My thoughts exactly:
@allahpundit did not know jughead was gay.
— Bruce Wolf (@BruceWolfChi) July 14, 2014
We should have known. There’s campy, there’s John Waters campy, and then there’s wearing a crown to school every day.
No, actually, the gay friend here is Kevin Keller, whom they introduced back in 2010 and then married off in 2012 in the first “Archie” gay wedding. Having re-written the “boy torn between two girls” storyline eight thousand times in the past 75 years, the writers wanted something more “impactful,” to borrow an atrocious word favored by the company’s CEO. That’s understandable, but … they work for Archie comics. They’re not “impactful,” by definition. Sticking Archie Andrews in the middle of an assassination narrative is like redoing “Goofus and Gallant” so that Goofus is a meth head. When you lose the innocence, you lose part of the charm.
Coming next month to “Archie”: Betty’s forced to scrape together eight bucks for birth control when her boss cuts off coverage after the Hobby Lobby ruling.
In “Life with Archie,” Keller is a married military veteran and newly elected senator who’s pushing for more gun control in Riverdale after his husband was involved in a shooting.
“We wanted to do something that was impactful that would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone,” said Goldwater. “That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin. He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”…
“Archie is not a superhero like all the rest of the comic book characters,” said Goldwater. “He’s human. He’s a person. When you wound him, he bleeds. He knows that. If anything, I think his death is more impactful because of that. We hope by showing how something so violent can happen to Archie, that we can — in some way — learn from him.”
I kinda like that they decided to kitchen-sink the “impactfulness” by making the story about gun control and about Archie’s respect for his gay friend. One or the other would have sufficed for buzz; either some random character dies in a shooting or Archie somehow dies protecting Keller. Instead, they’re grabbing hot topics by the fistful and flinging them at the wall. I wish, frankly, they would have gone way over the top and added a few more — the shooter, enraged by Israel’s actions in Gaza, is apprehended by Riverdale’s newest resident, a handsome illegal immigrant from Guatemala named Jose. Why be impactful when you can be the impactfullest?