Comics – Double Date

World-of-Archie-Digest-88.jpgWriter: Angelo Decesare
Pencils: Jeff Shultz
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: World of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 88
On-Sale Date: April 24, 2019
Length: 5

During soccer practice, Archie reminds Betty of their date tonight. Betty can’t forget about the opening of a new club and declares they’re gonna have their best date ever.

Soon, at the Andrews’ house, Archie rushes to the front door. Fred, walking by with a ladder, wants some help. Archie apologizes and says he’s gotta get ready for his “big date” with Betty.

At the Coopers’ house, in their (unusually large) shared bathroom, Alice informs Betty that she’s showering. Betty begs her to stop, because she has an “important date” with Archie.

As Archie showers, he hopes Betty appreciates this, because he’s “not really big on showers”. Is Jughead being a bad influence on him?

Betty is splashing water everywhere while taking a long soak in the tub, which will give her skin “that special glow, and maybe Archie will notice!”

Archie shaves, even though he doesn’t actually need it, because Betty likes him clean-shaven.

Betty puts on “make-up that looks like you’re not wearing any”, because Archie thinks she looks good without make-up. *rolls eyes* Just don’t put any on!

Archie punishes himself putting on aftershave lotion, because Betty says she likes it. Maybe it’d help if you didn’t slap it on, genius.

Betty goes with rainbow-colored nails, because Archie has a different favorite color every week.

Archie brushes his teeth while saying something incomprehensible about Betty.

Betty gargles gluggles, glurgles, and glargles while saying something incomprehensible about Archie.

Archie selects a shirt straight out of the ’70s from his closet. Since it was a birthday gift from Betty (which she no doubt got from a thrift store), Archie reasons it’ll make her happy, but then he guesses maybe the club will be dark.

Betty throws a bunch of shirts, including one with a blossom on it (just saying), on her bed and tries to pick an outfit that Archie hasn’t already seen.

Archie goes with that ’70s shirt and adds gold pants and shoes that will make him a little taller than Betty, claiming she’ll never notice. So is Betty supposed to be taller than Archie? Or are they the same height?

Anyway, Betty anticipates this and decides to wear shoes that will make her taller, claiming Archie will never notice.

Archie and Betty check themselves out in the mirror, each hoping the other will appreciate their efforts. Betty has gone for a completely red look: lingerie, shoes, tiny dress, and scrunchie.

As they each drive to the club separately, Archie calls Betty (via a hands-free device, it seems) and lets her know he’s on his way to the club. Archie’s driving a beat-up old red car with a roof. It’s not quite the Ford Mustang that I’m used to from the older comics and Archie’s Weird Mysteries, but I suppose it’s more realistic.

Betty, who may or may not be talking on her cell phone while driving, zooms down the road in her gold, two-door sports car (um, sure, why not?) toward the club. She’s driving so fast that her tires lose contact with the road. Despite this, the speed demon tells Archie that she’ll meet him at the club in twenty minutes. Is this club in another town, or is Riverdale just that big?

Archie and Betty meet outside Club Jiggly (they weren’t going for subtlety, I guess). Archie greets Betty with “S’up, Betts!” (Do teens still say “S’up”?) Betty’s “so excited for this date”.

They go inside. Archie spots Jughead and Reggie and goes over to them. Veronica calls Betty over.

As Archie dances with a random blonde girl, he hopes Betty is enjoying their date as much as he is.

At the other side of the room, Betty, dancing with Veronica (with a black guy that may or may not be Chuck between them), hopes Archie is enjoying their date as much as she is.

So…what a twist! Well, I’m sure the random blonde girl appreciates the effort that Archie put into his look, and ditto Veronica for Betty. Hmmm, the story’s could be seen to have a double meaning: two perspectives of getting ready for a date (Archie and Betty) and the date unexpectedly turning into a double date (Archie/girl and Betty/Veronica).

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Comics – Spring

Betty-and-Veronica-4.jpgWriter: Jamie Lee Rotante
Line Art: Sandra Lanz
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica, Vol. 4, No. 4
Cover Date: May, 2019
On-Sale Date: April 3, 2019
Length: 20 pages

Before I get into the story, I need to call out one of the variant covers for its bullshit pairing of Betty and Jughead, which is just trying to cater to Bughead shippers (of which I’m not one, for what it’s worth).

Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page. It’s mentioned “neither of them actually wants to go to Pickens” (that means Veronica as well), something that hasn’t been made clear in the story itself.

After a very brief recap of the end of the previous issue, it jumps to spring, when Betty and Veronica are again walking arm-in-arm down the street. Betty’s acting excited about Pickens.

Oh, there’s an unknown narrator that pops up once in a while. Anyway, Betty expresses her doubts about attending. Veronica shames “Miss All-American Riverdale High” for wanting to skip out on the senior prom. Honestly, I don’t know if Veronica misunderstood Betty’s comment or if the issue had skipped to the middle of a conversation about the prom. Regardless, Betty calls Veronica out on her mood. They see a lit sign advertising seven days until the Riverdale High prom. Veronica says that’s excessive. Betty explains Ethel went all-out with the prom committee, and Cheryl donated money for the sign. Betty says she doesn’t have any money to attend the prom. Veronica knows Betty won’t accept money from her but offers to loan Betty one of her very out-of-season dresses. Then Veronica suddenly gets an idea and takes off, vowing this discussion isn’t over yet. Betty’s apparently used to weird shit like this from Veronica by now.

At Lodge Enterprises, Veronica’s giving a presentation at a meeting as Hiram observes. After the others leave, Veronica tells her dad that she’s “killing it”. This confuses him. They sit down at the conference table. She asks how he’s feeling. He’s getting better every day. He had a heart attack and an emergency triple bypass and jokes about it. She says he’s funny and stares at him.

Hiram can tell something’s on her mind. Veronica wants to do something bigger than what she’s doing; she wants to help people (like with her advice column at Sparkle). Since the company’s kicking ass and raking in the cash, Veronica suggests starting some philanthropic initiatives. Hiram’s proud of her and tells her to “make it happen”. Oh, and there’s a brief discussion of “a few hiccups over the years”, and Veronica swears she “sold that bike”. A Vixens reference?

At the Masons’ house, Betty is tutoring Moose, and he admits he had lied to her about taking his GED: he already took it and passed. Betty is proud of “Moosey”. Moose admits he couldn’t have done it without “Betts”. Then he sighs.

She asks what’s wrong. He really misses Riverdale High and Midge. Betty asks him to the prom, so he can get one last taste of high school life and reconnect with Midge. He accepts.

With three days until the prom, in the evening, a station wagon crashes into the flashing sign that Cheryl had paid for.

The next morning, at Betty’s house, Betty and Polly are sitting on the rug on the living room floor. Polly wants Betty to practice in preparation for an interview at Spellman, “the most prestigious school on the East Coast”. Did they really just take Sabrina’s last name and turn it into a school? Anyway, Betty reminds Polly that she’s already going to Pickens, because it’s what they can afford. Polly’s betting Betty can ace the interview, get another full-ride scholarship, and transfer next year. Betty says kissing ass to have people accept her is bullshit. Alice comes in with a (surprisingly small) newspaper and informs the girls of the “accident” involving the prom sign; she hears it might have been “the Mantle boy”. Betty gets to her feet in surprise. Polly automatically assumes Reggie did it on purpose.

Veronica arrives at Riverdale Hospital with a bouquet of roses for Reggie and asks at the desk for his room number. Reggie walks by at that moment. She asks if he’s okay, but he’s cold with her. She begs “Reginald” to tell her what’s going on.

He sits down and says his grandma’s been sick since New Year’s Eve and has been in and out of the hospital ever since. He was so tired coming home from visiting her last night that he fell asleep at the wheel. Veronica sits next to him and offers her condolences. Crying, Reggie says his grandma is the only person that understands and listens to him. His dad’s a jerk, and his mom buys into his every word. His grandma was the only one that knew about what happened with Betty. Veronica asks him to the prom, so he can have one night for himself, let go of his problems, and just be a teen again.

It turns out that the narration is Veronica typing up her advice column. She’s in her room, typing it up on her laptop one night, and has summoned her parents. She lets them know she got into Pickens but doesn’t want to go there (now I know why the previous-issue recaps have seemed weird: they spoil plot points that we haven’t read yet). She’s still not sure Hitchens is the right fit for her either, but she thinks it might be a good start, but she’s not comfortable attending, knowing how she got in. This is news to Hiram, and Veronica’s surprised that he had nothing to do with it. He congratulates her and says it’s all on her. Her parents leave, and she seems to not know how she feels.

On prom night, in the Riverdale High School gym, Veronica and Reggie stand in some overhead bleachers, observing. Veronica says Ethel did a nice job. Reggie wants to leave, but Veronica wants him to give it a little bit. He agrees to one hour.

As Betty enters the gym, Reggie says she looks beautiful. Veronica says that dress is one of hers but admits it looks better on Betty. Reggie seems to be worried that Betty’s here with Archie.

Archie brings Betty punch and compliments her appearance. Moose arrives. Archie’s glad to see him. The feeling’s mutual. Midge arrives and confronts Moose.

Midge accuses Moose of stalking her. He denies it and says he came here with Betty. Midge is still upset. Betty’s surprised to see Reggie and Veronica, which makes them nervous. She goes to confront them, which angers Midge, because Betty dared to walk away from her.

On the dance floor, Betty and Veronica get into an argument, Reggie says this was a bad idea, Cheryl’s pissed about Reggie nearly plowing down their prom sign, Ethel blames it on the brightness (which she’d already warned Cheryl about) and guesses Reggie was distracted, Midge still believes Moose is stalking her, and Moose tells Betty that her plan backfired. On the stage, Archie tries to get everyone’s attention. Before we move on, kudos for the inclusions of the random interracial couple and m/m couple, but why is there no f/f couple?

Archie gets his left foot tangled in a cord and gets hoisted up, so he’s dangling upside-down (this seems very contrived), earning simultaneously shouts of “Oh my God!” from the crowd.

While continuing their argument, Veronica holds onto Archie while Betty untangles his foot from the cord. They lay him on the stage. Jughead takes a picture for the front page of the school paper. Archie tells the girls that they just saved his life (um, I wouldn’t go that far) and apologizes. Veronica asks about what. Archie says he hates to see two best friends fight over him. After a moment, Betty and Veronica burst out laughing, confusing Archie.

Archie thanks them for the confidence boost, admits he jumped to conclusions, and asks if they’re fighting because Betty doesn’t want to go to Pickens. Then he leaves. Veronica is surprised. Betty admits she should have told Ronnie sooner. Thrilled, Veronica hugs Betty, admitting she doesn’t want to go to Pickens either. They simultaneously ask “Why didn’t you tell me?” Because the writer chose to stretch this stupid plot point out for four issues, that’s why.

Betty and Veronica simultaneously explain “I didn’t want to hurt you.” They realize they should have been talking all along. Veronica promises this won’t ever happen again. Betty suggests a pinky promise. Veronica thinks they’ll need a better system. They hug. Betty’s so happy that they worked everything out. Veronica asks about the people that are still angry.

The next story will involve the graduation.

There’s a (cropped) cover for the next issue with a blurb that teases surprises. That’s followed by a cover gallery for this issue and an ad for the trade paperback of Archie Meets Batman ’66.

This is another good issue. I look forward to the seeing how it all ends. Judging by the blurb, the final issue will focus as much on summer as it does on graduation.

Comics – Taking a Tumble

Betty-and-Veronica-263.jpg
Writer: George Gladir
Pencils: Pat Kennedy
Inks: Ken Selig
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letters: Jon D’Agostino & Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica, No. 263
Cover Date: February, 2013
On-Sale Date: December 19, 2012
Length: 12 pages

In the Riverdale High School gym, some cheerleaders (female and male) are tossing a cheerleader in the air while a boy takes pictures. Betty and Veronica are nearby. Veronica is wearing a cheerleading uniform. Betty isn’t, but she’s got a purse with blossoms on it (just saying). Betty tells Ronnie that she’s doing an article on the cheerleaders for the school paper. She asks why Ronnie and some of the other cheerleaders aren’t participating in the action.

Veronica explains the ones doing the stunts are going away this weekend to compete in the cheerleading championships; meanwhile, Ronnie and her small group will stay at home to cheer for the basketball team. Veronica is unusually excited over the fact that a win tomorrow would give their boys the division title. Coach Hopkins, the cheerleading coach, arrives and tells them to start doing exercises.

Veronica suggests doing stunts to encourage the fans to cheer the boys on, but Hopkins won’t allow it, because they haven’t been trained in that area. Hopkins is going away to coach the competitive squad, so she places Ms. Rogers in charge of coaching Veronica’s squad. Meanwhile, Betty’s playing on her cell phone doing important shit like taking down notes or whatever.

On Friday night, before the game, Veronica walks over to Archie, who’s on the bench, and asks why he’s not warming up (a more obvious question would be why he’s not in uniform, since Reggie and the others are). Archie injured his wrist in practice, so Coach Clayton wants him to sit out the game to not risk serious injury.

Archie further says sitting out the game will give him a chance to observe the girls in action, and one of the other cheerleaders snickers; she knows exactly what Archie will be “observing”. Archie flatters Veronica and her squad, and she gives him some loving before getting back to her girls, since the game’s about to start.

During the game, Nancy Della takes note of Central’s early 12-3 lead (why does Della have purple pom-poms? doesn’t fit the color scheme at all). Veronica suggests doing something “more” to get this crowd going. Betty, sitting on the bench with Archie and still rocking her blossom purse, tells Archie to keep an eye on Veronica. Archie jokes about the irony of that.

Betty is serious and explains her concern, especially since the gym has a hardwood floor. Archie agrees to act as a spotter to make her happy.

The cheerleaders are on their way back to the gym from somewhere (Della now has gold pom-poms just like the others). Veronica’s holding a sign that reads “Riverdale High Can’t Be Beaten”. Della warns Veronica against doing a flying leap. Veronica is actually smart enough to avoid risking injury and simply wants the girls to lift her high enough, so she can post the sign, which she hopes will get the fans to respond to their cheers. That makes sense, but why have no motivational signs been posted in the gym already? Before we move on, I want to point out that Veronica very clearly has blue eyes in one panel; this is a bit unusual, since Veronica’s eye color usually isn’t specified.

While tying his shoelace, Archie sees the girls lifting Veronica near a wall, while holding a sign, and believes she’s gonna “try something like a double somersault”. No, you dumbass, she’s very clearly posting a sign. But Archie doesn’t see reason and instead sees Veronica falling face-first on the floor. He freaks out and runs to stop her, not bothering to tie his shoelace.

Archie trips and crashes into the cheerleaders. Veronica’s like ‘What the fuck?!” Archie, dazed and lying on top of a pile of girls, explains.

Veronica stands up and angrily explains. Ms. Rogers says Ronnie’s right knee looks badly bruised and suggests she have the nurse look at it. Ronnie agrees.

At the halftime buzzer, Archie runs to the locker room to give the team a pep talk about winning the game for Ronnie and the entire student body. Why are the team members dressed in their regular clothes? And why is Jughead in the locker room?

The team runs into the gym for the second half, now dressed in their uniforms again. The team scores more in this half – but not enough to cut Central’s big lead. Ronnie comes back, limping and with her knee wrapped. Ms. Rogers suggests sitting the game out. Veronica refuses, saying the nurse said she could continue cheering. Ronnie gets her squad pumped.

The girls start cheering. The fact that Ronnie’s cheering with a bruised knee inspires the crowd to cheer for the team, which Reggie and Jughead take note of. Oh. Jughead’s on the basketball team? And so is Dilton? I find that somewhat unbelievable.

Betty, taking notes for her article, and Veronica are excited. The game goes on. Riverdale racks up points. Moose scores the game-winning basket at the final buzzer. Betty notes they also win the division title.

After the game, the team poses for the championship photo. Archie insists on including the cheerleaders, and the others agree. Ms. Rogers is pleasantly surprised and says you can never underestimate the power of a female. Seeing Veronica and Archie in a loving embrace, Betty agrees, somewhat concerned, and ignores the loving look that a short basketball player gives her.

This story was pretty fun. One thing that I noticed was the inconsistent roster of the basketball team from panel to panel. Definitely on it are Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Moose, Dilton, and Chuck (albeit inconsistently). Then there are the random extras that come and go. Oh, well. The cheerleaders aren’t exactly consistent either.

The next story, a 6-page story titled “Cheering Section”, is actually a reprint, which is rare for a floppy title. It was the new lead story in Betty and Veronica Double Digest Magazine, No. 158 (cover-dated April of 2008 and with an announced release date of February 6 (to specialty shops) and 19th (on newsstands)).

After that are 2 pages of Betty and Veronica fashions titled “B&V Cool Looks for Winter” (in which they’re wearing un-winter-like fashions).

After this, the Betty and Veronica title became exclusively devoted to fairy tale parodies for over a year, meaning the real girls went unseen in their own title for all of 2013. They eventually saw the light of day again.

Comics – Reptile Rendezvous!

BV-Friends-Digest-268
Writer: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 268
On-Sale Date: February 27, 2019
Length: 5

Veronica’s walking in the forest (I guess, although there’s a sign, so it might be a park…without paths). Suddenly, a man, leaning against the sign, waves and greets her. She asks if she knows him. He says no. He introduces his friend, Stanley, a ball python that comes out of his jacket. This freaks Ronnie out.

Veronica declines the man’s offer to give Stanley a pet. Betty walks by (seriously, why are these girls just randomly walking, dressed up, seemingly in the middle of nowhere?); she’s been looking for Ronnie. Veronica tries to make the introductions but doesn’t know the man’s name (it’s George). Veronica makes a bit of a joke. Betty recognizes Stanley as a python, which impresses George. He offers to let Betty hold Stanley, and Betty gladly takes him, which makes Veronica shudder.

Stanley curls around Betty’s neck and gives her face a lick. George invites the girls to come and meet the rest of his “menagerie”; he has a gecko, iguana, bearded dragon, and a corn snake named Ty Cobb. Betty says that’s very clever. She gives Stanley back to George. George says he’ll text them his address, so they can drop by and meet everyone. It sounds like fun to Betty, which surprises Veronica.

On another day, Betty and Veronica arrive at the house of the strange man that they met in the woods. Betty rings the doorbell, excited to see the reptiles. Veronica’s hoping George has “normal pets” at well. Veronica is unusually dressed up for this reptile visit, wearing a little black dress. Is she just stopping by on her way to the club? Betty’s wearing a blossom shirt (just saying).

Eventually, George asks the girls what they think. Betty says the reptiles are great. Veronica calls it “interesting”. Veronica notices mice in a cage and finds them cute. George says they’re Stanley’s next meal and goes to get him. Veronica scoops up the “mice-cies” and puts them in her designer handbag. Betty is surprised that Veronica’s stealing “Stanley’s food”. Reasoning Stanley seems “well-nourished”, Veronica justifies her action and hopes George can find something ugly for Stanley to munch on. George comes back with Stanley and is surprised that the girls are leaving instead of sticking around to watch Stanley eat live animals. Veronica and Betty bullshit a bit (especially when George hears squeaks from Veronica’s purse) and get the fuck out just as George realizes the mice are missing.

Later, at Veronica’s, she’s put the three mice in a new activity center on her desk or dresser by her bed. She lies on her bed and watches her new pets happily. Betty asks her what she’s gonna name them. Ronnie says Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

So…you can debate Veronica’s action in this story. Personally, I’d do the same thing. Then again, I wouldn’t go to the house of some strange person that I’d met in the woods. I’m currently reading a novel called The Firebrand (a retelling of the Iliad and the Odyssey from Kassandra’s perspective). Kassandra is a priestess of Apollo and also of Serpent Mother, and she frequently handles snakes. This story kind of reminds me of it.

The New Archies, Series Recap

tna-01-the-visitor-34-theme34
The period from the end of the Filmation cartoons until Archie’s Weird Mysteries was an unremarkable time for the Riverdale gang. Years after the failed 1970s pilots but still a few years before the TV movie that went nowhere, there was The New Archies, a Saturday morning cartoon series on NBC. Co-produced by DiC, it was the first of their Archie-related productions, which included the TV movie, Archie’s Weird Mysteries, and the Sabrina cartoons. Archie Comics advertised the show in their comics, of course:

The-New-Archies-ad.jpg
The show was also represented in a montage of NBC cartoon characters. Pictures like these often appeared in comic books to advertise NBC’s Saturday morning line-up as a whole:

NBC-Saturday-mornings-1987-ad.jpg
The show was also previewed on NBC’s Saturday morning preview special from that year, “ALF Loves a Mystery”. For those of you too young to remember, Saturday morning cartoons used to be a major deal until the late 1990s / early 2000s. Kids would religiously tune in and watch cartoons all morning long, usually while eating snacks and/or sugary breakfast cereals of dubious nutritional value. In addition to new shows every fall, corporations would often launch new commercials aimed at kids on the morning that the new season began. So, for example, in addition to seeing new cartoons, we might also see a new McDonald’s commercial starring their mascot characters. To get kids (and also their parents) ready, the networks would air preview specials on the evening before the new season began, hosted by characters from one of their live-action series. I looked forward to these previews as much as Saturday morning itself.

Personally, I primarily watched ABC, because that came in the clearest (this was in the days of analog transmission via antennas), but I occasionally changed the channel to NBC or CBS for other shows. Obviously, I didn’t see this special when it aired, and I didn’t see The New Archies back then either (I didn’t get into Archie until three years later).

 

For the The New Archies preview, skip to 20:17.

Hilarious, ain’t it? From the misspelled title to Archie listing “Miss Grundy’s back” as a selling point.

Anyway, what we ended up getting were thirteen half-hour episodes, each containing two segments, for a total of twenty-six unique stories about the gang as tweens at Riverdale Junior High School. Or Riverdale Elementary School. The setting is weird, containing a mix of elements from both elementary school (one teacher) and junior high school (football, cheerleading). It’s like the writers couldn’t decide and wanted to have it both ways. Supposedly, the reason that they’re not in high school was because the rights to the teen versions of the characters were optioned by a film studio at the time for a potential movie (which never happened), hence this. They also threw in plots involving aliens, werewolves, and wacky inventions, which sort of makes this series a prototype for Archie’s Weird Mysteries. Combine this with a general lack of parental oversight (Fred Andrews and Hiram Lodge appear twice each, and Mary Andrews and Ricky Mantle are heard once each), and the kids end up doing things that no junior high student would actually do.

Honestly, most of the stories weren’t particularly good. These were animation writers, not the writers of Archie Comics. While Archie Comics put out some shit stories sometimes, this cartoon is almost nothing but.

I’ve already reviewed the stories themselves in probably way more detail than anyone ever has, so I won’t do so here (suffice it to say the two stories where Betty’s a bitch are the only ones that have stuck with me as being really good). Instead, I’ll discuss the writers, characters, and voice actors.

The Writers

Kimmer Ringwald wrote 4 segments as part of a career that spanned 1977-1999, dying on March 29, 2011, at the age of 63.

Jon Cohen wrote 2 segments, his sole work in the industry ever.

Scott Anderson wrote 2 segments, his only actual writing work. He primarily worked in the animation and art departments in a career that spanned 1986-2004.

The writing team of Eleanor Burian-Mohr and Jack Hanrahan wrote 6 segments, making them the largest contributors to The New Archies animated canon – at least by plurality. Mohr’s career spanned 1980-2001. Hanrahan’s career of writing and acting spanned 1961-2004. He died on April 28, 2008, at the age of 75.

Herb Engelhardt wrote 2 segments. He had a short career, spanning 1985-1987.

The writing team of Pat Allee and Ben Hurst wrote 4 segments. Allee’s career spanned 1981-1999. Hurst’s writing career spanned 1987-1999, and he also, strangely, had 1 acting credit for being the narrator in a short in 2008. He died on August 10, 2010, at the age of 59.

Dennis O’Flaherty wrote 2 segments. His acting career spanned 1957-1980. His writing career spanned 1981-1999.

Gary Greenfield wrote 4 segments. His career spanned 1978-1997.

With so many different writers (and probably a very short period of time in which to write), there probably was no way that any kind of cohesive, consistent product could be created.

The Characters

Each character will include the number of story appearances. For the dogs, this will include the total number of appearances. For the humans, this will include only the number of segments in which s/he has at least one clear line all to herself/himself. In other words, no silent cameos or segments in which they just grunt or have one line mixed in with everyone else’s.

TNA-19-Loose-Lips-Stops-Slips-93-Archie
Archie Andrews

Appearances: 26

Archie appeared in every segment, of course. He comes across as an accident-prone but generally well-meaning kid. Thankfully, the love triangle from the comics is absent.

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Veronica Lodge

Appearances: 25

Veronica appeared in every segment except “Making of Mr. Righteous”. In contrast to her radio and Filmation incarnations, she’s not Southern; she’s a Valley girl. That’s…different. Otherwise, she’s the same Veronica. She’s often paired with Reggie.

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Jughead Jones

Appearances: 25

Jughead appeared in every segment except “Thief of Hearts”, and he was often the focus (his name appeared in 4 titles). He’s basically the hungry, lazy Jughead from the comics but without the woman-hating and with an added “character trait”: he really loves listening to music.

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Reggie Mantle

Appearances: 25

Reggie appeared in every segment except “Take My Butler, Please”. He’s the same old schemer that you love to hate from the comics. He’s often paired with Veronica.

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Betty Cooper

Appearances: 24

Betty appears in every segment except “Change of Minds” and “Take My Butler, Please”. She’s the sweet Betty from the comics – except when she’s not.

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Ms. Geraldine Grundy

Appearances: 24

Ms. Grundy appeared in every segment except “I Was a 12 Year Old Werewolf” and “Incredible Shrinking Archie”. She comes off as a strict (sometimes overly so) but caring teacher that’s stuck in a thankless job. She even considering leaving at one point. She obviously has a thing for Mr. Weatherbee, so why don’t these two just get together already?

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Eugene

Appearances: 20

Eugene appeared in every segment except “Jughead Predicts”, “Hamburger Helpers”, “The Prince of Riverdale”, “Incredible Shrinking Archie”, “Jughead’s Millions”, and “Take My Butler, Please”. He’s basically Dilton Doiley from the comics turned black in order to be the smart scientist kid while also fulfilling the role of the boys’ token black friend without having to add Chuck Clayton as well. He gets a decent amount of stuff to do and is the focus of several stories, much like Dilton will later on Archie’s Weird Mysteries.

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Moose Mason

Appearances: 15

Moose appeared in “Ballot Box Blues”, “Last Laugh”, “Jughead Predicts”, “Stealing the Show”, “Hamburger Helpers”, “Goodby Ms. Grundy”, “Jughead the Jinx”, “Telegraph, Telephone, Tell Reggie”, “Wooden It Be Loverly”, “I Was a 12 Year Old Werewolf”, “Loose Lips Stops Slips”, “Change of Minds”, “Gunk for Gold”, “Jughead’s Millions”, and “Making of Mr. Righteous”. Much as in the comics, he’s basically a dumb jock – but without (most of) the violent tendencies, largely due to a lack of one Midge Klump.

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Amani

Appearances: 14

Amani appeared in “Thief of Hearts”, “I Gotta Be Me or Is It You?”, “The Awful Truth”, “Future Shock”, “Stealing the Show”, “Hamburger Helpers”, “Goodby Ms. Grundy”, “Telegraph, Telephone, Tell Reggie”, “Wooden It Be Loverly”, “Loose Lips Stops Slips”, “Change of Minds”, “Gunk for Gold”, “Jughead’s Millions”, and “Making of Mr. Righteous”. She was created for the show, specifically to be Eugene’s love interest (because they apparently weren’t daring enough to pair the black boy with a white girl). She’s also the show’s equivalent of the comics’ Nancy: a token black friend for the girls. While she appears often enough, only one story really gives her any focus (the one where she and Eugene try to act like each other). Most of the time, she’s just along for the ride. Her lines could have easily been given to someone else, and the show wouldn’t have been worse off.

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Mr. Waldo Weatherbee

Appearances: 12

Mr. Weatherbee appeared in “Last Laugh”, “Thief of Hearts”, “I Gotta Be Me or Is It You?”, “Jughead Predicts”, “Future Shock”, “Stealing the Show”, “Goodby Ms. Grundy”, “The Prince of Riverdale”, “Loose Lips Stops Slips”, “Change of Minds”, “Gunk for Gold”, and “Making of Mr. Righteous”. Much like in the comics, he’s the ultimate authority figure in the school and has to deal with shit from the students. He has a thing for Ms. Grundy.

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Ethel Muggs

Appearances: 10

Despite the fact that Ethel isn’t considered a main character (since she doesn’t appear in the opening theme), she’s still a strong supporting character. She appeared in “Last Laugh”, “Jughead Predicts”, “Future Shock”, “Stealing the Show”, “Telegraph, Telephone, Tell Reggie”, “Wooden It Be Loverly”, “Loose Lips Stops Slips”, “Gunk for Gold”, “Making of Mr. Righteous”, and “Horray for Hollywood”. She’s a love interest for Jughead, as in the comics, but she doesn’t display stalker tendencies. She’s also a decent friend to the others.

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The Unnamed Coach

Appearances: 08 (1 of which is just a daydream)

The coach might or might not be Coach Kleats from the comics. The hair color doesn’t match. Anyway, he appeared in “The Visitor”, “Future Shock”, “Stealing the Show” (in Moose’s daydream), “Loose Lips Stops Slips”, “Change of Minds”, “Gunk for Gold”, “Making of Mr. Righteous”, and “Take My Butler, Please”. He basically comes off as a stereotypical coach, prone to anger and worry.

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Red

Appearances: 07

Red appeared in “Ballot Box Blues”, “Thief of Hearts”, “Hamburger Helpers”, “Red to the Rescue”, “Telegraph, Telephone, Tell Reggie”, “Making of Mr. Righteous”, and “Take My Butler, Please”. Only 1 segment really focused on him.

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Smithers

Appearances: 04

Smithers appeared in “The Visitor”, “Hamburger Helpers”, “Incredible Shrinking Archie”, and “Take My Butler, Please”. Only 1 segment really focused on him; mostly, he was just Veronica’s servant.

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Pop Tate

Appearances: 02

Despite the kids frequenting his establishment, Pop himself, ahem, popped up in only “The Visitor” and “Horray for Hollywood”, bookending the series. There’s not much to him, but he does act as a guidance counselor of sorts for Betty at the end.

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Fangs Fogarty

Appearances: 02

Fangs isn’t a main character. He was lifted from the Little Archie comic book and aged up for this series. He appeared in only “Last Laugh” and “I Gotta Be Me or Is It You?”. Typical troublemaker.

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Hot Dog

Appearances: 02

Hot Dog appeared in only “Red to the Rescue” and “Telegraph, Telephone, Tell Reggie”, and he certainly didn’t do much – if anything – useful.

The Actors

The voice acting on this show was generally competent, especially considering the kids were voiced by actual kids. No one stands out as great, but no one’s awful either. Here’s my round-up of the actors:

This show was the only thing that J. Michael Roncetti (Archie) ever acted in.

Alyson-Court.jpgAlyson Court (Veronica) started acting in 1985 and hasn’t stopped, even branching out into other areas. She’s probably most famous as the voice of Jubilee on the 1990s X-Men series and as the longtime voice of Claire Redfield in the Resident Evil series (before being replaced).

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Michael Fantini (Jughead) had a short but fairly prolific acting career, spanning 1985-1989.

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Sunny Besen Thrasher (Reggie) had a fairly prolific acting career, spanning 1985-1995. From 2010 to 2016, he’s had a bit of a career resurgence in production, direction, camera, and grip work.

Victor E. Erdos (Moose) had a fairly prolific career, spanning 1984-1997. He produced a movie that was released in 2002.

Jazzmin Lausanne (Ethel) had a sporadic career that spanned 1981-1987. This was her third and final role.

This show was the only thing that Colin Waterman (Eugene) ever acted in.

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Karen Burthright (Amani) has had a long, albeit very sporadic, career, which started here and has lasted until 2013. She has only 6 credits. She also acts in live theater.

Marvin-Goldhar
Marvin Goldhar (Mr. Weatherbee) had a long career, spanning 1966-2002. He died on March 31, 2002, at the age of 67 or 68 (IMDb and Wikipedia give two different dates of birth, and other sites use one or the other).

Linda-Sorenson.jpgLinda Sorensen (Ms. Grundy) has had a long, prolific career, spanning 1969-2017.

Greg Swanson (Coach) had a fairly prolific career, spanning 1979-1998.

Lisa-Coristine
Lisa Suzanne Coristine (Betty) was born on September 10, 1975, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She started acting in 1985 (coincidentally playing a character named Elizabeth). This was her 4th of 8 roles, the last being in 1989. She later went into teaching. At the age of 25, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that began in her sinuses. After a three-year struggle, four surgeries, and endless hours of treatment, she sadly lost her battle with the horrible disease. She died on June 14, 2004, at home, at the far-too-young age of 28. From her IMDb bio: “Although Lisa is no longer with us, her family and friends are left with a tremendous sense of gratitude, because targeted radiation allowed Lisa to live her life to the fullest in spite of her illness. With fewer side effects to combat, Lisa traveled the world during her final years; climbing the Great Wall of China, running on the beach in Mexico, and living with a sense of adventure and hope – hope for a healthy future. Lisa spent a great deal of time at PMH during the course of her illness. While she was certainly a young patient, she understood that she was not the youngest patient who had ever endured cancer treatments. She was deeply moved by the fact that many children also fight cancer there, and that they stand to benefit the most from future developments in radiation therapy. This is why she believed so strongly in the mission of the Brave Heart Foundation, which now bears her name as a tribute to her courage, her kindness, and her indomitable spirit.” Read this article for more information.

Conclusion

The New Archies is definitely a product of its time, a mostly uninspired animated take on an existing property. It was a relative success (it’s the only thing that made it to series) in between the failed 1970s pilots and the TV movie. Archie Comics stuck blurbs advertising it on the front covers of its comics, cover-dated November of 1987 (likely came out in September) through October of 1988 (likely came out in August, when they knew the show wouldn’t be coming back in the fall). For issues cover-dated March of 1989 through February of 1990, a new cover blurb announced the series was back and told readers to check their local TV listings for time and channel. I’m guessing the series entered syndication at that point.

The series has mostly been forgotten – in large part because of its unavailability on DVD. Still, you can find it on YouTube, so check it out, if you want. It’s nothing great, but it’s not completely awful either. It’s mostly a show that will, among older fans, trigger a response of “Oh, yeah, that was a thing that happened.”

As I’d mentioned previously, Archie Comics created two tie-in comic books for the series. I happen to have a few issues of the floppy comics. I’m not sure where or when I picked them up. Probably at the used bookstore (which closed nearly 17 years ago) at the flea market. Who knows? I’d completely forgotten I had them until I went searching through a tote for something to review. I might review some of these stories, if I feel like revisiting this iteration of the characters, but this post is, for the most part, my final word on The New Archies as a series.

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Archie Comics has released a digital collection of some of the comics (the blurb places them in Riverdale Middle School), so you can check that out.

It might or might not be the same as this collection:

The-New-Archies-digital-2I won’t be promoting another series to a regular feature on this blog, because there are still plenty of episodes of Archie’s Weird Mysteries and Riverdale for me to review. I’ll try to review one episode per month. The rest of the month will be devoted to comic reviews – with a continued focus especially on Cheryl Blossom.
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Comics – We Need to Talk About Kevin

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Writer: Michael Grassi
Art: Joe Eisma
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Letters: John Workman
Original Publication: Riverdale, No. 4
Cover Date: August, 2017
On-Sale Date: July 5, 2017
Length: 20 pages

Kevin narrates this story. As we see him get ready for his day, he gives us his stats like in a dating profile (6’2″, around 165 pounds, body type: toned, single/looking). As he brings his dad a cup of High Point at the kitchen table, we see a story on the front page of the Riverdale Register about a lion escaping from the Riverdale Zoo (this isn’t relevant to the story at all).

Kevin laments he’s the only openly gay person in Riverdale. He then goes through various people that he knows that he has varying degrees of certainty of being gay.

He has Betty (his “best friend”) over at his house. They pig out on takeout from Pop’s, and he talks about his loneliness. Betty hopes he doesn’t go cruising, and she names some of his favorite places: a truck stop, the mall bathroom, and Fox Forest. He claims he gave up cruising for Lent and forever. Kevin laments Betty “doesn’t get it”.

In the student lounge at Riverdale High School, Kevin is browsing profiles on a gay dating app called Sup. Veronica gives him some shit about being a “smartphone addict” but then notices the guys. Kevin’s been having no luck, so Veronica wants to see his profile. He has a rather dorky picture of himself. She endorses him doing this, but she wants access to his account for one day to do “a little jeuging“. She promises he’ll be dating the man of his dreams in no time. We learn that’s Wolverine.

Veronica finds Archie mowing the lawn at home and, in a pretty hilarious exchange, gets him to take off his shirt. Well, he merely lifts it to show off his abs, and she takes a pic with a phone (hers? Kevin’s?).

Veronica’s plan works. Kevin has a date with “a total dreamboat from Greendale” at Pop’s. While waiting for him to arrive, Kevin pounds back fries and milkshakes and/or soda floats.

The guy, Forest, finally shows up – and promptly leaves when he discovers Kevin isn’t a redhead as in his profile. Kevin calls for the check.

On another day, Kevin relates this to Betty and Veronica in…the school cafeteria, I guess. Betty suggests taking a break from online dating. Kevin’s convinced he’ll die a virgin. Veronica brings up the gay bar that Kevin had mentioned to her, which is just outside town. Kevin has tried to get into Innuendo but has always failed. He insists he’s not going clubbing. Veronica mentions being able to get into the Pyramid in East Village and dancing with Chloe Sevigny. Based on this experience, she believes Kevin can get into Innuendo. Betty knows who can help.

Reggie wants to know what the “three squares” want with a fake ID. Veronica and Betty explain. In the interest of helping get Kevin laid, Reggie offers to make him an ID on the house. Veronica wants IDs for herself and Betty as well. Betty asks what they’re going to do at a gay bar. Veronica says dance and get glitter everywhere.

As they arrive at Innuendo, Kevin is filled with dread. Veronica gives him a pep talk. Betty, dressed in overalls and looking vaguely like a lumberjack, remarks she feels underdressed. They present their IDs to the bouncer. Veronica whispers something to him. He lets them in and tells them to enjoy their night. Kevin asks Betty how Veronica did that. Betty says they’ll never know.

In the club, Kevin dances between Betty and Veronica as the latter two sing along to “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” by Whitney Houston. When they get to “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, Betty notices Kevin is gone. He’s at the bar, ordering a Shirley Temple. What a square. Dude, you have a fake ID. Order a Dirty Shirley, at least.

The girls come over. Veronica wants him to meet guys. Kevin says this isn’t “[his] scene”. Veronica insists he try, and Betty at least wants him to dance with them. Kevin says taking off his shirt and dancing with strangers is not him (but apparently cruising is – or at least was). Kevin has never felt more alone. He leaves but tells the girls to stay and have fun; he’s going home to watch The Broken Hearts Club.

It’s a lie. Kevin goes cruising in Fox Forest. He’s met closeted and married guys here before – as well as some on the football team. Ever since Jason’s murder, he never lingers too long anymore.

When Kevin returns home, his dad’s watching TV. Kevin’s cover had been that he was sleeping over at Betty’s, but he immediately tells the truth about sneaking into the gay bar (but not about the cruising). They talk about it. Kevin confesses he has “this sinking feeling” that he’ll “be alone forever”.

His dad tells “kiddo” that he’s not gonna be alone. This makes Kevin happy. His dad also mentions Kevin moving to New York for his Broadway career, but I can’t tell if he’s serious or not. Kevin takes the remote from his dad’s hand and asks him if he’d rather watch Barefoot Contessa or The Great British Bake Off. His dad notices glitter just fell out of his hair.

So Kevin goes back to his normal daily routine, embracing the single life and giving up on meeting a guy.

Kevin has Betty and Veronica, after all, and he tells them to save him a seat in Biology while he grabs a book from his locker.

He grabs his Biology book from his locker, and the bell rings. He realizes he’s late, slams his locker shut, and runs toward class, papers flying out of his bookbag. Someone runs into him and knocks him to the floor. As Kevin picks up his papers, he tells the guy to watch where he’s going – and then takes notice of him.

The guy, a blond named Devin that just transferred from London, offers Kevin his Biology book and asks him to show him to Biology class.

This was a pretty nice story. My headcanon is Betty and Veronica got drunk at the club and made out on the dance floor.

After the story are six pages of (very) short character profiles of Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Josie; a cover gallery for this issue and the Road to Riverdale trades; and the cover of the next issue.

The New Archies, Segment 26 – Horray for Hollywood

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Writers: Pat Allee & Ben Hurst
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, December 5, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:21

Well, here we are, at long last, at the series finale of The New Archies. It definitely felt like the series is a lot longer than it actually is. That’s because I’ve written these reviews a couple minutes of story at a time, for the most part, and, admittedly, I’ve dragged my feet in reviewing this series. Then, after I finished and posted my review of the previous segment, I decided to just watch this segment all in one sitting (something that I hadn’t done for any previous segment while reviewing it), because I remember enjoying it, and I was surprised that it was over so quickly.

Oh, yeah, remember, in my review of the first segment, I mentioned a possible fourteenth episode? Wikipedia and IMDb list the segments as “Got Hair?” and “Teenage Birthday Party”, and the former gives an original air date of December 12, 1987. This info has been copied by other sites. I have found no evidence that these segments were actually made, and, again, thirteen was the standard number of episodes for a network TV season of an animated series at the time. Maybe they’re unproduced segments, but, again, I can’t find anything. So I’m considering “Horray for Hollywood” to be the series finale of The New Archies. And what a way to go out: with a typo in the episode’s title.

Anyway, let’s get into it.

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The segment opens with a lovely nature shot.

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But, okay, the story begins with Betty fixing Archie’s bike. Wow, they actually added one of Betty’s character traits from the comics (being a bit of a mechanic) into the show.

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Archie’s impressed with Betty’s skill.

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Jughead shows up with a hitherto-unmentioned cousin, Cary. Archie gives so little shit for this guy that he immediately gets his name wrong, calling him Terry (note: I’m certain that this was a flub).

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Betty gets a lady-boner for Cary.

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As Cary approaches, Betty tries to make herself presentable. Cary mistakes her for a dude.

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Cary apologizes, but Jughead calls Betty “just one of the guys”.

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Betty and Cary’s formal meeting doesn’t go well, and Betty ends up feeling embarrassed.

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Cary refuses the rag, and Jughead says they gotta go, because they’re on their way to Pop’s. Betty tells “Jerry” that it was nice meeting him. And guess what. We never see or hear of Cary again. I hope you enjoyed his roughly 45 seconds of screentime. Yeah, his sole purpose was so Betty could get embarrassed over her tomboyishness in front of a guy.

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So, yeah, Betty’s feeling very embarrassed, but Archie says he appreciates her.

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Betty get a lady-boner for him.

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Then he calls her “a real pal”, and that’s the end of that.

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On another day, at Riverdale Junior High School, Veronica stops to check herself out in a glass case displaying a sign for the Annual Spring Fling.

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In the gym, Betty is really proud of her decorations; the theme is Nature Welcomes Spring. Veronica is underwhelmed.

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Ethel is making flowers out of toilet tissue. Veronica isn’t impressed, but Betty thinks they’re “cute”.

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Eugene is painting a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Moose. Um, why? Did Betty seriously think cut-outs of the people that will actually be attending the dance was a good idea? It just seems really weird. But I guess it’s a bit less creepy than this:

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-199-JasonTNA-26-Horray-for-Hollywood-28-Veronica-Betty-birds
Betty then points out the “great” mechanical birds that Eugene made and has Veronica try one out.

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Veronica is impressed.

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Betty admits they still need a little work. She asks Veronica what she thinks.

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Veronica calls the birds old-fashioned and tacky. This disappoints Betty.

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As Veronica goes on about Betty’s choice of decorations, Ethel pop up behind her and makes funny faces to try to cheer Betty up.

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It works.

Veronica eventually discovers what Ethel is doing and leaves in disgust. Betty and Ethel laugh.

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By the next scene, however, as Betty and Ethel are walking along (past DiC’s headquarters, which is based in Riverdale, apparently), Betty has done a complete 180, admitting Veronica’s right.

Ethel’s like “Bullshit! Shopping solves everything!”

How is this supposed to help?

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The saleswoman compliments Betty’s choice of dress, but Ethel says it’s not for “our Betty”. She brings over another dress that she says “is Betty” and calls it “durable and reliable”. What a shitty thing to do.

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See? It’s clear that Betty doesn’t want to always be thought of in the same way by everyone. She’s getting tired of the same old thing.

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At home, Betty is even more depressed, despairing that she even looks like one of the guys. I really don’t see this as an issue, but, then again, I went through school just being myself and giving zero fucks what other people thought of me.

On the other hand, I would find my middle/high school self obnoxious and annoying. I’ve grown way more boring and quiet since then, and I generally try to be non-intrusive and not acknowledge people and hope they’ll treat me likewise (they usually don’t).

My point is people change. I don’t know what Betty’s going through, but I’m guessing she’s hoping for some loving and wishing people wouldn’t be so reliant on her.

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Betty spots an ad in the newspaper (because apparently, like all preteens, she keeps a newspaper in her bedroom): “Mr. Maurice, beauty expert to the stars. Change your looks and change your life.” This is the sole “Hollywood” connection in this story: some dude making a claim in a newspaper ad.

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“I’ll do it!” Um, how? Do you have enough of your allowance saved up? Are you gonna ask your parents for money?

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Bothering only to take off her headband, Betty heads right over to the office of some guy that placed an ad in a newspaper. Did one of her parents drive her? Do they even know she’s out of the house? This is a major problem that I have with this series: these kids are out and about way too much on their own. I never did this when I was their age. Sure, a friend of mine stopped at my house, trick-or-treating with his friends, one Halloween, and some of my friends came by once, so we could pick blackberries from a vacant lot (well, not me; I considered it trespassing and potentially dangerous), but, whenever I wanted to go somewhere, my mom or dad had to drive me. Then again, I live in a rural town, not a suburb, and everything is way more spread out. To get to any kind of store (other than a convenience store), I’d have to cross a busy highway and then go a few miles north. No way was that happening. And I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I can get around and shop just fine, now that I have a car. I’m kind of glad that I didn’t get to go walking around town on my own or with some friends as a kid, because who knows what might have happened?

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Anyway, the first thing that Maurice does is insult Betty’s appearance, making her feel bad.

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Without discussing any payment (that will cum later), the sleazy French guy puts an arm around Betty and has his way with her.

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There’s an abrupt cut to a panning shot of Riverdale Junior High School, where Archie, sans bookbag, is having trouble carrying more books than I ever had to. Seriously, there aren’t even that many periods in a school day.

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This is only to contrast with Veronica, who has a laugh at Archie’s expense, because she has Smithers to carry her unrealistic multitude of books (but no other supplies) for her. Smithers lets out a creepy moan. Yeah, I know he’s supposed to sound like he’s sick of this shit, but it’s still pretty creepy.

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Archie stops at his full-sized locker, which I didn’t have until high school, and then something surprises him.

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Ditto for Reggie and Veronica.

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Jughead is the only one to have a delayed reaction to:

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Oh, dear Goddess…

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In class, Ms. Grundy asks when the Magna Carta was signed. She calls on Jughead.

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What in the actual fuck?

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Anyway, Jughead somehow loses his balance and falls out of his chair, and the class laughs.

Ms. Grundy decides to go to “someone more reliable” and asks Betty.

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Betty responds with “Yo!” Veronica’s pissed (for some reason). Reggie has a boner.

Ms. Grundy is a bit thrown off by Betty’s greeting but repeats the question. Betty will have to get back to Ms. Grundy on that, which surprises her.

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See, Betty didn’t get to do her homework, because she had to do her nails to match her outfit.

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Seen here: absolutely nothing that took more than a few minutes of her time, tops.

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Ms. Grundy gets a bit sassy with Betty and gives her detention, but Betty doesn’t give a fuck.

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Later, at Pop’s, Reggie demands to know why Betty won’t go to the movies with him. Betty gives him a total bullshit answer, citing “the new me” and “the same old you, such as it is”.

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Veronica’s pissed, because Betty’s an hour late.

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Betty’s excuse is “Price of popularity, babe. Everyone wants a piece of your time.” No doubt because you’ve been walking around town in a leotard. Just who, exactly, got a piece of Betty’s time, and did they get a piece of Betty’s anything else as well?

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Veronica, without a hint of irony, finds Betty’s behavior obnoxious. She’s starved and wants to order. Ooh, we get to see Pop’s menu, and it doesn’t include the name of the business on it but does include a generic design that Pop probably threw together in a few minutes in Paintbrush on Windows 1.0 (Windows 2.0 didn’t come out until four days after this segment aired).

I’m gonna pause the review for a moment and talk about food. I hadn’t been to locally-owned restaurants much. There was actually a 1950s-themed diner right on my street, just over a half-mile from my house, open for thirty years (twenty-seven of which I’d lived here), and I never once ate there. I used to work in a small office in the early-to-mid-2000s, and the mom of one of my coworkers owned another 1950s-themed diner. Our whole office would go there one night per month for a kinda-sorta party/event. I ordered ten sliders and a glass of Pepsi each time. It was okay but nothing special. More recently, my mom and I got gift certificates for free breakfast at another diner. This one, as far as atmosphere (and I use the term loosely) went, was New England-themed. We ordered breakfast platters and got basically the same thing that we get at Burger King, except burned. My point is I really don’t “get” locally-owned diners; they just don’t seem that special to me. And I certainly don’t get how the gang (except Veronica and maybe Reggie) can afford to continually hang out at Pop’s. What kind of allowances are they getting?

Anyway, Betty ditches Veronica to get to her acting class, surprising and pissing off Veronica. Betty’s taking an acting class? How is she paying for it? And how is she paying for her numerous new outfits? Is it part of a package deal that Mr. Maurice offers? If so, who actually paid for it?

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Before she leaves, Betty asks Veronica to “be real with” her. Veronica happily agrees, despite being pissed at her a moment earlier. Betty tries out the new name “Jasmine” and asks for Veronica’s opinion. Veronica isn’t quite sure what to say.

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Betty doesn’t have time for an answer, though, and tells Veronica to get back to her on that. Betty teases the decorations for the dance, telling Veronica that she won’t recognize the gym. Veronica’s afraid of that. Then, with a parting “Toodles”, Betty leaves.

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Archie asks Betty to take a look at his bike, but Betty doesn’t “do bikes anymore”.

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When Betty leaves Pop’s, Ethel sees her and comments on her “wild” outfit. She also asks “Whatever happened to blue jeans?” Um, when, precisely, has Betty ever worn blue jeans on this series? She’s a pink overalls kind of girl.

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Betty’s exact response is “Oh, Biggie, get back! I don’t do jeans anymore!” You’ve never done jeans, bitch; shut up.

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Archie comes by with Moose and worriedly asks “Just what does she do now?”

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After the commercial break, Veronica’s at the park, ready to skateboard. Because it was the 1980s, and everybody skateboarded. Even Reagan. Anyway, she asks Jughead if he’s seen Betty Jasmine. Jughead kinda-sorta says yes, implying Betty’s also skateboarding. See? Told ya.

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Jughead comes across Ethel, who complains about Betty’s shitastic ’80s clothes.

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Veronica skates over, complaining about Betty’s hair. Then Reggie skates over and complains about Betty turning down a date with him. Jughead insults Reggie and skates off, and a pissed Reggie gives chase.

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“Motherfucker, don’t you fucking hurt him, or I’mma fucking kill you!”

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Wait, wait, wait. A large chunk of that bridge/path is very blatantly missing. Shouldn’t the area be sealed off to, I dunno, prevent dumbass tweens from trying to skateboard over it?!

Anyway, can we get back to Betty, please? This is supposed to be her story, and I feel this stupid rivalry between Jughead and Reggie is taking away precious time from that.

In case you’re wondering, Jughead puts absolutely no effort into his skateboarding, just standing perfectly still. Because that’s totally believable.

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Anyway, Ethel comes out of nowhere and knocks Reggie into a shallow pool of water. Whatever.

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Veronica has a laugh over it and then tells Smithers that she’s ready. What the fuck? That’s just ridiculous. Besides, why, after recent events, does she still want Smithers to do stuff with her? Also, we just saw Veronica’s regular skateboard earlier in the scene. But anything for a cheap laugh, right?

Whatever. Can we get back to Betty now? Please?

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Later, they go to Riverdale Junior High School for the Spring Fling. Ethel says Betty wouldn’t let anyone in to see it. She can’t wait. They enter the gym.

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Jughead makes a Star Trek reference.

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Honestly, though, it feels more like Star Wars.

Yeah, Betty went with a sci-fi theme for the Spring Fling dance. That’s…different.

Archie suggests checking out the food. Jughead says he’s brave.

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Archie asks about a certain food, and Veronica – the worldly, well-traveled girl – incorrectly identifies it as sushi, even though it’s actually sashimi. Jughead thinks it’s disgusting not after he tries some but after Veronica talks. So typically sitcomy.

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Ethel identifies steak tartare.

Okay, I’m gonna pause the review to talk about food again. I grew up in the 1980s and was raised by two Polish parents that, really, were old enough to be my grandparents, having been born during World War II. One dish that we often made was what they called “tatar” (TAH-tahr). That might be a corruption of tartare or a Polish version of the word. I don’t know, and my mom doesn’t either. Anyway, we made it by mixing raw ground beef in a bowl with olive oil or vegetable oil as well as salt and black pepper. We cut up garlic and onion into little pieces and added it to the mix. We served it on bread (usually Italian). It actually tastes quite good. I often add a homemade Cajun seasoning and/or hot sauce into the mix (after my mom’s taken her share). So it’s not quite like the recipe in the Wikipedia article, and we’ve never used egg yolk. Anyway, just thought I’d share. Now, back to the review.

Jughead takes a piece, sniffs it, and says it looks weird. Ethel says it’s “raw hamburger” (not really accurate). Jughead promptly drops it in disgust. Are we expected to believe Jughead, who lives for hamburgers, has never tried making his own?

Anyway, Jughead declares, this time, Betty’s gone too far.

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Betty comes by, fishing for a compliment from “Juggy” regarding the dance, but he isn’t impressed, and she’s like “What the fuck?”

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Betty asks Archie to dance, but he doesn’t do “that kind of music”, utterly shocking her.

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Betty asks “Ronnie” and “Big Ethel” (this was back when making fun of tall people was considered okay) if they wanna go to the “powder room” with her, but they “don’t do powder rooms anymore”. Considering “powder room” is a euphemism for “restroom” (from back in the days when females wanted to avoid acknowledging they piss and shit), that’s unintentionally hilarious.

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Aaawww. Betty’s sad. Do we feel sorry for her? Well, we shouldn’t, considering it’s already been established Betty’s a horrible piece of shit when freed of any self-restraint.

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Suddenly, Betty brightens up.

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Reggie calls her out on wanting to hang out with him only because everyone else has turned her down. She whimpers sadly and walks away. Reggie considers hanging out with her, but it’s too late: she’s gone.

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Betty goes to Pop’s to drown her sorrows. Pop is surprised to see her (or perhaps surprised at how she currently looks).

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Betty tries to order a root beer float, but she can’t even get it out before she starts crying.

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Eugene walks by Pop’s and is shocked to see a sad Betty. He runs off.

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Back at the gym, Jughead wants to fucking leave already. Yeah, um, why are they still here? They were clearly pissed at Betty, so I don’t think they’d stay out of obligation to her.

Also, Moose is wasted in this segment. He doesn’t really say anything except maybe one line mixed in among other characters’ lines.

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Eugene rushes in and fills them in.

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Archie and Ethel feel bad over how they treated Betty, but Veronica and Reggie defend their actions.

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Reggie goes too far with his suggestion of a bucket of cold water in the face, and the others let him know they disapprove.

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Reggie claims it’s a “joke”.

Ethel feels awful, because Betty was just trying her best with the decorations. Jughead says Betty’s best was “pretty good”. They all miss “good old Betty”.

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Archie suddenly has an idea.

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Back at Pop’s, Betty has recounted everything to Pop. He tries to make her feel better.

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Suddenly, the others show up. After confirming Betty’s still here, Archie signals to the others to be quiet and come on.

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Pop points out that Veronica didn’t work on the decorations.

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Betty realizes, if Veronica wanted other decorations, she could have done the work.

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Betty mentions “Big Ethel” called her “dependable and reliable”. Actually, she’d called the dress, comparing it to Betty, “durable and reliable” (although Ms. Grundy had called Betty “reliable”).

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Anyway, Pop is amused that Betty thinks this is bad, and Betty, knocking her stupid wig off the counter, realizes it isn’t.

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But then Betty gets upset again over Archie and Jughead calling her “just one of the guys”. Actually, just Jughead did; Archie called her “a real pal”.

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There’s some antics as the gang brings in and sets up Betty’s original dance decorations, which they had somehow found (and were damn lucky that she hadn’t thrown out).

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Pop gets a bit creepy when he predicts Betty’s future sexiness.

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Rather than be creeped out, Betty’s just sad; she says it doesn’t matter, because it’s too late now.

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She believes she’s lost all of her friends.

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“Look behind you, dumbass.”

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Pop offers ice cream sodas on the house.

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Jughead asks about hamburgers.

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Betty gets the final line of the series: “I’ve got the best friends in the whole world.”

This segment was really nice and actually my favorite of the entire series. This and “The Awful Truth” are good character studies of Betty. I only wish they were longer, so they could further explore the issues that Betty has. Speaking of those issues, that’s where this segment kind of bungles it toward the end. Through Pop’s questions, we’re led to believe Betty was making a big deal out of nothing and feeling depressed about basic compliments (she even agrees with him), but I always understood Betty’s issues to be not wishing to be thought of in exactly the same, predictable way all of the time; she desired something more, something different. Still, overall, the series went out on a high note.

I will do a recap of the entire series fairly soon.