Stranger Thing’s breakout character Barb has been nothing if not divisive these days; while many fans – including myself – were over-the-moon with Shannon Purser’s performance given what little the show gave her to work with, others were a bit more snarky about it.
Regardless, Barb is now a full-blown pop-culture phenomenon, and the actress behind the performance has some news to share.
GUYS, this the the cool thing!!!! I am PUMPED. 💜💜 https://t.co/3qr5DeTR5Q
— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) August 30, 2016
Entertainment Weekly reports that Shannon has joined The CW’s Archie reboot Riverdale “for at least three episodes” as Ethel Muggs; donned “Big Ethel” by the Archie gang, Muggs’ wikipedia entry goes on to describe the character as “tall, unattractive, homely, somewhat boy-crazy individual” who – from the sounds of it – seemed to get the short-end of the romantic stick thanks to Jughead. The EW post goes on to claim “on Riverdale, Ethel will find herself in a romantic relationship with someone very different” and that she will team up with Veronica (played by Camila Mendes) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) in order to get back at Reggie (Archie’s… arch… nemesis.)
Personally, I’m a bit torn; on the one hand, I want Purser’s star to shine extra-brightly after such a wonderful and understated performance (I felt like I knew so much about the character of Barb even without expository dialogue) but at the same time, this feels a little like typecasting to me in some ways. A big part of why Barb has become such a beloved character is the fact that she’s recognizable and real and I hope that this is what they’re going for.
Riverdale is coming from creatives behind Glee and The Flash so the jury’s out on what we’re looking at here. What do you think?