As reboots become more prevalent in movies and television, it’s become increasingly easy to have high expectations while ultimately being disappointed at the inability to live up to them or constantly making comparisons to the original. However, the series “Riverdale” succeeds at putting a dark twist on the originally light-hearted “Archie” comics, which have been around since 1939.
“Riverdale” originally premiered on the CW at the beginning of this year and has since grown in popularity as episodes were aired weekly through May and uploaded to Netflix that same month, making it possible to binge watch all 13 episodes. The series could have easily been adapted into another high school comedy series similar to the comics, yet the element of murder adds to the intrigue when the series first aired.
The series takes place in the small town of Riverdale, the so-called “town with pep,” and revolves around the murder of Jason Blossom, a high school student and son of the wealthy Blossom family. The main characters Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse), take the investigation into their own hands to discover who committed the murder while dealing with family, school, love and the general challenges of being a teenager.
What makes the show so captivating is the ability of the writers to utilize the series’ source material while implementing a sense of originality with characters while still maintaining a sense of nostalgia. For instance, the characters can each be categorized into stereotypical high school archetypes such as the jock, rich girl, perfect student and weirdo (at one point, the characters were referred to as the “sad Breakfast Club”). Yet they each have their own arch that goes against those stereotypes, such as Archie being on the football team and having an interest in music and Veronica being rich, but not being snobbish.
“Riverdale” also focuses on the role family plays in each of the teenage characters’ lives, as each family has a certain reputation in Riverdale that impacts their relationships with each other. The beloved couple of Jughead and Betty (Bughead) consists of a loner from the wrong side of the tracks and the typical girl next door has captured the heart of most fans of the show. As season two continues where season one leaves off, everything has escalated quickly in the five episodes that have aired as of press time. Relationships are being challenged and formed, all while another murderer lurks under the shadows of the former town with pep.