Archie Comics Fan Forum

Everything Archie => All About Archie => Topic started by: beatman10 on December 07, 2021, 08:47:36 PM

Title: Big Ethel Energy
Post by: beatman10 on December 07, 2021, 08:47:36 PM
Has anyone else been tuning in to Big Ethel Energy? I have, and I have to say my feelings are mixed about this series. I get and like that Ethel is being transformed from being '"the ugly joke girl who chases after Jughead" into a smart, attractive woman (and yeah, she is gorgeous here), But, I don't like what they have done with her personality and with the other characters.  Ethel was never shy, nor, I don't remember her ever being bullied by the others. If anything , Betty and Veronica tried to help her attract Jughead or other guys. In this story, Archie seems to be a loser. Even Betty doesn't want him. And Jughead is totally a jerk and unlikable. The only two likeable characters are Ms. Grundy and Moose. Anyone else have feelings about Big Ethel Energy?
Title: Re: Big Ethel Energy
Post by: Tuxedo Mark on December 08, 2021, 10:37:42 AM
I've read only the first chapter so far, so I haven't formed much of an opinion yet.
Title: Re: Big Ethel Energy
Post by: DeCarlo Rules on December 13, 2021, 08:56:42 AM
Quote from: beatman10 on December 07, 2021, 08:47:36 PMI don't like what they have done with her personality and with the other characters.  Ethel was never shy, nor, I don't remember her ever being bullied by the others. If anything , Betty and Veronica tried to help her attract Jughead or other guys. In this story, Archie seems to be a loser. Even Betty doesn't want him. And Jughead is totally a jerk and unlikable. The only two likeable characters are Ms. Grundy and Moose. Anyone else have feelings about Big Ethel Energy?

This is a more general issue I have with any of the rebooted Archie comics and Riverdale. I saw the ads for the series printed in the digests, and just did not recognize her as the same Ethel Muggs character.

So yes, in the Classic Archie mode, Big Ethel really WAS "the ugly joke girl who chases after Jughead" and it's kind of too late for apologies... because changing that makes her a different character entirely. The world today does not accept a gag-based comic filled with outrageous caricatures, so a rebooted Ethel must become a character with dignity and agency to modern readers. I guess their idea of that is to present the male characters as loser-jerks that Ethel can eventually triumph over somehow. Moose somehow escapes that because he's another example of a Classic Archie joke caricature ("big stupid massively strong, sometimes dangerously aggressive jock") that could be taken as maligning some real type of person, such as someone with mental retardation or a learning disability, or anger-management issues.

EDIT  Out of curiosity I had a look at the 1st webisode just to see, even though I knew pretty conclusively ahead of time this wasn't for me. And your criticism seems well-founded, with most commentators complaining about the characters being different than what they expected. With these New Archie reboots, even though they're not all pieces of a common shared-universe, I've come to expect it's a bunch of writers who have their own ideas about what sort of stories they want to tell, and change the Archie-derived avatars to fit that story.
Title: Re: Big Ethel Energy
Post by: beatman10 on December 20, 2021, 10:48:50 PM
I'm not against stories that depict the characters as adults where they deal with more mature issues. I simply don't want to see their core personalities wiped out, which I think, stories like Big Ethel Energy have done. The characters seem less likable and just plain weird. Maybe, it's the artwork and trying to make them look more like real people instead of the classic Archie look.