Back when it was first announced that the CW was going to create a show all about the classic Archie comics gang, I was totally on board. Then they started announcing casting decisions and I was getting really excited.
Then the show details were announced and it was released that at least the first season of the show would revolve around the murder of one of their own and that the overall mood of the show was dark and very melodramatic and, suddenly, I was out.
I am a lifelong fan of Archie Comics. I used to pick up the digests occasionally at grocery store registers. I followed the characters. I chose sides in the Betty vs. Veronica battle of the ages (totes Betty!). I even got into the comics when they launched Afterlife with Archie under the new Archie Horror comics banner and then The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I also loved, at least for a little while, when they rebooted the standard Archie comics storyline with Mark Waid writing and Fiona Staples adding her artistic panache. All great stuff.
But the show Riverdale? I decided to never start it. I wasn't in a place for teen melodrama. And now we're halfway through the third season.
This past fall, though, while listening to Patrick Renna's podcast, I heard them talk about how much they both loved the show, and not just because Renna's good friend Marisol Nichols starred as Veronica's mother Hermione Lodge.
Finally, I bit the bullet and started watching a few weeks ago via Netflix.
While im about 2/3 of the way through season one, I gotta admit that I really like it.
As suspected, I really enjoy the casting. KJ Apa is a great Archie Andrews. Related aside, his voice and mannerisms remind me a ton of Ethan Embry from Can’t Hardly Wait. Lili Reinhart is everything I could’ve hoped for as Betty Cooper. Cole Sprouse is fantastically droll as Jughead Jones but with much firmer ginger on the pulse of his school and town. Camila Mendes makes Veronica sympathetic and incredibly likeable, so far.
But even cooler is the adult casting including Luke Perry as Mr. Andrews, Nichols as Mrs. Lodge, Mädchen Amick as Mrs. Cooper, Skeet Ulrich as Mr. Jones, and Robin Givens as Mayor McCoy. That is an all-star cast of adults.
What I truly love, though, are some of the twists on the characters and backstories. Mrs. Grundy is a 20-something vixen of a music teacher. The Lodges are returning to Riverdale in shame from NYC after the indictment of Mr. Lodge for financial malfeasance. Betty’s sister is in an asylum. The Blossom family are the richest people in Riverdale. Jughead is homeless and living in a drive-in theater projection booth and is on the outs with Archie.
So much cool!
I hope it continues being this much fun.