An Archie Fan’s Perspective Of ‘Riverdale’

(This post obviously contains spoilers for the pilot!)

I struggle to put into words just how much I love Archie Comics and just how freaking excited I was for Riverdale‘s premier. I’ve been waiting for some type of Archie media for forever and my hopes got up each time a new rumor of a movie went around. As I mentioned when I posted my dreamcast, I grew up reading Archie and still do because it is timeless and so classic. There must be hundreds of digests jammed into my book shelf at home.

But Riverdale from the start seemed to shake up the foundations and as much as I was excited, I’ll be the first to admit that I was also a little concerned. I mean, Archie is a pretty vanilla story so I was surprised to find that the TV show’s plot was to revolve around the murder of secondary character Jason Blossom. It’s a bit of an extreme. And that’s only one of many changes I was aware of before the show aired. In the back of my mind, I wondered if I was hyping up the show only to have it let me down?

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But I have just watched the premier and am dying to share my thoughts (in more depth than my livetweeting). Overall, I really liked it. It was enticing and familiar and fun and it was so amazing to see the characters I’ve loved on screen. I imagine that a lot of viewers have read Archie comics but perhaps not with the fervor I did, and then there are those who’ve never read any but were interested in the show, so I thought it’d be interesting to share my opinion as I’m very familiar and devoted to the source material (related: here’s a quiz I made for Popwrapped [that the Archie Comics Twitter account also shared!!!]) and because I like to talk about TV. Here are some things I did and did not like about Riverdale.

What I liked:

  • Cole Sprouse as Jughead. Jughead is my favourite and though I was a little miffed when they first cast Cole, as soon as I saw that his black hair, I was sold. And Cole plays him perfectly. He’s quiet but smart and I can’t wait to see more.

jughead

  • The easter eggs (eg. A Town With Pep)
  • Betty and Veronica’s friendship. As much as they’re always in competition with each other for Archie, they’re best friends first, so it’ll be nice seeing that friendship develop in the show.
  • Having the parents all know each other from childhood
  • Cheryl being as crazy as ever. She’s annoying but you’re not supposed to like her.
  • Betty-Archie-Veronica love triangle. It’s iconic and the only love triangle the world needs.
  • Jughead as the narrator. He’s perfect for such a role.
  • The murder is compelling. I want to know more.
  • Kevin Keller! He wasn’t in the comics much with the gang, so he’s a nice addition. I just hope he develops into more than The Gay Best Friend.
  • The show isn’t too dark. I was worried it’d get creepy, but so far so good.
  • All the casting is spot on. I am impressed.

What I didn’t like:

  • Geraldine Grundy being a hot 20-something that is hooking up with Archie. Not only is that super illegal and gross, but comic Archie would never do that. I knew this would be my least favourite thing of the show. I really dislike it.
  • Hiram Lodge is a snake? In the comics he was anything but. But if it means we get a chance for Hermione to shine, I’m okay(-ish) with it.
  • Why aren’t Juggie and Archie best friends??? What happened between them???
  • Archie’s music/football problem….so Troy Bolton.
  • The falling in love with your best friend trope from Betty and Archie. It’s not that I don’t like Betty and Archie, but they amped up the unnecessary drama to have Betty pining over him secretly and Archie not reciprocating feelings so now they have to be all awkward about it….ugh.
  • Betty being all anxious and awkward and a push over. I know they have her mom being a weird psychotic control freak, but I’m looking forward to some development and growth in our favourite girl-next-door.
  • Moose is a closet gay? I mean….okay?
  • Grundy and Archie. Gotta mention it again because I’m really bothered, actually.

Obviously, it’s just the pilot and pilots are never flawless. This show has a lot of room to grow, and I am very excited to see where it takes us. As much as a sitcom happy-go-lucky style show also would have worked with such feel-good source material, The CW is known for their drama and I think it’s working. The small town of Riverdale is being shaken to its core by Jason’s death and I really want to see more. I need answers.

I’m so glad I’m not disappointed by the show. The creative choices and changes made were for the most part, likable and interesting, so I approve. Fans of Archie have waited so long for this show and I am pleased that it’s here and seems like it can last.

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Did any of you watch Riverdale? What did you think of it? Will you be tuning in next week? Please discuss with me!

 

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42 thoughts on “An Archie Fan’s Perspective Of ‘Riverdale’

    • Glad I could raise some awareness! If you’re American, the show is available on the CW app and website and it’ll also be available worldwide on Netflix tomorrow! Come back and share your thoughts after you watch it!

  1. Couldn’t have been more excited to put Netflix on this morning to find episode 1 (I thought the UK services wouldn’t show it, at least not so promptly). Like the darkness to it but also the familiarity of all the great characters. Can’t wait for the next episode!

  2. I’ve been reading Archie comics since I was a kid. And I still collect the digests. I like the show for the most part and like everyone else, I’m not on board with the Archie / Grundy thing. And why aren’t Archie and Jughead best friends?

  3. Nice to read your review, and happy to see I’m not the only fan out there. I grew up reading Archie, but somehow drifted away from it in my teens. This show has brought home how much I’ve missed it – I’ve already bought an Archie omnibus to make up for lost time.

    I love this show – I was so excited to watch the first episode: the casting was spot on, the Twin Peaks/Veronica Mars (a bit..) vibe, the soundtrack (‘Tell Me’). After watching Ep.2 I’m sold. My new Smallville-level favorite. Finally something the CW made that isn’t ‘superhero’. As Jughead says: ‘..A blond girl, a raven haired girl, and the luckiest redheaded boy in the universe.’

    P.S. It’s also super cool to see Luke Perry and Madchen Amick.

    • I’m really enjoying the show too. The second episode sealed the deal for me as well.
      P.S. Since you mentioned Smallville…should I give that a watch? I’ve been considering it for a while.

      • Oh yes, give Smallville a chance. For me, this is the show that really started it at all. What ‘it’? Well, you can look at shows today and trace the roots back to Smallville’s influence: Supernatural, Riverdale, the OA even. A couple of years before it aired we had Roswell, fun too, but after that there wasn’t much else for a while. Follow Clark Kent (Tom Welling, epic casting) as he discovers who he is and will become, set in Smallville. Great supporting characters – friends, villains (Ah, Lex..). The music, the relationships. Sure, there were a few lame seasons, but most of the 10 seasons were great. I still miss it.

  4. I never even heard of Archie comics before you mentioned this show, so I can’t really relate the show to the comics. That said, I have to say I love that you mentioned this show a few weeks ago. I love it! It’s so intriguing, the murder, the love triangle, the friendships. But I also do hate this Grundy and Archie thing, it seems off.

  5. I only have a cursory knowledge of the comics, but I’m enjoying this a lot. The Grundy plotline…didn’t really seem to go anywhere once everything came out, and I can’t decide if I’m annoyed that it didn’t seem to serve any grander purpose than being filler for Archie to angst about for a couple episodes or if I’m just relieved that it’s over.

    • Haha, yeah, I think most people will agree with you. Archie was the main character of the comics, but he isn’t that important in the show. I’m glad he’s there and I don’t hate him, but you’re right, he’s not a highlight by any means.

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