The CW’s newest teen drama, Riverdale premiered on January 26. Based on characters from Archie Comics, Riverdale follows a group of teenagers from a mysterious small town that deal with life, love, death and friendship during their high school years.
The series begins at the end of a tragic summer, in which Riverdale High School’s football quarterback, Jason Blossom, dies on the fourth of July, and this event casts a dark shadow on the town. Not only that, but Archie Andrews, a sophomore and arguably the heartthrob of the series, discovers his passion for writing and performing music while romantically connecting with Ms. Geraldine Grundy, the music teacher at Riverdale High.
Unbeknownst to his relationship with Ms Grundy, Betty Cooper, the smart girl next door and Archie’s best friend, prepares to confess her romantic feelings for him at the start of the pilot episode. However, they are interrupted by confident rich girl Veronica Lodge, who becomes friends with Archie and Betty in order to reinvent herself after just recently moving to Riverdale from New York. Despite the tension between them, Archie, Veronica and Betty become the best of friends.
Although the show mainly revolves around the love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica, the other characters help create the creepy, angsty tone that the audience gets from the show. For example, Jughead Jones, played by former Disney Channel star Cole Sprouse, narrates the series as an outcast judging virtually everyone from an outside point of view by writing a book about the past summer. Cheryl Blossom, Jason’s twin sister, is the conceited mean girl next door who hates on everybody for what happened to her brother. The famous fictional band “Josie and the Pussycats” are also in the series as an all-black female band. These characters sway the audience’s attention away from the cliche love triangle and offer conflict and personalities that will potentially make these characters fan favorites.
Despite the many cliches, Riverdale is intriguing to watch and can be surprisingly relatable. The characters go through things normal teens do, such as keeping up grades and extracurriculars for college and discovering themselves through their interests, all while dealing with the angst that comes with being a teenager. Also the cast, although most of them are newcomers to acting, portray these characters in a way that allows the audience to feel for them. While dead teenagers and student-teacher relationships is a common thing to see in teen dramas, it gives the audience enough suspense to make them come back for a new episode every week. Riverdale, although extremely different from the original comics, provides modern, more grown-up versions of the classic characters that allows teen audiences to not only enjoy watching their stories, but also identify with them as well.
The CW airs new episodes of Riverdale on Thursdays at 9:00 pm.