There is a new TV show out where feminism is treated as a running joke and real men’s issues of rape, suicide, murder and the matriarchy are being explored in a serious, if campy, setting. Has Paul Elam’s goal of waking up the world to men’s issues found an ally in the writing grottoes of the CW network?
Spoilers ahead for Riverdale. MANY. You have been warned.
“Ladies, where’s the heat? Where’s the sizzle?”
So when the music teacher, Mrs. Grundy, seduced high school sophomore Archie, a ginger, in the run up to the fourth of July, the overnight fireworks were not just in the backseat of her VW Bug. During the conclusion of their reiterated post-coital tangle of limbs and naughty bits, a gunshot rang out across the lake. That sound and the morning light brought rapist Grundy back to the harsh reality of her passionate/predatory crime but Archie, confused and caught in the lusty miasma of his sexual awakening, saw his worldview shatter before him.
Archie, formerly a happy kid, becomes brooding and depressed. Adderall-addled Betty, his childhood sweetie-next-door, no longer holds his interest and so he tosses her into the friendzone. In desperation, Betty begins to adopt increasingly flirty and even slutty behaviors in the forlorn hope of recapturing Archie’s interest. Veronica, a former feminist tart fresh from being disgraced in New York, has returned to town and introduces Betty to the lipstick lesbian mating scam – the Rivervixen Cheerleaders.
Archie’s mental breakdown in revealed in a series of vignettes: he balks when promoted to the varsity football team. He loses interest in his career with his single dad’s struggling company. He sleepwalks through social and sexy interactions with his peers. His only interest is introspective songwriting (as a proxy for his first sexual encounter with the music teacher?) but his musical overtures to the now all-black chick school band “Josey and the Pussycats” are rebuffed on thinly veiled racist grounds.
Veronica, at the dance, speaking to her dates Archie and Betty: : “Guys, can’t we just liberate ourselves from the tired dichotomy of jocks / artists? Can’t we, in this post-James Franco world, be all things at once?”
Finally, to hold his mental issues – or lusts? – at bay, Archie extorts his rapist, the Cougar Grundy, with an ultimatum. Still distraught at her fraught response, he seeks out the tweeker Jughead, from whom he gets a small measure of solace since Jughead is even more messed up than he is.
[updated] Many decades ago I grew up reading Archie comic books that were never like this. The new CW series Riverdale [if this link does not work for you, try this. Thanks to menrppl2 in the comments] is set in a post-feminist-apocalyptic world of male suicide/murder, the rape of underage men, hyper-privileged women and girls, and straight men as pawns to be pushed around as the matriarchs, young and old, see fit. Some of you can watch the entire pilot episode at the first above link depending on your geolocation.
So far, Riverdale is devoid of both married couples and the tired second wave feminist stereotype of goofy husbands. Even the jocks, including Moose, are compassionate and/or gay curious.
This savage updating of the Archie universe and their new open contempt for all tired things politically correct, lesbian and feminist makes this the perfect show for both a blue pill Trump and red pill Elam world. I was laughing with delight and Schadenfreude as each blue pill/feminist trope was engaged and destroyed without quarter.
The first week of the Trump presidency has seen a frenzy of activity portending massive changes in American society and, it is to be hoped, the death of feminism.
For Archie and his forgotten cohort of men, the changes will be challenging and for many, harsh. But men are designed to adapt and change, while others seem content to whine, cry, and inevitably, bloat into irrelevance. In Riverdale, wonder of wonders, their real world is free of such pointless feminist angst.