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May 1, 2017 | by  | in TV | [ssba]


The town of Riverdale is left stunned when all-star high school quarterback Jason Blossom goes missing, presumed dead, with no clear suspect or motive. But when a group of teenagers make it their mission to find out the truth, it opens up a Pandora’s box of seemingly unending secrets and scandal upon the sleepy community.

Riverdale, the CW’s newest teen craze, is an adaptation of the Archie comics, though I think characters and setting aside it’s a fairly loose adaptation. It’s also got an edge, and you can tell that because everything is the same colour as the first Twilight film. When I tell people about Riverdale, I say it’s “got a Twin Peaks vibe” even though I’ve never watched Twin Peaks. Starring New Zealander KJ Apa as boy wonder Archie Andrews, former Disney cutie Cole Sprouse as aloof weirdo Jughead Jones, and a smattering of ’90s heartthrobs (Luke Perry! Skeet Ulrich!) with dad bods, Riverdale is your new favourite show to complain about watching on Twitter while living for every moment of it.

First up, seeing a Shortland Street actor on a CW show is a wild experience. I used to watch a lot of Shortland Street, and in turn got everyone in my life addicted to Shortland Street, and then I abruptly stopped watching Shortland Street and left everyone in my dust. But seeing KJ Apa on my screen as Archie Andrews makes me feel so weirdly patriotic, and that’s coming from someone who is writing this at 3am on Anzac Day and feeling absolutely nothing. While he was never the most animated actor on Shorty, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since he was playing a depressed teenager on a New Zealand soap opera. His ginger dye job in Riverdale is atrocious, but his American accent is okay and he’s very nice to look at. Archie is the most oblivious main character in television history and frankly couldn’t care less about this murder mystery because he has a lot of people to make out with.

Cole Sprouse is delightfully sulky as Jughead Jones, and yes, he is also very cute. Lili Reinhart’s Betty Cooper is a good girl with a perfect ponytail on the edge of a complete breakdown, something that seems imminent between the demands of her psychotic family and new girl Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) flirting up a storm with Betty’s long-time crush, Archie. For a teen drama Riverdale is refreshingly self-aware and delights in being messy. The very first episode features a faux-lesbian kiss that is immediately shot down as a dated antic by a head cheerleader, and also normie cutie Archie making out with his music teacher Miss Grundy in a sweaty car. Each episode is sure to feature a handful of reaction-gif-in-the-making moments from Kevin, the openly gay son of the town’s sheriff, who is hooking up with every closeted guy in Riverdale. Jason Blossom’s grieving twin sister Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) is a show standout and the ultimate scheming queen bee bitch we need right now.

Riverdale isn’t even close to perfect; it has a cheesy script and overly muddled storylines (maple syrup empire?), and it definitely isn’t anything you’d recommend to your friends who only watch “serious” shows like True Detective or Westworld. No, Riverdale is steaming hot trash and I am the gaping begging garbage can it is thrown into. If you too still watch melodramatic teen shows from the mid-2000s (The OC, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill) in your mid-20s, you will love this. Riverdale is currently streaming on Netflix, ready to binge watch in time for the end of the first season in May.


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