High School Confidential

I don’t actually find this fake trailer for an Archie movie terribly compelling if only because I think it doesn’t actually take the darkness at the heart of the comics as seriously as it ought to:

I’m planning on reading the current Archie continuities, where in separate, parallel universes, Archie is unhappily married alternately to Betty and Veronica once it’s collected so I can get through the whole thing at once. And maybe at the same time that I do that I’ll actually take the time to track down To Riverdale and Back Again and find a way to watch it on VHS. 

This isn’t the first time that someone’s seen the shadow behind the sunshine of the comics. In a way, the Archie characters remind me of what Max Fisher said about his high school in Rushmore: “ I guess you’ve just gotta find something you love to do and then do it for the rest of your life. For me, it’s going to Rushmore.” The adults in Riverdale aren’t exceptionally happy: Archie and Betty’s parents seem reasonably middle class but periodically harassed, Mr. Lodge is perpetually cranky, the teachers at the high school are generally single and often vexed by their students. There aren’t a lot of things it looks like it’s worth growing up for. 

And why would you want to grow up when you can be a rockstar as a teenager? A genius scientist? Archie characters don’t have to grow up to achieve their dreams. Growing up means you have to decide between Betty and Veronica, that you have to figure out what you’re going to do with your life.