Volume 6, Issue 37!
“Return to Riverdale”
Yes, I’m writing about Riverdale again. Longtime readers of this column (all 12 of you) know about my weird love of the CW show that features Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, and the rest of the classic Archie character in a new, “teen drama” setting. But you probably don’t know that of all the new and returning TV shows based on comic books (and holy crap are there a LOT now), Riverdale is easily my most anticipated show of the upcoming season.
Much of my anticipation stems from just how surprisingly GOOD Riverdale’s first season was. Taking the well-worn world of Archie Comics and spinning it into a noir, Twin Peaks-lite version of the classic comics was an idea that sounded terrible at first, but quickly came to be the best thing about the show. From Cheryl Blossom’s weird family of maple syrup magnates to Jughead’s near-omniscient voiceover work, Riverdale achieved a level of mystery that many other shows horribly miss the mark at. What starts as a “who killed Jason Blossom” mystery quickly unravels into a case that exposes some very dark secrets about the town and the adults who live in it.
Of course, for as good as the story was, the cast was what made Riverdale stick out to me. KJ Apa’s Archie was a bit of a dud for most of the season, but he’s buoyed by the fantastic Camila Mendes as Veronica, Lili Reinhart as Betty, and Cole Sprouse as Jughead (who you might remember as one of the kids in Adam Sandler’s Big Daddy). This young cast is extremely talented, and if the entertainment gods look kindly on them, they’ll become major stars. Not only that, but Madchen Amick from Twin Peaks and Luke Perry from Beverly Hills 90210 star as Betty’s mom and Archie’s dad respectively. The two shows that most directly influence Riverdale are there in the form of the literal parents of two of the main characters on the show (with Skeet Ulrich also showing up as Jughead’s dad as well). Hell, even Molly Ringwald has a short arc in the first season as Archie’s estranged mom. Yes, this all sounds absolutely insane (especially coming from a 30 year old dude), but it all works!
Without getting too spoilery, the resolution of last year’s mystery has lead into a brand new one, and this time, Archie’s dad’s life hangs in the balance. With a killer on the loose, Veronica’s father returning to run the family business, and Jughead being tempted to join the dark side of Riverdale, this season looks to be even bigger and crazier than the last season. Yes, the idea of an Archie teen drama show being legitimately good sounds ridiculous, but trust me when I say that Riverdale is one of the best shows you aren’t watching, and since the first season is readily available on Netflix, you have no excuse to not try it out. Just don’t blame me when I say “I told you so” after you’ve binged the whole thing.
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Waugh's Bag Volume 6, Issue 37!