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Friday, September 25, 2015

New Archies Reviewed - Episode 5B: Stealing The Show

It's time for another edition of the New Archies Reviewed!  We're doing the second part of episode five, and once again, I will warn you that the screencaps that I used for this episode were from a source that was not the best quality.  The good news is that it appears that this is the only episode where I had problems with the visual quality.  The rest of the screencaps should be good.

Okay, so here's Episode 5B:  Stealing The Show.

We open our episode inside of Miss Grundy's classroom and Miss Grundy is really excited.  Apparently at Riverdale Junior High, it is tradition for the seventh graders of the school to put on a performance of a fairy tale for the rest of the school.  The selected fairy tale that Grundy has chosen is the classic tale of "Cinderella", and the reason she is so excited is because she will be directing the production.  Great, more ways she can intimidate interact with her students.

Naturally, Reggie thinks that this is the most boring thing in the world, but Miss Grundy surprises her class by saying that they will be performing the play as a rock opera, which makes everybody leap out of their chairs in excitement.  I don't know.  Miss Grundy directing a rock opera version of Cinderella?  Unless they're planning on performing songs by the heavy metal band "Cinderella", I don't see how this could work.

Yep...definitely NOT music Grundy would be caught listening to on her tape player or victrola.

Anyway, the scripts are passed out, and anyone who wants a part could try out for her in class...but grabby hands Veronica snatches a script out of Archie's hands, and immediately pictures herself as a big time movie star.  Good lord, Veronica, it's a junior high school play!  Not the Academy Awards!  Trust me, you are no Demi Moore, or Molly Ringwald, or Ally Sheedy, or any other female member of the Brat Pack.  You're delusional if you think that a junior high school play will get you discovered by a Hollywood agent.

And Betty essentially says the same thing as she announces to Veronica that she plans on trying out for the role of Cinderella too, so Veronica had better shut her face right now.  Reggie tries to stick up for Veronica, but Betty won't hear it.  I must say, it's not often that Betty gets angry, but when she does, I have to admit.  I love it!

Now, we don't get to see all of the auditions, but we do get to see Moose's which is absolutely hilarious as he doesn't show any emotion and he reads the lines really slowly.  Oh, and he is apparently trying out for the role of the prince.  Yeah, he won't get it. 

Especially after Miss Grundy gives him advice to read with more feeling and to think of something that will elicit some emotion - which leads to Moose thinking about football and threatening to knock Cinderella out of her glass slippers!  Yikes!  I don't know what's more disturbing - Moose figuratively punching Cinderella, or Reggie thinking that Moose punching Cinderella is funny.

Well, no matter what, Miss Grundy is ready to announce the parts that our main characters have won.  To Reggie and Veronica's shock (and my enjoyment), Archie and Betty have won the roles of the Prince and Cinderella respectively.  Jughead has won the role of the King, Reggie is the Grand Duke...and Veronica is cast as the Wicked Stepmother!  Gee, Miss Grundy would make a swell casting agent!

Naturally, Veronica goes into a snit and announces that she's too good to play the most hated character in the play even though she's done a good job playing one of the most hated characters on the show for five whole episodes now.  But Reggie decides that he hasn't been mischievous enough and tells Veronica that if she teams up with him, he will make HER the star!


But we have no time to speculate as a dress rehearsal is going on at the moment.  We learn that Betty is rehearsing the scene in which the fairy godmother is going to turn the pumpkin into a carriage, and seeing how Big Ethel is on stage at the same time, we can assume she is going to be the one doing the Bibbidi Bobbidi Booing or something like that.  We also learn that Eugene and Moose are in charge of special effects and props.  Yeah, Eugene might not be so bad, but Moose?  How bad could it be?

Well, when Moose pulls the rope to release the pumpkin carriage, he pulls it too hard and the carriage comes crashing down squashing Betty into a bloody pancake.

Just kidding.  Though Moose and the ropes play a very important role later on.  Mild spoiler alert.

Anyway, Veronica is continuing to whine about how she is the ugly stepmother, and how she has to wear a costume that makes her look like Jughead's mother, and it's just really annoying to hear.  Can't they just give her laryngitis for just one episode?  Please?

I think by this time Reggie is getting annoyed by Veronica's whining, and he decides to put his plan into motion by giving Moose a copy of some changes that "Miss Grundy" ordered him to make regarding the props.  I have a feeling that rope 1 will go where rope 2 is, and rope 5 will go where 1 is, and so on and so forth.  But why would Reggie want the ropes to be switched around?  And why would he trust a dingbat like Moose to do the job correctly in the first place?  I think Reggie's slipping a little.

Flash forward to the...I guess...afternoon of the play, and we open on stage with Cinder-Betty dressed in rags scrubbing the floor, singing about how all she does is scrub and rub and fetch and bring.  Thing is, there's no music in the background and Betty's voice is hardly strong enough to carry over to the back of the audience.  If this is Grundy's idea of a rock opera, then she must not get out much.

Oh, but here comes Veronica and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen a set of identical twins playing the wicked stepmother and stepsisters of Cinder-Betty, and I must say that Veronica looks especially ugly in this shot.  I must say, she's never looked better.

Anyway, the story of Cinderella dictates that there's a fancy ball being held by the King, and Cinder-Betty wants to go but Cinder-Betty's stupid phony family won't let her go because they're forcing her to do meaningless chores because they're salty bitches. 

Oh, hello Amani!  Nice to see you making an appearance for your required 35 seconds this episode.  She is dressed up like a mouse along with Eugene, because as we all know the mice are Cinder-Betty's friends, and they want to see Cinder-Betty cut loose once in a while.  And while Eugene and Amani are fixing up Cinder-Betty's dress, I'm wondering who is doing the special effects for the play...surely it can't be Moose right?  I mean, he was having trouble pulling down a pumpkin carriage just minutes ago!

Oh, and here comes Reggie, doing a dress switcheroo while Cinder-Betty is being verbally abused by her Pinnochio-esque stepmother.  If you're wondering why the dress switch was needed, and where that other dress eventually ended up, you'll have to keep reading.  But leave it to Reggie to throw a cog into the system.  It never fails.

And when Betty is changing into her fancy dress, we soon discover the reason why Reggie switched the dress...

...apparently, Reggie snuck into the school's biology lab, released all of the mice and rats that were in the room, and hid them all inside Betty's dress!  I can only assume that the dress contained a lot of hidden pockets inside because not even Betty is that stupid that she wouldn't have noticed a dozen rodents scurrying around her nether regions!  I mean, if Reggie really wanted to scare Betty off the stage, wouldn't spiders or caterpillars been a better option?  I mean, really!

Anyway, once all the rats have fled into various spots in the school which would eventually see the school closed a few weeks later, Betty comes back on stage wearing her Souris de Fromage original, and Wicked Stepmother Veronica is so enraged that she orders her biological golden children to strip Cinder-Betty naked and force her out into the night.

Of course, since this is a junior high school play and not a show in Amsterdam's Red Light District, Betty is at least wearing a tube top and gym shorts underneath.

Cut to a scene in the park where Betty is sitting on a park bench singing about how miserable she is that she can't go to the ball.  Betty, don't try out for The Voice.  And for that matter, why is Betty the only one singing?  I'm pretty sure that in "Tommy", everyone took a turn!  Rock opera, this ain't.

Oh, but wait.  Here comes Big Ethel as the fairy godmother swinging down in an outfit that looks like it belongs in Judy Jetson's closet.  She is determined to get Cinder-Betty to the ball, and with a wave of the magic wand, she recites dated 80's slang to bring forth a curtain of sparkles and the magic pumpkin carriage while Prince Archie brings Cinder-Betty's dress back from the exterminators out of sight of the audience. 

But wait!  Plot twist!  While Ethel Godmother is explaining to Cinder-Betty that she has a midnight curfew, a doppelganger Cinder-Betty drags the real Cinder-Betty into the pumpkin carriage where a huge fight breaks out and the audience can't decide whether to be shocked or chant JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!  Oh, and the fact that doppelganger Cinder-Betty looks like Veronica is pure coincidence, I'm sure.

Well, one person who isn't cheering or trying to get some Jerry beads is Miss Grundy, who is just NOW starting to realize that something is up.  Wait.  Where have you been all this time, Grundy?  You're supposed to be the director, no?

We soon arrive at the ball where everyone is dancing except for King Jughead and his royal goon Reggie, and Reggie looks like the cat that swallowed the canary.  I'm just guessing that Reggie gave Veronica the other Cinderella dress so that Veronica could find a way to tie up Betty backstage so she could take on the role of Cinder-Ronnie.  My goodness, this play is looking like an episode of "The Young and the Restless"!

Ah, but lucky for Betty, Veronica's rope tying skills absolutely suck, and Cinder-Betty arrives on the scene where Archie humourously throws one of the twins on her bottom to dance with Cinder-Betty.

Ah, but since this is a rock opera, there's no fancy waltz.  Instead there's really bad 1980s synthesizer music that Archie and Betty are grooving along to.  Take my advice guys.  Do not go on "So You Think You Can Dance".

And it is here that Reggie and Cinder-Ronnie make another appearance, trying to put on their own dance to phase Cinder-Betty and Archie out.  Which causes Grundy to get even more suspicious.

Just like that, it's now midnight.  Look, that digital clock in the background says so!  Did they even have clocks in the original Cinderella?  Oh well, who cares.  Cinder-Betty is late for curfew and she has to get home before she ends up naked and arrested for indecent exposure. 

She runs off the stage, making sure that she loses one of her glass slippers along the way - which Reggie decides to take advantage of the fact that he is the props master by throwing an extra shoe in the mix, leaving poor Archie extremely confused.

Backstage, Cinder-Ronnie is starting to lose patience with Reggie, and she is wondering why Reggie hasn't killed off taken care of Cinder-Betty yet.  Reggie tells her to relax and that he has saved the best for last. 

Cinder-Ronnie leaves the area only for Miss Grundy to approach Reggie and angrily demands to know where Veronica is.  Reggie lies and points her towards the dressing room, giving Reggie a few moments to get Archie to stand backstage to hold a rope that is hanging backstage. 

While Archie is holding the rope, and Cinder-Betty is nowhere to be found, Moose is instructed to pull up the digital clock background, which he does.  The problem is that thanks to the changes that Reggie had him make earlier in the show, the rope that Moose is pulling happens to be the rope that Archie is holding onto!

Cinder-Betty sees Archie being pulled into the air and leaps up to try and pull him down, but she too is lifted off the ground, and soon afterwards, Prince Archie and Cinder-Betty can't remember what show they're performing so they change their names to Tarzan and Jane, and use the rope as a vine to try and salvage what's left of the play.

Cinder-Ronnie, meanwhile, has taken the stage, and Reggie comes in with a slipper completely ad-libbing something about how the prince asked him to substitute for him in the search for America's Next Top Model the woman whose foot fits the slipper.

Oh, but with Betty and Archie gone who knows where, Miss Grundy isn't about to let a couple of spoiled brats spoil her show, so she dresses up as the wicked stepmother and plans to go out on stage to tell them off. 

Before she gets the chance to, Cinder-Betty drops down on stage and swipes the slipper from Cinder-Ronnie.  Miss Grundy storms onto the stage as does Mr. Weatherbee for some reason.  The play is going out of control!  What else could go wrong?

Well, apparently you have Archie swinging on a vine doing his best Carol Burnett yell knocking Eugene unconscious and Moose breaking every single rope backstage.  Archie crashes through the stage, takes out everyone on stage and... earthquake strikes Cinder-Betty's house, leveling the whole thing to smithereens.  Yes, let's go with that.  Because the real story behind what happened is too unbelievable.

After the aftershocks subside, Prince Archie crawls out of the rubble and is completely disoriented...

...until he sees his Cinder-Betty and places the glass slipper on her foot.

Cinder-Ronnie and Reggie?  Judging by the look on Miss Grundy's face, I think that both of them can expect to have their heads cut off spend the rest of the semester in detention.

Finally, the play ends with Jughead saying that they lived happily ever after even though thanks to his son, the bumbling Prince Archie, the happy couple is now homeless.  And then for some reason, the audience cheers as Big Ethel mauls Jughead as a heart shaped background encircles them.

So, this was an action-packed episode, huh?  For what it's worth, as bizarre as the episode was, I kind of liked it.  It was good to see Betty and Archie get the spotlight as a couple, and it was just as good to see Reggie and Veronica get their just desserts.  And for what it was worth, it was good to see the whole cast utilized, even if Amani and Mr. Weatherbee were just bit players.

I sure hope someone revived Eugene though.

Coming up next week...Jughead gives up the one thing he loves the most...and he doesn't take it very well at all.

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