Riverdale First Impressions: This Isn’t the Archie You Know

Let’s be honest, when The CW announced they were doing a drama called Riverdale, based on the Archie comics, I was skeptical. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Archie, Betty, and Veronica going back and forth for an entire season in will they/won’t they drama.

Preview night at San Diego Comic Con helped changed my mind.

Riverdale is about more than a love triangle. It’s a mystery steeped in friendship, love, and family. It’s about striving for more and telling those cliched storylines to take a hike because they’re not welcome! It makes it worth giving a chance when it premieres mid-season 2017 on The CW. 

1. Betty and Veronica is where it’s at.

You’d think for a show where the main character is Archie, that I’d start off talking about him. Well he isn’t the heart of this story. The most interesting relationship of this new drama is between the two women, Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes.)

If you’ve ever read the comics you know these two are basically frenemies. Their main goal has always been bagging Archie and being as catty as possible to each other. That isn’t so in Riverdale.

They steer away from the cliche (after a little bumpy beginning) and actually care for each other. There’s support, understanding, and secrets shared between them that make you want to invest time in their friendship. Most importantly, they put their friendship before their romance with Archie.

How often do you see stuff like that in a love triangle?

2. Archie is self involved.

I understand that Archie, played by K.J. Apa, had a summer that changed his life. I also understand that he’s a teenager whose recently discovered that he’s hot with a capital H. (Watch out for this scene where he dries his face with his shirt and his washboard abs are exposed for the world to see!) But that doesn’t mean he has to be so self involved. It’s about Archie’s music, Archie’s interests, Archie’s romantic inclinations.

Archie, Archie, Archie.

And before you scream, “Well this is a show based off the Archie comics! What did you expect?” the show is called Riverdale. It’s not called Archie. It’s about the lives of the people in a small town trying to make it day to day and grieving the disappearance of a young man.

Archie needs to do some growing and soul searching. The kind of teen he is now doesn’t make me want to jump up and down in excitement for what’s to come. Fortunately, I like a slow burn and understand I have to give him a chance to try.

Bring it Archie!

3. The mystery will expose harsh truths.

Right off the bat, Riverdale throws a mystery at us. Someone has disappeared and Jughead, Cole Sprouse, is meant to guide us down a path of mystery and intrigue. Right off the bat we start seeing what this disappearance means to people.

Some have lost themselves in the pain and self medicate. Others hide secrets because the reality of it all is too much to bear or can get them into big trouble. And others let people walk all over them because it’s easier to do that than stand up for themselves.

Everyone is changed by this disappearance.

And when this show really kicks off it’ll be interesting to see why a particular set of people are happy about this disappearance. They believe that the young man deserved it for what he’d done. That right there makes me excited to peel back the layers of the small town of Riverdale to expose the ugly underbelly that everyone is skirting around and/or denying.

It’s always the smallest towns who hold the craziest mysteries, twists, and turns. Riverdale certainly has them.

Riverdale premieres mid-season on The CW.

1 Comment

  1. I was at the preview night premiere too, and “Riverdale” lost me with the reveal of an affair between sophomore Archie and a teacher. Guess that’s what comes of being the mom of a 16-year-old boy. The mystery is good, and the relationship between Betty & Veronica is intriguing.

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