Why 'Riverdale' Is The Show To Watch Even if You're Sick Of Teen Dramas
The fictional town of Riverdale has come a long way since Archie Andrews and his pals were first introduced to the comic world in 1941. Since the Archie franchise has been adapted into a TV show for The CW, the show has given people many reasons to start watching Riverdale right this second if they haven't already. But let's back it up. How could a show based on Archie Comics really be so intriguing?
In the comics, the friendly, red-headed doofus known as Archie dated the elegant Veronica Lodge and the girl-next-door Betty Cooper. His best pal, Jughead Jones, has eaten an unholy amount of burgers and, in some later stories, come out as asexual, all without removing his crooked crown. There are relationship ups and downs, high school struggles, teenage witches, and pop bands galore. Haven't fans and non-fans seen all the franchise has to offer?
No, no they haven't. The TV series Riverdale draws from a darker, crazier take on Archie and the gang. Afterlife With Archie, created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, reinvents Riverdale High students in a way readers hardly saw before. It's the twistiest, strangest, sexiest, most intense version of Archie and Co. — and now it's on TV. So, the following are are just 11 of the many, many reasons to start watching Riverdale immediately. Because — let's be honest for a minute — the limit does not exist.
1. It's Not The Riverdale You Were Expecting
Most of today's generation grew up on the paperback Archie Comics they had to beg their parents for at supermarket checkouts. Riverdale is no Betty & Veronica Double Digest, though. The creator of Afterlife With Archie helped the CW help this dark undertaking, so it has all the camp of a comic book with the sexy noir vibe of any CW hit. It's also self-aware; whenever it feels like too camp, one of the characters will call another one out on it. Plus, Archie is a tormented, indie music-loving jock. Isn't that so much better than doofy Archie with the lame car?
2. Everyone's Hot
In the comics' 76-year history, no reader has ever picked up a copy of Archie & Friends and thought, "Yeah, Archie rules. I totally see why Betty and Veronica fight over him. The sweater vests? His Jalopy? Those eyebrows? Let's go!" Betty was too smart, and Veronica too glamorous; neither pairing could made sense. Fortunately, Riverdale has rendered that moot: Everyone's hot. Every single person. Archie is introduced as being surprise hot, after a summer of hard labor. The teachers are hot. The parents — mamma mia. Everyone is so 20 fire emojis, "fans self" reaction GIF level hot that it's almost impossible not to 'ship everyone with everyone else.
3. The Music
Remember the first time you watched a show like The O.C. or Grey's Anatomy, and it influenced your entire taste in music? Riverdale is that now. The show's blend of contemporary hits and the classics of old are, pardon the pun, killer. Whether the homecoming DJ is mysteriously spinning '80s-only tracks, or the Pussycats are rocking an updated "Sugar, Sugar" at the pep rally, you'll be hooked.
4. It's Not The Riverdale You Were Expecting (Seriously, No One Can Be More Clear About This)
Sex! Murder! Fire! Cheating! Gangs! Intrigue! Fire! Angsty, indie Archie. Impossibly cute Jughead. And the drama — oh, the drama. Seriously, Archie Comics + talented actors + barely restrained camp = literally a perfect CW drama.
5. What Else Did You Have Planned For Wednesday Nights?
Season 2 airs on The CW on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. EST. Do you have a standing commitment on Wednesday nights? No, you do not. It's a week night, sure, but it's early. You have plenty of time to catch up on work (school or otherwise) before and after Riverdale.
6. Josie & The Pussycats
Josie & The Pussycats got their start in Archie Comics, and what a long way they've come. On Riverdale, the soulful, absurdly talented trio steals every scene they're in. Oh, and they really do perform an updated version of The Archies' "Sugar, Sugar," complete with a horns section, and dancing cheerleaders. It's so good, y'all.
7. Actual, Visible Diversity
Admittedly, Riverdale has not been flawless in its approach to inclusivity. However, the series has been able to adapt Archie Comics' characters by casting people of color in their roles. Veronica Lodge is as iconic as ever, and this time, she's Latina too. All three of the Pussycats are women of color, unlike in the comics where Valerie is the one of the only black teenagers at Riverdale High. The mayor of Riverdale is a woman of color, and it goes on. The series has a ways to go, though, regarding the ways in which it has failed to utilize this diversity. But at least they seem to be working on it.
8. Cheryl Blossom's Commitment To Hair & Makeup Looks
Extremely Redheaded Cheryl Blossom is like the patron saint of extra. She rocks elbow-length red waves, a bold lip, fake lashes, crimson nails, and her signature brooch every single day. Cheryl wore white to a funeral from which she was disinvited. Remember when you were 15, and wearing skinny jeans with Ugg slippers to school was Peak Comfort? Cheryl doesn't. Be like Cheryl.
9. A Riverdale Spinoff About Sabrina The Teenage Witch Is In The Works
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the dark Riverdale spinoff about everyone's favorite teenage witch, could air as early as 2018. You don't want to be behind for that, right?
10. It's Weirdly Timeless
Writer Dodai Stewart has a great Twitter thread wherein she captures all of Season 1's anachronisms. Anachronisms isn't quite the right word for it, actually. It's more vintage-style set dressing to remind viewers of Archie Comics' place in history. While Riverdale seems essentially set in the present — prior to Riverdale High, Veronica attended elite NYC prep school Spence, Cheryl mentions her Twitter handle in the pilot episode, they use earbuds, everyone texts — certain aspects of the series are, by design, out of place. From old-school cars to heavy-duty computers, outdated cameras, and more, the little-mentioned hints are a visual cue to the series' timelessness.
11. Season 1 Is Short AF
Yes, the episodes themselves are around 42 or so minutes long. However, Riverdale Season 1 was a mid-season replacement; the series premiered in January 2017 and the finale aired in May. There are only 13 episodes in the first season, and they're all on Netflix now.
It's marathon-able, totally insane, and super easy to catch up. What are you waiting for? Grab the B to your V, or the V to your B, the Cheryl to your Jason, or whomever else, and devote your day to Riverdale. You're welcome.