Not exactly the bubble gum version of the Archie comic books that we’re used to.
This twisted take on a classic storyline from our childhoods has all the circumstances that we recognize, the ‘Betty-Veronica-Archie’ love triangle we’ve grown accustom to, the local milkshake and burger joint, Jughead in all his lone-wolf glory, all present in this new, darker—much darker version. Not only are the themes obviously more mature than Betty and Veronica getting in a fight over Archie at a pep-rally, but also the characters themselves have many more dark secrets than those comic book pages revealed.
Right off the bat, we’re thrown in to a mysterious teen homicide; one that of course keeps on unfolding more and more hidden nasty truths about the ever so simple and picture-perfect Riverdale town and its residents.
Archie’s squeaky clean image takes a drastic turn in the very first episode of the series, revealing a Summer romance with someone he shouldn’t have been close to. Of course like any teen-drama, that gets quickly resolved in the first few episodes, and the true mystery of who brutally murdered Jason Blossom is the highlight. Side stories of Betty and Jughead becoming an item, Veronica’s mother doing shady business deals while her father was in jail for that exact same reason. Not to mention, the self righteous Blossom clan being completely exposed for the true monsters that they are.
With obvious storyline commonalities between other teen dramas, predictable “plot twists”, and the ever dependable cliff hangers at the end of each episode, (and at the very end of this season deliberately leading to a second), this is nothing more than a late night TV drama, hoping to catch viewers because of its re-hashing of characters in a twisted new light we took comfort with in a comic book from our adolescents.
And yet, having said that, I still binge-watched it beginning to end in just a few days. Seems like the writers of this show know what they’re doing.
Just as I finished watching the first season, the trailer for season 2 of ‘Riverdale’ was released, and the show is expected to be available on Netflix this October.