Stranger Things‘ Barb Joins Cast Of New CW Show

Shannon Purser, whose turn as Barb on Stranger Things made her an instant icon, will be returning to the small screen as part of American comic book lore. The actress will join The CW's Riverdale, a show that will recast the popular Archie comics as a teen murder drama in which everyone has secrets. Purser is slated to play Ethel Muggs, a character who famously has a crush on the gluttonous Jughead (Cole Sprouse), according to EW. Purser's character won't be doing that in this show, but she will team up with Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) to enact revenge on Archie (KJ Apa) bully Reggie Mantle (Ross Butler). Currently, she's only slated to be in three episodes, but she may literally be the biggest star in the cast. Archie seems weirdly unadaptable, as much of the comic book revolves around insanely minor problems that wouldn't rate as compelling TV. In a weird twist, I used to be completely obsessed with the Archie and affiliate comic books and would buy them every time I saw them on the grocery store newsstand. So it's jarring to see Archie portrayed as a muscle-y beefcake that serves as a legitimate sex interest for Betty and Veronica. Archie exists in this netherworld of the sanitized 1950s, where the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew solved mysteries while more or less ignoring or handwaving the massive social justice issues going on at the time. Bringing it all into the 2010s is jarring because it necessitates admitting that the characters were more or less constantly having sex while grafting on a murder plot that seems imported from a different reality entirely. In short: Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? The people that remember Archie are too old to care about the property being used in this way, and the intended age group doesn't care about Archie in the slightest. Grafting a generic teen murder plot onto a legacy property isn't clever for anyone but the owners of the rights. Though the trailer is not yet embeddable, you can watch it here.

More from TV

R29 Original Series