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Friday, July 31, 2015

New Archies Reviewed - Episode 2A: Last Laugh

It's time for another exciting adventure in THE NEW ARCHIES REVIEWED!  Can you believe that we have gotten through one episode already?  Well, only another twelve to go.

Or, twenty-four, if you count half-episodes.  Which in this case we will.

Before I go ahead with today's edition though, I do have a request.  It's not a big deal if I can't get it honoured, as I have quite a few episodes screenshotted anyway.

(Yeah, I know.  Screenshotted isn't a word.  Let's just ignore it for today.)

But I am lacking a few episodes in the mix.  And, if it's possible, I'd like to find the lost episodes so I can truly do this feature justice.  I can probably describe them at least, as I have seen all of them before, but screenshots would make them pop much better. 

I have the first five episodes, as well as eight and half of nine.  But I still need the following...

06 - Hamburger Helpers/Goodbye Ms. Grundy
07 - Red To The Rescue/Jughead The Jinx
09 - The Prince of Riverdale
10 - Loose Lips Stops Slips/A Change of Minds
11 - Incredible Shrinking Archie/Gunk For Gold
12 - Jughead's Millions/Making Of Mr. Righteous
13 - Take My Butler, Please/Horray For Hollywood

If anyone can send me links to any of these episodes, I will be your best friend forever!

Okay, so episode 1A was all about Archie.  1B was about Betty and Veronica.  Who will the featured Riverdale character be in 2A?

Hmmm...Episode 2A - Last Laugh.  Why do I get the feeling that this episode has Reggie Mantle written all over it?

Okay, so we're introduced to the exterior of Riverdale Junior High School, and it is here that we get our first glimpse of Mr. Weatherbee and...

...oh my good lord, what the hell is he wearing?  Geez, I know Miami Vice was huge back in the 1980s, but this look is wrong!  All wrong!  And anyone who has read the comic books know that Mr. Weatherbee's toupee is basically just three hairs on his head, so seeing him in a full head of hair is absolutely ridiculous.

Look!  Even Mr. Weatherbee's reflection is laughing at him!  Eh, it's a cartoon.  That's the only way it works in the world.

Ah, but there's a reason why Weatherbee is trying his best to look like Don Johnson.  He wants to go to the Sadie Hawkins Dance with Miss Grundy, and thinks that if he looks sexy in pastel, she'll swoon in his arms.  Wait?  When did Weatherbee and Grundy become an item?  I mean, yes, in the Life With Archie series, they got married before Grundy died of cancer, but still...up until now, we were lead to believe that Grundy and Weatherbee were just as asexual as Jughead!

And speaking of Jughead, there he is, sleeping in the gym, standing up...with balloons keeping him upright.  You know in real life, Jughead would fall, pop the balloons, and lose the hearing in his left ear from the gigantic bang.  Luckily, this is a cartoon and nobody gets hurt unless plot calls for it.

Anyway, Jughead is "helping" Archie, Reggie, and Eugene decorate the gym for the dance, which Reggie thinks is stupid because he hates having to do any physical work, especially for a dance where women ask the men out because he's a sexist pig in pink argyle.  Archie tells him to knock it off and sweep, but Reggie has other ideas when he spots a frog hopping in the gym.

No explanation as to why the frog is there in the first place, but hey.  Who needs feasible explanations in the Archie world?  Reggie decides that he will wrap up the frog in a box, and give it to Miss Grundy as a gift.  (Spoiler alert:  This is NOT the first time a frog, Reggie, and Miss Grundy are in a plotline).  The catch?  He's letting Eugene do his dirty work.

And Miss Grundy decides to open it on a ladder.  Nothing says living dangerously like opening up a present 20 feet in the air.  The frog jumps out, Miss Grundy falls to the ground, and the episode ends at her grave.

Just kidding.

Actually, Miss Grundy falls into Weatherbee's arms, and Weatherbee - who apparently can't carry more than six pounds, falls backwards onto the refreshment table, and sends the cake flying!  A quick thinking Archie manages to save the cake...

...only for cafeteria worker Miss Beazley to smash it right in his face.  But, hey!  Miss Beazley!  Don't tell me she followed the gang through school too!

Anyway, Miss Beazley has a bowl of her delicious, non-alcoholic fruit punch to serve at the dance, and she wants to know where to put it, since Grundy and Weatherbee destroyed the table.  But then the frog - who has decided to wear Weatherbee's toupee jumps into the bowl of fruit punch, and makes Beazley throw the punch all over Weatherbee and Grundy. 

And, Reggie just laughs like a hyena because he was the one who set this chain of events in motion.  Surprisingly enough though, he does not get punished.  Then again, Grundy and Weatherbee are covered in fruit punch.  I sure hope Weatherbee's new pastel suit can be dry cleaned.

Of course, we all know that Reggie is a master of practical jokes, and that he can be a real jerk about it.  And since the Sadie Hawkins Day dance is fast approaching, Reggie decides to have a little bit of fun.

For instance, he takes the old water gun in the bouquet of flowers gag one step further and sprays Betty with so much water that it destroys her fabulously expensive 1980s hairstyle that looks no different from how she usually looks.

Then he pours itching powder down Archie's back while he's trying to get Veronica to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins Dance, which prompts Archie to practice voguing long before Madonna made it hip.

Let your body move to the music, Arch.  Go with the flow.

And don't think that at the track and field meet that Reggie gives up his prankster ways.  He glues Moose's shoes to the track, causing him to fall flat on his face.

And since he still has half a tube of Krazy Glue in his possession, he thinks it would be a hoot if he glued the flying discuses so that Archie could humiliate himself even more.  Just too bad that someone else has decided to use the discus instead, and...

...OH MY GOD!  It's Fangs Freakin' Fogarty!  Wow! 

For those of you who don't know, Fangs was a recurring character in the Little Archie universe, and his purpose on the show was to beat up Archie, Jughead, Reggie...pretty much anyone who went after his girlfriend Penny.  And, I'm guessing that Penny transferred schools and got a restraining order against Fangs because she's nowhere in sight, and Fangs is now attacking Reggie the same way that Moose would attack Reggie for going after his "gurl named Midge".

Of course, Fangs won't break Reggie's face - IF he does one thing.  He has to get Veronica to ask Fangs to the Sadie Hawkins Dance.  An easy request.

NOT!  Turns out that our Riverdalian Princess with the Valley Girl accent finds Fangs totally bogus, and he makes her gag without the spoon!  And, like, Veronica totally wants to ask Archie because his red hair makes her feel truly outrageous like Jem.

So, Reggie decides to call Fangs and disguises his voice just like Veronica because Reggie is lucky that it's the 1980s, and Caller ID was just a fleeting dream in Riverdale.  But how will he get through this one?

Why, by dressing up exactly like Veronica, of course, right down to the frizzy looking mop atop her head.  It's a good thing that Reggie just happens to be wearing the same outfit that Veronica is.  Looks like something from the Olivia Newton-John exercise collection!  Very stylish!

Oh, but even though the dance is taking place at approximately four in the afternoon and it is still bright out, and the lights in the gym give off the same intensity as a Hollywood spotlight, Fangs and Archie can't tell the difference between real Veronica and fake Veronica.

Because Archie manages to grab Reggie to get down on the dance floor.

And Veronica ends up getting abducted by Fangs Fogarty.  Or, maybe that's Fangs' way of getting down with his bad self.  Who can say?

And, hey, look!  It's Big Ethel in the bleachers with Jughead and Betty - and once again, Jughead doesn't speak a word as he's too busy gorging on whatever food there is at the dance.  I don't even know how Jughead's voice artist actually made any money in this show at all.  I think he's spoken fewer words in the first three episodes than there was in Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham".  And one of those words was Feltzig.

(Oh, and the reason why they call her Big Ethel is because of her height.  And standing next to the other characters, Ethel is obviously eight feet tall.)

But, hey, at least Ethel managed to convince Jughead to go with her to the dance by bribing him with food.  Betty - who happens to be dressed like either a Bangle or a Bananarama member - decided to invite herself to the dance, which I find hard to believe.  I mean, Moose was single since he doesn't meet Midge until high school.  She could have gone with him.

But Betty had her heart set on Archie and is pissed that Veronica snatched him away - again.  And this prompts Ethel to look at the dance floor and become quite confused at the fact that Veronica has cloned herself.

Before Ethel can say anything though, Miss Grundy turns off the synthesizer music and tells everyone to shut up.  It's time to announce the Queen of the Sadie Hawkins Dance.

Wait.  When did a Sadie Hawkins Dance have a queen?  A homecoming dance or prom I can see...but a Sadie Hawkins Queen?  Wasn't Sadie Hawkins like a redneck woman and not a high-class broad? 

Then again.  It's a cartoon.  Nothing makes sense in a cartoon.

And here's where things get dicey.  The queen of the dance is Ethel Betty Miss Beazley Veronica Lodge!  But when you have two Veronicas approaching the stage at the same time without a stick of Doublemint gum in the shot, you know that a catfight is about to take place.

Sure enough, Veronica pulls off Reggie's wig, removes the toilet paper stuffed inside his shirt, and makes fun of his Olivia Knockoff John rags before chasing Reggie out of the gym wanting to scratch his eyes out.

Oh, and Fangs follows along too, as it wouldn't be a day if Fangs didn't try to kill someone.

But I'm guessing that Reggie must have gotten away, as he appears in the next episode.

But yeah...this episode was a mixed bag in many ways.  Sure, it was great to be introduced to some new characters like Mr. Weatherbee, Big Ethel, and surprisingly Fangs Fogarty.  And it was nice to see Reggie actually pay for his mischief and tricks.  But the whole "I'll be your doppelganger" storyline has been done to death.  Just ask current fans of "The Young and the Restless" for proof of that.  And honestly, the story was fairly blah.  So Reggie dresses up as a girl to fool the school bully so he won't beat him up.  The thing that makes me question is all is why nobody busted him sooner.  I know Fangs isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but Archie was unintentionally made to look like a complete idiot.  Sure, he's indecisive, klutzy, and a two-timing beast, but he at least had some smarts.

Then again, there are no rules in "The New Archies".  We just have to watch it.  Or rather, I have to watch it and review it.

Coming up in next week's show, we are introduced to another new character - as well as a mystery that would make the Hardy Boys wish they worked at Burger King.

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