The New Archies, Segment 03 – Last Laugh

Writer: Kimmer Ringwald
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, September 19, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:20

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The segment opens with a nice aerial shot of the school.

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We hear Mr. Weatherbee talking to Miss Grundy.

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Oh, dear Goddess, Mr. Weatherbee’s trying to act cool, which apparently involves throwing together whatever clothes that he could find at the thrift store into an approximation of a “Miami Vice” outfit.

Mr. Weatherbee is hoping Miss Grundy will ask him to the Sadie Hawkins Day dance. The dance usually occurs on or around November 15.

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There’s a really cartoony gag where Mr. Weatherbee’s reflection laughs at him while his back is turned.

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Stop it.

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STOP IT.

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Shouldn’t Mr. Weatherbee be frightened that his reflection is alive?

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In the gym, Miss Grundy and the boys are decorating for the dance. For some reason, this involves putting the cake out, even though the dance won’t start for quite some time, and the cake would melt by then. Also, Jughead is asleep as usual, and Reggie is bored. Archie and Reggie each believe Veronica will ask him to the dance.

Miss Grundy has Reggie help Jughead sweep instead of talk.

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Okay, that’s kinda funny.

Reggie’s bored and wants “fun”.

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Reggie suggests Eugene give Miss Grundy a “surprise” “present” for her “birthday”. In exchange, Reggie will take out the trash for him. Reggie guilts Eugene over not knowing when Miss Grundy’s birthday is and uses reverse psychology, which makes Eugene insistent on giving it to her. Reggie then sends Eugene on his way while openly talking suspiciously about his “genius”.

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STOP IT!

Eugene climbs a ladder and gives Miss Grundy her “present”, and…

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Mr. Weatherbee asks where his “hair” went. Miss Beazley asks where the punch goes.

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The frog, wearing Mr. Weatherbee’s wig, hops into the punch bowl, and…

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Reggie has a good laugh over it.

Jughead falls to the floor and wakes up. He sees the mess and admonishes everyone for it, even though it was all Reggie’s fault and even though Jughead didn’t clean jack shit.

Oddly, the scene transition occurs while Jughead is still speaking.

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Future Betty continues her mission in the past.

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Reggie’s recounting the practical joke to Betty.

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Betty says Reggie’s the only one that finds his practical jokes funny.

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She pays no attention to Reggie and is instead preoccupied with her “new hairdo” (which looks the same as always); it cost a lot, and she hopes Archie likes it. She’s going to ask Archie to the Sadie Hawkins Day dance and wanted to look “totally dreamy” when she asks him.

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Reggie gives Betty a bouquet of flowers.

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Betty inhales deeply.

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Reggie cums all over Betty’s face, leaving her immensely satisfied.

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But then Betty gets pissed.

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Reggie jizzes on her again.

Betty has a kind-of-amusing line: “I look like a blonde mop.”

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She decides to hide from the world.

Reggie informs Betty that Archie is on the clean-up committee for the dance and makes a blonde mop / clean-up “joke”. Betty starts to make a vague threat to Reggie about what will happen if Veronica asks Archie before she does, but Reggie is certain that Veronica is going to ask him to the dance and allows Betty to go with “Carrot Top”. That’s one of Reggie’s nicknames for Archie; he’s not actually suggesting Betty go with Carrot Top.

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Betty is still wary of Reggie’s practical jokes, but Reggie promises to stop. Betty’s stuck and tells Reggie to give her a hand.

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For some reason, this freaks Betty out. Reggie has a good laugh over it and just fucking walks away, presumably leaving Betty stuck in her locker.

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Later, Veronica greets “Archiekins”.

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She’s about to ask Archie to the Sadie Hawkins Day dance, but Reggie salts Archie’s game with itching powder.

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Archie starts itching and runs away. Reggie laughs out loud, Veronica presumably somehow not hearing him.

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Later, at a competition, Reggie glues Moose in place on the track.

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Later, Reggie does something to what he presumes will be Archie’s discus, but Fangs insists on going next. Fangs Fogarty is a character that was introduced in the long-running (1956-1983) “Little Archie” title, which focused on the gang’s childhood years at Riverdale Elementary School. It’s neat to see Fangs here. He was eventually integrated into normal Archie continuity in 2000. His name was Edward in the Little Archie continuity and Fred in the normal continuity.

Reggie relents and has a laugh over it, which confuses Archie, so Reggie explains he put glue on that discus. Archie’s worried, but Reggie insists it’s just “a harmless practical joke”.

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Reggie has a laugh over this.

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Fangs demands to know if Reggie did it. There’s a horrible animation mistake in which Reggie’s response comes out of Fangs’ mouth.

Fangs has a good line: “I only laugh when I turn people into globs of Jell-O. Wanna see me laugh, Reggie?”

Reggie apologizes and vows to give Fangs whatever he wants (coincidentally, this comes very shortly before the time mark in which Betty promised her voters whatever they wanted in the previous segment). Fangs wants Reggie to get Veronica to ask Fangs to the dance; in exchange, he’ll “save” (should be “spare”) Reggie’s life.

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Check out Veronica just calmly watching this bullying with a smile on her face.

Anyway, Reggie guarantees it to his “old buddy” but then immediately admits he’s gonna fucking die.

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After school, Reggie catches up with Veronica and reveals her “secret admirer”, Fangs Fogarty, who she finds disgusting.

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Reggie gives her a necklace as a present.

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Veronica loves it and thanks Reggie.

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However, she knows Reggie too well and realizes he wants something.

Reggie begs Veronica to ask Fangs to the dance. She refuses and gets in the limo.

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She’s keeping the necklace to go with her new dress. I fucking love Veronica. She also insists she’s going to the dance with Archie.

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Fangs comes by and demands an update. Reggie bullshits about Veronica being shy and calling Fangs at home, which makes Fangs happy.

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After the commercial break (I assume; the video that I have abruptly cuts to black for a few frames; judging by the file’s running time, very little footage appears to be missing), Fangs is getting off on Reggie’s poor impersonation of Veronica over the phone. Reggie isn’t even attempting a Valley accent.

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But at least he’s physically pretending to be a stereotypical girl talking on the phone.

Nice touch, by the way, with the “expensive” look of Reggie’s bedroom. It shows his family’s rich. I gotta wonder, though, why there are no personal touches, such as posters or whatever.

Anyway, Reggie talks himself up to dissuade Fangs from beating him up, and then he lets out a loud sigh before he hangs up the phone. I wonder what Fangs would think if he heard that. He’d probably think Veronica’s lying on her bed, naked and masturbating, while talking with him.

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At the dance, Veronica and Archie are together. Archie compliments her on her looks, and she agrees. That is so Veronica!

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Archie offers to get her a glass of punch, and she accepts. While he’s doing that, she’s gonna go brush her hair.

Wait. Where are Veronica’s new dress and necklace?

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Meanwhile, Fangs is too stupid to recognize Reggie dressed as Veronica.

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And it takes Reggie a while to realize he shouldn’t take off his wig around Fangs.

By the way, how did Reggie manage to figure out what Veronica was gonna wear to the dance? Did he spy on her through her bedroom window?

Fangs decides to get them some cold punch, which Reggie agrees with. However, Reggie sees Veronica approaching and decides to get the punch himself.

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So, of course, Reggie just takes Archie’s two glasses of punch away from him, talks in his normal voice, and then tries to cover for himself.

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Despite the fact that he’s looking at Reggie’s face, Archie’s mostly fooled and even suggests they dance. Not even holding Reggie’s hands tips him off.

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Meanwhile, Fangs manhandles Veronica.

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Veronica demonstrates she’s possibly the bravest student in the school by threatening to punch Fangs. She displays no fear at all.

Fangs pulls her to dance, regardless.

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Betty, dateless, is hanging out in the bleachers with Ethel and Jughead.

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It turns out that Ethel asked Jughead to the dance, and he accepted once she mentioned the free food.

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Betty didn’t ask anyone, because Veronica had already gotten to Archie. So I guess going with anyone else in school wasn’t an option for her.

Ethel sees Veronica seemingly dancing with both Fangs and Archie at the same time.

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Miss Grundy interrupts to announce who the judges have chosen as this year’s Queen of the Sadie Hawkins Day Dance: Veronica Lodge. Guess what happens.

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Despite not being able to recognize the alien for what it was earlier, Veronica immediately sees right through Reggie’s disguise, making her also the smartest student in the school – at least in this segment.

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I get Veronica, Fangs, and even Archie being upset, but why does everyone else join in the chase?

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Heh, check out this random shot of Betty looking ultra pissed. Why, exactly?

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And then almost everyone just comes to a screeching halt and looks on in…surprise?

As Veronica and Fangs continue chasing Reggie, Veronica yells “If I catch you, I’m gonna turn you into a basketball!” Um…

Jughead says “This time, the joke is on Reggie.” Thanks, but we didn’t need you to explain the segment’s title.

Betty points out that Archie lost his partner. After finding out that Betty hasn’t asked anyone yet, Archie suggests she ask him.

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They have a laugh over it, and that’s it. So…I guess they’ll go back inside and dance together.

This segment was pretty nice – if a bit silly. But did Miss Grundy end up asking Mr. Weatherbee to the dance or not?

Tune in next Wednesday!

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The New Archies, Segment 02 – Ballot Box Blues

Writer: Kimmer Ringwald
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, September 12, 1987
Length: 11:18

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An unseen Mary Andrews informs Archie that he’s going to be late for school again. Archie rushes out of the house…

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…and trips over his dog.

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Archie McFlys it to school on his skateboard.

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His dog, Red (made up for the show), realizes Archie forgot his lunch and chases after him. There’s a really shit continuous shot (which screencaps won’t do justice) of Archie skateboarding through the shot, followed by Red, followed by Archie! What the fuck, show?

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Meanwhile, Michael Jugson is just dancing on the fucking sidewalk, supposedly on his way to school (does no one take the school bus?), and not paying any attention to his surroundings.

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That’s amazingly lucky.

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In class (there’s no homeroom?), Miss Grundy collects homework.

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A worried Reggie “looks” for his homework, but then…

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Archie, Jughead, and Red crash in a closet. In the most short-term lie ever, Reggie “finds” his homework in the pile of papers that Miss Grundy dropped.

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Apparently, students are required to put only their first names on their homework.

And what the fuck kind of questions are those? It seems more like an anxiety/depression survey.

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Somehow, Reggie survives this.

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Somehow, Miss Grundy doesn’t gives these assholes detention.

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There’s a bit where Miss Grundy is pissed at Red and has him get out of the chair, but apparently she’s fine with him staying in the classroom.

Miss Grundy says they’ll be electing a class president today and asks for candidates. For some reason, she specifically asks Reggie if he wants to run. Reggie asks how much that it pays, and she shakes her head in disapproval.

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She asks Jughead, but the dumbass is listening to music in class. He pays her no mind, and then she just leaves him be. Why is she so lenient with Jughead regarding his bullshit?

Miss Grundy asks Betty and Veronica, but they refuse, saying they can’t run against each other, because they’re best friends. Then why don’t they agree just one of them will run?

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But then Betty and Veronica each daydream a grossly inaccurate scenario of what it’ll be like to be class president – namely, being treating like royalty and being insanely popular. Interestingly, Betty’s daydream has her winning Archie from Veronica and having him as her fucktoy 24/7, whereas Veronica’s daydream has her putting off sex with both Archie and Reggie until later.

So, yeah, both girls simultaneously agree to run for class president, and so our plot is made clear a third of the way through the episode.

Seriously, what was up with all of that time-wasting bullshit at the beginning?

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Betty then immediately pretty much concedes the election to “the prettiest girl in the class” and even says she’ll vote for her. It’s amazing. Veronica makes a token attempt at not making it sound like her winning is inevitable.

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But then Betty gets pissed that Veronica isn’t voting for her.

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It’s on!

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Class then lets out for recess (only a few minutes into the school day), and…what the fuck? Is that an anachronistic cameo by Betty from “Archie’s Weird Mysteries”? Did she come back in time for some reason?

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After the commercial break, we rejoin Veronica, seemingly mid-sentence, as she’s looking for “somebody to help [her] get the class to vote for” her. Naturally, Veronica has sought out her “best friend in the whole world” – Archie.

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Betty overhears the remark and is hella pissed at Veronica. Veronica uses Betty’s own words against her: “You’re right. You were.” Daaaaaamn, bitch.

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Veronica then makes the best fuck eyes that DiC is capable of animating at “Archiekins”.

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Archie’s like “I’m with her, bitch.”

He’s also Betty’s campaign manager.

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Reggie comes by and trash-talks Archie. Betty takes Archie to discuss “campaign strategy” and perhaps give him a little sucky-sucky. Reggie talks himself up to Veronica, and she insults him but then hires “Reggiekins”, her “best friend in the whole wide world”.

Let me just say right now that I hate Veronica’s various “kins” nicknames for people. Who talks like that?

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When the fuck did they have time to put that together?

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Veronica is unable to come up with a good reason why she’s best for the job. There’s a weird bells sound effect while she scratches her head; it’s totally out of place.

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Archie pressures Betty to make campaign promises, so she promises more spinach for lunch, which costs her potential votes.

Veronica tries to buy votes. Archie calls her out of that: “You can’t do that!” In an actually funny twist, Veronica “misunderstands” and says “No, but my daddy can.”

Oh, and apparently Mr. Lodge is only a millionaire. I bet the comics have been pretty inconsistent over the decades (much as they’ve been regarding the source of his wealth), but I’m pretty sure, today, he’s consistently portrayed as a billionaire.

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Archie demands better from Betty, so Betty promises her voters whatever they want. She then gives a knowing smile and asks “What more do you want?” Okay, so Betty will be working the glory hole in the boys’ bathroom until the election.

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The girls, unwilling to admit they want Betty to go down on them, demand headbands (?!?!?!), so Betty gives her own headband to the first asker, and then Archie passes out a bunch of other headbands (what in the goddamn fuck?) to the other girls.

Reggie and Veronica are pissed. Veronica has Reggie “take care of Betty and Archie” while she leaves school grounds to have a chat with daddy about rigging the election.

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Reggie plans something.

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He has Moose give him a spin.

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Moose goes over to check on Reggie, leaving the merry-go-round…still spinning. I know cartoons often exaggerate, but this is ridiculous.

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The box that Betty’s standing on is suddenly pulled away from her cheering crowd – along with Betty, despite the fact that we didn’t see Reggie tie the rope to her.

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Somehow, Veronica is already back and has gotten a van onto school property. She promises every girl designer jeans and every boy a “rad” new baseball jacket. How the fuck does all of this manage to happen during recess?

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Anyway, the plan works, and the election turns Veronica’s way.

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Archie has Moose strap him to a kite, so he can write “Vote For Belly” in the sky. Even Moose points out Archie’s error, which he soon corrects.

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Veronica sees this and wishes she’d gotten Archie for her campaign manager. She has Reggie climb a tall ladder and hang a banner on the front of the school, which is a massive lawsuit waiting to happen and probably expulsion-worthy behavior.

Veronica demands Reggie put the sign up higher, and…

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Meanwhile, Eugene has invented an “automatic spray painter” that will paint Betty’s campaign signs in “milliseconds”. Betty sensibly suggests just using the paintbrushes, which blows Eugene’s mind. I guess he’s like Doc Brown: he always has to overcomplicate things. He then has Betty try his invention anyway, betting it’ll “blow [her] away”. Take a guess where this is going.

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Betty manages to paint Eugene and Jughead, the latter of which just walks away like he doesn’t give a shit.

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Archie wants Moose to pull him back down, but Moose is distracted by a fly and takes the time to kill it, letting Archie fly away. Moose gives chase.

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Meanwhile, an out-of-control Betty paints Veronica, and Moose runs past Reggie’s ladder.

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Rather than be concerned for Reggie’s safety, Veronica demands he bring the banner back right fucking now.

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Hehehe, karma, bitch!

By the way, am I the only one that notices the banner is making a heart shape while Reggie and Veronica are together?

Even while out of control, Archie manages to spell out “Help” in the sky.

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Both Betty and Reggie/Veronica collide with him.

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They all crash – and somehow survive.

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With a little over a minute left in the segment, they skip past the actual election and get to the results. Betty and Veronica have withdrawn, because they’d rather be friends than class president. Veronica clarifies it as best friends.

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Sounds good to Archie and Reggie.

The announcement comes too late, though, because the students couldn’t decide between Betty and Veronica, so they didn’t vote for anyone.

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Jughead voted for himself, so he’s their new class president. He’s asleep and doesn’t give a shit, though.

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The class cheers for him, anyway. I can’t quite understand what they’re cheering.

Okay, so this episode was pretty unrealistic and pointless. Absolutely nothing of consequence happened, and I’m willing to bet Jughead being class president will never come up again.

Tune in next Wednesday!

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The New Archies, Segment 01 – The Visitor

Writer: Kimmer Ringwald
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, September 12, 1987
Length: 11:17

In 1987, DiC Entertainment and Saban Entertainment got a license to make an Archie cartoon series. However, from what I understand, the rights to the teenage version of the characters were licensed to some movie studio to make a live-action Archie film that never happened, so DiC re-imagined the gang as tweens attending Riverdale Junior High. The series debuted on NBC, coincidentally, exactly 17 years after the premiere of “Josie and the Pussycats“.

I never saw this series back when it originally aired. However, I did see a commercial for it when reruns were aired on The Family Channel, probably in the 1991-1992 season (I believe that’s when my family first got cable). I still didn’t watch it, though, even though I had become aware of Archie in 1990, when my mom bought me a digest from the supermarket check-out line. It wasn’t until early 2013 that I found this series on YouTube (it’s not available on DVD) and watched it.

Details about this series are sketchy and contradictory. There are two story segments per episode. There are either 13 or 14 episodes, meaning there are either 26 or 28 story segments. However, I’ve never seen either of the two segments of the supposed episode #14 that some sites list (and 13 was a standard number of episodes for a cartoon series at the time), but I’ll deal with that when I get there.

Yeah, this is the first “featured” series for this blog, meaning it’s one of three that I’ve chosen to review in its entirety. Why? Well, I remember enjoying it.

I found an old commercial for the series on YouTube. Here’s what the narrator had to say:

“They’re back, and they’re hotter than ever. It’s those rockers from Riverdale, The New Archies: Archie and Reggie, Betty and Veronica, the incredible Jughead, and all their wild and crazy friends. The New Archies will make you scream with laughter. They’re hip. They’re hot. They’re happenin’. They’re The New Archies. Whatever you do, don’t miss ’em.”

Does the series live up to the hype? We’ll soon find out. First, though, I need to comment on the title. The series is obviously saying it’s an update of “The Archie Show” (where The Archies debuted). The commercial makes it clear that this is supposed to be the Archie of today, not your parents’ Archie. Archie is supposed to be cool. We’ll see.

Here is the main voice cast:

J. Michael Roncetti – Archie Andrews
Lisa Coristine – Betty Cooper
Alyson Court (!!!) – Veronica Lodge
Sunny Besen Thrasher – Reggie Mantle
Michael Fantini – Jughead Jones
Rex Hagon – Hot Dog (uncredited)
Marvin Goldhar – Mr. Weatherbee
Colin Waterman – Eugene
Greg Swanson – Coach
Karen Burthwright – Amani
Victor E. Erdos – Big Moose
Jazzmin Lausanne – Big Ethel
Linda Sorenson – Miss Grundy

IMDb also credits a Stevie Vallance (credited as Louise Vallance) as providing additional voices.

First, let’s look at the opening title sequence and theme song:

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As you can see, the series is trying to convince us that it’s cool and modern.

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And nothing says “cool and modern” like a reference to “The Wizard of Oz”.

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There’s also a random, boring shot of the outside of the school.

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“Showtime, Synergy!”

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The More You Know

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Random Extreme! zoom-in on “Pop’s”

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For whatever reason, Veronica is the one shown to be keeping a diary, whereas it’s Betty that normally keeps a diary in the comics.

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The theme song is upbeat and kind of catchy. It’s nominally sung by The Archies.

Now that we have an idea of the kind of series that we’re in for, let’s look at the first segment:

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At Riverdale Junior High School, Miss Grundy asks Jughead about his science project.

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It’s an automatic sandwich maker and Jughead feeder, because Jughead is a lazy motherfucker that likes to eat a lot.

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It also (harmlessly) explodes, because Jughead is also a fucking idiot that can’t build anything worth shit.

Miss Grundy angrily exclaims “Arson!” – and then just shrugs and walks away. Seriously.

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Archie is daydreaming. Eugene is working on a science project and then suddenly informs Archie (with absolutely no indication from Miss Grundy) that it’s time for recess and fucking leaves.

Oh, yeah, Eugene. He’s one of the characters “original” to this series. By “original”, I mean he’s Dilton Doiley turned black, I guess to make the cast more diverse, because it’s not like Archie Comics already had any black characters or anything.

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Archie decides to take a quick nap before heading outside, but then Eugene’s invention starts doing weird shit (it’s explained Archie accidentally turned it on, but it doesn’t really look like it; Archie’s arm just brushes against one of its antennas).

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It gets up and walks away.

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Eugene, Archie, and Jughead leave school grounds to chase after it. Strangely, Eugene is clueless as to what his invention actually does.

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It suddenly stops and sends a beam into the sky.

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Hmm, this visual seems to place Riverdale in California.

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The beam grabs hold of a (seemingly nearby) spaceship and pulls it and its alien pilot down to Earth.

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After a bit of uncertainty, the guys befriend the alien (and are not astounded by the confirmation of extraterrestrial life at all), and Archie vows to fix this and get the little guy home.

Seemingly, absolutely no one else sees the alien. Seriously, I know television animation budgets are limited, but it’s awfully convenient that the streets are completely deserted.

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Back at Archie’s house (fuck school, I guess), they’ve “disguised” the alien. I guess both of Archie’s parents are at work.

By the way, I like the subtle joke on Archie’s letter jacket: a lowercase “r” instead of a capital “R”.

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Through the power of shitty continuity, they’re suddenly outside.

Jughead points out the alien’s antennae, and Archie, to Jughead’s protest, wants to hide them with Jughead’s hat.

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Later, Jughead feels “naked” without his hat.

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Back at school, Betty and Veronica are cheering…during gym class. Betty seemingly can’t spell “Riverdale”. Veronica gives up on this shit.

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Archie brings the alien to motherfucking gym class instead of stashing him at home. The coach (who might be Coach Kleats from the comics, although he doesn’t really look like him) chews Archie out for being late. Archie introduces him to “Jughead’s cousin”.

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Reggie comes by and inflicts physical violence on the alien, because he’s an asshole.

Archie has “Dude” (that’s pretty much the only word that the alien knows) sit in the bleachers and watch them play.

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We then get a boring montage of one-on-one basketball in which Archie schools Reggie.

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Betty and Veronica do an “Archie” cheer.

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Only then does the alien notice them and decides he wants to be the salami in that womanwich. “Dude” even has his tongue hanging out.

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The alien howls, runs over, jumps on Betty, and intends on putting his antennae to good use.

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Veronica finds the sexual assault of her friend hilarious.

Of note, Veronica has a Valley Girl accent on this series. That’s certainly an improvement over the Southern accent (and it certainly fits in with Riverdale seemingly being in California on this series), but it still doesn’t fit Veronica as she’s portrayed in the comics.

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The alien takes the basketball from Reggie, uses his short size to get past all of the other players (who are suddenly there), and manages to do a slam dunk.

The coach is impressed. Reggie isn’t and challenges the alien.

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The alien catches Reggie in a beam and nearly brutally murders him. No one thinks this strange or concerning. Then again, no one can tell this dude isn’t human either, because “disguise”.

Archie takes “Dude” away. The coach enthusiastically calls the alien “out of this world”. Ha.

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After the commercial break, Eugene is repairing the alien spacecraft out in the open (school’s over, I guess, or else they’re ditching). The ship’s out of fuel, though. Archie asks the alien about it, and the alien, with no indication that it comprehends the question, gives some alien word in response.

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Awww, the alien misses his family.

They go off to search for the fuel to power an alien spaceship.

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Reggie has overheard and starts orgasming over the money that he’s gonna make.

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Reggie and Veronica find Archie and the alien at Pop’s. Yeah, Reggie and Veronica are kind of cohorts on this series. In the old comics, Reggie and Betty were often cohorts, because Betty wanted Archie and Veronica broken up.

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Apparently, Veronica’s dad owns a research laboratory, and Reggie entices Veronica with dreams of headlines.

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Archie questions Pop (who’s greying on this series, despite it taking place earlier in “continuity”) about the alien fuel.

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Yeah, that’s about the reaction that Archie should have expected.

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The alien is intrigued by a space-themed arcade game…

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…and accidentally blows it up (harmlessly, of course).

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Veronica comes by and says she saw something (daddy? her accent’s so thick that I can’t tell) outside, which excites the alien, who runs outside.

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Reggie bags him.

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Veronica is concerned with the alien’s well-being.

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That doesn’t stop her from making a getaway with him, though. Even Smithers is in on it. I wonder how much that Veronica told him.

Also, Smithers, too, is greying on this series, despite having black hair “later”.

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Archie gives chase.

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When they pass a hamburger stand, the alien is excited and yells the name of (presumably) his spaceship’s fuel.

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Archie picks up on this and lets Jughead and Eugene know.

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Jughead puts his hamburger into what he (correctly) guesses is the fuel slot.

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The ship takes off. Jughead has fun with it. He also somehow is able to hear Eugene yelling to him from the ground.

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The alien sees Betty, gets a boner, and jumps into her arms. Archie skate by and grabs him, and…

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Veronica is pissed and decides to go to her dad.

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Jughead finally crashes the spaceship at Pop’s.

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By the way, I distinctly remember the above shot being used in a commercial (probably on The Family Channel), but Jughead said “dig this” instead of “rad ride”. Did they use a different take specifically for the commercial?

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Pop comes out and demands to know what the fuck is going on. Archie is evasive.

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Mr. Lodge is on the way. That was fast.

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Archie and Jughead have Pop get hamburgers.

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Archie deposits them in the larger fuel tank.

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The alien is attached to Archie and doesn’t wanna leave.

Archie puts the alien in the spaceship. The alien returns the hat to Jughead, who “almost forgot” it. Jughead’s characterization is weird in this episode. He willingly gets rid of a hamburger. He almost forgets his hat. I guess you could chalk it up to the character being younger.

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After a tearful goodbye, the alien leaves.

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Mr. Lodge (who didn’t see any of this happen and who also, for whatever reason, was driving his own limo) demands Veronica show him the alien. Veronica demands Archie show him. Archie and Jughead bullshit a bit.

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Mr. Lodge takes Veronica home for some spankings and Reggie to his home, where he’ll have a talk with his parents.

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That night, Archie takes out the trash.

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Archie looks up at the night sky, sees a bright blinking light, and presumably hears Dude’s voice.

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The closing credits sequence is more animation in the same vein as the opening sequence (with the credits overlayed), and there’s a shortened version of the opening theme.

So this is “The New Archies”. Either you like it, or you don’t. I like it. I know it doesn’t look as colorful and vibrant as “The Archie Show” (although part of that might be due to the VHS quality), but, if this segment is any indication, I’ll enjoy the plots more. Sure, it’s typical 1980s fluff and cheese with its fair share of stupidity, but sometimes, like when you’re relaxing after a stressful day, that’s all that you want.

No laugh track here. This is cool, modern Archie, bitches. He don’t need no damn laugh track.

The cast is pretty good in their roles. Nothing particularly outstanding, but the voices, for the most part, fit the characters.

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Archie Comics published a “The New Archies” comic book in the style of the show that lasted for 22 issues, running from November of 1987 to May of 1990 (cover dates). Yeah, it was really infrequent.

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There was also a “The New Archies Comics Digest Magazine” that ran for 14 issues from May of 1988 to July of 1991 (cover dates). From what I’ve read, these digests didn’t contain just reprints; they contained a bunch of new stories! This makes sense, considering digests are so much thicker than regular comic books. So that’s a lot of extra New Archies material to check out if you’re interested. In fact, I bet every issue of each of these two series contains more story content than each episode of the cartoon series!

We’ll be staying with “The New Archies” on this blog for a while – until the first big review is ready. Yeah, if you know about the history of Archie on television, you know what I’m talking about.

Tune in next Wednesday!

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Comics – Barely Friends

Writer: Frank Doyle
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo Jr.
Inks: Jimmy DeCarlo
Colors: Barry Grossman
Letters: Bill Yoshida
Original Publication: Archie’s Pal Jughead, No. 325
Cover Date: October, 1982
Length: 6 pages

Jughead is napping on the beach. Cheryl comes upon “Spindle Schnoz – the clownie townie”. Jughead asks her what’s new in “snob city”. We learn Cheryl attends an “exclusive institute of learning” named Pembrooke Academy. Jughead gives Cheryl a hard time about her swimsuit, which she says is “the very latest in European beach wear”. Jughead continues to make fun of her bikini. Sloppy artwork has Cheryl’s bracelet switch from her left hand to her right hand.

Anyway, Cheryl yells at the “insensitive boor”, and Jughead continues to insult her. Jughead leaves. Cheryl finds Jason with his tongue down some girl’s throat and calls on him to “defend” her “honor”, which amuses him. Even she admits it’s “maybe not exactly honor”, but she’s been insulted by a “townie”. Jason is confused, because Cheryl supposedly has the hots for Jughead (that’s just weird), and Cheryl admits to flip-flopping on it. She sends her brother off to beat the shit out of Jughead.

Meanwhile, Jughead wants to go for a swim, so he has Moose keep an eye on his hat, because “wise guys” are “always hiding it” on him. In other words, Jughead gets bullied for being weird. Moose puts the hat on and gets under the shade of Midge’s umbrella to avoid the heat.

Jason’s looking forwarded to beating the shit out of a “townie”. He sees the hat and mistakenly confronts Moose, who hurls Jason into a waste basket.

Some onlookers are amazed, and a girl claims the “skinny townie with the silly hat” did it, despite Moose no longer wearing the hat while he was hurling Jason. This leaves the guys fearful, the girl craving Jughead’s cock, and Jughead confused.

Overall, this is an okay story. Cheryl appears for only the first half of it. We learn Cheryl attends a different school than the main characters, and we finally learn her and Jason’s last name: Blossom. As in the previous story, the main characters are already familiar with them. Jughead knows Cheryl by name, and Moose knows Jason by name. It’s also kind of funny that both stories are set on the beach and involve Cheryl wearing a skimpy bikini – not that I’m complaining!

Tune in next Wednesday, when The Archies suddenly become “New”.

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Comics – Dare To Be Bare

Before anyone asks, I didn’t forget about the live-action specials from the 1970s. I’m trying to get them, but I’ve had no luck so far. For those of you that don’t know, ABC aired two live-action specials based on Archie and the gang, one in 1974 and another (in a retooled variety format) in 1976. I’ve seen only a bit of the 1976 special in someone else’s video review (the video quality was pretty bad), and I haven’t seen any of the 1974 special. Both shared the same cast. They’re probably interesting looks at what middle-aged men thought teens in the mid-to-late 1970s were like (much like the 1960s pilots are interesting looks at what middle-aged men thought teens in the mid-to-late 1960s were like), but I can’t review them until/unless I get them. Keep in mind that these things aired only once each as far as I know, and the 1960s pilots probably didn’t air at all, so the fact that we have any footage today is a miracle.

This week, I’m taking a break from reviewing the television series to take a look at what was going on in the comics in the break between TV series. After all, the comics are (to borrow a phrase that someone once used to describe the Superman comics as opposed to the shows to me) “the real legacy”. That’s where the most character development and world building (such as they are) occur. Specifically, I’ll be taking a look at the introduction of Cheryl Blossom, reviewing her first two appearances (I’ll also be adding a new Reviews page as of today with convenient links to every review on the blog). Since she plays an important role on the upcoming “Riverdale” series, I feel it makes sense to look at her development as a character in the comics. I’m sorry for the lack of images; WordPress isn’t allowing me to upload any images from this comic, even though I can upload other comic images just fine. Really weird.

Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo*
Inks: Jimmy DeCarlo*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Billy Yoshida*
Original Publication: Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica, No. 320
Cover Date: October, 1982
Length: 5 pages

*The story is uncredited. The credits come from Grand Comics Database and may or may not be accurate.

Betty and Veronica are at the beach. They’re each wearing a one-piece swimsuit, but Veronica’s has a plunging neckline. Veronica says her father thinks her new suit is too daring and asks Betty for her opinion. Rather than give an answer, Betty spots Cheryl walking their way, wearing a…sleeveless jacket, and suggests Veronica ask her. Veronica does. Cheryl sheds her jacket, revealing a tiny bikini that barely contains her boobs.

Betty and Veronica are shocked, and Betty asks Cheryl how she could wear that, because it’s “a suit to get arrested in”. I notice Betty is clearly smiling when she says this, which leads me to believe she has no real objections to Cheryl wearing her bikini and actually kind of admires her for doing it.

Anyway, Cheryl says this is the problem with “this stodgy old town”. She brings up the topless beaches of Europe (and particularly southern France), which somehow shocks the well-traveled Veronica. Betty points out that Riverdale has a long way to go until it’s the south of France. This gives Cheryl an idea: shake people up by starting a topless trend in Riverdale! Betty, despite looking excitedly happy to see the goods, quickly dissuades Cheryl, who calls her a spoilsport.

Cheryl accuses them of living in the past and leaves. Her brother, Jason, comes by. Betty frowns and calls Cheryl outrageous. Jason agrees. Betty suggest Jason “take her in hand”. Yeah, I know what it means, but keep this line in mind if you read “Afterlife With Archie” or watch “Riverdale”.

Jason tries to get close to Betty, but Betty pushes him away and tells him what Cheryl did, adding she could get banned from the beach. Jason is unconcerned, saying Cheryl’s a big girl that can take care of herself. Betty is skeptical. Jason takes a soda can out of his bag (which he wasn’t seen bringing over) and says “ol’ sis” has been thrown off better beaches than this.

Veronica asks what Jason’s doing. To Betty and Veronica’s disapproval, he’s putting a cola label around a can of beer, so “the dumb beach patrol doesn’t wise up”.

As luck would have it, a member of the “dumb beach patrol” walks up right behind him and peers over his shoulder as he says this.

The woman, Joney, kicks Jason off the beach. Her colleague, who has an angry Cheryl in custody (covered with a towel), boasts of catching “a liberal trying to liberate more than the law allows”. Ugh. Why the fuck do conservative people always have to disparagingly describe anyone that disagrees with their narrow views as a “liberal”? Even if they are liberal, it’s insulting to use the word as an insult.

Betty and Veronica happily look on as Jason and Cheryl are escorted off the beach, puzzled by their behavior.

So that’s Cheryl’s first appearance. It’s an okay story. It’s odd in that there really is no introduction to her or her brother. Betty and Veronica behave like they already know them. Their last names aren’t mentioned. Jason isn’t specifically busted for underage drinking, just trying to drink on the beach, so the characters’ ages are vague. In fact, the only thing that we can reasonably assume about them, based on this story, is they’re rich, and that’s solely because of Cheryl’s talk of Europe (so it’s merely hinted at).

The story is followed by a pin-up fashion page of Cheryl wearing reader-submitted fashions – directly after her first appearance! Amazing! Yeah, these fashions were probably meant for Betty and/or Veronica and then thrown on Cheryl.

In conclusion, I should note this is considered the first Cheryl story solely because of the blurb on the front cover. She also appeared in Archie’s Pal Jughead, No. 325, in the same month, though it’s unclear which issue appeared first. Stay tuned!

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Josie and the Pussycats (1970), Episode 01 – The Nemo’s a No No Affair

Writers: Larz Bourne, Tom Dagenais, Bill Lutz
Directors: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Original Air Date: Saturday, September 12, 1970
Length: 19:29 (excluding themes)

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The character of Josie debuted in She’s Josie, No. 1, cover-dated February of 1963 (but actually on sale as of December 10, 1962), created and drawn by Dan DeCarlo and written by Frank Doyle. She was named after DeCarlo’s wife, who recalled in one of his obituaries: “We went on a Caribbean cruise, and I had a [cat] costume for the cruise, and that’s the way it started.” Dan DeCarlo originally tried to sell it to various publishers as a comic strip called “Here’s Josie” but was rejected. He recalled in 2001: “Then is when I decided to take it to Archie to see if they could do it as a comic book. I showed it to Richard Goldwater, and he showed it to his father, and a day or two later I got the OK to do it as a comic book.”

Some sources claim the story, “Tongue Twister”, in Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals, No. 23 (cover-dated Winter 1962-1963) was the first Josie story, but it went on sale one week after She’s Josie, No. 1.

The series featured everygirl Josie; her bubbly, ditzy friend, Melody; and bookworm Pepper. Josie had a beatnik boyfriend named Albert. Pepper had a strong, dumb boyfriend named Sock (Socrates). There was also rich guy, Alexander “Alex” Cabot III, who lusted after both Josie and Melody. Alex has an obnoxious twin sister, Alexandra Cabot. The characters would occasionally interact with Archie and the Riverdale gang. The “She’s” in the title was dropped with issue # 17 (cover-dated December of 1965).

While Filmation’s Archie/Sabrina juggernaut was going strong on CBS and NBC, rival animation studio Hanna-Barbera (responsible for “The Flintstones”, “The Jetsons”, and Scooby-Doo) contacted Archie Comics about possibly adapting one of their other properties into a similar Saturday-morning musical cartoon series. Archie Comics let them use Josie and made some changes in the latter half of 1969 in order to help set up the series. Josie met a hunky folk singer named Alan M. Mayberry, who eventually became Josie’s sometimes-boyfriend. Alexandra also lusted after Alan. Alexandra discovered her cat, Sebastian, was actually a reincarnation of an ancestor of the Cabot family, who was executed for consorting with witches. Whenever Alexandra held Sebastian in her arms, she could cast powerful magic spells. This aspect was never used in the cartoon series and disappeared from the comic as well, though it has reappeared rarely. The series was retitled “Josie and the Pussycats” with issue #45 (cover-dated December of 1969), written by Dick Malmgren. Pepper, Albert, and Sock were dropped. Josie and Melody formed a band. Alex became their manager (of his own choosing!) and found a bassist for them, a new girl in school named Valerie. Alan became their roadie. Alexandra desired to become the new leader of the band.

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The stage was set. The characters were in place. So what did Hanna-Barbera do? Rip off Scooby-Doo. Seriously.

Here is the main voice cast:

Janet Waldo (possibly as Judy Waite) – Josie (speaking)
Catherine Dougher – Josie (singing)
Jackie Joseph – Melody (speaking)
Cheryl Stoppelmoor (as Cherie Moor) – Melody (singing)
Barbara Pariot – Valerie (speaking)
Patrice Holloway – Valerie (singing)
Jerry Dexter – Alan
Casey Kasem – Alex
Sherry Alberoni – Alexandra
Don Messick (uncredited) – Sebastian

In preparation for the upcoming cartoon series, Hanna-Barbera began working on putting together a real-life Josie and the Pussycats girl group, who would provide the singing voices of the girls in the cartoons and also record an album of songs to be used both as radio singles and in the TV series.

The Josie and the Pussycats recordings were produced by La La Productions, which included producer/songwriter Danny Janssen (who had written for Bobby Sherman and The Partridge Family), his business partner Bobby Young, and songwriters Austin Roberts, Sue Steward (now known as Sue Sheridan), and Bobby Hart (formerly one of the producers/songwriters for The Monkees). They held a talent search to find three girls that would match the three girls in the comic book in both looks and singing ability; early plans, which did not come to fruition, called for a live-action Pussycats segment at the end of each episode. After interviewing over 500 finalists, they settled upon casting Kathleen Dougherty (Cathy Dougher) as Josie, Cherie Moor (later known as Cheryl Ladd (of “Charlie’s Angels” fame)) as Melody, and Patrice Holloway as Valerie.

Janssen presented the newly-formed band to William Hanna and Joseph Barbera to finalize the production deal but was in for a major surprise. Hanna-Barbera wanted Janssen to recast Patrice Holloway, because they had decided to portray “Josie and the Pussycats” as an all-white trio and had altered Valerie, who had been conceived as African-American and was already appearing as such in Archie’s revamped “Josie and the Pussycats” comic book, to make her white. Janssen refused to recast Holloway, whose voice he felt he needed for the soul-inspired bubblegum pop songs that he had written, and threatened to walk away from the project. After a three-week-long stand-off between Janssen and Hanna-Barbera, Hanna-Barbera finally relented and allowed Janssen to keep Holloway and changed Valerie back to being African-American. Word quickly spread around Los Angeles about the stand that Janssen had taken. To show their gratitude, a number of the most notable soul session players in the city offered their services to La La Productions and the Josie album at a fraction of their regular fees. Among them were Elvis Presley’s drummer Ronnie Tutt, Elvis’ bassist Jerry Scheff, keyboardist Clarence MacDonald, flutist Wilton Felder, and guitarist Mike Stewart. Ironically, Holloway ended up singing lead on most of the songs, including the theme song. The Valerie character was the first African-American female character on a regular Saturday morning cartoon series. The Hardy Boys drummer Pete Jones had been the first African-American male to appear on Saturday mornings a year earlier.

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Okay, let’s look at the first episode:

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In the cold open, a freighter is moving through water in heavy fog.

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Something is following it.

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It’s a weird submarine.

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A scary-looking dude is playing scary music on a giant organ.

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Two henchmen are piloting the sub (I guess).

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One of them, Mr. French, reports to “Captain Nemo” that the freighter is “dead ahead”. It seems Nemo is in the habit of sinking ships. He targets this one – by striking a key on his organ. Okay.

Guess who’s on the freighter.

Seriously, guess.

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Congrats. Have a cookie.

Anyway, as you can see, I wasn’t kidding when I said Hanna-Barbera ripped off Scooby-Doo. Look at this shit. Alan looks like Fred. Alex looks like Shaggy (he even wears a green shirt) and is even voiced by Shaggy’s voice actor, Casey Kasem. I wonder if Kasem demanded Alex be portrayed as a vegetarian. Sebastian is voiced by Don Messick, the voice of Scooby-Doo.

Alex unnaturally exposits they’re on their way to their big gig at Pago Pago Island. It’s almost as if he’s on a TV series or something.

Alexandra makes clear her wish to drown her brother. As it turns out, Alex set up the transportation (which makes sense, since he’s the manager).

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Melody (heh, I’m dealing with another blonde girl named Melody) has a dumb moment but then laughs, so maybe she was intentionally trying to sound dumb and then gave it away. Who knows?

The ship is in poor condition. Alexandra is miserable, but Josie is looking forward to the island. Alexandra predicts the trip will be “strictly Dullsville”.

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The theme song starts, and it’s really cute and fun. Infectious, actually. It was written by Hanna-Barbera musical director Hoyt Curtin (and based on a recurring score cue from “The Jetsons”), William Hanna, and Joseph Barbera. Most of the shots seem to be from various episodes (I recognize some from this one).

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Then Sebastian blows up the band. Seriously. Well, that was dark.

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After the theme, everyone except Alexandra is enjoying themselves.

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Josie’s hoping to fuck Alan.

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Unfortunately, Alex, the son of a millionaire (at least), didn’t have enough money for the fare, so he secretly had all of them made indentured servants.

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Alexandra lets her brother know exactly how she feels.

Down below, Nemo gives the order to attack by pressing a key on his organ. Why’s he taking so long? And what’s this bullshit about giving an order? Can’t he attack the freighter himself?

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We break away from that (again), because it’s time for kitchen duty! Valerie gives Alexandra a choice of washing or drying, but Alexandra wants to “supervise”.

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Nemo’s sub attacks the freighter…

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…and ass-rapes Alexandra.

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The girls wonder what the fuck’s going on.

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Melody is upset that she’ll have to dry the dishes all over again. Goddess bless her.

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Brilliant.

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The captain orders all hands to abandon ship.

Alex panics. Alan goes to save the instruments. Really? That’s your priority? You can always buy new instruments. I mean it might take a while (if only they knew someone with money), but these are nothing that can’t be replaced.

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Alex uses his broom to pole-vault into a lifeboat and pulls some Titanic-level shit.

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Fortunately, the girls and Sebastian happen to get washed out of the freighter at this very moment and land in the boat…

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…and on top of Alex. Hehehe.

Melody thinks they landed on a “lumpy old pillow”. She…really is the stupidest person on the planet, isn’t she?

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Alan has successfully rescued the instruments (whew!) and jumps into the boat.

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Unfortunately, this results in the destruction of Josie’s guitar. Josie must realize they know someone with money and doesn’t care about the guitar. She just wants Alan’s trombone up her ass.

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Alexandra shoves the “crazy redhead” (says the woman with the skunk hair) aside, so Alan can ream her asshole.

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Josie hits the motor, which somehow gets it started, and the boat just takes off at high speed, blowing them past the other survivors.

Nemo’s happy that he’s sunk the freighter and plays his organ in celebration.

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A while later, the gang’s gotten the boat stopped. Alex blames his sister. Alexandra blames Josie for being clumsy and falling on the “motor switch”. Anyone know anything about motorboats and whether any operate by switches?

Valerie wonders if they’ll ever see land again.

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Not to worry, though: Melody’s on the lookout!

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I know I feel better.

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They somehow land on Nero’s sub.

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The guards shoot seaweed (seriously) at them, tying them up, so they can’t move (seriously).

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They’re brought aboard the sub at seaweed gunpoint and taken to meet Nero. Alexandra insults his playing. He tells her to shut the fuck up and introduces himself. Apparently, he’s the great-grandson of the original Captain Nemo and continuing his hobby of sinking ships. Both he and Valerie treat Captain Nemo as a historical person and not a goddamn fictional character.

Nemo’s grand plan is to “avenge the name of Nemo by sinking every ship in the world” and become “master of the seven seas”. So he’s a classic cartoon villain that has a grandiose plan but doesn’t see the consequences beyond it (massive fucking retribution).

After the commercial break, Alan asks what Nemo’s gonna do with them. Nemo says, unfortunately, they’re of no use. Alex insists they are. Nemo asks what they can do. Josie has Melody and Valerie go with her and…

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Okay, so check this shit out. In the span of a second, the girls retrieved their instruments from wherever the fuck they were, repaired Josie’s guitar, changed outfits, and carried the instruments back with them. Nemo guesses they’re “quick change artists”. Kinda funny.

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So the girls jam. Well, Josie and Melody do. Valerie just shakes her stupid tambourines.

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Nemo doesn’t “dig the groovy beat”, so Alexandra decides to lead the group by conducting them and telling them to play faster. This allows the animators to work less by recycling shots pisses Nemo off.

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He drops the band through a trap door (they look so happy about it!). Alexandra chews Nemo out for ruining her groove. Alan chews Alexandra out for ruining the band’s act. Alex suggests they get the fuck out of here. They run away. Nemo calls for the alarm to be sounded (instead of just doing it himself). Alexandra tells the guys to follow her; she’ll lead them to safety.

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Alan is happy to see Josie, Melody, and Valerie. However, Alex chews his sister out for leading them into the brig, which the Pussycats are in, despite the brig being on the same level as the bridge, which the Pussycats had fallen down from.

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Nemo comes by to laugh evilly (seriously) and orders his henchmen to take them to the “diving well”.

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Alan asks Nemo why he’s locked them in these glass tubes after he’s done it. Nemo plans to send them to the bottom of the ocean. It’s his way of getting rid of unwanted pests. Melody happily “corrects” him that they’re Pussycats.

Alexandra asks the “creep” what he’s gonna do with Sebastian.

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Sebastian, worried, sucks up to Nemo, who spares him. Alexandra calls Sebastian a traitor, but he laughs it off.

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Nemo laughs evilly and starts up the machine, which drops his captives to “the bottom of the ocean” in three seconds.

Melody laments they forgot their instruments, because she’s so adorably stupid.

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Nemo goes back to playing his organ. He exposits his plan to himself: going back to his secret fortress on Volcano Island. Having overheard this dastardly plan, Sebastian steals a fish bowl (he spares the fish instead of eating it) and Nemo’s keys and dives to the rescue. Alexandra praises Sebastian.

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Alex laments they’re hopelessly lost at sea.

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Melody spots an island “that’s hopelessly lost at sea, too”. They swim for it.

Once they get there, Alan suggests climbing the quite active volcano to find out what’s on top. I can’t even…

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Alexandra inadvertently finds a secret elevator and then sputters funny nonsense in a daze.

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They get in, and Valerie tries to figure out the controls. Alexandra just starts pushing buttons, and the look on Valerie’s face is priceless.

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They land on the bottom floor.

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Then they somehow spy on the operations, even though Josie talks loudly.

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Melody refers to the “secret sub base” as a “yacht club”.

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Valerie spots a couple of henchmen stashing the band’s instruments “in cold storage” (how does she know this?). This worries Josie, because, “with no instruments, there’s no Josie and the Pussycats”. If only they knew someone with lots of money…

Alan wants them to get the instruments back and “put Nemo out of business to boot”. So the first priority is the instruments, and saving untold lives and billions of dollars’ worth of ships from a madman are second. Got it.

“Alexander the Great” loudly proclaims he has a plan. WHY HAVEN’T THEY BEEN SPOTTED YET?!

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Alex’s plan: Alan, Josie, Melody, and Alexandra sneak into the storage room and grab the instruments. Valerie “very cleverly” gets aboard the sub and “discombooberates” the engine. Alex is gonna stay here and hide.

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Alexandra admits her “bragging brother” was right: this is a cinch. Alan guesses they don’t believe in guards.

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Son of a fuck…

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The gang runs away from the sentinel laser sentry.

After the commercial break, Nemo is monitoring the situation.

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The gang runs into the conveniently labelled and unoccupied emergency hospital.

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The advanced robot is incapable of recognizing the people that it was just chasing two seconds earlier, because they’re wearing different clothes, and two of them are wearing fake mustaches. Melody, don’t ever change.

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Melody laughs at her own stupidity again, which leads me to believe she’s just faking, and this is just her odd brand of humor.

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The “doctor” “examines” the sentry.

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They then “operate” on it.

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Yeah, Melody’s just dicking with them.

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Meanwhile, Alexandra is jelly of Josie being Alan’s “nurse” while she’s stuck on guard duty. Sebastian finds it amusing.

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On the sub, an impatient Alex stands around while Valerie sabotages the engine.

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Nemo’s viewscreen is fucked up, which he somehow takes as proof that something’s wrong with the laser sentry, so he goes to investigate.

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The “medical team” has completed the “operation”.

Two of the sentry’s springs burst forth and hit Alexandra in the head, so she decides to become Alan’s “new nurse”. She tells Sebastian to take the air hose from a helium tank and blow up Josie like a balloon. Alexandra then exposits her motive to the audience herself.

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This does not science.

Josie immediately accuses Alexandra.

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Alexandra makes a quartered-assed attempt at feigning innocence.

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Just then, Nemo arrives.

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Josie pops and crashes into the others.

Nemo orders his guards to capture the “meddlers”. They might also be “kids” from his perspective, but he doesn’t call them that, so the series can continue its pretense of being original.

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Our heroes ain’t having it.

They make a run for it.

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On the sub, Valerie gives Alex instructions, not accounting for the fact that there are two blue wires.

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Yep, that’s about what I expected.

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The engine starts chasing Valerie, and the featured song of the episode starts up. Yeah, a song plays during a chase sequence, I guess so they didn’t have to write a concert scene into the episode.

Anyway, the song is called “Road Runner”, and it’s pretty catchy, even though it has nothing to do with this scene nor the episode (it’s about a cheating womanizer). It takes up a bit of screen time, so just enjoy these screencaps of the chase sequence:

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That’s just cheap and sloppy.

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So Alexandra’s netted Captain Nemo and his henchmen…

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…and netted herself as well.

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Sebastian finds it amusing.

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The Coast Guard arrives (is Volcano Island a U.S. territory?), extends their thanks, and arrests Nemo and his henchmen.

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Melody laughs at everything. She’s gotta be high.

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A change of shirt later, Alex announces the Coast Guard is giving them a ride to Pago Pago.

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Alexandra’s pissed that they laughed at her, so she refuses to go on the same ship as them.

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Ha.

The closing credits sequence is just a shortened repeat of the opening theme (no action scenes) with the credits overlayed.

This series is less “Josie and the Pussycats” and more “Josie and Friends Play Scooby-Doo”. Nevertheless, it was a mild success (I guess). It ran for sixteen episodes from September 12, 1970, to January 2, 1971. While it wasn’t nearly as successful as the Archie cartoons, it’s the better overall series by far. I actually enjoy watching it (despite the cheapness), and I like listening to the songs (then again, I prefer female singers, anyway). It’s such a shame that the album sold far below expectations, and plans for a national tour were shelved.

So what did Hanna-Barbera do? Revamp the series by sending the characters into space. Of course.

josie-space-promoJosie and the Pussycats in Outer Space” premiered on September 9, 1972, and ran for sixteen episodes, ending on December 30, 1972. This series, about the characters accidentally getting launched into space on board a rocket, has them criss-crossing the galaxy (as rockets were known to do), “trying to get back to here”. It was definitely an…odd direction to take the series (not to mention completely pointless). If you’re wondering if they ever got back to Earth, the answer is yes. The characters crossed over with Scooby-Doo (appropriately enough) in the “movie”, “The Haunted Showboat“, which originally aired on Saturday, September 22, 1973. Your minds may now be set at ease.

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Early production art for Hanna-Barbera’s 1977 “all-star” Battle of the Network Stars spoof, “Laff-A-Lympics”, featured Alexandra, Sebastian, Alexander, and Melody among other Hanna-Barbera characters as members of the “Scooby Doobies” team, but legal problems prevented their inclusion in the final program.

As with the Filmation cartoons, these cartoons have a laugh track, but it was removed for the DVD release.

The cast is pretty good in their roles. As far as characterization, Melody steals the fucking show. She’s just so adorable. Alexandra is kind of the star (and, in this case, the unintentional hero). Alexander got changed the most, transformed from the scheming Reggie-like character in the comics to a Shaggy clone (though the dickishness was retained). His wealth was forgotten, because it was inconvenient to the plot. His interest in fucking Josie and Melody was dropped as well. Josie is, unfortunately, kind of bland and doesn’t get much to do, even though she’s the nominal star. You’ll have to look to the comics if you want to get to the core of Josie’s being. Um, look really hard.

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The “Josie and the Pussycats” comic book lasted until issue #106 (cover-dated October of 1982), and the characters have starred in occasional new stories since then. The comics, unlike the show, generally avoided the over-the-top mystery plotlines. The series is soon to be relaunched as part of “New Riverdale” continuity (see the Introduction page for explanation).

Josie and the Pussycats” is an important – and enjoyable! – cartoon series, the effects of which can be felt to this day. Check it out.

Tune in next Wednesday!

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1969), Episode 01, Segment B – Hiccups

Writers: Jack Mendelsohn, Jim Mulligan, Bob Ogle, Chuck Menville, Len Jansen, Jim Ryan, Bill Danch
Director: Hal Sutherland
Original Air Date (as part of her own series): Saturday, September 11, 1971
Length: 9:07

Sabrina the Teenage Witch debuted in Archie’s Madhouse, No. 22, in October of 1962, created and written by George Gladir and designed and drawn by Dan DeCarlo. Gladir recalled in 2007: “I think we both envisioned it as a one-shot and were surprised when fans asked for more. We continued to do Sabrina stories off and on in Mad House until 1969 when we were flabbergasted to hear it was to become an animated [TV series]. When it came to naming Sabrina I decided to name her after a woman I recalled from my junior high school days … who was very active in school affairs, and who assigned a number of us to interview prominent people in the media. In addition, the woman’s name had a New England ring to it. Some years later I recalled the woman’s name was not Sabrina, but actually Sabra Holbrook.”

Sabrina Spellman is a “half-witch”; she has a mortal (human) mother and a witch (immortal) father. However, she lives with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, and she has a pet cat named Salem Saberhagen. She has a mortal boyfriend named Harvey Kinkle, who I’m amazed made it to his teenage years without killing himself out of embarrassment.

Filmation adapted not only the main Archie Comics characters to television but also Sabrina the Teenage Witch and her supporting cast. Sabrina made her animated debut when “The Archie Show” expanded to a one-hour format in 1969, retitled “The Archie Comedy Hour”. The Sabrina segments were later repackaged as a series called “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” for airing starting in 1971. Actually, it’s probably more convoluted than that. My point is we’ll be taking a look at the second Sabrina segment that originally aired in 1969. I chose the second segment, because it features more characters.

Before we get into the story, though, I should mention one big change made to Sabrina’s origin since her debut. Originally, Hilda and Zelda wanted to create a third evil witch, but they accidentally made Sabrina good. Yeah, Sabrina was made as a “teenager”. No parents. And, yeah, Sabrina’s aunts and other witches were bad in the early days of the comic and tried to pressure Sabrina to be bad a well. That’s not the case today, but it’s what things were like back then. As for Sabrina’s origin, it has absolutely no impact on the plot of this story.

As evidenced by the numerous writers listed above (I assume that’s a collective series credit), the main voice cast is equally difficult to determine, since Wikipedia, IMDb, and the series’ actual closing credits differ as to who was actually involved in the series and in which role(s). Wikipedia and IMDb say Don Messick voiced Harvey, but he’s not listed in the show’s credits. Wikipedia says Howard Morris voiced Ambrose, but IMDb says Messick did. Compounding matters, the show’s credits list Larry D. Mann, who seemed to voice only characters on the “Groovie Goolies” segments (which aren’t included here). It’s a mess. The only thing that I can say with certainty is Jane Webb voiced Sabrina and all of the other female characters.

Okay, let’s look at the story (sorry for the quality of the screencaps; the YouTube video that I downloaded was weird; I actually decided to downscale the so-called “HD” video, but I couldn’t figure out how to fix anything else).

sabrina-1969-01-themeThe theme song is likely just scenes from the series (I recognize some shots from the first segment). It concludes with Sabrina magically creating the series’ logo while flying on her broom, which includes a…palm tree? Giant sunflower? Fucked if I know.

sabrina-1969-02-houseWelcome to La Casa de Sabrina.

Sabrina doesn’t introduce the segments, and she doesn’t have her own musical numbers.

sabrina-1969-03-record-playersabrina-1969-04-sabrina-hiShe just talks to you for a bit while listening to a record of “Sugar, Sugar”. Yay.

sabrina-1969-05-sabrina-fullsabrina-1969-06-sabrina-insert-1sabrina-1969-07-sabrina-insert-2By the way, the editing is really weird in this scene. It pans out to reveal more of Sabrina, and then there are two different back-to-back insert shots of Sabrina, followed by a repeat of the full shot. It seems like a way-too-complex way to extend the visuals, so she can keep talking; it would have been far easier to simply keep her lips moving, perhaps by just looping a second or two of video.

sabrina-1969-08-sabrina-combsAnyway, Sabrina talks about keeping her secret but also OPENLY DEMONSTRATES her magic to her audience. I guess we don’t count, though, because we’re not a threat to her.

sabrina-1969-09-harvey-car-1sabrina-1969-10-harvey-car-2Harvey comes by in his clown car to pick up Sabrina for school.

sabrina-1969-11-hilda-zeldaHilda and Zelda are magically cleaning dishes in the kitchen, and Harvey’s interruption disrupts Hilda’s concentration, causing her to break dishes.

Sabrina tells Harvey that she’ll be right down. Harvey touts the new muffler on his “buggy”, which is loud as fuck (and his car is not eco-friendly in the slightest), but Sabrina calls it “groovy”, no doubt to spare his feelings.

sabrina-1969-12-hilda-castsThis gives Hilda an idea.

sabrina-1969-13-harvey-muffledsabrina-1969-14-sabrina-magicSabrina comes out and realizes “Aunt Hilda is picking on Harvey again”, so she uses magic to reverse it. She performs magic on this series by tugging on her earlobe.

Sabrina gets in the car, and they drive off.

Harvey asks about the strange things that always happen to him around her house, and Sabrina’s like “Dunno what the fuck you talkin’ ’bout”, which I guess is her go-to response.

Sabrina realizes, to her dismay, that she has the hiccups, which causes magic to go haywire in witches. Sure, why the hell not?

sabrina-1969-15-sabrina-hiccupsHarvey says they’re gonna be late and wishes they had wings. Sabrina hiccups.

sabrina-1969-16-sabrina-car-fliesHarvey doesn’t notice they’re flying, because…he’s not looking where he’s going? Beats me. He also babbles about how his “new cushion tires sure hug the road”. This is so stupid.

Sabrina hiccups again, and they go faster. She tugs her earlobe to set them down.

Despite going fast for only a few seconds, the speed of their arrival at the school surprises Harvey. Sabrina gets out and tells a dumbfounded Harvey to hurry the fuck up.

sabrina-1969-17-sabrina-hiccupsLater, Sabrina’s walking down the hall, relieved at her lucky bullshit “close” call, and hiccups again.

sabrina-1969-18-sabrina-insertWe get an insert shot (which doesn’t match the preceding or following shots at all), because the animators didn’t know how to smoothly transition to this:

sabrina-1969-19-sabrina-elephantJust have Sabrina walking on the left side of the screen and then bamf the elephant into the shot. It’s not difficult.

sabrina-1969-20-weatherbee-commandsMr. Weatherbee comes by and tells the elephant to go fuck itself. Sabrina bamfs the elephant away, and Mr. Weatherbee is satisfied. He then goes into his office and does that sitcom trope where he has a delayed reaction of shock to what he’d just seen and faints.

Sabrina runs into a closet and magically sends for cousin Ambrose, hoping he’ll have a cure for the hiccups. Remember how I said Sabrina was originally created by her “aunts”? What’s this “cousin” bullshit?

sabrina-1969-21-ambrose-pizzaAmbrose is at a pizzeria in “Roma” and compliments the owner while doing a stereotypical Italian accent. Tony should have kick Ambrose’s ass to the curb.

sabrina-1969-22-tony-wtfWhat was Sabrina saying earlier? Something about keeping magic a secret?

sabrina-1969-23-sabrina-ambroseSabrina apologizes for summoning Ambrose, hiccups (which does nothing), and pretty much demands he help her. No asking. No “please”.

sabrina-1969-24-ambrose-zapsAmbrose agrees and calls one of his “colleagues in the medical field”.

sabrina-1969-25-grundy-scaredThe “doctor” scares the shit out of Miss Grundy and chases her as well as the nurse.

sabrina-1969-26-weatherbee-nurseMr. Weatherbee can’t get the nurse to stop.

sabrina-1969-27-weatherbee-doctorHowever, he has a chat with “Doctor Ungawa” and seems to start to have a delayed reaction to him, but it takes Ambrose bamfing Ungawa away to really freak Mr. Weatherbee out. He chases after the nurse.

Sabrina hiccups Ambrose away just as he figures out the cure for her hiccups. Ha.

Miss Grundy witnesses Mr. Weatherbee chasing the nurse. Mr. Weatherbee stops in his tracks, goes back into his office, calls for Doctor Ungawa, and then faints. Confused delayed reaction?

sabrina-1969-28-grundy-ambrose-1Ambrose bamfs in in front of Miss Grundy and offers her a drink.

sabrina-1969-29-grundy-ambrose-2She gladly accepts, no questions asked. What is it with this show and mismatching backgrounds?

Ambrose realizes Miss Grundy isn’t Sabrina (no fucking shit!), but it’s too late. Ambrose bamfs out. The cure seemingly does nothing to Miss Grundy. She just recites the often-recited line in the Filmation Archieverse (“I didn’t see that”) in reaction to Ambrose bamfing out, even though she seemed perfectly fine with him bamfing in.

sabrina-1969-30-sabrina-jughead-1Sabrina bamfs herself into class. What was that about keeping her magic a secret? Oh, well, probably not important.

Jughead doesn’t notice, because he’s so into his textbook (ha! yeah, right!) with pictures of jets. I guess no one else saw Sabrina suddenly appear either.

sabrina-1969-31-sabrina-jughead-2Anyway, Jughead starts doing “flying” motions with his arms, Sabrina hiccups, and Jughead turns into a jet pilot. Sure, why the hell not?

sabrina-1969-32-reggie-laughsReggie finds this hilarious but otherwise doesn’t react to Jughead suddenly changing clothes.

sabrina-1969-33-reggie-dressSabrina hiccups again, and Reggie’s suddenly wearing a dress. Archie, Veronica, and Betty laugh at this, because cross-dressing is funny.

sabrina-1969-34-monkeyReggie says “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle”, Sabrina hiccups, and a monkey appears. In stark contrast to the adults, the teens find this magic hilarious.

sabrina-1969-35-sabrina-leavesSabrina nervously and quietly gets the fuck out of there.

sabrina-1969-36-sabrina-salemSabrina is relieved to see Salem (who’s red here instead of his usual black as in the comics), who came to school…for some reason.

sabrina-1969-37-salem-frogSabrina hiccups and turns Salem into a frog…

sabrina-1969-38-salem-pig…and then a pig…

sabrina-1969-39-salem-wtf…and then…whatever the fuck this is.

sabrina-1969-40-salem-cuteSabrina lobes Salem back to his normal, cute self.

sabrina-1969-41-sabrina-salemSalem’s like “Go the fuck home, you stupid bitch”, and Sabrina agrees and goes home…

sabrina-1969-42-flowers…but not before hiccuping again and causing flowers to grow…

sabrina-1969-43-submarine…and making a submarine appear on the football field during practice, which occurs early in the school day…and consists of two players and no one else.

Harvey tells his buddy, Spencer, that they’ve been “practicing too hard”, and Sabrina lobes the submarine away.

sabrina-1969-44-cheerleadersSabrina hiccups and turns the football players into cheerleaders, because cross-dressing is funny.

Salem and Sabrina get the fuck out of there. Why didn’t she just immediately bamf them home?

sabrina-1969-45-sabrina-auntsBack home, the aunts can’t help Sabrina. Sabrina is depressed, but Hilda finds Sabrina’s hiccups produce “entertaining and colorful” special effects. Fuck you, you old twat.

Sabrina mopes and says being a teenage witch is terrible. Hilda tells her to shut the fuck up, because she “might be overheard”. By who? If she can’t talk about this in her own bedroom, where can she talk about it?

sabrina-1969-46-zelda-eyeroll-1sabrina-1969-47-zelda-eyeroll-2sabrina-1969-48-zelda-eyeroll-3sabrina-1969-49-zelda-eyeroll-4Beautiful.

sabrina-1969-50-lightningsabrina-1969-51-stellaLightning and thunder herald the arrival of Della, the Spellmans’ Head WBitch, who detected “a note of rebellion”. What? So Sabrina isn’t allowed to question the awesomeness of being a witch? This is actually quite the opposite of real Wicca and Witchcraft, which allows questioning and exploration, compared to, say, Christianity.

Hilda and Sabrina explain the sitch, and Della, fearing Sabrina being discovered, agrees. She also makes fun of them for their incompetence, and Ambrose comes the fuck out of nowhere and says they’re “working on it”. What about that potion from earlier that you accidentally gave to Grundy? Did you try that?

sabrina-1969-52-bookHilda and Zelda search their untitled book (of shadows?) for an “old family cure for hiccups”, hoping such a thing exists. Sabrina apologizes to “Miss Della” for bothering her. It’s all cool with Della, because apprentice witches are her “prime interest”. She threatens them with unspecified “changes” if they don’t get their shit together, and then she leaves.

Sabrina hiccups and bamfs out of there.

sabrina-1969-53-betty-veronicaBack at school, Betty and Veronica are glad that this fucked-up day is over.

sabrina-1969-54-sabrina-spiesSabrina spies (I guess) on them (I guess). Why?

sabrina-1969-55-spencerSpencer suggests to Harvey that they “head for Pop’s and have a blowout”. Wouldn’t that get Pop’s shut down by the health inspector? Seriously, though, it sounds like Spencer’s hoping Harvey’s car will break down. Anyway, Harvey agrees. Sabrina hiccups.

sabrina-1969-56-tires-deflatedHa.

Somehow, Sabrina realizes this (a loud noise) cured her hiccups. Was this her intention? Hoping something would shock her? Also, why weren’t Sabrina’s hiccups cured while riding with Harvey earlier?

sabrina-1969-57-curedBack home, the other witches are astounded that “an ordinary, mortal remedy” cured Sabrina. Hilda tries to tout her magical abilities but isn’t convincing.

sabrina-1969-58-sabrina-kisses-hildaSabrina patronizes Hilda.

sabrina-1969-59-ambrose-bagAmbrose suddenly bamfs in (having not bamfed out earlier) and decides to “test” Sabrina’s remedy.

sabrina-1969-60-ambrose-bursts-bagSabrina reminds him that she’s already cured (this scene is so weird!), which disappoints him.

sabrina-1969-61-hilda-hiccupsAnyway, Ambrose somehow shocked Hilda into getting the hiccups.

sabrina-1969-62-ungawaDoctor Ungawa comes out of another room. What was he doing in there?

sabrina-1969-63-hilda-runsHe chases Hilda (who runs backwards for some reason) through the impossibly long room, which repeats the same stuff in the background, because the studio was too cheap to animate anything else.

sabrina-1969-64-sabrina“Oh, well, whatcha gonna do?”

The closing credits sequence is just a shortened repeat of the opening theme (albeit with new lyrics, so points for that) with the credits overlayed.

So this is a typical Sabrina episode from Filmation. I found it more enjoyable than the Archie segment, I guess, but the editing is weird, the insert shots lack background details, the characters are idiots, and the mortal kids seem to treat magic as nothing more than a curious oddity. Why is Sabrina so worried about protecting her secret? And it’s not like she or anyone else in her family go to great lengths to conceal it.

As with the Archie segments, these cartoons have a laugh track.

The cast is pretty decent in their roles. As far as characterization, I’m not too familiar with Sabrina’s supporting cast, but nothing seems off. Well, there is one thing: Sabrina sounds…sophisticated? I think that’s what they were going for. Not quite Southern, maybe, but there’s something there. Did any teens actually sound like this back then?

I guess I should address why Sabrina is living in Riverdale, since some of you might be wondering. While it’s true that more recent comics have Sabrina living in the neighboring town of Greendale (“Afterlife With Archie” actually has Greendale bordering Riverdale), the early comics did indeed have Sabrina living in Riverdale and attending Riverdale High School with Archie and the gang (in fact, Archie and Betty make cameos in Sabrina’s first comic story). I don’t know why the comics decided to move her; having everyone live in Riverdale would make crossovers easier.

Anyway, that’s it for our look at the Filmation series. It was responsible for the creation of The Archies, which Archie Comics introduced into the comics, so it’s important for that, I guess, but little else.

Tune in next Wednesday, when we’ll look at some hot pussy.

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The Archie Show, Episode 01, Segment A

Writer: Bob Ogle
Director: Hal Sutherland
Original Air Date: Saturday, September 14, 1968
Length: 7:40

For those three of you that might be wondering, no, I didn’t forget the two 1960s unaired pilots; I simply don’t have them. I’m trying to get them, but, for now, just be aware that there were two attempts at making a live-action Archie series in the 1960s: one in 1962 and one in 1964. From what I can tell, they were standard 1950s-style sitcoms: not bad but not great either.

This week, I’m going to take a look at an episode of “The Archie Show“, the first iteration in a long series of cartoons by Filmation Associates, an animation studio that was founded in 1962 in Reseda, California. The studio would later be responsible for much of my childhood: “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids”, “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe”, “She-Ra: Princess of Power”, “BraveStarr”, and, yes, even the shitty “Ghostbusters” cartoon that I watched alongside DiC’s “The Real Ghostbusters”. Filmation was founded by Norm Prescott, Lou Scheimer, and Hal Sutherland, and it had a long life, becoming defunct in 1989, essentially going out with the 1980s. I cannot overstate the importance that this studio had on my youth. It, Sunbow Productions (1980-2004), and DiC Entertainment (1971-2008) were responsible for a lot of the cartoons that I – and many others of my generation – used to watch.

That was the 1980s, though. What we’re looking at today comes way before that.

Filmation got the license to make cartoons based on Archie Comics, and…they did, but the characters weren’t really the characters (outside the very basics that you can read about on the Introduction page on this blog). Corny jokes and slapstick comedy were the order of the day, and the shows delivered.

Yeah, shows, plural. See, the series went through a few iterations, revamping the format pretty much every year and adding some new episodes (or at least a bit of new animation) while also repeating various older episodes from previous incarnations. It’s kind of convoluted, and there’s really no central place where all of this is documented. In the little episode list that I put together for myself, I count 213 stories, and that’s not counting the “Groovy Ghoulies” spin-off with original characters, the short gags between story segments, or the musical numbers.

the_archies_sugar-UKCD1

Yeah, musical numbers. The main Archie characters formed a band called, uninspiringly enough, The Archies (no, there is no origin story; they’re just a band suddenly), and an actual “band” was formed, consisting of singer Ron Dante as Archie (he sang on every song except one), various background vocalists that came and went, and session musicians. Little music videos would appear in the episodes. The Archies actually had a few hit songs. “Sugar, Sugar” reached #1 in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. in September of 1969. It, like the other Archies songs, is standard 1960s bubblegum pop. Why did it become so popular? Maybe because of its ties to the popular cartoon series? Perhaps. It’s also the most-produced recording ever, largely because Post Cereal placed millions of the records on the back of cereal boxes. It’s also been sampled and covered by numerous artists over the decades. The song is still popular to this day, and Archie Comics even continues to have The Archies perform it in the comics, decades after it went out of style.

As for the cartoons themselves, well, they’re all over the place in terms of concept, from standard adventures to the gang running a funhouse (populated with an audience of live-action kids) to the gang running a TV station that specialized in showing cartoons based on comic strips (aside from a “news story” in Riverdale that was mentioned throughout the episode before finally being resolved at the end, these had little to do with Archie) to the gang learning about how their ancestors (who looked and sounded exactly like them, naturally) were involved in one important event in American history after another (the bicentennial was approaching, okay?) to going back to standard adventures at the end. The various Filmation series ran from September 14, 1968, to December 3, 1977, lasting a little over nine years, all told (and, really, not too much shorter than the radio series).

Here is the main voice cast:

Dallas McKennon – Archie Andrews and every male character except those listed below
Jane Webb – all of the female characters
John Erwin (Prince Adam / He-Man himself!) – Reggie Mantle
Howard Morris – Big Moose, Jughead Jones, Dilton Doiley

Look, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: the show sucks. Outside the rare funny line, this is just standard slapstick comedy that, with minimal alterations, could star any generic cartoon characters. There’s not much of a love triangle (which is a good thing, because, even though it’s one of the central set-ups of the comics, the love triangle is unbelievable). The characters are often very idiotic or absent-minded. The animation is cheap and frequently recycled, as was often the case in those days, but it’s very noticeable here.

What I’m getting at is this really isn’t the series to be watching if you want any amount of depth or character exploration, which even the comics provided.

So I think one story segment each of Archie and Sabrina will be sufficient before we move on.

This week, I’ll review the first story segment in the first episode of “The Archie Show”. The two segments in the first episode are untitled, so I’m just calling it Segment A.

Archie-Show-01-titleArchie-Show-02-band“Everything’s Archie!”

Archie-Show-03-Archie“Archie’s here.” But he has no freckles, which some people find weird.

Archie-Show-04-Betty“Betty’s here.”

Archie-Show-05-Veronica“Veronica, too.”

Archie-Show-06-Reggie“Reggie’s here.”

Archie-Show-07-sticks“Hey, Jughead, where are you?”

Anyway, the plot of the theme song is the gang can’t have a groovy time without Jughead. They don’t look for him or anything. They just wonder where he is.

Archie-Show-08-assAnyway, we get a panning shot of random people dancing, including this girl that’s shaking her ass in front of the camera.
Archie-Show-09-gang-drivesArchie-Show-10-gang-drives-2
Archie-Show-11-gang-drives-3

We get shots of the gang driving, and Reggie’s so into playing and singing that he continues to do so in Archie’s piece-of-shit car, despite the loud noises that it makes. Archie’s car remained consistent for decades, being an unbelievably outdated Ford Model A. It’s yellow here, but it was red in the comics. (The real Ford Model A didn’t come in yellow.)

Archie-Show-12-band-2Archie-Show-13-Veronica-2There’s a repeat of the character introductions with minor alterations (Veronica raises her arms!).

Archie-Show-14-Jughead

“And here comes Jughead…”

Archie-Show-15-Hot-Dog

“and Hot Dog, too!” Yeah, Jughead’s pet dog is a “mascot” for the band and a character on this series. We often hear his thoughts.

Archie-Show-16-band-3

I have a sneaking suspicion that this series is going to be just a tad silly.

Archie-Show-17-Archie-intro

The segment is preceded by Archie talking to “the gang” (the audience, I guess) and asking for ideas on raising quick cash.

Archie-Show-18-house-jumps

The segment proper starts with Archie’s house literally jumping. Why?

Archie-Show-19-Archie-dancing-1Archie-Show-20-Archie-dancing-2Archie-Show-21-Betty-dancingArchie-Show-22-Jughead-lazyArchie-Show-23-Archie-Veronica-dancingBecause Archie and his friends are dancing, of course! Yeah, that’s totally what happens when a group of thin teenagers dance in an upstairs bedroom to blaring royalty-free muzak.

Anyway, check out those killer moves. Yeah, no, there’s no way that these fuckers are getting on “Dancing with the Stars”, which accepts pretty much anybody.

Archie-Show-24-Hot-Dog-bed

Hot Dog hates the loud music.

Archie-Show-25-Betty-Reggie-dancing

Hot Dog silently wishes teenagers would bring back the waltz, because that’s something that he, a creature with a much shorter lifespan than humans, would totally remember.

Anyway, through the power of the music and dancing bullshit, he gets knocked out the window and bounces off a bush.

Archie-Show-26-Fred-newspaper

Fred Andrews is sitting in the living room, reading his suspiciously blank newspaper (not happily).

Archie-Show-27-Fred-Hot-Dog

Fred yells at Archie and runs upstairs.

Archie-Show-28-Fred-record

He puts an abrupt stop to their party and demands to know what the fuck is going on. Jughead and Reggie bullshit a bit.

Archie-Show-29-Archie-girls

Betty and Veronica look like they’re ready to fuck Archie in front of his father, but Veronica wants Archie all to herself, which Archie tries to talk her out of (man knows what he wants).

Archie claims they were thinking of a way to raise some money (which doesn’t explain the party), so they can hire some “special entertainment” for their school dance. Fred suggests doing it “on some far-off island”. This gives Archie an idea.

Archie-Show-30-yachtArchie-Show-31-Veronica-ArchieSooner than you can ask “What the fuck?”, the gang’s speeding off toward a deserted island on Mr. Lodge’s yacht, which he let them borrow for some reason.

Archie-Show-32-Reggie-overhearsMeanwhile, Reggie’s listening in and feeling neglected by Veronica, so he starts cooking up a scheme.

Archie-Show-33-Reggie-runs

He runs toward Veronica, “warning” her that she’s standing too close to the rail. Veronica’s like “What are you blabbering about, idiot?”

Archie-Show-34-Reggie-slipsJughead’s scrubbing the deck (for some fucking reason), which Reggie somehow doesn’t see, so he slips and somehow gets launched high enough to go overboard. Veronica and Archie seem unconcerned. Hot Dog makes a stupid pun.

Archie-Show-35-Betty-rescues-Reggie

The yacht stops, and an amused Betty rescues Reggie.

Archie-Show-36-Archie-spotsArchie spots their destination:

Archie-Show-37-Shipwreck-IslandShipwreck Island. Really? With such a blatant name for an island that’s not too far off the coast of wherever the fuck Riverdale is, why haven’t these vessels and their cargo been salvaged by their nations of origin – or otherwise pillaged? For that matter, why isn’t there a “Stay the Fuck Away” sign in the water?

Betty finds this a “boss place” to look for sunken treasure. Yeah, that’s Archie’s plan. Not “Ask Veronica to ask her dad for money” or “Have a bake sale” or whatever. Take a yacht out to a deserted island in the hope of finding sunken treasure.

Reggie makes fun of Betty, and she suggests he “dry up”. Ooh, burn!

Archie tells Jughead to drop anchor.

Archie-Show-38-Jughead-anchor

It goes as you’d expect.

Archie-Show-39-Jughead-octopusJughead falls to the bottom of the ocean or wherever, and the anchor awakens and angers an octopus. Jughead is somehow able to talk to it underwater.

Jughead swims to the surface, climbs up the side of the yacht, gets in, and warns his friends.

Archie-Show-40-octopusArchie comments on the octopus before it’s visible. The octopus shakes its “fists” angrily and goes back into the water. So much for that.

Archie-Show-41-Reggie-girlsLater, Archie is gonna swim out to one of the wrecks to search for treasure, which gets the girls wet, which pisses Reggie off. If anyone’s gonna fuck Betty and Veronica, it’s him.

Reggie has a “scene” “planned”. He covers himself in dried-out grass:

Archie-Show-42-Reggie-disguise

He goes off to “toss a chill down the girls’ spines”. What, exactly, is his plan? Just scare the girls? To what end? I think the show’s got Reggie’s character confused. While getting disguised as a monster to scare someone is totally a Reggie thing, he’d do it to scare Archie or Jughead, not the girls. He might get someone else to dress up as a monster and scare the girls, so he could be the hero, but not this.

Veronica and Betty get into a little Archie-related argument. Apparently, they’re in a “club” of some kind, which I guess is involved in the school dance somehow. No explanation is given.

Veronica hears a growl and shouts “A beast!”, which offends Betty. Huh? Why’d she think Veronica was talking about her?

Archie-Show-43-Betty-Veronica-hugAnyway, the girls find comfort in each other’s arms as the “beast” approaches. They call for Jughead.

Archie-Show-44-Jughead-tree

But he’s “a coward-type cat” and has climbed to safety.

Archie-Show-45-beast-tree

Or not.

Archie-Show-46-Jughead-coconutThere’s a stupid gag where Jughead mistakes a coconut for his own severed head, simply because it’s wearing his hat and has a “face”. That…does not work on any plane of existence.

Archie-Show-47-beast-pissed

The “beast” scares Jughead, who tosses his hat away but regains it through the power of shitty continuity.

Jughead and the girls run away as the “beast” gives chase. Betty calls for Archie.