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Friday, August 21, 2015

New Archies Reviewed: Episode 3B - Sir Jughead Jones

You know, I'm kind of in a down mood today, and I will warn you ahead of time that I am probably going to be a little more snarky than what all of you reading this might be used to.  I'm kind of going through a lot of stress right now, and I need to find a way to get it out.

So, if you hear me raking The New Archies over the coals in this edition of New Archies Reviewed, believe me when I say that it is fueled by the release of all the stress that is in my body at this time.  Who knows?  It could be the best thing I've ever written.

Or, it could be a hodge-podge of madness.

I'll let you be the judge as we take a look at Episode 3B - Sir Jughead Jones.

So, we open the episode at some sort of art museum where the students of Riverdale Junior High are taking part in a field trip.  And, looks like Miss Grundy's class is the only one there.  Man, Riverdale High is a small school!

The class is looking at an ancient vase, and Betty is absolutely mesmerized by the work of art.  Veronica, who might I add is incredibly obnoxious in this episode, brags about how her daddy - the richest man in the world apparently - has dozens of expensive vases.  And while she's showing everyone just how big her dad's vases are, she accidentally hits the vase at the museum which causes the thing to nearly tip over! 

The good thing is that a security guard who happens to be nearby sees Veronica's klutziness in action and rushes to try and save the vase, which he does.

But then he comes up with the idea to dust the vase while he's there, which causes his allergies to act up.  He sneezes, nearly takes out three-quarters of Miss Grundy's class before careening into the pillar where the vase is, smashing it to smithereens!  Oh, Veronica...I hope your daddy has enough money to pay for that.

Another man - I'm assuming he's the curator of the art museum - starts breaking down and having a full on ugly cry over the smashed vase.  And all Veronica can say is that he doesn't need to worry.  She's not hurt.  And somewhere else in the museum, the security guard is probably giving Veronica the stare of death. 

A few minutes later, the rest of the class - who surprisingly was not escorted out of the museum - are eyeing the portraits and paintings on the wall.  And while Veronica is about ready to fall asleep and dream about smashing another vase, Betty can't stop salivating over the paintings saying that she would love to own just one.  Something tells me that Betty would have to deliver newspapers to the entire continent of North America to be able to afford one, but you have to admire her optimism.

It's a far sight better than Veronica once again bragging about her wealth and saying that her dad could use those paintings for wallpaper.  At this point, Betty is so furious with Veronica and punches her in the nose while shoving pieces of broken vase into her mouth to shut her up and tells her that she is sick of her bragging because money doesn't grow on trees.  Jughead comes up with the joke "Money grows on trees - why do you think banks have branches?"  Very lame, but again...this is a G-rated cartoon.

Whatever the case, Veronica is disgusted that people can't sympathize with her, and she leaves.  Reggie, who in this episode is just as much of a jerk as Veronica is, tells the class that they have no social graces, which causes Jughead to talk about his aunt Grace who throws a lot of parties, which sends Reggie storming off in a rage with everyone else laughing with Jughead.

Anyway, Reggie finds Veronica and tells her just how uncouth Jughead is and how he is peanut butter and jelly in their caviar world.  But wait.  Veronica has found a secret!

Apparently in the museum is an old portrait of Viscount Forsythe P. Jones, a distant relative of Jughead (and who I am guessing Jughead is named after, as his real name is Forsythe Pendleton Jones).  And apparently there is a secret treasure that Forsythe has hidden away.  And Reggie and Veronica want that treasure simply because they don't have enough money to brag about.

The frustrating this is that we have absolutely no idea how Reggie and Veronica even know that Viscount Jones has a treasure.  And for that matter, you would have thought that Jughead would know if there was a portrait of a relative hanging up in a museum!  But it's a cartoon, and we're supposed to suspend reality.  Besides, we wouldn't have a plot otherwise.  At least we have a dream sequence!

Now, here is where the tide starts to turn.  Reggie and Veronica soon begin sucking up to Jughead by spending their whole allowances on platters of hamburgers that some unknown butler from Lodge Mansion is delivering to him.  Given how many burgers are on that plate, I'm guessing that Reggie and Veronica get at least five hundred bucks - which totally trumps the five bucks I used to get at their age.

Archie and Betty ask Jughead if he wants to go to Pop's after school, Veronica coolly informs them that "Juggiekins" has other plans.  And right away, whenever Veronica adds the word "kins" at the end of a name, you know she's like a cobra waiting to strike.

Sure enough at Lodge Mansion, Veronica and Reggie reveal their evil plan.  Their plan is to suck up to Jughead by buying him fancy clothes and hamburgers so that they can get a share of Viscount Jones' treasure.  After all, Jughead is the only heir - another plot point that they fail to explain.  But when you only have twelve minutes to tell a story, it gets a little lost in translation.

Of course, Reggie and Veronica, as snobbish and cruel as they can be, aren't stupid.  They know that if Archie, Betty, Eugene, and all of their other poor friends found out that Jughead had money coming to him, that Jughead would share with them first, so they come up with a plan to teach Jughead to be an insufferable snob like them so that they won't have anything to do with Jughead.

You know, in this series, Reggie and Veronica are real beasts.  I mean, even in the comic book series, Reggie and Veronica were left humbled and were even nice in a few stories.  It's like they have absolutely no redeeming qualities in this series at all - especially in this episode.  Though kudos to Alyson Court and Sunny Besen Thrasher for making the characters so easy to dislike.  They must have had fun acting those roles out!

That's why this next scene makes me smile like the Grinch just before he steals Christmas in Whoville.

We're at a little league game, where it is Jughead's turn at bat.  And Jughead, dressed in his fancy garb, demands that Veronica brings him a bat.

In walks Veronica who is carrying enough bats to provide everyone in the Major League with one.  And, Jughead snubs her, grabs a bat lying against the fence and steps up to the plate which causes Veronica to throw the bats on the ground and fume in anger.  I must say.  Crimson is a good colour for the brat!

Next, Jughead seems to notice that his shoes have gotten dirty on the baseball diamond, as baseball diamonds are not made with linoleum or wooden floorboard.  So he actually summons Reggie to sweep his shoes right there on the diamond, causing Archie to shake his head in disgust.  Honestly, if I were Archie, I'd be laughing at Reggie...but Archie's just too nice.

Betty throws the pitch out and Jughead manages to hit the ball.  And...Smithers is running the bases for him!!  Unbelievable!  In most games, that would be an automatic out unless the player batting is injured or something, but not here!  And, for that matter, why the heck is Smithers wearing white pants as his uniform?  Did he learn nothing from Shoegate 45 seconds earlier?

Anyway, Smithers' trousers must be made of some super rich material because he slides into home without ripping them or even getting them dirty.  But unfortunately, Archie tags Smithers with the ball before he slides into home, so he's out.  To which Jughead - adopting a faux-Madonna British accent exclaims that he was safe by a wide margin.

By this point, Archie has had it up to here with Jughead's bad attitude and ties a bow in his nose calls him a jerk and wonders what his deal is.  But Jughead decides he's had enough of playing Archie's lame game, and takes off with Veronica, Reggie, and Jughead towards Lodge Mansion.

At Lodge Mansion, Veronica, Reggie, and some unnamed rich kid (who for the sake of argument we'll call Jason Blossom, as he is even more of a snob than Veronica is in the comic books) are playing a game of croquet.  And of course, Jughead is letting the power of being an heir to a viscount get to his head.  Aside from forcing Reggie and Veronica to get him everything that he wants, he uses Reggie as a transportation system to get him around the place.

And for some reason, Archie, Betty, and Eugene are there.  Wait a minute.  If Reggie and Veronica are snobs, why were they invited?  Or, maybe they weren't...they just came along for the free caviar and lemonade. 

And speaking of lemonade, Reggie and Veronica are now complaining that they did TOO good a job of turning Jughead into Mr. Snobbery himself, but they still go ahead and degrade themselves because A) they want Jughead's fortune, and B) it's extremely satisfying to the audience!

At long last, a limousine arrives and out comes a man with a treasure chest in his hands.  Viscount Jones' treasure has finally arrived!  Reggie and Veronica are immediately perked up and run towards the man with Jughead in tow wondering what jewels, gold, and money is left in the chest.

But here's where the twist comes into play.  You see, all of the money that Viscount Jones had was spent long ago!  He spent his entire fortune on a product called "Beanie-Weanies" for the peasants of the kingdom.  And as a result of this, the upper crust turned up their noses at him for behaving like a peasant instead of a royal.  All that's left is a crown and a bag of marbles.

To which I say to Reggie and Veronica...

Oh, and Reggie and Veronica are FURIOUS!  They strip Jughead of the fancy clothes they bought him, exclaim how THEY'VE been taken advantage of, and storm away into the night...where hopefully they get hit by a truck.

Of course, they don't.  They come back in the next episode.  But you know, wishful thinking.

Jughead, meanwhile, is feeding himself a nice slice of humble pie, knowing how badly he treated Archie and Betty, who come over to see how he's doing.  For you see, Jughead, much like his ancestor, also finds it hard to live like the upper crust and treat people badly because they happen to have less money than they do, and he sincerely apologizes to Archie and Betty for everything he did. 

Naturally, because Betty and Archie aren't horrible people like Reggie and Veronica, they accept his apology, and they spend the rest of the day making fun of Reggie and Veronica.

So, what have we learned from this episode?  Well, Reggie and Veronica are evil.  Archie and Betty are good.  And for a brief moment, Jughead walked the tightrope between the two sides.  And we also learned that having money and power isn't nearly as much fun as having friends.  All in all, a good episode, though Reggie and Veronica didn't nearly do enough suffering in this one.  Don't worry an upcoming episode, Jughead will eventually get his revenge on both of them!

But that will have to wait.  There may be a new installment of New Archies Reviewed next week, and there may not be.  It all depends on whether I'll have Internet or not, with the house thing.  So, let's just say that by September 4, you'll see a new entry!

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