CW’s Riverdale delivers an intriguing, emotional teen drama that you don’t want to miss.
The characters and setting of the long-running “Archie” comic series get a modern, neo-noir update in the premiere season of The CW’s teen drama-mystery series. The events following the murder of a beloved classmate, prompt Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, and the rest of Riverdale’s residents to take a closer look at the scandals and secrets lurking under the seemingly wholesome, all-American surface of their hometown. Starring Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, K.J. Apa and Lili Reinhart. –RT
Based on the characters from Archie Comics and adapted for the CW, Riverdale had originally been planned as a theatrical release film under Warner Bros. After much planning and discussion, the series was later repurposed for cable television on the CW network.
The cast of Riverdale includes a large ensemble of familiar faces, including the two titular characters Archie Andrews, played by KJ Apa and Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, who doubles as the series narrator (Jughead is working on a novel that involves the mystery and intrigue centering on season one’s plot). Luke Perry also joins the cast as Archie’s father.
Riverdale is just like many high school drama shows, only they feature a cast of characters based on a popular comic series. The center focus is on that of Jason Blossom, who ends up dead one morning on July 4th weekend. The plot unravels and reveals a mystery much larger than previously thought, along with a variety of interpersonal love triangles and fractured friendships on the mend.
What I love so much about Riverdale, and the main reason I would advise anyone take a look in giving the show a try is that it seems so genuine. The characters are immediately relatable with nearly all of them jumping out as someone you could associate with your own individual high school experience.
Sure, Riverdale is full of your typical casting choices of beautiful young adults portraying teenagers as CW has been criticized for in nearly all of their shows, but this time, with Riverdale, it just works.
Cole Sprouse shines in his role as Jughead, despite having less screen time than most other characters in the first couple episodes, but perhaps the real star of Riverdale is KJ Apa, dealing with a coming of age scenario with friendship, love, and what it means to be a good person. Archie Andrews is likely the most multidimensional character in all of the show, but even where he outshines his co-stars, his genuine approach to a troubled teen just fits so perfectly. Even then, the rest of the cast such as Camila Mendes who portrays Veronica Lodge, and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper and so many others demonstrate a quality understanding of the emotional turmoil each of their characters go through.
In a sea of remakes and reimaginings, Riverdale stands out among the very select few that improves upon any previous attempts from before. I was beyond surprised at how well the dialogue and plot devices landed, having never even been a fan of Archie Comics earlier in my life. This is a show that needs no prior exposure to the source material to enjoy.
The storylines are well connected, well thought out and each given enough attention to where viewers will be more than satisfied. With 13 episodes at 40-odd minutes a piece, there is much to enjoy and a second season running at the time of this writing, so most will feel fulfilled as they join Archie and Jughead on thier journey to unravelling the mysteries of Riverdale.
If nothing else, Riverdale deserves a chance to be enjoyed. You will likely find yourself pleasantly surprised at how quickly you get sucked into the show’s dark and gloomy teenage drama in just the first episode.