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.

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  • 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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Why Does Daytime TV Suck?

No, seriously, WHY?

Whyyyyyyyyy????

I don’t have an answer, so if you’ve come here to get one then you are out of luck.

But honestly, is anyone else confused and angered and maybe even a little saddened by the sheer suckiness of daytime television? Because I can’t be the only one who’s had to settle for some weird programming.

I know that the majority of the world isn’t just lazing around watching TV all day, and I know most people work, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be some good stuff on. I know it’s a bad time slot, but what’s the harm in playing something decent?

In the summers, after the school semester ends and before I get a job, I watch TV….like, all day. So I get very familiar with what is on and what I want to watch. I end up watching random morning talk shows, random disturbing episodes of Law And Order (I don’t even care for that show!) and praying that I find something more exciting to do in the afternoon (lest I be condemned to watch episodes of Dr. Phil or Bar Rescue!). Sometimes I’d find re-runs of good sitcoms (Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother…), which would be great, but then I’d find that the same episodes were on during prime time as well, so I’d have to avoid them.

Would it be so terrible to show movies? Or multiple episode reruns of a good show? I don’t even care if it’s old. I’d watch Happy Days if it was on. But it’s not. Instead, there are infomercials, and not even the good ones*.

I mean, I guess it probably has to do with licensing and contracts and money. Perhaps the shows aren’t letting the channels play their good stuff during the not-so-good time? In which case, that’s very rude because I don’t see how it’d do any damage to the shows. In fact, I see it as ways to raise more interest in the shows so when new episodes are on during prime time, they may get more viewers.

I guess the good news about sucky daytime TV is that it does motivate its viewers to go be more productive. Go apply for that job, go write that article, go breathe that fresh air…

But let’s not forget that there are some people who have nothing better to do than watch daytime TV. I’ve compiled a list of people who are perfectly allowed to do so and are unfortunately plagued with junk.

  • People who work the night shift
  • Ladies on mat-leave
  • Stay at home moms
  • Stay at home dads
  • Writers/authors
  • People who work from home
  • Students with spaced out schedules
  • Kids on PA days
  • People on house arrest
  • Someone getting over an injury/sickness/surgery
  • The unemployed
  • Rich CEOs who don’t have to go to work if they don’t want to
  • People who take the day off/people on vacations
  • Retired people

See? Look at all those people who TV companies are choosing not to make happy.

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Hopefully, daytime TV will get better. The TV industry is always growing, and hopefully we’ll get more and more high quality shows on at all times.

It’s no wonder that Netflix is so popular. Netflix gives you the good stuff 24/7.

Leave a comment and tell me:

  1. How bothered are you by the quality of daytime programming? (if you’re not, that’s okay, tell me that too!)
  2. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve watched on daytime TV? (for me, it’d be this weird TLC documentary about this poor kid in India who had extra limbs protruding from his stomach and half the village worshipped him and the other half thought it was satanic).

*  “the good ones” being: The Shamwow, The Shticky, The Slap-chop, The Magic Bullet, The Bullet Express, The Shark Vacuum, and a select few others.

Quality.

 

P.S. If for some reason you’ve read this exact post before on the internet, I actually wrote it for a blogging course I took last year in university, so it’s all my own words, I’m just reposting it on my real blog!

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Why ‘This Is Us’ Works

No spoilers, only praise!

There are really two genres when it comes to TV shows: comedy and drama. Sometimes there are blurs, but for the most part it’s either a light show, or a heavy show. And that’s fine, because people have different interests and there’s surely a show to appeal to you.

But guys. This Is Us is a new genre. It’s not a comedy and it’s not really a drama. It’s something different.

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This show was making noise as soon as the trailer dropped back in May. It was the most watched show trailer, which was understandable, because it stood out. Set to Jason Mraz’s ‘I Won’t Give Up’, it showed several people experiencing emotions. Sadness, wonder, happiness… An overweight woman unhappy with her body, a soon-to-be-father worried about his wife and future offspring, a man meeting his birth father. Even if we haven’t experienced these things, we can understand the raw emotion that these characters are feeling. We can see it in their faces. There’s something magical about human life in that sense; we always want to know what other people’s lives are like. We want to connect and feel.

I watched the trailer and knew I had to give this show a shot. There wasn’t much of a plot shown, but further reading on the show revealed that all the characters share a birthday and are loosely connected, kind of like in that movie Valentine’s Day. From this information and the amazing trailer, I knew that not only would this show be something special, but it’d be a show that would really have an impact on me. I don’t cry a lot. Characters I love have to die for me to shed tears, but darn it, if I wasn’t tearing up at that trailer… I knew this would be a show to mess me up.

And mess me up it did. We’re only three episodes in as of last night, but this show is even better than I expected.

First of all, the pilot was fantastic. It could be a stand alone short film, really. I don’t think I’ve never been so excited for a show just based on the first episode. The twist at the end was brilliant and wonderful and I was literally counting down the days until episode two. And then episode two came and it was just as wonderful with just as big a twist at the end. Episode three was without a twist, but had the same about of heart and honesty and love.

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The love is why this show works. Viewers fall in love with their love. This show isn’t using comedy and relatable scenarios to get to you, they’re showing you a handful of special yet average people whose lives are about their family and their choices. We see real sides of people that most shows would only reveal later through heavy character development. It is still somewhat relatable, but that’s not the selling point.

Not to mention that this show has a unique ability to present stories due to its timeline. I can’t say too much on that as it is a slight spoiler, but the way it has been set up will allow this show to hopefully survive and prosper for years to come without reverting to cheesy methods.

I am not one to like shows like this. My TV schedule is mostly either comedies or superhero shows, so this is very out of place. It’s not a total feel-good show and it’s not depressing either. That balance and that rawness is special, and it’s what draw people like me in. This show stands out and its ability to not fit into any categories is really amazing.

This Is Us was one of the first shows to be picked up for a full season (yay!) and I’m sure that it’ll get a second one too.

If you haven’t seen this show yet, I highly suggest you give it a watch. If you don’t fall in love after the first episode then you may be a robot. It’s on at 9pm on Tuesdays, right between The Flash and Agents Of SHIELD for me and it stars Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K Brown, Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz. It is not one to be missed.

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Me, thinking about this show.

 

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On TV Show Endings

Season finales are great.

Series finales are great.

But you know what’s not great? Season finales that end up being series finales. Those suck. Show cancellations suck.

As a fan, I know that writers/showrunners don’t technically owe me anything, but I like to think that at the very least, I do deserve a good ending. A kind of thanks for sticking around. The same way a DJ plays a really great song to end their set. And I know that writers/showrunners aren’t purposely withholding these from me, but I think there should be some changes as to how show endings are approached.

It’s all about ratings. I know. Even shows with the most loyal fans and the highest critic reviews can be cancelled. Networks want money the best, and shows want to be on for as long as possible. But that means that sometimes shows start losing quality after a while. It happens to the best.

That’s why I think a lot more shows need to realize when it’s time to quit. They need to look at their ratings and see what the fans are saying and think about what they should do. If they really cared about their fans, they’d bow out and give the remaining loyal watchers a great ending. Yes, they may be able to survive for another year or so, but should they? Will things get better?

It’s not just the cliffhangers that bother me. Yes, those suck too, but mostly I want to know that these characters I fell in love with find peace.

I think about all the shows that had planned endings and how freaking great most of those endings were. FRIENDS, ending by closing the door to the apartment and all walking to get coffee one last time. Glee, ending with a fabulous, group song. Parks And Recreation, by giving us glimpses into each characters’ futures. Even How I Met Your Mother, ending by finally explaining Ted’s love life. Those last episodes and last scenes leave marks on viewers.

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Compare that to Agent Carter, ending with Jack Thompson getting mysteriously shot, or Under The Dome, ending with more complications even when outside of the dome.

Writers/showrunners should, when writing and planning season finales, take a look at their ratings and talk to networks and really think about the possibility of this being the end, and if there is a chance, just make it a nice ending.

Smash was cancelled after two seasons, but it ended on a good note. Tonys were won, romances were had. It was fine, and I didn’t feel cheated. Same with The New Normal, getting canned after one season; Bryan and David have their child and it’s all happy.

I don’t think people are going to be upset that the season didn’t end on a cliffhanger. And I know that cliffhangers keep people coming back but newsflash! People can’t come back if the show is cancelled!

But you know what? I don’t think things are going to change. Whether thoughts about cancellations are being had or not, shows will still likely pretend that things are fine and dandy. So what can they do instead? Is there still a way to provide closure? Yes.

Fans of Team Starkid may have seen their old web series called Little White Lie, a show about siblings who start a band by stealing music from an acquaintance in a coma. Season 1 ends with Kevin, the guy in the coma, opening his eyes. So of course, fans like myself were desperate for more, but at the time, Starkid didn’t have the funding or time to make Season 2, and some of the cast has moved on since. But what one of the writers (Eric Kahn Gale) did years later was release a general outline for what they had planned for the second season. That was outstanding. There was no more hypotheticals or fans writing their own second season, as a canon ending was provided.

Why can’t TV shows do that too? I’m not looking for a novel (though I’d happily read one) but just a general summary of how any loose ends would be tied up. Take Agent Carter for example. As much as I’d love to know if Peggy and Sousa would have stayed together in Season 3 or how Ana is doing, what I really need to know is who shot Thompson and how that ties into Peggy’s story/future at the SSR. I’m talking like half a page of writing. Or like, six tweets, I don’t care. And if writers want to give more info, then they can, and fans will happily read it!

Just think about it, folks. Think about how much happier fans will be knowing that even if their favourite show gets cancelled, they’ll still get to know what happens. No longer will fans be forever haunted by these endings. No more nights spent lying awake wondering what if. It’s win-win because not only do fans get the info, but writers/showrunners get to share their Cool Plot Ideas. There is literally no downside.

There are several shows I watch right now that I absolutely adore, but I think a few of them are nearing their deaths. I don’t want them to end, but I’m not ignorant enough to miss the signs. I’m just crossing my fingers that they have good endings. Planned endings. Ones that satisfy fans, the cast, and the writers.

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Anyways, I’m just brainstorming here and trying to express how I feel about TV show endings. These are just hypothetical ideas, but it’d be great if they were ever used for real.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, so leave a comment. Or tell me which cancelled show’s ending bothered you the most.

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The Late Night Jimmys

When I say “Jimmy” you say….

You probably finished that sentence with either Fallon or Kimmel, unless you personally know a Jimmy and then that Jimmy is probably more prominent in your mind. But the rest of us don’t know any real Jimmys so we’re stuck with the talk show ones. So let’s talk about them.

I don’t watch a lot of talk shows. I used to watch Ellen after school but since starting University, I rarely do. And I never watched late night. Those darn shows started too late. It’s not like I’m sleeping, I can’t be bothered enough to purposefully watch TV at midnight.

But it’s a shame because I am missing out. Talk shows can be hilarious and I love to laugh.

Last summer at work, my coworker would sometimes put on late night talk show clips from YouTube for us to listen to. We often discussed how we both needed to start watching late night but we never did. We’d also discuss which Jimmy was supreme. At the time, neither of us had a preference. Both Jimmys are funny, their shows are on at the same time, and they have show features that are amazing. For example, my coworker and I loved listening to Kimmel’s Mean Tweets segment but at least once a day someone one of us would imitate Fallon’s “Ew!” loudly (it was usually me).

But now things have changed in The Unofficial Jimmy Wars. I can’t say I’ve watched so much more late night but what I have seen has definitely swayed my opinion.

First of all, Fallon seems to be having a much better time on his show. I watched all of his Hashtag videos and I was so greatly amused by how amused he was. When he laughs, it’s so genuine. He’s seriously having a great time laughing at things or talking to the guests and that laughter and happiness is infectious. I in turn have a better experience watching his show. That’s not to say that Kimmel doesn’t have a good time or is grumpy, it’s just that Fallon seems to be on a whole other better level.

But my biggest reason for liking Fallon better is actually just because I’ve found I dislike Kimmel. This is fairly recent, but I’ve noticed just how uncomfortable Kimmel makes me. He can be rude, sexist, awkward and racist in subtle ways. I first noticed this during an interview with Adrianne Palicki, who was the sole reason I was watching in the first place. For those who may not know, Adrianne played the wonderful and tough Bobbi Morse on Agents Of SHIELD. During her interview, Kimmel was asking her about old jobs and made a few sexist comments, but the worst was right at the end. Kimmel asked her if she even liked superheroes and before she got a chance to answer he told her that every beautiful girl on the show that claims to like superheroes is “so obviously lying”. That’s right, girls. If you like superheroes then you’re definitely ugly. So Adrianne told him that she has a Supergirl tattoo and has long time liked the genre. Honestly, I don’t even know if the tattoo story is true but it shouldn’t matter. She shouldn’t have to defend herself against that sexist comment. Maybe if Kimmel had done some homework he’d know she was in pilots for both Aquaman and Wonder Woman (as Wonder Woman in the latter!). This is only one example, but I could list you so many more if you ask.

I’m not only one who feels the same way about Kimmel. I’ve spoken to other people who agree with me. It’s unfortunate that Kimmel is on ABC because I watch a few ABC shows and of course all the Marvel movies so I shall be continuing to support these actors even if it means sitting through sometimes the most awkward and forced hour of Kimmel. Talk shows are supposed to be enjoyable for everyone involved.

I mean, overall, they’re just talk shows, and I’m sure these celebrities have endured a lot ruder people in their careers, and maybe I’m overreacting a little, but these are just my two cents.

What are your thoughts? Do you watch late night and have a favourite Jimmy? Tell me why!

 

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