riverdale series premiere

The CW’s Riverdale series premiere was last night after being rather hyped up for the past few months on its home network. The show is being adapted by the widely known and popular “Archie Comics”, and it features its characters, familiar in many households: Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Ms. Grundy, and more. What is different, though, about the comics is that this new television show seems to be a little more darker than what comic fans have grown to used to. Will this work? We can see in the coming episodes.

I was deeply reminded of other teenage shows, such as Dawson’s Creek and Gossip Girl, two very different shows but used the same kind of “formula”. We have a set of friends, a sleepy town (or in the case of Gossip Girl, a big city), and intrigue and scandal as these characters grow up and face high school. It seems so far from the familiar walks of the Archie comics, which did start in the 1940’s. The new, darker, sexier, and more realistic tones of the show actually seem to fit perfectly with the world which we are familiar with. As with all other teenage television shows, we have our main group of friends, which Riverdale will central around: Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. There are other characters, such as Kevin (the gay best friend), and Ms. Grundy (spoiler alert: she had an affair with Archie before school started!), but I feel that it will truly focus on these four kids, and how life in Riverdale will be for them and their friendship.

Veronica and Betty have amazing chemistry with each other, and Veronica also has amazing chemistry with Archie. To be honest, Veronica was truly a bright spot in the pilot, literally her character, being a new fresh face in the town where everyone knows everyone and their secrets. Betty is still the girl next door, and Archie and her best friends all their lives, with Jughead. Kevin does mention that she and Archie are “end game” which causes Veronica to think about her actions towards Archie. Veronica appreciates Betty for showing her around and being nice to her, and she does not want to be Cheryl Blossom again. (More on that later). It is obvious she is sincere about her words because when she ends up making out with Archie (!!) in the closet Cheryl’s house and it hurts Betty. She also makes sure they both make the cheer leading team (led by Cheryl), because “they are a package deal.” Veronica makes the show interesting, and I know Betty has got to show us more. There is more to her than meets the eye, as she is constantly being pressured by her mother to be perfect, especially after the breakdown of her sister, Polly because of Jason Blossom (more on that later!). Betty is about to crack, and I hope we see it soon.

But why is this Riverdale so interesting yet so far from its original source material? Well, we have same-sex teens kissing each other on screen for entertainment, kids going to parties and making out in closets, and a death with a kid and a hole in his head. Say what now, right? Yup. Those Blossom twins were the start of the trouble for our characters. Jason and Cheryl Blossom decided to take a boat ride on fourth of July and Cheryl was found without her brother. The Blossom family buried the casket without his body. But how do we know there is a hole in his head? He was found, the night of the semi-formal, the night where Veronica and Archie make out in a closet and hurt Betty, the night where Betty was told that she was perfect and Archie would never be good enough for her, the night where Jughead was doing a piece of Jason Blossom, but not really telling who he was. He was found, and his body was finally taken away from the river and the mystery of Riverdale continues. What happened? How did Cheryl fit in all this, as her twin is dead and she was the last one with them before he was presumed to have drowned in the river (and eventually find out he died from getting shot in the head)?

And how does Archie fit in all this? I think a common theme for this show will be decisions, decisions, and decisions, especially when it comes to Archie. Archie did hear gunshots that day in the river, but he cannot tell anyone as he was with (spoiler!) Ms. Grundy! The two were having an affair all summer and they were together that fourth of July, 6 AM at the river, the same river where Jason Blossom died. He will also have to make decisions if he wants to really play football or do his music while helping his father and the business at the same time. And of course, he has to choose between the two ladies in his life (and a third, if you count Ms. Grundy), Betty or Veronica. Will this age-old feud be resolved with this show?

Questions were left at the end of the episode, the most important one being, who was the first one to be arrested for the death of Jason Blossom? Will Archie ever ‘fess up to what he knows with what went down that fourth of July? How will Betty keep from unraveling? Will Veronica choose her friendship with Betty over her feelings for Archie? How does Jughead fit in all this? What is really going on in Riverdale?

Let’s all tune in to the next episode.

Judie Daguman covers entertainment for MFST, you can follow her at @pinkstickynotes

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