? Betty has doubts.

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Eugene thinks the best way to convince Betty to agree to test his machine is to be a stalker. Betty agrees in this detached tone that indicates she really doesn’t give a shit about his invention but needs something to occupy herself with.

Eugene promptly leaves, and Betty continues her worrying over the interview.

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Eugene aims and fires.

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Betty inhales the funny gas.

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“Like, whoa, I feel, like, funny, man, but also so, so good…”

Betty immediately insults Veronica’s personality and Reggie’s diving, angering the former and causing the latter to nearly have a diving accident.

Yeah, if you couldn’t tell, the theme of this story (well, starting over a third of the way in) is “Betty is really a horrible piece of shit that only pretends to be nice.”

Betty then insults Archie’s new “bathing suit” (actually swimming trunks).

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This is followed by a “gag” in which Archie’s chair collapses, seemingly for no reason.

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Betty comes up to Eugene and wants to tell him something, but he doesn’t think he wants to hear it. He gasses Betty again.

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Betty feels like a horrible piece of shit (because she is one) and wants to go home (instead of, y’know, apologizing to everyone).

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Archie and Reggie are glad to see her go.

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Wow, this series set the trend of excessive use of daydream sequences – two years before “Saved by the Bell“!

It looks like they were going for a unique shot where the camera would zoom in on Veronica’s thought bubble, but then they cut to a slightly different shot of the daydream for whatever reason:

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Anyway, in Veronica’s daydream, Betty calls the judge a fatass, getting herself kicked out of the contest.

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Veronica tries to convince Eugene to let her keep his machine locked up here at Fort Lodge, but Eugene’s like “It’s dangerous, bitch!” They struggle over it for a bit, and then Veronica just lets go, sending Eugene and the machine flying. There’s a crash off-screen, but Veronica is naturally unconcerned with Eugene’s welfare and, in a bored tone, decides to get the machine later. She then walks away like “Fuck him.”

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Eugene heard that “later” bit.

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That night, while appropriate spy music plays, Reggie and Veronica arrive to burglarize Eugene’s house. How the fuck did they manage to get out of their respective houses so late? My parents would never allow this.

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Anyway, Eugene’s bedroom is stereotypical nerdy with a bunch of equipment that would be questionable for a person of his age to be in possession of. He really is a black clone of Dilton Doiley. Or, fuck, Eugene was Steve Urkel two years before Steve Urkel.

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Oopsie.

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Somehow, this does not wake Eugene up.

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The next day, at school, Veronica and Reggie ambush Betty by hiding in her locker, and then they commit a school shooting.

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Betty, once again stoned under the influence of the funny gas stoned, insults Mr. Weatherbee’s hair loss (but not his weight, surprisingly). He can only sputter nonsense in disbelief.

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Betty admits she doesn’t take notes in class, because Miss Grundy bores her. Same reaction as Mr. Weatherbee.

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Betty admits she didn’t invite some random girl to her party, because she doesn’t like her. Credit to the animators: the girl goes slack-jawed.

Betty insults Archie’s art project.

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There’s a dumb gag where Archie’s painting talks to him. Archie freaks out…at the idea that Betty has gotten another hit of the truth gas. Yeah, because that’s the biggest shock in this scene. I guess this type of gag is going to be recurring throughout this series. Anyway, Archie runs to get Eugene.

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In the next scene, Eugene is sitting in the science classroom, sad, and…this goddamn static shot goes on for nearly fourteen seconds (while sad music plays) before Archie finally runs in.

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Archie asks Eugene if he gave Betty another hit of the good stuff, and a sad Eugene denies it, reveals it was stolen, and says he should have listened to Veronica.

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Archie determines Veronica is responsible.

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At the Junior Miss Riverdale contest, Veronica is confronted by Archie and…Jughead. What?

Veronica confesses but claims she was just trying to help (which is true; she was just trying to help herself).

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Betty comes by and insults Veronica’s “frizzy” hair. For some reason, just before Betty walks over, the shot changes to a similar shot. This is the second time that this has happened in this segment. I have a suspicion that, for whatever reason, the animators encountered problems after doing an effect (whether a zoom or a pan), so they switched to a similar shot before introducing new material (movement in Veronica’s daydream, Betty walking on-screen).

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Anyway, Betty’s insult of Veronica’s hair leaves Veronica and Archie shocked for a few seconds.

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Then Archie gets angry at Veronica, probably because he sees how this can hurt Betty’s chances. Veronica shrugs it off by explaining Betty said she wanted to be herself (even though this was actually advice from Veronica that Amani had passed along to Betty). Admittedly, Betty is being herself, and it’s ugly. More on that at the end.

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Later, Archie and Jughead search various rooms in the school for the hidden truth machine. Brief hijinks ensue, including Jughead wanting to stop for food, because he has no sense of priorities.

Why is Jughead doing this? What happened to Eugene?

Later, they’ve checked everywhere except the “girl’s gym” (one girl has her own gym?). Wait, wait, wait. Since when do the girls have their own gym? You do recall Betty and Veronica practicing their cheers while the boys played basketball, right?

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Anyway, Jughead is forced to dress in drag and be the lookout.

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Archie also dresses in drag and opens Veronica’s locker. I don’t care that Veronica comes from a wealthy family. How the fuck does that get her a large, custom locker in a public school?

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Of course, the truth machine is in there – along with a chair. What’s that for? Does Veronica change in her locker, so none of the other girls get a free show? If so, what does she change into? Because those are not gym clothes.

Anyway, Archie grabs the machine, and they head for the contest.

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At the contest, Betty is called up as the next finalist, and she walks to center stage, completely fucking stoned. No, I am not making that up. She still has that goofy look on her face, and they animated her walking funny – as if she’s having difficulty.

Archie and Jughead barge into the auditorium with the large, gun-shaped device. People look at them but do nothing. Ah, the days before Columbine…

The interviewer asks Betty a loaded question, and she’s about to insult him.

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Fortunately, some timely gas saves her from sabotaging herself.

Eugene runs over, excited that Archie found his truth-telling machine, which he himself hadn’t bothered looking for.

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The crisis averted, Jughead puts on his headphones and listens to music.

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There’s a final gag where Jughead patting himself in time to the music causes him to knock the machine out of Eugene’s hands. It goes off, gassing Archie (who insults Eugene’s inventions) and Jughead (who agrees with Reggie that Archie looks a lot like a carrot). Archie insults Jughead’s nickname.

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The interviewer/judge is gassed, and he insults Veronica’s personality.

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Veronica is gassed, and she insults the judge’s toupée.

Eugene finally catches the machines but realizes the batteries are out of juice. Veronica insults the looks of other girls in the contest. Eugene excuses himself to get new batteries – as if anyone’s listening to him.

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Then he seemingly addresses the audience before running off.

Archie, Jughead, and Veronica continue hurling insults as the segment ends.

We never do find out who wins the damn contest.

Also, Betty has only a very brief reaction of shock once she turns back to normal near the end. She doesn’t seem to feel bad about the numerous insults that she’d hurled throughout the day.

This segment was pretty good. It was interesting to see Betty unrestrained by her filter. The awful truth, to borrow the segment’s apt title, is people often think and believe horrible things about other people, even those that are relatives or friends. It would be catastrophic for society if no one had a filter and just said everything that they felt. Veronica is an awful person, but she’s honest about it. Betty isn’t. She unleashes verbal hell (or at least heck, since this is an American cartoon series from the 1980s) on everyone as soon as she’s freed. I wish this story was longer, so we could see some repercussions. Would Betty’s friends still like her? Would she have to re-earn their trust?

Tune in next Wednesday!

The New Archies, Segment 06 – Sir Jughead Jones

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

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

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

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Reggie acts all sophisticated and shit and criticizes them.

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

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

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He then decides to undust it. Guess what happens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time for a daydream sequence, courtesy of Veronica:

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

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

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

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

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

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

And apparently they don’t. Huh.

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

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

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Cute. 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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Oh, no, she didn’t!

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Veronica gives Jughead a new hat.

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

Jughead’s impressed with this for whatever reason.

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

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

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

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

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

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Jughead gets Reggie to undust his shoe.

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Betty pitches.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reggie fetches a chair, so Jughead can sit.

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

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

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

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

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

Somehow, none of this information was uncovered beforehand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tune in next Wednesday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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YOU THOUGHT I WAS JOKING.

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Archie and Reggie encourage Eugene to ask Amani.

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

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

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

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So is Eugene.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“It’s okay, I still love you.”

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

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

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

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Sued into oblivion, I say!

Veronica chews out Amani.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Success!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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That’s his smallest fuck-up.

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

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

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

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

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Poor Fangs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The fucking end.

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

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Archie, Vol. 2, No. 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Five: Victory…? (page 20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tune in next Wednesday!