Riverdale- a CW take on the Archie Comics was always going to get us talking but will it continue too keep us watching?
Riverdale, a small Twin-Peaks like town somewhere in America is about to get really weird. At least according too our narrator, the sparingly used Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones.
The story starts with the death of Jason Blossom, a tragedy marring the otherwise innocent image of the town. The opening sequence is beautifully shot and sparks the interest for the rest of the episode.
A pilot is probably the hardest thing too pull off, especially when it comes too adapted material. You’ve got to establish character, introduce new people too the story and set yourself apart.
In this episode Archie is the white wall that all of the action is played off. A boy that wants too pursue music, football and working with his dad and his biggest secret is an elicit affair with a comically sexy music teacher (seriously there should have been a sign over her overly large glasses saying ‘I look hot but we don’t want to announce it’) He’s our Elena, everybody is falling for him, he’s going too be protected with plot armour.
It’s impossible to look at a CW show without comparing it too Vampire Diaries, the networks biggest teen success. The small-town gone weird aesthetic is similar in both the shows as well as the voiceover, I was half expecting Archie too be drinking a bag of blood. But the stakes in Riverdale are decidedly lower, which makes the show a lot more interesting…for the moment.
We can’t talk about Archie without also talking about Betty and Veronica. In their Riverdale iterations Betty is an overachieving, highly strung but ultimately sweet love sick girl. I think the actress Lili Reinhart was probably the standout for me this episode, playing surface sweet but with a lot of darker more unresolved issues.
Veronica on the other hand is biting wit and a lot of surface attitude, that’s not too say I don’t enjoy her characterisation but I feel like Veronica should be a worthy adversary for Cheryl Blossom but at the moment she’s very pulled back.
Although Veronica is the one actively pursuing the friendship between the two girls and I feel like if this episode achieved anything it was a believable amount of likability between the two of them.
The promotion of it all…
During it’s promotions Riverdale got a lot of flack for the kiss between Betty and Veronica put into all of it’s promos. It due criticism due too it’s queer baiting nature*
Queer Baiting: When a TV show or book series present the possibility of an LGBT relationship too attract a queer audience without ever having the intention of it playing out on screen
But moments after the kiss Cheryl pops a lampshade on the moment, pointing out that fake straight-girl making out hasn’t been cool since the 90s. So was this moment just for the promos?
The big dance
The last few scenes take place at a dance, one that is almost certainly not the Met Gala, Betty confesses her undying love too Archie only too get straight up rejected in a very long and cutting scene. We also see the talents of Josie and the Pussycats as they play the song that the Blossom twins were conceived too in a really weird moment that literally no one acknowledges.
I hope the show doesn’t rely too heavily on the dance motif, it always feels like a cop out for having them in school but not in lessons.
Archie has a point as every teen hero did in the mid 00s in a “that was never my dream it was yours” when Luke Perry talks too him about working at his (construction, maybe they never say what they’re building) company. Archie manages too work out a way too do everything that definitely won’t come back to bite him in the arse.
The episode ends with the discovery of Jason Blossoms body with a bullet hole in it. It seems like a lot of people had beef with Jason and the Blossom family so at the moment everyone is a suspect.
Riverdale definitely started off strong with this episode. However think this show is going too be a slow burn for a lot of people and never quite reaching the same heights as Vampire Diaries, but playing up the murder-mystery angle with the romance and teen drama as icing on the cake could set this show apart from the crowd.