Lauren Holly Was HereAugust 29, 2010
We’ve just visited the set of The Town Christmas Forgot, a Hallmark made-for-TV family film due out this winter. For the production, crews turned the steamy streets of Millbrook, Ontario, into wintry Nowhere, U.S.A. Clouds of potato flakes blew threw the air as the actors negotiated wire-frame “snowbanks” covered in white fluff. “I need an icepack,” Holly shouted during one break, because it’s 32C here today, and not as Canadian as Americans seem to think.
I liked Lauren Holly on Picket Fences, a weird show that has strangely been forgotten. She played a cop with a unique sense of humour; one scene in particular, a wonderfully sneaky beat-the-censors entendre-soaked phone conversation with co-star Costas Mandylor, has always stuck in my memory. And, of course, my kids have just discovered Dumb and Dumber, so they know her from that film. But I remember her playing one particular icon of my childhood: Betty.
You may not remember this. To Riverdale and Back Again, also called Return To Riverdale, was a 1990 TV movie about the Archie characters, all grown up. It was meant as a pilot for a new series, but didn’t work, largely because it was not very good and had grown-up Jughead rapping. Rapping.
Christopher Rich was Archie, Sam Whipple was Juggie, Gary Kroeger (a mad comic genius, largely underrated) was Reggie, some other actress was Veronica and Lauren Holly played Betty – and did it exactly right. And as the kind of kid who always, always believed Archie belonged with Betty, she was the high point of the film.
I don’t know if i’ll be able to see The Town Christmas Forgot. But now I know I want to see that Archie movie again. (Watch for Moose and Midge.)