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)
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.