Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Archie Marries Veronica: "The Proposal" (Part 1 of 6)

Okay, let's just get it all out there. This is a dream sequence. Or a hallucination. This is not canon. This is not THE CHOICE. As soon as Archie #606 rolls around there will be no memory of the walk through a yellow wood. No twins. No weddings. No proposals. Archie will go back to being perpetually 17 and perpetually torn between Betty and Veronica.

That being said, I'm going to tear this bitch apart. I've been waiting my entire life for something like this. I'm excited that I'm alive to witness this ordeal, as fictional as it may be. As I've said in previous blogs, I think it is my duty as a fan to analyze this 6 issue story arc. So let's begin shall we?

(Note...This is the plot summary from the Wikipedia page. I didn't steal it. I wrote it...and created the page. No joke.)

The night before the gang’s graduation from Riverdale High, The Archies play their final concert and mourn the oncoming changes. Archie comes home and after getting heat from his father about picking a college, he takes a walk down Memory Lane…literally. Archie realizes he’s never walked up Memory Lane before and switches directions. After traveling through a yellow wood, Memory Lane splits into two dirt roads. He chooses the left one and "saves the right one for another day." Eventually Archie makes it back to his house no longer wearing his high school lettermen’s jacket but one that reads "State U" on the back. His mother (Mary) exclaims how excited she is for her son’s graduation and his father (Fred) states how he wishes Archie had majored in business instead of history and that he’s still excited he’s graduating from college. Archie dismisses this when Mary states that Veronica is waiting for him inside the house.

Archie is then, inexplicably, cast four years into the future on the eve of his college graduation. He and Veronica discuss the changes in their lives, but both accept growing up. After a successful graduation, Veronica hosts a party at her mansion with Josie and the Pussycats headlining. Archie then learns the future plans of all of his friends:

Veronica Lodge: Working for her father's company (surprise, surprise) in either London or Hong Kong.

Moose Mason: Managing his uncle's burger joint on Staten Island.

Midge Klump: Running her own nail salon in Bayonne, New Jersey. (I had to look up that Bayonne was in Jersey).

Dilton Doiley: Going to M.I.T. for a doctorate in "quantum mechanics."

Reggie Mantle: Working as a used car salesmen in Atlanta.

Jughead Jones: Sticking around Riverdale to figure things out and grilling burgers at Pop's.

Betty Cooper: Working as a buyer for Sacks Fifth Avenue in New York.

(Um, what about Ethel, Chuck, and all those various minority characters?)

Okay, here is my first major grievance with this futuristic Riverdale. Betty is a writer. She has always been a writer. (Okay, at least from the 80's on). This has been specifically evident in the Betty's Diary issues. And especially in the Lydia Wyndham stories. The movie even got this right, for christsakes! I understand the reasoning behind sending Betty to New York. But have her working on her writing career! Or at least working as a journalist! But a buyer for Sacks? Fashion is more of Veronica thing. WTF!!!!! ARG!!!!

Okay...back on track.

A few weeks after graduation, Archie is given a large sum of money by his parents. He then uses it for the down payment on an engagement ring for Veronica. (You gotta spend money to make money, huh Arch?) He proposes to her in "Spiffany's" just as Betty and Jughead happen to walk by and witness. Veronica accepts and Betty runs weeping in an unknown direction. Jughead later chastises Archie for not telling him his plan. Eventually, Archie and Veronica tell Mr. Lodge, who accepts Archie as his future son-in-law as long as he works for Lodge industries. Without any other jobs lined up, Archie goes along with it as his fiancee plans the biggest wedding Riverdale has ever seen.

Archie's proposal to Veronica in a jewelry store is so lame. Don't get me wrong, I think we're supposed to have this reaction. It's so cliche (for those of us who've seen Sweet Home Alabama). However, Archie does know Veronica well enough to know that the chances of her saying "yes" greatly improve if she's asked in a room full of diamonds. It's corny, but it's good news Archie really knows the woman he plans spending the rest of his life with.

One thing I will say for Veronica: she's no gold digger. All of her life, she's been surrounded by men of wealth and affluence, many of which her father has probably pushed at her. But Veronica always comes back to middle class Archie. Now, it's possible she assumes that Archie now has money since he can afford a Spiffany's engagement ring. It's also possible that Veronica knows her father will make sure Archie has a steady job at Lodge Industries and she will be kept in the lap of luxury. But I'm choosing to give Veronica the benefit of the doubt.

Now, you all know I'm on Team Betty, and my sympathies are with her. But these first three issues are about Archie marrying Veronica and I, just like her, have to wrap my mind around it. Archie's done a lot of crappy, thoughtless things in his life, but it's not his fault Betty just so happened to witness his proposal to Veronica. It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even though the panel is practically identical to the cover, I still cried.

It's unfortunate and dramatic, certainly, and makes for great fiction. But my big issue is that Archie didn't discuss it with Jughead. His best friend, who's witnessed every single Betty and Veronica endeavor. The one guy who's always been there for him, who's listened to his bitching and moaning. Archie didn't even think to mention to him because "he might not go through with it." The real reason Archie doesn't tell Jughead is because he knows Jughead will try to talk him out of it. And he knows Jughead would be right. But when one is love, specifically with a Veronica, warnings always fall on deaf ears.

The residents of Riverdale are overwhelmed with shock that Archie finally chose between his two favorite gals, but also concerned with Betty's well being. In the end, Veronica calls Betty and asks her to be her maid of honor. Instead of answering, Betty simply leaves the phone on her bed, leaving readers to guess what she will do.

We all know she's going to say yes. (Even those of us who haven't seen the cover of Archie #601 with a tearful Betty standing beside the happy couple in a hideous dress know it.) I found it touching the way the whole town was concerned about Betty. Most of the Riverdale residents probably always assumed Archie would settle for Betty when it came down to it. (Just like all us readers). I can't help but wonder what the reaction will be when Veronica is the one left in the dust.

Overall, my biggest issue with Part 1 is Betty's job. She should be an aspiring writer. And then there's also Archie's job. He graduated as a history major and he thinks he'll be doing something history related at Lodge Industries (fat chance, Arch). I hoped (before I read the next two issues) that Archie's lack of passion in his work would be a legitimate argument within his and Veronica's marriage. But you'll just have to wait until the next log to find out if it makes a difference.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

DAF #30 - Peter Pan (1953)

"A jealous female can be tricked into anything."
-Captain Hook

Peter Pan
Year: 1953
Rated: G
Run Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes

Bobby Driscoll as Peter Pan
Kathryn Beaumont as Wendy Moira Angela Darling
Hans Conried as Captain Hook/George Darling
Paul Collins as John Darling
Tommy Luske as Michael Darling
Bill Thompson as Mr. Smee

Plot: A young girl and her brothers are whisked away to Neverland by Peter Pan, a boy who never grows up, and all face the villain Captain Hook.
Based on: The play "Peter Pan" by J.M. Barrie
Setting: London, England/Neverland, 1904(ish).

Tagline: It will live in your heart forever!

First Viewing: 1990 after the original VHS release.

When I love something, I love it forever. Yes, I go through phases where I become possessed by a certain thing, I do my best to research the hell out of it, and over time it is replaced by a new topic. But I’ll love the previous subject forever, even if it’s not in my spotlight. It is a rare occurrence indeed when I fall out of love with something. It’s been known to happen. The song “What’s Love Got to Do With it?” by Tina Turner is a perfect example. I hate this song now, mostly because I overplayed it. It’s also the case with Disney’s 14th Animated Feature, Peter Pan.

Don’t misunderstand me. I do not hate Peter Pan. I just love the 2003 live action version so much more that it actually takes away from any enjoyment I used to get from the Disney version. It’s kind of sad. Not unlike when a man leaves his wife for a younger, more attractive woman who makes him happier. If I am the husband in this scenario, and Peter Pan (1953) is Wifey #1, then I spent last night looking through old pictures and home movies of a former love.

I apologize for this depressing opening! This is not about PP (1953) vs. PP (2003), this is about the Disney version and only the Disney version. But I thought you should all know that my love for this version has faded and can never be viewed through the same blind eyes as I did when I was a child. I'll try to make it through with few comparisons, but I'm not making any promises.

All this has happened before, and will all happen again but this time, it's happening in Edwardian London. One night, George and Mary Darling prepare for a party while their children act out a story about the infamous Peter Pan, a boy who flies and never grows up. Wendy, the eldest children, fans the flame for her younger brothers, John and Michael. However, after some slapstick, their father decides it's time for Wendy to drop her nonsense and grow up and move out of the nursery.

While George and Mary are at the party, Peter Pan arrives at the Darling house, looking for his shadow. Wendy reattaches it for him and as thanks, Peter invites her and her brothers to Neverland. Meanwhile, dastardly Captain Hook and his loyal servant Smee, wait for Peter's returns so he can exact revenge on the boy for cutting off his hand throwing it to a crocodile.

Hook's big plan is to use Indian maiden Tiger Lily to find his way to Peter's Secret Hiding Place, where he has taken the Darling children to meet The Lost Boys. Before they arrive, Tinkerbell attempts to shoot Wendy down, and is then banished by Peter. While he and Wendy visit the mermaids, John, Michael, and the Lost Boys to play cat and mouse with the natives. The Chief believes the Lost Boys have captured their daughter and insists on her return or they will be burned at the stake.

Peter succeeds in rescuing Tiger Lily and in making Wendy madly jealous. She is tired of her role as "mother" to the other children and decides to go home. Meanwhile, Tinkerbell has revealed Peter's hiding place to Hook and he captures all and leaves a time bomb for Peter.

Tink takes the brunt of the blast and miraculously survives. Peter returns to the ship, just in time to save Wendy from walking the plank. Peter fights Hook and succeeds in humiliating him into retreat as the blood-thirsty crocodile follows. Peter takes the Darlings back to London. Their parents return from the party, blissfully unaware of their children's adventures.

When I was a kid, the coolest thing about Peter Pan wasn't his ability to not age, it was his ability to fly. In fact, I wanted to fly so badly, I used my 3rd, 4th, and 5th birthday wishes on the ability to fly. This caused me to nose dive off my couch and get a huge rug burn on my face. Of course, I realized a birthday wish and happy thoughts weren't enough. This caused me to throw a fit in the Disney store when my mom wouldn't buy me Tinkerbell's fairy dust a.k.a. a $7.95 bottle of glitter.

I also liked the romance. Or the implied romance. Or the possible romance between Peter and Wendy. As child romantic, I enjoyed it when kids in movies had the romance I wished for myself. I always thought there was something between Peter and Wendy. I mean, she wants to kiss him! And she would have succeeded if it weren't for that cunt, Tinkerbell. (More on that later).

I think this is one of the cruelest unresolved sexual tension moments in the history of fiction. After reattaching Peter's shadow, Wendy wants to give him a kiss. Tinkerbell bursts out of the drawer and stops it from happening. Now, I can appreciate a good interruption if it means a sweeter resolution in the end. (Delayed gratification, blah, blah, blah). But this kiss is NEVER BROUGHT UP AGAIN!!! It's a classic Peter Pan moment, so of course it's included in this version of the movie, but then dropped once it's purpose is fulfilled.

Of course, I know there are millions that think that 12 year olds should not be participating in any kind of pseudo-romantic behavior even when said pseudo-romantic behavior is a chaste kiss. The whole theme of Peter Pan is growing up vs. not growing up. Although Wendy is fighting her maturity, it is obvious she is at least more sexually mature than Peter when she is willing to kiss him and he is still in that "girls-can-still-be-friends-as-long-as-they-don't-make-me-kiss them" phase.

I really could go into this, but since this version fails to show the importance of it and the live action version fully embraces it, I will save this discussion for the day I review PP (2003). Anyway, I'll get on to Tinkerbell. Like I said in my review of Hook, I have a hatred for Tinkerbell. That is one of things PP (1953) and PP (2003) have in common: I hate both of their Tinkerbells.

She's a spiteful, psychotically jealous little snot who wants to keep Peter to herself. Now usually, I'm all about rooting for the Friend Zoner, and Tinkerbell is indeed in the Friend Zone. But her behavior in this position is atrocious. I mean, making snide comments about the competition is allowable every now and again...if it's said under one's breath...and is entirely truthful. But hair pulling? And attempted murder? Tsk, tsk, tsk, Tinkerbell, you'll never transition that way. (Let's not get into their species and size difference).

Of course, this Wendy is also overly jealous. Look how she reacts to Tiger Lily.

And look how she and the mermaids react to each other.

And what the hell is so great about Peter anyway? Why do all these women/mythological creatures fancy him so? Yeah, I guess he's fun. But that's about it. It just furthers my theory that women always chase men that other women want, despite any obvious less-than-desirable qualities.

Okay...onto something else. I'm not really a fan of slapstick villains. I like truly evil villains. I like motives. I don't like villains that are eeeevil for the sake of being eeeevil (cough, The Queen of Hearts/Prince John, cough, cough). Up until last night, I viewed Disney's Captain Hook this way. After all, there's all those scenes with Smee and the crocodile. But up until last night, I had forgotten what a manipulative, cruel bastard Captain Hook really is.

After hearing that Peter has "banished" Tinkerbell, Hook realizes that he could trick her into revealing the location of his secret lair. He does his best to side with Tinkerbell in her anger towards Peter, but blames it all on other woman Wendy. Hook agrees to kidnap Wendy and take her away when he leaves Neverland the next morning but he must learn where she is staying. Feeling rejected and desperate, Tinkerbell shows Hook the way and quickly realizes her mistake. There are few women in Neverland, but some how Captain Hook learned the best way to get what he wants out of them.

In spite of her betrayal, Tinkerbell is redeemed by sacrificing herself to save Peter from a bomb. (In the play/book/2003 version, she drinks poisoned medicine). Peter's lair is blown to bits and he comes to understand that Hook planted the bomb. He searches for Tinkerbell among the rubble claiming she "means more than anything in the world." Not the hussy mermaids. Not Tiger Lily. Not even Wendy. Tink is number one. Since she's willing to be his friend without demanding more, she is the one that gets to spend the rest of eternity with him.

Now, this is good way to go if you're friends/in love with a boy of this age and mindset. It's lucky that Peter never grows up, otherwise as soon as he saw a girl his same size that propelled him over that pubertal cusp, Tink would be swept to the wayside and abandoned in Neverland to look after any remaining lost boys while Peter became a husband, father, and shell of his former rambunctious self. (Think that's harsh? Go rent Hook.)

Despite all my bitching, I rather enjoyed my trip down memory lane. I was struck with an odd sense of nostalgia. I remembered a simpler time when I all I wanted was to fly and I cared nothing for unresolved sexual tension. I wished I still loved this movie, but sadly realized I never would again. (It's just not good enough, damn it.) I try to enjoy it for what it is and what it used to do for me...but alas, it makes me want to curl up with my pillows and my prettier, smarter, more understanding wife.

"The Second Star to the Right" - Chorus
"You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!" - Chorus
"A Pirate's Life" - Chorus
"Following the Leader" - Chorus
"What Makes the Red Man Red?" - Chorus
"Your Mother and Mine" - Kathryn Beaumont (Wendy)
"The Elegant Captain Hook" - Hans Conried (Captain Hook) Bill Thompson (Smee) & Chorus

Favorite Song: "The Second Star to the Right"
Favorite Moment: Wendy walks the plank.

Favorite Character: John Darling

Next DAF: The Rescuers (1977)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm a Betty: An Introduction to Archie Comics

From my last blog, a review of the horrible TV movie, Archie Return to Riverdale, you can probably surmise that I love Archie Comics. Otherwise, why would I love such a piece of shit movie and take an entire evening to yank screen caps for the three people that read this blog? Since us Archie fans are in the middle of a ground breaking milestone, with the "Archie Marries Veronica" storyline, I figured it was my duty to offer my fan's commentary and criticisms. But first, it's necessary for my three readers to know just why I care so much.

I can’t pinpoint the exact date my mother introduced me to Archie. But I do know I was in the second grade. I was looking at the comic book stand at some grocery store. Perhaps if I had older brothers, I would have drifted towards Batman or Spider-Man. But alas, my mother geared me towards Archie, the girliest, dorkiest, lamest comic book known to man.

It was Laugh Digest #127. I think I still have it somewhere in a box in my attic. When I go home for Christmas break, I'll fish it out. It’s not that I thought the stories and gags were rip-roaringly hilarious. Nor was I yet fully compelled by the Archie-Betty-Veronica love triangle. No, I loved the simplicity. The Riverdale kids reminded me of the 1950’s. At the time, I was rejecting all things 90’s. Fuck Grunge. To hell with plaid. Give me sock hops. Give me malt shops. Give me wholesome teen fun!

After probably an overwhelming amount of begging, my mom bought me The Best of the 50’s in the Archie Americana Series. I loved it. I immediately enjoyed the Betty and Veronica stories best, with “Going, Going Gown” (a story about Betty owning a designer knockoff of a dress Veronica bought for the big dance) being my favorite. At the checkout stands, after more begging, my mom bought me many Betty and Veronica Digests and Double Digests.

In the beginning, I probably liked Veronica more just because she was the brunette. I had a thing against blondes because the bitchiest girl in my class was blonde. But Betty was the good girl, and I wanted to be (and was, for the most part) a good girl. So my loyalties switched.

Between Digests and random issues of Betty, I became well acquainted with the storyline: Archie Andrews, all-American schmuck liked both rich, spoiled Veronica Lodge and sweet girl next door, Betty Cooper. Despite Betty's unwavering loyalty, Archie dug the glitter and would often surpass study dates with Betty for concerts and charity benefits with Veronica. However, something deux es machina would occur like Archie's Jalopy crapping out on him, and Veronica would end up going to the big dance with some hunk in a flashy, fully working car leaving him dateless. Of course, one phone call to Betty would have her fixing his car in a formal dress, allowing them to arrive in style.

It's really a horrific pattern of abuse, but I, like everyone else who enjoys our cliche addled pop culture, liked to see the good girl overcome adversity and least until the next big dance. Due to some tragic playground rejection (where the current object of my affection chose said bitchy blonde girl over me) I no longer just liked Betty, I felt I was Betty. I felt if I played my cards right, was willing to take a bunch of crap from the guy I liked and be loyal to him at all costs, I would eventually win over the mean, popular rich girl. (Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" video was my dream come true.)

I was a casual Archie reader until the summer of 1999, when my obsession fully bloomed. I was listening to an Oldies station with my best friend. The song on the radio was "Come on Down to My Boat" by Every Mother's Son. I told my friend how it reminded me of this comic book. I dug out my Archie Americana Best of the 50's book and showed her the first story where Archie buys a crappy boat to impress Veronica. Then I was reminded that "Sugar, Sugar", (the song I christened as the boy I currently loved and my song) was by none other than The Archies.

Thanks to the internet, I researched the hell out of the history of Archie Comics. I learned about the humble beginning. The successful run of the Saturday morning cartoon. The introduction of racially diverse characters. The Marvel crossover where Archie met The Punisher. And the (up till now) most controversial and talked about storyline: The Love Showdown.

During 6th grade, I assigned everyone in my class an Archie character. I was Betty, the guy I liked was Archie (naturally) and my main competition was Veronica. I lived vicariously through comic book characters for a year. I thought if I acted like Betty, I was sure to win over my all-American schmuck. What I failed to realize was acting like Betty didn't help the real Betty, so why in the hell would it help me? It made no difference if society was on her side, Archie wasn't.

Throughout high school and college, I went back to casual Archie reader. I mean, if you've read one, you've read them all. One thing that's always bothered me about Archie is the lack of canonical stories. There are very few things that carry through every Archie story, just personality traits, and even then it's a crapshoot. Imagine my excitement when the story "Bad Boy Trouble" came out. I wasn't so excited about the new look as I was about a storyline that continued past one issue.

Since then, there've been many "new look" stories, most of which I haven't followed. But this summer, my friend Amanda alerted me to the Story of the Century. I always knew that when Archie finally made his choice between Betty and Veronica, it would be the end of the publication. I didn't know if I would live to see the day. After some slapdash research I found that Archie Comics had no intention of closing up shop so I knew that the decision wasn't final...or it was a dream sequence or something.

Still, even I fell victim to the craze. Archie was proposing to one of the girls. Soon after I discovered it was Veronica. More research taught me there were six issues in the story arc. I guessed that three would tell of Archie's marriage to Veronica, and then somehow, through a soap opera-esque bump on the head (or some other such nonsense) Archie would travel back in time and marry Betty.

Well...I was kind of right. In future posts, I'll dissect the six issues of the Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty story arc. I'll go into minute detail with every gripe and concern. So far, the first three issues have been I (and everyone else) know about Archie and Veronica's marriage. I've had three months to stew over it.

So as I go through the first three and the last three, know this, dear readers: I'm a Betty fan. I am wholly on Betty's side. I, like many, am a Betty. If I could, I walk around in one of those shirts that said Team Cooper, I would. I'm also one of those that wants to see Betty with Archie. Unlike many, I think she would be terribly unhappy with anyone else. Do I think she should stop being such a doormat and tear Archie a new A? Yes. But give up? It's been 68 years...why now?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Archie Return to Riverdale (1990)

“I’m sick of being Miss Good Two Shoes. Treat me like a woman, Archie. Make…me…wild.”
- Betty Cooper

Title: Archie Return to Riverdale (or Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again if you prefer.)
Genre: Comedy (technically)
Year: 1990
PG (originally NR)

Christopher Rich as Archie Andrews
Lauren Holly as Betty Cooper
Karen Kopins as Veronica Lodge
Sam Whipple as Dr. Forsythe Pendleton “Jughead” Jones

Plot: The Riverdale gang return for their 15th high school reunion to unresolved sexual tension and the possible closing of Pop Tate’s Choklit Shoppe.

Tagline: The good ole days are here again!
First Viewing: Rented on VHS in 1996 (second grade).
Added to the list: Christmas, 1999.

It’s shit. No, really. It’s shit. It’s probably the shittiest movie on this list and don’t forget that I reviewed Son-in-Law earlier in this blog’s history. But I have never claimed that Jordyn’s Official Canonized List of Favorite Movies is equal to the greatest movies of all time. It’s not even a window into the greatest films of all time. No, you have to remember that these are the movies that have a special place in my heart. Movies who’s characters I personally identify with. Or movies I happened upon in my youth that have burrowed themselves so far within my psyche it would be a crime to remove them.

This is the case with the little TV movie that couldn’t: Archie Return to Riverdale. Being a lifetime fan of Archie comics, my little 8 year old heart went berserk when I saw there was an Archie movie. Begrudgingly, my dad rented it, despite appropriate misgivings. When my Archie obsession resurfaced in the summer of 1999, I desperately wanted to rewatch the movie, but not yet having any money, I had to wait for Christmas. I have yet to react in the same way I did when I opened Archie Return to Riverdale. I screamed. I jumped around the Christmas tree. I got yelled at by my parents.

If you don't like Archie comics, or are otherwise uninterested in them, there is no reason to watch this movie. It helps if you know the characters because this is no origin story. It starts out in the "present day" (a.k.a. 1990). Archie is a lawyer, still living in Riverdale. He is engaged to this cunt named Pam and intends to move to The City to work with her at a law firm. His 15th high school reunion is his last big Riverdale event.

As for the rest of the gang, Veronica has struck out four times at the altar and has been living off of alimony and daddy's money in Paris.

Betty works as a second grade school teacher in Midvale, struggling to become a published author and is dating an asshole named Robert.

Reggie works for Mr. Lodge and manages a fitness club. (Ah, don't you love how fads of the past decade bleed into the new one?)

And finally, most disturbingly, Jughead is a woman fearing divorcee psychiatrist with a ten year old son named Jordan.

The main conflict of the movie is an uncharacteristicly evil Mr. Lodge evicting Pop Tate to make space for Reggie's fitness club. Of course, Archie the Lawyer tries to save him, but alas, the letter of the law must be followed. So at the final night of the reunion celebration (the same exact night the bulldozers loom towards Pop's), the gang links arms across the front of the shop, and it's saved! Yay!!!

Truly, the character stuff is why I like this movie. Fuck the plot. Jughead still has his fear women. (How he ever married and procreated is a mystery). The entire time he tries to avoid "Big" Ethel Muggs who's eager to see him again. The joke's on him because now she's a international model still interested in him.

Of course, the most interesting part to me is the Archie-Betty-Veronica love triangle. Despite Archie's cunt fiancee, Veronica attempts to seduce him the first night of the reunion. Even though this is a sexualized (thank God!) PG version of Riverdale, Archie remains true to Pam and manages to resist Veronica's wiles. (Maybe he has learned something since high school).

Veronica divulges this information to Betty who then, through her thinly veiled jealously, lectures Archie on where his loyalties lie. However, she admits her envious feelings and the two decide their reawakened sexual tension is solely rooted in nostalgia as the inch closer and closer. Their lips touch, but Betty pulls away. This, to me, is the greatest almost kiss in cinematic history.

I respect the whole wholesome thing that Archie has going for it. That's one of the reasons I fell in love with the characters. I was obsessed with the wholesomeness of the 50's when I was first introduced to the comics and those characters reminded me of it. But now that I'm older, and passed my teen years, I am aware of how unrealistic the Riverdale teen scene is.

Let's stop beating around the bush. Being the hot blooded spirit of the American teenager, Archie wants to bang both Betty and Veronica. Sure, Betty will bake Archie cookies, fix his car, and do his homework, but it seems unlikely she'll be getting on her knees for him. So after a night of studying with the girl next door, Archie needs to let off some steam and who better to do it with than Veronica, the girl who's always strutting around in those tight designer clothes and come-fuck-me heels? But, alas, the joke's on him because Veronica's just as prude as Betty is, if not more so. Veronica just knows how to wield her sexuality in such a way that never requires her to drop her panties.

Sex is never mentioned in the Archie comics universe. And if it is, it is done within the sanctity of marriage. Behind closed doors. In bed. Lights off. Missionary position. For procreation. In Archie Return to Riverdale, Archie and Betty discuss The Night of the Storm in which they were trapped together all night long, but didn't do IT, even though their parents thought they did. I am so grateful for this small piece of dialogue. I am so glad IT at least existed for them in high school. During the library almost kissing scene, both Betty and Archie express regret for not doing IT when they had the chance.

Note: This is a panel from a 1972 issue of Betty & Me where Archie's Jalopy gets a flat, drives into a river, and leaves the twosome soaked and freezing. They have to pose as a married couple to check into a hotel to get warm. This is the closest known story in the Archie comics canon that deals with sex.

Later on in the movie, after Betty has finally realized what a jerk off Robert is, she goes to Archie's hotel room with seduction in mind. She hands him a piece of her latest writing, a sex scene from a romance novel in progress. Archie is surprised that his sweet little doormat has something burning inside her. Betty unbuttons her dress and demands him to "make her a woman" by living out her shower fantasy.

But with this still being Riverdale, the scene turns into classic Archie farce when Veronica shows up with a similar mindset. And then cuntface Pam arrives. This gives Archie a chance to escape. Betty and Veronica decide Archie must decide, once and for all!!! (Note: this was before the Love Showdown storyline).

The end of the movie comes and no decision is made. (Oooh, so sorry if that ruins it for you!) Pam breaks off the engagement because she can't control Archie. And Betty dumps Robert because she's tired of being pushed around. Jughead and Jordan move back to Riverdale. Veronica moves back in with her father to work out their issues. Betty moves back to work on her future as a romance novelist. Archie decides to stay despite an assumed pay cut. And everyone forgives Reggie. So, they all return to Riverdale. How quaint...and depressing.

Like I said, it's shit. The movie has never had an official DVD release but can be purchased off of or the Archie comics website on VHS. That's the copy I own. However, I have to warn you that several scenes from the original NBC broadcast have been cut from the video. Some of it you would never miss, trust me. But most notably, there are four high school flashback scenes involving Archie trying to decide who to take to the prom that are inexplicably cut. WHY!? These are great scenes, and add to the depth of the characters. The scene where Betty tells Archie she doesn't want college to be just like high school, even though that's what he expects, is especially touching.

The casting is meh if you ask me. I've read a lot of bitching reviews about it, but really, there's noting atrocious like Rosie O'Donnell as Betty Rubble. I think Karen Kopins captures Veronica better than anyone else captures their character. The scene at the end where she confronts her father is definitely the best acting in the movie.

So there you have it. A review of Archie Return to Riverdale, the shittiest movie on Jordyn's Official Canonized List of Favorite Movies. Chances are, you'll never have to endure this movie, unless you're my friend, then at least one forced viewing will be in your future. Get excited.

Favorite Screencap
Shut up.

P.S. I apologize for the shittiness of the screencaps. I captured them off of youtube. If you want to watch the whole movie with deleted scenes, that's where to do it.