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Friday, October 02, 2015

New Archies Reviewed - Episode 6A: Hamburger Helpers

So, before I begin with the the discussion of Episode 6A: Hamburger Helpers for the New Archies Reviewed portion of the blog, I do want to inform you that the episode source that I grabbed the screenshots from is incomplete.

Don't get me wrong, I got enough screenshots to do a full recap.  But for some reason, the first minute of the episode was left off of this episode.  And I know this for a fact because I happen to have an old VHS copy of the same episode, and there was one extra scene at the beginning of the episode. 

So, I'm going to describe the scene and type out the dialogue, and show you a piece of an animation cel that obviously came from that episode.  Believe me, the episode is one of the better ones.  I would remember it for sure.

I do have the title screen, at least. 

So after the title screen, we see the exterior of Riverdale Junior High and we hear Miss Grundy doing a lecture on the four food groups.  While all this is going on, Mr. Weatherbee is outside scarfing down an ice cream cone.  But, hey, ice cream is a part of the dairy group, so good job, Mr. Weatherbee!

One person who isn't doing a good job is Miss Grundy.  As soon as she pulls down a chart showing the food groups, the chart zips back up into the board, which causes hysterical laughter by all, and Miss Grundy to mumble with an annoyed grunt.  After she composes herself, she asks her class to name something that comes from the four food groups.  Betty says broccoli, which earns her an A+.  Veronica says caviar, which Miss Grundy accepts with a "yeah, sure", which tells me that even Miss Grundy wants to smack her in the face once in a while.

When it comes to Jughead's turn, Miss Grundy doesn't even let him finish.  She and the whole class know that Jughead is going to say hamburgers.  After all, they are his favourite food.  But Jughead tries to justify his stance by talking about how hamburgers are the perfect food, and it is here where the animation cel comes into play.

See as Jughead is telling Miss Grundy about how the hamburger has all four food groups, a dream sequence is playing where hamburgers pretend they are contestants in the Miss America pageant and how they are modelling cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.  Good thing none of them are wearing stethoscopes or else Joy Behar would mock them.  But Jughead is instead the one mocked because Miss Grundy says that one day he will turn into a hamburger which causes Reggie to remark that it would be an improvement because Reggie is the male version of a salty bitch, don't you know?

Now we get to where my episode source begins with Betty and Veronica telling Jughead that he can't eat hamburgers his whole life.  Clearly this has no effect on Jughead, because once he reaches high school, his burger addiction becomes even more apparent.  But the conversation is interrupted when Archie arrives on the scene with a brand new skateboard apparently took him three months to build.  Wow, given Archie's track record with fixing things in the comic books, I'm amazed that Archie still has his fingers, let alone built a skateboard with his bare hands. 

And certainly Jughead, Betty, and Veronica are equally impressed that for once Archie built something that didn't require calling 911. 

Reggie, on the other hand, is jealous that Archie is getting all of the attention, and naturally he tries to upstage Archie by doing fancy tricks on his own board...

...only for the rest of the gang to completely ignore him by running into Pop Tate's.  HA! 

At the gang's booth, we see that apparently Riverdale Junior High doesn't bother to feed the students, so they are ordering enormous portions of food to eat at Pop's.  Betty and Veronica are having enough salad to feed four people.  Archie and Reggie appear to be eating some kind of sandwich.  And there's Jughead with so many burgers on his plate that you'd swear that Pop Tate had a cattle ranch out back.

Betty once again tries to convince Jughead that there are so many other foods to eat like the bowl of salad that is in front of her, but Jughead uses one of his hamburgers to speak for him, telling her to shove lettuce down her judgmental throat to leave him alone and that if he wanted to, he could give up hamburgers today.  Veronica jumps on that statement and is convinced that Jughead won't be able to do it.

She sweetens the deal by making a less than friendly wager with our Hamburger Gourmet.  If Jughead can stop eating hamburgers for one whole week, she will buy him all the hamburgers he can eat for twenty-four hours.

Reggie interrupts by saying that there is no way that Jughead will make it that long without being tempted by the fruit of a burger, but Archie and Betty defend Jughead by saying that they believe in him.  In fact, Archie believes in Jughead so much that he bets his new skateboard against Reggie in a separate bet!

Uh-oh.  Veronica bet Jughead that he couldn't eat a hamburger for seven days.  And Reggie bet Archie that Jughead wouldn't last the whole week.  I get the feeling that Jughead is going to have a hard time with this one.

After all, he has posters of hamburgers on his bedroom walls instead of Debbie Gibson and Tiffany.

And he does sleep in a hamburger bed that has hamburger pillows...which obviously must be custom made, which leads me to wonder how the hell Jughead's parents were able to afford it.  Of course, this was before Jellybean was born, so maybe that explains it.

Oh, and the best part is when he starts hallucinating in school and ends up trying to steal Amani's lunch thinking that there's a nice juicy cheeseburger inside.  Instead there's an apple, a sandwich, and what is presumably a cup of strawberry flavoured yogurt.  In short, your typical boring middle school lunch.

As Betty and Archie watch Jughead doing a punishment for disrupting the class, they get to talking about how difficult it has been for Jughead to continue with the bet, and they make a pact to keep a close eye on Jughead so that he won't lose.  Part of me wonders if Archie is only doing this to make sure that Reggie doesn't get his skateboard, but I'm just going to assume that Archie and Betty are good people and they truly want to help Jughead.

Unlike Reggie and Veronica who are now coming to the sad realization that if Jughead wins the bet, they will have to take out a line of credit to pay for the "all you can eat hamburger" promise they made to Jughead.  You see, Jughead's stomach is deeper than the Grand Canyon, and many people speculated that Jughead was a major pot head and that's why he was always hungry.  I definitely wasn't one of the ones who suggested this, but I guess in some bizarro world, it would make sense.

So, Reggie and Veronica do the only thing they know how to do.  Manipulate the contest so that Jughead will lose on purpose.  Because they're liars, cheaters, and thieves like that.

To Jughead's credit though, he does very well.  By Day #4 he has been slowly, but surely staying away from the hamburgers.  Despite Reggie trying to hide in garbage cans and placing burgers in his path, to Reggie climbing up on Jughead's roof to drop hamburgers through his window, Betty and Archie are doing everything possible to try and get Jughead away from the temptation.

By Day #6, Jughead is about ready to break, and Reggie - dressed up as a bush (seriously, is Reggie channeling Brain from Inspector Gadget) follows Jughead to Pop Tate's, where Jughead is sadly staring through the window at the hamburgers frying on the grill.

Reggie decides to try playing nice to Jughead, even though Reggie being nice is the same as Kim Davis giving marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and Reggie invites Jughead into Pop's for some lunch.

Ah, but Reggie's got an ulterior motive.  See, Jughead can't have hamburgers at all.  So, why not take Jughead into a hamburger restaurant and have him eat a delicious dollop of cottage cheese while Reggie sits down and has the biggest hamburger right in front of him.  I tell you, that's the equivalent of dragging an alcoholic to the liquor store.  Reggie, this is probably the worst thing you have ever done, and honestly if I were Jughead, I'd probably punch you right in the mouth.

Reggie decides to put the ultimate test into action.  After Reggie gets his burger, and leaves a crying Jughead alone, Jughead is tempted by the delicious treat.  In fact, he's so tempted that he imagines that the french fries on Reggie's plate are dancing next to the burger.  He reaches over and grabs the burger...

...but luckily, Eugene (who was playing video games in the store) manages to grab Betty's attention, and the two of them stop Jughead in time, leaving Reggie with ketchup on his face.

No, I'm serious.  Betty throws the burger in Reggie's face, literally leaving him with ketchup on his face.  Couldn't have happened to a lousier person.

You want to know who else is a lousy person?  Veronica.  And after Reggie reports back that he has screwed up yet again, Veronica decides to play dirty.  She calls up Jughead and congratulates him on being so close to winning the bet.  She invites him to come down to Lodge Mansion around three-thirty where they will take a limo to Pop's.  She's being unusually nice.

Meanwhile, Archie and Betty are distracted by Veronica yelling for help.  Wait a minute.  How can she be yelling for help and calling Jughead at the same time?

Ah, yes.  A tape recorder.  That sneaky Veronica.  Knowing full well that the bet that Jughead and Veronica made took place at four o'clock, Veronica distracted Archie and Betty while she and Reggie convince Jughead to go to the mansion where they hope to feed him full of burgers so he'll lose the bet.

Like I said.  Reggie and Veronica are evil.

Fortunately, Archie and Betty grab Moose, Eugene, and Amani to help bust inside Lodge Mansion so they can save Jughead before he can eat one morsel of food.  We also learn that Reggie planned ahead and this is the first we see of Reggie's dog, Lance.  Lance is a dalmatian with just as much attitude as his master, and Lance immediately causes a ruckus by barking loudly.

But did you know that Archie's dog, Red, is a part-time bullfighter?  While Red distracts Lance, the others make their way to the front door which is locked.  But Moose comes up with the idea to break the door down...

...just as Smithers arrives to see what the ruckus is.  Needless to say, we soon discover why Moose is the star player of the football team.

And as the clock strikes four, Veronica is initially obnoxious with everyone and brags about how she and Reggie locked Jughead in a room filled with hamburgers, and how they have won the bet, and...

...Jughead comes out with a full plate of burgers!  His will power came through!  Everyone cheers and congratulates Jughead while Reggie and Veronica are preparing to say bye bye to their whole fortune.

Later at Pop's, Jughead, in between burgers #1,289 and #1,290, explains that once Archie bet his skateboard against Reggie, he knew he couldn't let Archie down by caving in on the bet.  See, this shows why Jughead and Archie are best friends.  They will stick by each other, unlike Veronica who calls Reggie a dunderhead.  Wow, let him have it, Veronica!

We really don't know how many burgers Jughead has eaten, but Veronica remarks that she has already spent three months allowance on him!  Yeah, I don't think that she'll be making any bets any time soon.

And we close off with Veronica dragging Reggie out of Pop's so he can hock his skateboard to pay for Jughead's unstoppable appetite.

You know, I really love this episode a lot, and it's easily in my Top 5 list.  It's a story of true friendship and loyalty on the part of Archie and Jughead, and it's a story in which Veronica and Reggie get some much needed karma with bacon, cheese, ketchup, and pickles on it. 

Next week, what happens when Miss Grundy gets an offer she can't refuse?  Well, if you're her class, you sabotage it!

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