I was not looking forward to writing this review. Part of it was the uneven consistency and part of it was something else (I’ll get to later). And then I realized it was the annual musical episode.
Longtime readers know already that I love the musical episodes. LOVE them. “Oh, good, they’re singing again,” I always say.
Of course, this isn’t true. I always dread the musical episodes, because “I’m not a musicals person,” and then I end up loving them. Probably because they’re so threadbare on plot that pretty much all I have to do is sit back and watch pretty people sing.
And as usual, the singing starts right away with the title song, “Wicked Little Town.” This year, the songs are from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Since it started off as a musical and then became a movie–the opposite of the last two Riverdale musical choices–I think it’s the strongest pick yet. Or at least, I think the songs are the strongest yet. After all, despite my constant roasting of the city motto, it really is more of a wicked little town than the town with pep. I mean, it’s got pep, but it never seems motivated in a positive direction.
After all, the song soundtracks, in part, Jughead as he watches yet another delivery from the videotape voyeur. I think I’d rather do high school homework than watch a video of my house for hours, but Jughead’s different. And I have to say, I don’t really understand this storyline. The whole point of his going to Stonewall was because it was better academically, right? I’m sure his credits don’t transfer for some made-up Riverdale reason, but Jughead’s a smart kid. I’m sure he could catch up quickly, if he even needed to catch up.
But speaking of made-up Riverdale reasons, the variety show. Kevin wants to do a song from Hedwig, but Mr. Honey says no. He thinks it’s inappropriate, because the show is so “sexualized.” And I mean, I can see his point, if they were doing the full show. But just one song doesn’t seem too bad.
And anyway, Mr. Honey’s objection backfires. After Mr. Honey ends up kicking Kevin out of the show, after another Hedwig song, all heck breaks loose. Because everyone is so outraged on Kevin’s behalf that they decide that they’re ALL going to do songs from Hedwig. So Mr. Honey says if that goes down, then none of them are going to prom. Okay. This wicked little town has at least 10 places that could throw an alternative prom and–*gasp*
Waaaaaaait. Is this a reference to the Dawson’s Creek episode “The Anti-Prom,” where the kids, in fact, threw an alternative prom because the school administrators didn’t want Jack (also played by Kerr Smith) to bring a boy as his date? I think it is. (Like Pacey, I remember everything.)
Anyway, the kids don’t throw an alternative prom, but after Mr. Honey just cancels the whole show, they do throw an alternative variety show at La Bonne Nuit. But before we get to that, the core four has to have some relationship issues. First, Betty is frustrated that Jughead is putting off his schoolwork. She wants him to be at Yale with her, but as a fellow student.
And then Veronica is upset that Archie’s been hiding that Hiram’s been working out at El Royale. And I’m not blaming her, but once again, she’s taking out her fears on someone else, rather than confronting her feelings. She apologizes later, as does Jughead, but by that time, Archie and Betty have already kissed. Okay, so we’re doing this.
And once we get to the alternative variety show, The Archies perform with no small amount of tension. Jughead and Veronica don’t know there’s tension, of course, but it’s there. And I’m not sure if they’re going to notice for a bit. I don’t think Jughead will. Because as they end the night with a performance on top of Pop’s, Jughead can’t help but notice how many people are filming. So many. And any of them could be the videotape voyeur.
9/10 – Once again, I find myself really enjoying the musical episode. Maybe I am a musicals person, after all. (No, I’m not.)
But I still think it was wildly off-base to tweet something like this.