Shannon Purser captured the world's attention in 2016 by appearing in Stranger Things as Barb. In addition to becoming an incredibly popular meme, her role in the Netflix series catapulted her into the spotlight, and that's no more evident than in her latest role. As Ethel Muggs in Riverdale, Barb is finally getting the screen time she so deserves, and viewers couldn't be happier. But how long will Barb be on Riverdale? Purser's character Ethel is integral to the Archie comics, so she could be sticking around for a bit longer if we're lucky.
When the actor's casting was announced back in Aug. 2016, Entertainment Weekly said that Ethel would be in Riverdale "for at least three episodes." However, more recent reports claim that Barb will be around for a lot longer on the CW show, and Movie Pilot even said, "Purser will have a recurring role on Season 1." Is it possible that Purser's Riverdale role will get extended due to the actor's immense popularity?
According to IMDb.com, she appears as Ethel in at least four episodes of the show, though this could be subject to change as the majority of episodes have yet to air. Even as a guest star, Purser has already made a huge impact as Ethel, and the references to Stranger Things have not gone unnoticed (#JusticeForBarb/Ethel).
Ethel's character arc on Riverdale has been described as different from that of her comic book counterpart. Notably, in the comics, Ethel is crushing hard on Jughead, but this apparently won't be the case on Riverdale. Already, Ethel has made an important alliance with Veronica and Betty on the show by exposing the shady characters on the school football team. But could Purser ever become a series regular?
In Archie comics, Ethel is somewhat of a staple character, first appearing way, way back in Jughead #84, released in 1962. Described as having a "fun personality" and a penchant for baking amazing treats, it's easy to see why Purser was cast in such a likable role.
The actor is currently filming the romantic comedy Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, meaning that her schedule might already be full in 2017. However, having played so many iconic roles in her career already, it seems likely that Barb, and maybe even Ethel, will be around for many years to come.