The CW’s ‘Riverdale’ Has a Slutty Twin Peaks Aesthetic and is My Problematic New Fave
Back when I was younger, when I was dragged to the supermarket with my mother and grandmother, occasionally I was treated to an Archie digest. I practically consumed them, and looked forward to seeing what sandwiches Jughead was eating these days, watched Betty and Veronica vie for Archie’s affections, mentally facepalmed over whatever stupid crap Moose and Reggie were up to, and so on. Archie Comics hold a special part in my heart, as they were some of the first comics I’d ever gotten my hands on. My love for Archie went from there to listening to ‘Sugar, Sugar’ on repeat, to watching this VHS tape repeatedly.
Which, oddly enough, seems to me like they got the basis for ‘Riverdale’, in the first place. (I’ll have to revisit it and let everyone know!)
But seriously, who would have thought Archie, Jughead and the gang would make for a hot teen drama?
Full disclosure, I am a sucker for trashy TV. Reality shows, yes. Dramas, you betcha. Teen Dramas? You have my complete attention there. This summer I binged the entire 90210 reboot on Netflix. I signed the petition to #BringBackNashville. And here I am, fully onboard for the Riverdale TV show, something I’d been looking forward to for months now. Even more so, since ‘Stranger Things’ cast member Shannon Purser (aka KWEEN BARB) signed on to play Ethel Muggs. (I swear on all that is holy, CW, if you kill her on this show, you will have to answer to ME.)
I’ll be the first to say that Riverdale, as a premise for a show, is utterly ridiculous. It is the raunchy, gritty, Archie we never needed. The writing is subpar at best, and the slutty Twin Peaks’ aesthetic is impossible to ignore. But GODDAMN AM I HOOKED.
Let’s start with Exhibit A, Archie Andrews.
Seriously. That’s him.
Yes, guys. Archie. The dude who wore sweater vests in the majority of those comics. He has abs for days.In all seriousness, ‘Riverdale’ Archie is a babe. And the guy who plays him is Australian. How can we go wrong here? Archie is the FUCKING MAN. He’s got this brooding bad boy lurking underneath his boy next door persona. He’s starting to write AND play his own music! He plays football! Hangs out with hot girls! And still has time to bang his teacher!
If you just heard the sound of brakes screeching to a halt, good, you’ve been paying attention. If you didn’t, go back and reread the last line of the above paragraph. Yep, you saw that correctly. Archie is boning Ms. Geraldine Grundy.
Yes, that Miss Grundy. Isn’t her outfit the epitome of style? Only she doesn’t look this way on the CW. No, no. She looks like this instead.
Quite the difference from page to screen, there. And no, clearly the CW writers didn’t consider how weird it was to have these old fashioned names in a modern day show. I never thought I’d say that Miss Grundy was bangin’, but here we are. Since the actors are probably the same age, their tryst doesn’t seem weird to someone casually viewing the show, but when you consider that he’s supposed to be underage, and not like, he’s a senior in high school underaged…more like…HE’S A SOPHOMORE IN HIGH SCHOOL. Ew. Miss Grundy. Control your loins. What’s worse, Archie seems to be in love with her. Yikes.
That’s pretty bad news for Betty, who is (unintentionally) comically friendzoned by Archie at the end of this episode. Bummer.
But speaking of Betty, while as a solo character she hasn’t won me over yet, the Betty/Veronica dynamic is AMAZING. I love that they didn’t take the typical “GRR I LIKE YOUR BOYFRIEND, NOW WE MUST FIGHT AND HATE ONE ANOTHER IMMEDIATELY” route, and that Veronica actually seems to be morally aware. Veronica, by the way, is completely spot on. They seem to have done away with her more ditzy side, and have portrayed her as the new girl in town, soon to be head bitch in charge. Oh, and if you grew up reading Archie comics and had high hopes for Betty and Veronica to make out for no specific reason, you’re in luck!
I thought it was kind of shitty of the writers to put a “two girls kissing for attention” thing in there, especially when they were tauting themselves in their promos as more culturally aware, having LGBT+ characters in the show. This type of stuff, to me at least, seems like a setback. But back to that head bitch in charge thing…
Any Archie readers remember this vixen? Cheryl Blossom, the character that was deemed “too sexual for a children’s comic”. Seriously, I remember reading some Archie comics with her in them and being SERIOUSLY uncomfortable. ‘Riverdale’s’ incarnation of Cheryl also makes me uncomfortable. The main plot this season seems to be centered around Cheryl and her twin brother, Jason Blossom. The Blossom twins, from my perspective, seem to have some incestuous crap going on, and Cheryl Blossom seems like she’s off her rocker. She’s got all the sass of Regina George, mixed with a bit of Alison DiLaurentis (Pretty Little Liars) craziness. She’s head cheerleader, of course, and she seems to want to make Betty, specifically, suffer.
The actress playing her nails the mixture of creepy/bitchy and is a perfect dynamic to throw into the whole Betty/Veronica shenanigans. It’ll be nice for them to have a common enemy, and I’m intrigued to know what’s in store for Cheryl Blossom.
Other highights of the ‘Riverdale’ premiere include super-out-of the closet Kevin Keller and hiding-in-the closet/hung like a horse/ secretly going to get a blowjob from Kevin by the river Moose, potential incest plotline featuring the Blossom twins, dead people in the river where in the closet gays go to get their dick sucked, an Archie and Veronica make out scene, Luke Perry as Archie’s dad, and my personal favorite –a Josie and the Pussycats cast entirely by African American actresses. And they are fucking FIERCE.
I’m already looking forward to their return, hopefully actual songs that will be released on iTunes as well, and to see what role they play in Riverdale.
I’ll definitely be tuning into Riverdale for the foreseeable future. We still have to see hipster/sexually ambiguous Jughead (Played by Cole Sprouse) and solve a murder, people! Oh, and hopefully we can see some more shirtless Archie, too.
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