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Review: RIVERDALE – Chapter One: “The River’s Edge” [Spoiler-Free]

For many generations, Riverdale and Archie comics are thought of being wholesome entertainment for all ages. When I think of Riverdale, I think of sunshine and the All-American boy. This is no longer the norm for Archie and the gang in Riverdale. ‘RIVERDALE’ from the CW, starts with a dark and damp look on Archie, Betty, and Veronica, that has been portrayed in the last few years in the revamped and complex Archie comics. For a show that has been compared to “Twin Peaks” and “Beverly Hills 90210,” I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect but after watching the first episode, I’m on board.

<WATCH THE FULL EPISODE NOW>

As a forty-one year old man, I grew up with seeing 90210 on television screens around the world. This was not something I could get into. And with this show being on The CW, I expected it to be around the same. I can’t say enough how wrong I was. We start with a death and a few mysteries to begin with and we end with a body being found. I expected to not know any of the actors in the series and I was wrong again. Both men and women that grew up in the 80s and 90s will recognize a couple of faces from the shows I mentioned above. If you are a teen or in your 20s, you will also recognize a face from your childhood. I want to keep this spoiler-free for those that haven’t watched the episode yet.

The executive producers behind this overhaul are Archie Comics’ chief creative officer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and Greg Berlanti. Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the first two script for Riverdale. Berlanti, of course, is TV’s reigning producer of series based on comic books. Aguirre-Sacasa definitely writes something that isn’t your dad’s version of Archie. Since the comic has been around since the 40s, you could say it’s not your grandfather or great-grandfather’s Archie. One thing that remains is Archie being able to do it all. He plays football, write his own songs, and helps his dad with his business. Then we have Betty and the newcomer to town, Veronica, who are portrayed more as friends than frenemies. I like that aspect because it’s not what we expect from these characters. Maybe that image has been done over and over again and we did expect it. Jughead seems to be the most drastic change in character. He seems like a moody anti-social teen, but we didn’t see as much of him as I’d like. Here’s to more screen-time for Jughead. This is a large cast so screen-time for anyone besides Archie, Betty, Veronica or Cheryl Blossom, will be minimum. And then there is Ms. Grundy, who has de-aged many years. She seems like she is right out of college and into being a new teacher.

When I first heard that Fox was considering this series, I was excited because that meant more comics on television. When Fox passed and The CW picked it up, I started to worry that it would only be a teen drama. As a bit of a traditionalist, I wanted this to stay what was written for over seventy years. Now I am glad it isn’t. It seems like this is going to be a joyride and I can’t wait for the ride. I really hope for October 2017, we get an “Afterlife With Archie” special. You can find “Riverdale” on Thursday nights at 9:00 pm, EST.


Riverdale | Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil Trailer
Thursday, February 2,d at 9/8c on The CW

ABOUT RIVERDALE- As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the recent, tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom — and nothing feels the same. Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is still the all-American teen, but the summer’s events made him realize that he wants to pursue a career in music and not follow in his dad’s footsteps despite the sudden end of his forbidden relationship with Riverdale’s young music teacher, Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel). Now Archie has no one to mentor him, certainly not singer Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), who is only focused on her band, the soon-to-be-world-famous Pussycats. It’s all weighing heavily on Archie’s mind — as is his fractured friendship with budding writer and fellow classmate Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she’s not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty’s nerves, which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice (Mädchen Amick), aren’t the only thing holding her back. When a new student, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), arrives in town from New York with her mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols), there’s an undeniable spark between Veronica and Archie, even though Veronica doesn’t want to risk her new friendship with Betty by making a play for Archie. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch)… Riverdale’s Queen Bee is happy to stir up trouble amongst Archie, Betty and Veronica, but Cheryl is keeping secrets of her own. What, exactly, is she hiding about the mysterious death of her twin brother, Jason? Riverdale may look like a quiet, sleepy town, but there are dangers in the shadows. Based on the characters from Archie Comics, RIVERDALE is from Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, in association with Berlanti Productions, with executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (“Supergirl,” “Glee”), Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”), Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”) and Jon Goldwater (Archie Comics).

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