Riverdale is quiet popular these days, with it's adult themes and modern day issues (Archie Double Digest pun intended), but there was one film I saw as a teenager that made Riverdale seem like the sweet comic it's based on.
That film was called Hot Times, or A Hard Time For Archie. (link here)
This is basically a mainstream porno film that tried to tout itself as "American Graffiti...with sex!"
The main character (Archie) is a black haired Jewish kid with an afro, his friends name is Mughead, and he tries to sleep withe Bette and Veronica.
You know. JUST like the comics.
What's really funny is that this movie is available to watch, unedited, on youtube. That's right! You can watch seventies twenty-somethings pretend to be teenagers having sex!
As a teenager I was able to rent this movie from my local video store, no questions asked. And I rented it a few times. Many a few times. For a teen boy pre-internet living in the prairies this was absolute gold for destroying my vision.
The times I wasn't able to rent it I knew that my buddy had rented it, and it was an unspoken piece of information between us, a shameful thing when I would go to the place on the rack where the VHS box stuffed with styrofoam stood and see that it had been rented, or vice versa.
This movie is awful, and even the memories of it are pretty bad. As a teen I realized that the dialogue was stilted, the film production was super low, the sound quality was atrocious, and had I been of the inclination to voice my opinion of the film at that time I'm sure it would have been a scathing indictment of the genre.
But...there was boobies. There are a few movies that are live action versions of the Riverdale Gang, like Return to Riverdale. But this one film really appealed to my teen appetites.
The Handmaids Tale. An excellent novel turned Hulu mini series.
“This is a horror story for atheists.”
I loved this book. I haven’t seen the new series the book is based on, but the trailer already has me prickling for reasons other than it’s chilling narrative. It was the anti-Trump comments and the insinuation that this is an anti-Trump series (not that I worry about anti-Trump leanings, I just loathe current political situations compared to books that weren’t talking about the same thing, and I’ll explain in this that the Handmaids Tale and the current Trump presidency are related, but not the way the more liberal thinkers…think. By forcing a current political narrative they are actually doing themselves a disservice). It's not really anti-Trump since they started filming HMT before the elections.
When I read the novel over fifteen years ago I noticed a stark and possibly unintended motive of the author. Atwood, while overtly trying to criticize Christianity (and to a lesser effect fundamentalism) uses misapplied quotes from the Old Testament. But the methods of the theocracy resembled the actions of another culture that I was teaching myself about. The fallacy of the premise falls in its belief that Christian religious belief will lead to the Handmaids future. Yet Atwood has stripped all the Christianity OUT of the religion itself and left something resembling more of Sharia Law. When in reality our current democratic rights and freedoms were planned out by religious people that felt that religious freedom and freedom from religion were fundamental to belief. This also paved the way for the moving away from slavery, sexism, and other beliefs that current western religious people hold to be inviolable, as well as the separation of Church and State, something every good atheist should be thankful for.
We can sum up the books actions like this: The story is told by Offred, a handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a society in which women of a lower caste are the concubines for the ruling caste and provide babies for the women. In this society, sexual intercourse is considered degrading to women so only the lower class women have it. Men and women are very strictly segregated, according to their gender as well as to their class.
(Sound like a certain ideology today? Segregated swimming pools, victims of rape are accused of seducing men, etc)
The book takes its biblical references from Genesis, Job, and Enoch, which actually have their similarities with another religious tome. The Qur’an and Bible have over 50 people in common, typically in the same narratives. The Qur’an identifies the prophets Job, Enoch, Imram, and Ishmael, but they are never given a story. In the Bible, all these men are identified as righteous people but not prophets — except Ishmael who is not written of favorably.
Now, I want to correlate certain real life situations that have happened that happen in the beginning of the story, since the trailer of the tv series does imply a current political correlation:
In the novel, after a military coup (Rosie O'Donnell supporting Martial Law to take down Trump) and the assassination of the President (Madonna and other celebs calling for assassination), a group of right-wing fundamentalists takes over and establishes the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic state of absolute control…
The Right Wingers are already in power, sorry, and so far they have not paved the way for a theocracy (I say "so far" because while I don't believe it could happen, nothing is impossible), and with the dismantling of many government branches seems to be introducing LESS government, not more. Whereas the Bernie Sanders supporters encourage MORE government (meaning more LAW), censorship of language and ideas, as well as the issue of the Liberal support of radical Islam (See a nice Muslim Woman explain this here). The trailer makes it seem like terrorism is the cause of the beginning of the story and the lead to the theocracy. It would actually be more believable for the left to assassinate the current President under the belief that they are protecting a religious minority that has a set of laws that it feels are superior to the U.S. constitution. This is evident in such situations as the Democrats in Montana reportedly voting against a bill that would ban the use of foreign law in state courts, claiming such legislation targets Muslims. The ban was to prevent a two tiered legal system from developing such as is happening in Germany currently: If you get married to a 9 year old in an Islamic country, that marriage will be recognized by the German government even though it goes against its own pedophile laws.
Whether Atwood was aware of it at the time or not, Afghanistan was emulating the western world in its progression during the 1960’s and up into the 80’s. What Atwood could not have known at the writing of her novel(1984 at the time of writing) was that a mere twelve years AFTER her warning of the Christian/Right Wing dystopia, Afghanistan became a theocracy with the Taliban seizing control and Sharia Law being put into place.
Even the most ardent Right Wing supporters do not support the basic tenants of Sharia, and you would think neither do the Left Wing. One would think that a rational Westerner would balk at child brides, gays being thrown off of rooftops, death sentences for defecting from the ideology, regardless of being left or right wing.
Here is where I see the greatest failing of adapting the book into a tv show: One of the plot catalysts in the book is caused by a sterility virus severely reducing the population....
I want this point to be made clear; the fear that induced the rise of the republic was caused by existential fear or threat. An existential fear is really an unanswered question that leaves the asker with anxiety such as “If we can’t breed, how will the human race survive?”
The construction is strange because "existential threat" means ‘threat to existence’, rather than ‘threat that exists’. And it’s the threat of ceasing to be that worries people now. I don't really understand why, since from an atheistic perspective you will never remember anything that happened in your life after death. Or to put it the way the internet mocked Michael Moore recently in his tweet of:
"Historians in the near future will mark today, March 28, 2017, as the day the extinction of human life on earth began, thanks 2 Donald Trump".
I don't know how historians are going to document or research this, unless historians are free from extinction....
That is another point I want you to remember.
This kind of thinking leads to a kind of form of marxism*, where the fear of loss of continuance leads to the severe curtailing of personal rights and liberties under the rubric of giving meaning to the meaningless in a circular logic of "we exist to continue our own existence". And if you do not support a particular theory of continued existing and the "Destiny of Humanity", then you are the enemy.
This existential "threat" that people keep talking about is really about forcing others to clamp down on resources by distribution controls (socialism/marxism) due to fear of...dying. Therefore, every resource and occupation MUST be in service to everyone else, at personal cost, for the perpetuation of the species.
And there is something inherently wrong with that kind of thinking, because it leads to a life of existing, and not to a life worth living.
Part of the problem with the premise of Handmaids Tale, and I'll spoil the ending for you, is the historians speaking at the end of the novel talk of the Gilead regime faltering and failing. Yet the goals of the theocracy are the perpetuation of the race, something that might not have happened if the theocracy hadn’t turned women into breeding factories...(I don't condone or support this, but it is an outcome of the novel).
And that brings about the conclusion that was entirely missed by Atwood: that it isn’t religious fundamentalism that will bring about a theocracy such as hers portrayed in The Handmaids Tale; it is that in a purely biological way it is effective, and therefore the ends justify the means.
I’ve said before in other posts that evolution does not care about your rights and freedoms. If it could be anthropomorphized, at best it could be summed up as : whatever yields offspring in a continuance of genetic material is “good”. This is further exemplified in Richard Dawkins the Selfish Gene.
That means if chaining down women and raping them produced offspring, this would be genetically advantageous and “good” as opposed to extinction which would be “bad”.
The result is that it is very easy to see how a religious theocracy can take hold of a country, as we are seeing in places like Sweden, England and France. Western left wing culture is one of biological control, such as birth control and abortion and reproductive rights.
Dogmatically religious people breed more, less rule based religious people don’t; think of the Meaning of Life by Monty Python and the Protestants vs. the Catholics. The Pro’s can use any number of contraceptives, the Catholics can’t.
As the historian in the novel says: our aim is "not to censure but to understand."
So what we have here is an easy calculation:
Existential fear leads to a thinly veiled theocracy that’s actually a Marxist ideology of the people committing to the “greater good”, with religion as a means of control and not the control itself.
Historians would not be around to “understand” anything if the actions of the theocracy hadn’t happened. They are benefiting from the biological results of the theocracy.
If you ignore the narrative and pay attention to the details, the Handmaids Tale is more representative of the fall of Afghanistan under Sharia Law than of the religious fundamentalists of Western culture taking over America, and about the biological imperative to continue and that it will use any means necessary to accomplish this.
This show is about the Left taking over by using the Right.
But maybe that’s just me.
I’m open to discussing it politely.
*(I left it uncapitalized)
Sorry. I'm not supporting this (But I won't try to talk you out of it....it's part of my counter argument). Partly because I'm Canadian, but also because I don't believe in government funded arts. The whole idea of a funded artist came from...patrons; Rich people who kept artists as pets.
Freedom of expression is not under threat. No one is stopping you from putting brush to paint to paper, or hitting keystrokes.
“The idea that civil society is going to step in and take up all these shortfalls is far-fetched,” said Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of PEN, an organization of writers and editors that focuses on free expression.
That's the idea. No more running to your government. The responsibility falls on us. No more of this "Can't somebody else do it!"
Real art, real culture are going to HAVE to go back to their roots; the people.
Real artists have day jobs.
Volunteering is the only way to actually improve your community.
And for some perspective, if you factor that I have read 2 books a day over the span of 20 years the amount comes to over 14,000, ranging from every topic, field, and study (yes from libraries. I'll touch on that), of those books I have never read the following Pulitzer Prize winners (The NEH has supported the creation of 16 Pulitzer Prize-winning books and Ken Burns’s iconic documentary The Civil War):
Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787
Dumas Malone, Jefferson and His Time (Little, Brown, 1968-75).
R.W.B. Lewis, Edith Wharton: A Biography
The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics (Oxford University Press, 1978).
Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860
Robert Dallek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1923-1945 (Oxford University Press, 1979).
Melvyn P. Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, The Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford University Press, 1992).
Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life (Oxford University Press, 1994). (Though I have read biographies of her)
I doubt many of you have even read any of those listed, and if you really think about it it isn't a lot to show over fifty years even though I stopped at 94.
The N.E.A. helped get the fledgling Sundance Film Festival started (Founded by Robert Redford, an "actor" that I don't care for. He plays the same smug "I know better than you" character in everything he's ever done). Sundance is just another big corporation like everything else, making a buck off of the filmmaker. As the site says, 6 people can’t watch 10,000 films. The $500,000 “prize” is a crap shoot, and I’m sure they make more than they award. I wouldn't be surprised if Redford ends up in front of a committee in DC. Sundance Film Festival is and has been responsible for stealing millions of dollars for over 25 years from filmmakers from across the world for 'submission fees'.
Of the list of Sundance winners I liked one movie (a movie I saw as a child. The Brave Little Toaster. I watched it as an adult recently and I loathed it). In Canada we have CBC and Bravo who play independent movies and critically acclaimed movies late at night, often this was my Sundance channel before having the Sundance Channel. I've seen a plethora of these films and loved some, disliked others, wouldn't have paid for most of them, and I don't feel they've contributed to the arts at all (unless it's to show how NOT to make a movie)
Sesame Street MADE 121 million in profit last year. Now, of course, Big Bird and the gang have flown the coop to HBO in their own controversial maneuver—leaving the arts and humanities without as compelling a mascot for votes to rally behind as Trump and the G.O.P. stand over the federal budget, axes ready.
Seems like Big Bird had the right idea, though. And even though HBO will be making the show for it's paid network....it will be "donating" those shows to PBS six months after the original airing. That actually CUTS PBS's cost of procuring the show.
With regard to Libraries, I do love and support libraries. However, more than anything I have found over the years that while I do get value from it personally, I feel they are underutilized or spread out in ways that they don't need to be. If you want the library to stay relevant, you have to make it a better resource than Google, and explain why.
I think it would be a move in the right direction to start the inclusion of book sales and coffee houses IN libraries. Perhaps a "Chapters" nook near the checkout. Why? Well, demand for certain books is going to be higher than others (such as "Fast Reads" with a checkout time of three days or so), and some patrons might be willing to shell out the money for the book they want, or after reading a book decide they want a copy for their own or to buy someone else. THAT money can be funneled BACK into the library itself with lease fees and other incentives. And everyone likes to have some kind of beverage while they read (have the "common" book area and the "antique" book area separate, of course). Other such incentives could be a tiered membership: pay a nominal yearly fee and never have to pay late fees. Or if you donate over a certain amount, you get "preferred" treatment, like bumped up a waiting list for a book. That might seem abhorrent to some of you, and that's fine. I liken it to the online games I play for free....the paying members totally dominate me and sometimes it seems really unfair, but then I remember that I'm only sacrificing my time for this, and not my wallet, and then I feel fine.
Government funding should not be seen as an absolute; life happens. A good organization should always be looking out for other sources of income in case they run out in one area, or want to actually grow in other areas.
Think of it as creating "Book Privilege", where a system is made to perpetually benefit books.
But that's just me.
It's like shooting fish in a barrel, really.
The event promised, “Great vibes, good ratchet music, amazing food and swangin balls!”.
Atlanta men paid $175 to attend the event which had promises of women but NO WOMEN!
Turns out it was a psychology experiment, and the designer (I'm tracking down the woman now) kept the money and is allegedly getting an "A".
Good for her on getting an easy grade. I mean, getting horny men to shell out money is pretty easy. It's why strip clubs exist and why porn is so prevalent on the interwebs.
It just goes to show; a female can simply ask a man and he is ready and willing.
Who has the power?
5 Ways How to Make Monkey!!
(This really works!)
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
– Henry Ford
1. Become your own breeder
Not every species of monkey can be bred in captivity. Yet monkeys have been bred in captivity for hundreds of years, initially for circus’s and street performers. The most common monkeys used for breeding are Rhesus and the macaque, and they’re already kind of horny. Just procure some monkeys, let them have a few sips of rum (especially if they are ugly), and just wait a few months.
2. De evolve a human
Some people say (mainly hoity-toity Biologists) think this term is meaningless. We know better.
This one is more time consuming, and requires a bit of socialization to accomplish, but once you do you’ll find it very rewarding.
First find eight ugly people (four of each gender), the hairier the better, and get them drunk. Nine months later there should be some offspring as ugly as sin. Hopefully those offspring will be opposite genders, or one male to three females. Don’t forget to be really good friends with these people, because that’ll be necessary for the next steps.
Wait about 18 years, then get your friends kids drunk (see, you have to be involved in their lives for them to trust you), then wait another 9 months. These children should be REALLY ugly, and might pass for monkeys. Most young people don’t want the hassle of kids, so tell them you’ll adopt them.
If the offspring are not “monkey” enough, raise the uggo’s until they are 18, and try again.
Inbreeding might help.
3. Frankenstein dead monkeys from the zoo
This one is a little tricky, because it requires a few different fields of understanding and skill: sewing, taxidermy, biology, electrical engineering are just a few. Get skilled at sewing first, that’s important.
Get a job at the local zoo. Some zoos perform a necropsy, confirm the cause of death, collect any tissue samples that they want to preserve, and the remainder is incinerated. Any of these steps can help you in procuring fresh (and you NEED FRESH) body parts.
In case you're wondering how to manage getting dead monkeys, it depends on the situation - large animals are either crated and transported in a crate and then incinerated in a large pit at the cremation facility, or they are cut into pieces and transported in large barrels.
Take the parts home, and a night with the sewing machine and a lightning rod and BOOM! You made monkey.
It might just be easier to steal the monkey from the zoo, but you want to MAKE a monkey. Anyone can steal one.
4. Use fabric and a pattern
This one is for the squeamish. Just google a sewing pattern and get some supplies from the local sewing store. You’ll still make monkey, but it won’t move or anything.
5. Build a mechanical knock off
If you don’t want to spend all your time at the Hobby Shop or Circuit City buying parts and learning how to make robot arms for your Mechanical Monkey, just head to the local toy store and buy one. Use the steps from #4 on the list, but instead of stuffing your fabric monkey with cotton, use it to cover over your toy robot. You won’t have the fun of programming your robot monkey to throw its own “soft serve”, but it will do in a pinch.
If you’re really committed to building from scratch, watch a tonne of youtube videos on how to build robots, and buy some fake poop for your Mechanical Monkey to throw.
Alternatives to making monkey:
Steal one from the zoo
hang out with rich people
DEAR JERKASS: My sister, who is very religious, sent my gay daughter a Bible with her name engraved on it for Christmas, even though we told her -- after she asked for suggestions -- that a gift card would be more appropriate. We are not religious, by the way.
My wife and I feel strange about it, as if my sister is trying to tell us something like, "Your gay daughter needs religion." How should we respond to this? -- BAFFLED IN THE EAST
DEAR CONFUSED IN BABYLON: Gays can't believe in Jesus?
Was it a gift to you, or your fucking daughter? Be thankful your daughter wasn't four and got a toy drum set for her birthday.
I know, we're all afraid that our kids are going to fall under some psycho spell and become monsters. My kid looks like he's turning out to be a vegetarian, and it keeps me up at night. Let him become a gay porn star, but please God! Don't let him be a vegetarian, or I'll never hear the end of it. "I'm a vegetarian. I'm a vegetarian. Did I tell you I'm a vegetarian?"
So back to the topic: are you afraid that you didn't raise your daughter well enough to make choices for herself so you need to give her safe spaces when confronted with ideas or beliefs she doesn't like? Have you taught her that you can disagree with someone and still love them? Or are you the "Love Trumps hate and I'll show you how much I love you by hitting you in the face for disagreeing with me" camp?
You're not religious....so no one else can be religious in your house? If you're so worried then get your daughter the Queen James Bible (link in the Custom Pick).
I suggest instead of writing a columnist for advice you talk to your daughter about how SHE feels, and have her talk to her aunt about it. Otherwise, it's not really your problem.
Unless you did create a sheltered safe spacer, and then it is all your fault and you are a terrible parent.
DEAR JERKASS: I read your column all the time*. My husband and I have been married for 35 years. My husband has good friends who are women, and I have never objected when he stayed with them when he traveled from our home to Michigan.
One of the women he stays with called and they talked for hours. That's not right is it? My husband says she's just a good friend and it's only conversation.
Like I said, I didn't mind him staying with her because I trusted him. But now I'm leery and suspicious. I don't believe it's a sexual thing, but a long conversation hurts me more because I thought I was his best friend.
I told him, "Let's get counseling. If it doesn't work, we can divorce." He said, "You're not going to stop me from talking to my friends."
Jerkass, I need your opinion. -- LEERY IN FLORIDA
DEAR SAY MY NAME: "One of the women." ONE OF THE WOMEN?! There's more than one? So spending long isolated days and nights with other women never made you worry, and now a phone call does?
You need to seriously wake up any intuition skills you have. Because chances are that if he's been cheating on you, a long phone call isn't the flag that should alert you. The cheating (if it actually has been happening) has been going on for a LOT longer than recently.
Using the "D" word is just an invitation to end the relationship, and I'm starting to think that the issue here isn't just your husband. I'm thinking you want an exit strategy, and you're using this as an emotional excuse to disengage from the relationship. Spending multiple overnights with a woman should be MORE of a red flag than a phone call, and if you're just now feeling that you don't want to be married anymore, accusing your spouse of cheating is a great way to disentangle your feelings.
Sure, go to counseling. Counseling works if you believe that the marriage can be saved. But be honest about your reasons; unless you actually have proof he has cheated, this is just an excuse to either exert dominance over his relationships with other people or a bid at leaving him.
Focus on communication, if you're really wanting to see this through and stay married.
Sounds like you've already checked out, though.
*This twit reads Dear Abby all the time.
This little stink burger took me waaaaaaaayyyyyy tooo long to create. For that I am sorry.
As I get better, so will the content, so thank you for coming to my page, for reading and watching my stuff, and stick around. There will be punch and pie!
Also, I would Love it if you gave me the address of someone you "love", as I am going to be starting my Random Object Mailed to Random Person rewards program.
Enjoy the show (if only to mock it)
Welcome to Riverdale, huh?
So I’ve had the displeasure of watching the new Riverdale show based on the Archie comic book characters.
Netflix is releasing these episodes once a week, and if I do more videos on this show I’ll try to do them two episodes at a time.
I have a small laundry list of why I don’t like this show (and a few reasons why I do like the show).
For now, let me ruin a few things if you haven’t seen it yet.
MISS GRUNDY FUCKS ARCHIE!
If you watch this show, you might think it was murder that tossed these naively sweet characters into “reality”, but you would be wrong. Miss Grundy is hot in the Archie universe (and I say the Archie Universe because this isn’t some alternate universe, and I’ll explain that in a moment).
So the catalyst for the Deus Ex Machina in all of this is a teacher raping a student. I mean, let’s toss out all that consensual garbage, because if the situation were reversed and Mr. Weatherby was plowing Josie on the principal's desk, you’d all be having conniption fits about “abusing power” and rape. Because that’s what this is: rape. Archie is innocently walking home from work and Grundy sees this sweaty muscled teenager and altruistically gives him a “ride” home. Some people think that it was the murder of some secondary character that launched all this darkness into Riverdale but it wasn’t. It was a teacher stepping out of professional boundaries and raping a student. This is compounded by the fact that Archie and Grundy are fucking in the woods when they hear a gunshot...presumably the same shot that killed whatever the hell character I’m supposed to care about dying but just don’t.
Okay. I’m the first to say books, even comic books, and movies are different mediums and shouldn’t be compared to each other. I’m glad Wolverine doesn’t wear yellow spandex in the movies. That kind of crotch bulging disco outfit works on the small panels of a comic/graphic novel, and looks as ridiculous as a giant blue penis on the big screen.
What do I mean by the Deus Ex Machina? I’ll use the epic poem and the movie Beowulf as an example. In the epic poem NO WEAPON CAN KILL GRENDEL. None. Not a single weapon. How does Beowulf kill Grendel? By ripping his arm off and beating him with it, scaring Grendel away to go bleed out to death in the woods.
How does the movie deal with the magical enchantment of NO WEAPON KILLING GRENDEL!?
Well, there’s this magic sword, see…
They Cheated, capital “C” cheated. They couldn’t use the obvious and brilliant trick of NOT BREAKING THE RULES. The rule was NO WEAPON CAN KILL GRENDEL. The movie cheated using the “God in the Machine”, the Deus Ex Machina, to fix the problem of not being creative enough.
In a quick rundown of why I don’t like this series, that tops number one. The writers feel lazy to me when it comes to the Archie characters. While the original comic books may seem “quaint” or “unrealistic” to today's writers, it’s actually a disservice to good writing and teenagers everywhere. There is this assumption that there is no such thing as a genuinely good person, or at least not one that isn’t on adderall (Hey, I’m talking to whoever decided that Betty couldn’t be a nice person without being medicated). And while I am not a fan of most teenagers, and I think they are for the most part dumb (and have thought that even when I was a dumb teenager), it doesn’t help them to portray them as these back stabbing, sex addled, evil people who are only “good” because of some over “arch”ing guilt complex. The writers couldn’t seem to understand actually good people, so they cheated and created these Freudian garbage reasons for characters to fit what they mocked in the original comics.
A huge issue I have is that this isn’t a different universe, like when Archie and the gang fight Predator in the comic books.
It is directly referenced when Betty helps Lil Archie study (a fact that happened in the comics). It is a historical reference point to their characters. And that is why I have and had such an issue with all of these changes. It alludes that this is the universe of your youth; the shiny bright colors of the Archie Comic Digest brought to vivid HD.
In Pleasantville, (a movie actually referenced in the RIverdale show), the wholesome black and white characters are corrupted by “real” people in an atavistic fashion that leads from primitive feelings (starting with fire) into a sexual liberation of sorts where color is introduced into the world. With Riverdale, this similar premise is given...but dismissed as well. They haven’t said “This is a different universe where the lives of the Archie gang have begun and turned out slightly differently”. They’ve outright alluded that this is the same universe as the pages of the comic….but then they artificially altered circumstances to make the characters “fit” into our world.
There is this concept in the series that if you toss an Archie character into the real world, then their characters would make wrong, even horribly evil or immoral choices. It’s as though the writers said “No one would ever make the right decision by choice”. (These are the same people who hate Superman because he chooses to be good because it’s the right thing to do.) These writers don’t believe that virtue is it’s own reward. These writers are probably the same type of people who try to make sympathetic villains and don’t believe that a “Joker” could ever exist without some kind of tragic motivation. Good is evil and evil is good. To me, that actually makes for poor writing and characters.
There is one moment in the two episodes (episode 2, actually) where Archie's dad (Luke Mother Fucking Perry) and Archie have an actual “Archie” moment, and it feels like the most genuine part of the show. It’s like someone actually picked up a comic and read Archie wanting to do the right thing and for a brief moment understood his character. It isn’t in his nature to want to fuck his teacher.
And this also speaks volumes about how the modern teenager is viewed. Like Pretty Little Liars, or the Vampire Diaries, teenagers are Machiavellian sexpots out to destroy each other with almost no redeeming value. That’s just really sad.
It’s like they’re telling the youth “don’t bother being a good person. That’s just a lie. You might do all these bad things, but you’re expected to, so that makes it okay.”
Betty isn’t nice, she’s on medication and has no backbone.
Reggie and Archie in the comics have a “frenemy” relationship: while they don’t like each other there’s a kind of mutual respect. In the show Reggie's a jock that just tries to force Archie to act like him.
Veronica In the comic books is duplicitous, but often comes to the conclusion that her privilege doesn’t get her anything, and can also be very genuine and caring when not selfish. In the show, I think she’s the closest to a real person and could have been something the writers could have pushed into the other characters.
Moose was a lovable “dumb” jock who actually stuck up for characters like Dilton Doyle. In this...Moose is a closet homosexual, getting blowjobs from Kevin in the locker room during a dance. In the comics he would have stood up for Archie if Reggie had acted like he did in the tv show.
Archie has been changed from a happy go lucky, yet hapless character who is reminiscent of Charlie Brown in the lovable loser kind of way, to a moody confused caricature of the troubled teen.
And for me, the worst? Jughead. In the show (and I’ll have to re-watch it) I never see him eat anything. You want realism? Make him hypoglycemic. That’s just off the top of my head! Jughead loved food. He would have eaten a lead pipe if it was full of whipped cream. That’s an easy thing to transition into the “real” world. Instead he’s a borderline goth teen wanna be journalist in the Veronica Mars theme.
Those things are the minor portions that piss me off about this show, but they are important ones.
The plot is interesting. Sort of. I actually don’t care how whatever his name redhead-twin-Archie-clone dies. I don’t care if he’s murdered, or if it was his twin sister that did it. I am interested in how the dynamics play out between the Archie gang...but I would be interested if they weren’t from Riverdale.
To me this was an awful way to bring Archie and the gang to the small screen. They could have left the whole Grundy rape thing out of it. To me this is like someone watched Veggie Tales and decided to make a Baby Blue Movie out of it. Sure, Larry the Cucumber could be used as a marital aid, and I’m sure you could film something like that and it might be funny….but it isn’t necessary and it definitely does nothing for the characters. This whole premise would have actually worked for Scooby-doo. They SOLVE MYSTERIES…..what would fit better than the dinky teens who go from a Hardy Boy tomfoolery crime solving team to a real one that shows the characters start off from a kid centered concept of the world to a more real one?
But that’s just me.
How would I have done this differently? I would have left the murder and the teacher rape sex out and done it Degrassi Junior High style. Sure, there might have been some sex going on (I’m not totally oblivious), and drugs (Archie touched on that topic), but there still could have been the wholesomeness that the comics and the characters were really about. A show that would lead its audience to be persons of exemplary character even when it seems hard or too difficult.
I feel this series didn’t understand the characters and tried to make them change to serve the plot. That’s never good.
So now I’m up to four episodes in the Riverdale season, and I do have to say that as a story with character arc, it’s pretty solid for a WB show.
A few plot points revealed that some characters weren’t who they said they were, so I guess I have to say that I can’t complain as to how they were portrayed since they weren’t actually Archie characters.
Two points I do have to address though are Jugheads seemingly unaware narration and Cheryl Blossoms acting (I’m not sure if the actor Madelaine Petsch is just bad, or her character is. Time will tell).
It is a lie that all the Pleasantville changes that have come to Riverdale are from the murder of Jason Blossom. The true change came from Archie having sex with an adult. And whatever your feelings towards the “age of consent” (I don’t think you can be considered a biological adult until you have finished the majority of puberty, not just started it, but apparently that’s just me), that illegal act was the first crime that happened in Riverdale, and one that I feel was the actual catalyst, since it changed ALL the relationships from that point on (Betty’s unrequited love, Archies friendship with homeless Jughead...HOMELESS JUGHEAD! Forsyth Pendleton Jones the 3rd had a hard time feeding Jughead because he ate so much, and that’s why they were always broke. I get the whole “Jughead is hungry” switch making him poor, but this whole thing with his dad being a gang member seemed like lazy writing).
And I do mean “first” crime, since I’ve mentioned before that this series is claiming to take place in the Archie universe and references Lil Archie as a historical moment.
I feel that the writers of this series think that the Archie comics were a pictorial history seen through rose colored glasses, and they’ve removed those glasses/ In reality, they are viewing Archie through a glass darkly, they are imposing darkness on what was generally seen as a comic about the best in people.
And that’s what is missing or wrong with Jugheads narrative; the writers, using Jughead as a puppet, are viewing Riverdale in a dark way and saying it’s always been like this. That, and the seemingly endless uses of pop culture reference as though it intellectualizes what’s going on. Referencing other works of literature does not mean you are cultured or more aware than other people, and this self aware narrative comes across more grating to me than clever.
I admit I know nothing of the actress who plays Cheryl Blossom, so I can’t really compare her other works to RIverdale. But I am often confused if what I am watching with her: Is Cheryl Blossom, fictional character, really really bad at being duplicitous? Or is Madelaine Petsch just really bad in her line delivery? I can’t tell! Cheryl cries and throws herself on her dead brothers coffin and I don’t buy the sadness….am I supposed to buy it? Am I supposed to be like a voiceless citizen of Riverdale and react with disdain because I don’t believe her, and think she’s faking that she is sad? Or am I a viewer watching a bad actress fall over her lines and cover it up with tears?
I feel like at the end of this I’m going to discover I’m being punk’d….that’s still a thing, right?
So as a deeply plotted, character driven show this is working. The plot twists are still roughly in the realm of believability. The characters don’t actually go outside of their own arc in areas of character development. So far we aren’t going to see Betty pick up an AK 47 and begin to wipe people out in an adderal fueled Holmes/theater act of unreality, so when she does act a little kookoo nutty there’s a really good reason for it,
WHAT?!?!?!? TO BE CONTINUED?
Yes. Because I suck and I have kids that demand my time.
Why "Failed Daily"?
Because I fail to update daily.