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Friday, November 20, 2015

New Archies Reviewed: Episode 9B - The Prince Of Riverdale

Okay, so I was a little bit rough on the last episode of The New Archies Reviewed post.  I initially wasn't planning on doing so, but when I re-watched the first part of episode nine, I had no idea how horrible the episode was.  I get it was supposed to be a spoof of "Teen Wolf", but the whole thing was just one contrived plot point after another.  It actually made an episode of "Days of our Lives" look like a William Shakespeare play, and that's hard to do!

So, right off the bat, episode nine isn't looking so good.  I'm almost afraid to look at what the second half of the show is.

Episode 9B:  The Prince of Riverdale.  Sounds promising.

Wow.  There's a huge limousine heading down the main street of Riverdale!  At first, I thought it was Veronica heading down to Bixby's or Fjordstrom's, or whatever department stores exist in Riverdale.  But upon closer inspection, we see that there's a man who kind of looks like Colonel Mustard from "Clue" with his monocle and mustache.  Of course, he's not.

I mean, he is a Colonel, but I think his name is Colonel Grootz, or something similar to that.  They never write his name down, so I'm just guessing at the spelling.

Anyway, the reason he is here is because he is the official escort of Prince Ethelbert (again, spelling may not be exact, but I'm only guessing), who is in town to give a speech.  It's not very often that a prince comes to visit a small town like Riverdale, so you know that the whole town will be in attendance.

Oh, and did I mention that Prince Ethelbert looks a lot like Archie Andrews?  Oh, goody, the whole doppelganger episode where two people switch places to see how the other half lives.  We've been down this rodeo before in practically every cartoon series ever made.  But, since I did promise to review every episode of this show, I have to keep my word. 

Anyway, as expected, Prince Ethelbert is not very happy being a royal representative...especially since he is very young for a prince.  I'm guessing he's supposed to be the same age as Archie.  In fact, the person playing Ethelbert is basically Archie's voice actor butchering a British accent.  And, while he wants to go out into the world and be a regular kid, stuffy Colonel Grootz is insistent that he straighten up and fly ride.

But when Ethelbert happens to glance out the window of the limo and spots Betty and Veronica walking home from cheerleading practice, he gets a little bit annoyed at Colonel Grootz's overbearing nature and tells him that he's fired and that he can expect to be beheaded when they return home to stop the car so he can get out.

Of course, Grootz has got his tighty-whities in a twist about Ethelbert's rebellion, but Ethelbert insists that he will be back before the scheduled meeting with Mr. Weatherbee at Riverdale Junior High to discuss the speech.  And a sputtering Grootz watches with anger as the prince goes it alone.

And who should the prince happen to meet first but his exact double?

Yes, Archie Andrews is busy practicing his basketball skills, and I must say that he's not bad.  Why is he so good in sports when he's in junior high, but a total klutz in the teenage years?!!!

But then I tell myself, it's only a cartoon.  Only a cartoon.

Anyway, Archie soon discovers that he has a fan in the form of Prince Ethelbert, and immediately the two hit it off.  After all, they are completely identical in every wa..., scratch that.  Look closely at their faces.  Archie has freckles.  Ethelbert does not.

Anyway, once the prince formally introduces himself to Archie, Archie makes a confession to the royal...he admits that he wishes he knew what it was like to be a prince, and he suspects that he would have a life of luxury and not have to worry about anything.  Ethelbert remarks that being a royal representative is not easy and that he would give it up just to be a regular pre-teen for just a few hours.

You know where this is going...Archie and Ethelbert decide that it might be fun to be each other for a little while, just to see how the other half lives.  But of course, there's the whole face thing.

But Archie decides to remedy that with...coloured pencils?  What?!?  Coloured pencils?  I mean, oil pastels, maybe, but coloured pencils?  Did the animators even do their research?  Okay, I suppose they could be make up pencils, but what twelve year old carries make up pencils on them at all times?  I tell you.  Episode nine...worst episode ever, okay? Archie takes out his Laurentian #10 pencil - Photo Brown - and draws freckles on Ethelbert's face, even though in real life it would be impossible.  And Ethelbert grabs Laurentian #14 pencil - Natural Flesh - to erase Archie's freckles off his face, even though it would be even more impossible.

Then they stare at their reflections in a puddle and realize that even though this should not work, it probably will, and nobody will ever tell the difference because everybody in Riverdale is stupid.

And after they go inside to change clothes, Colonel Grootz is amazed to see Prince Ethelbert in a better mood.  Look at him skipping down the street!  Of course, we all know that Ethelbert is actually Archiebert, but Grootzie doesn't need to know that.

Seriously.  That's what Archiebert calls him.  Awesome.  Oh, and despite the fact that Archiebert has a perfectly good American-ish accent, Grootz is none the wiser.  Boy, he really is sheltered.

Anyway, the royal posse arrives at Riverdale Junior High to meet with Mr. Weatherbee, and Archiebert proclaims that before he makes his speech, he feels the need to make himself more relatable to the people.

And that's why he stops off at McDonald's on the way to the school to buy enough Big Macs to supply to his adoring public...all on Grootzie's money, of course.

Wow...this episode is actually worse than the last one. 

Outside of Pop's, Jughead and Reggie are talking about the prince and his generosity, and Reggie makes the observation that nobody else has made during this whole episode at all!  That Ethelbert looks like Archie.

And speak of the devil, here comes Archie Andrews now.  Only it's not really Archie.  It's Prince Ethelbert in a Archie Halloween Costume.  Let's call him Bertie.

Oh, but don't worry.  Bertie isn't the only one whose name is messed up.  He actually calls Jughead "Jarface", and Reggie "Veggie", which prompts Reggie to grab him by the collar and threatens to knock him out.

Which then prompts Bertie to grab onto Reggie's nose like a set of pliers and twist and turn it until he cries uncle.  To be honest, this sight gag would have worked a lot better had Jughead been the victim of Bertie's rampage, but considering that this is the best scene of the whole episode, beggars can't be choosers.

Of course, Bertie happens to catch a glimpse of Betty and Veronica walking by and decides that rather than spar with Jarface and Veggie, he'd best serve his time trying to arrange dates with both of them.  Wow, Bertie's doing a better job being Archie than he thought.

In fact, Bertie seems to have made an enemy out of Reggie, who wants vengeance for humiliating him in front of everyone.  Why do I get the feeling that we're going to see a Reggie prank later on in this episode?

Back on Main Street Riverdale, Archiebert has successfully drained the treasury of the royal family by giving everyone in town free pizza, and at this point, Grootzie has had enough of this royal pain.  He drags Archiebert into the limo and physically sits on top of him so that he won't escape.

Seriously, that's what he does.  Grootzie has just stepped into creepy predator territory here folks.  No wonder Ethelbert wants to escape!

But Grootzie won't let him go that easily.  Despite Archiebert's insistence that he isn't good at writing speeches because MS. Grundy gave him the C minus in English class to prove it, Grootzie insists that he do it.  After all, his upcoming arranged marriage is fast approaching.

W...WHAT?!?  Prince Ethelbert is getting married at age 12?!?  To someone he doesn't even know?  Sheesh, what crackpot royal monarchy is this?

Oh, and here's a photo of the lovely Princess Bertha.  I hate how some shows take a photo of a person and purposely make fun of it because they don't fit society's definition of beautiful.  But since this is a cartoon, I'll let it slide this time.  Archiebert is upset because he didn't have a say in this, even though he's only been acting as prince for twenty-five minutes, but Grootzie says that he'll learn to love her, especially since her halitosis and dandruff have improved.

Wow...Grootzie should totally go work for eHarmony.  And Archiebert is realizing that maybe being Archie Andrews isn't so bad.

And Prince Ethelbert is soon realizing that life as Archie Andrews isn't so good either after meeting someone who puts the fear of God into him.

Why, hello, Mr. Andrews!  Nice to see you making your one and only appearance in this series!  And look!  Mr. Andrews is telling his son to do his chores!  Wow, Mr. Andrews must be the worst dad in the world if he can't recognize that the person in front of him is his own son.  Or maybe Archie's coloured pencils really are that magical!

Oh, and naturally, since Bertie is used to a live of privilege, he tells Mr. Andrews to stuff his chores, which causes Mr. Andrews to blow a gasket.  Yeah, I bet Archie won't be happy to learn that his new royal friend has gotten him grounded until the 21st century!

The action shifts over to the Lodge Mansion where Ethelbert and Grootzie are to escort Mr. Lodge and Veronica to the event by horse drawn carriage.  Okay then.  Archiebert calls out to Veronica, who...also doesn't recognize him.  Oh, COME ON!  It shouldn't be that hard to tell Archie and a prince apart!  Seriously, did Grootzie spike the water supply with stupid pills?

Apparently so because in the distance, Jughead and Reggie have gathered a bunch of barking dogs together.  Reggie plans on doing an experiment that would make Pavlov proud.  His goal is to taunt the dogs with food so that they will get all excited.  Then when Archie arrives at the Lodge Mansion, he'll release the dogs out towards the carriage carrying the prince, spooking the horses, tipping over the carriage, and somehow blaming Archie for the whole thing.

Yep.  Told you.  Stupid pills.

So, at some point, Bertie comes running up towards Lodge Mansion (how he found the place, I don't know) with an angry Mr. Andrews chasing him.  Bertie than finds Archiebert and complains that he's making him do chores!  How dare he teach a royal prince some responsibility! 

Meanwhile, NOBODY NOTICES THAT ARCHIE AND THE PRINCE LOOK LIKE TWINS!  Mr. Lodge doesn't even seem concerned at all about it.  He's more shocked that Mr. Andrews is even there.  Excuse me a minute.

*bashes head on desk repeatedly to try and make sense of this stupid episode*

Okay, I'm done.

Seeing that both Archie and the prince are there, Reggie releases his trap, and soon we see Archie, Veronica, Mr. Lodge, Grootzie, and the prince jump on the carriage (or in the case of Archie, hanging from the back of the carriage), speeding towards the park where the speech is being given.

There is a minor funny sight gag where MS. Grundy is leading the band, and when the band sees the out of control carriage coming towards them they all run away while Grundy is still conducting.  Fortunately, Grundy gets out of the way before the carriage crashes and gets wrecked.

Interestingly enough, we never see Veronica, Mr. Lodge, or Grootzie for the rest of the episode.  My guess is that they all broke every bone in their body and have now been mummified.  Don't worry, Veronica will recover.  I can't say the same for the other two.  In fact, let's call it.  Grootzie is dead.

And, Archie and Ethelbert realize that they'd rather be themselves and get changed back.  Right in the middle of the park.  Looks like neither one of them really care about indecent exposure.

So, Ethelbert gives his speech, and everyone is happy, and Archie is relieved that he didn't have to give the speech after all.  But when Jughead makes a casual remark about how great it would be to be a prince, Archie screams and runs away.  Okay, given what he went through, I'll give him a pass.

But seriously, guys...episode nine was what you call an epic fail.  Both tales were boring, made no sense, and were painful to watch.

I'm hoping Episode 10 is much better.  I almost gave this feature up after this episode!  

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