When I was little, I was allowed to read one comic series. ONE. The rule maker in the house didn’t know I had secret copies of X-Men and Casper and other happy reads, but I will say I have quite the fondness for the group of characters who called Riverdale their home.
Archie comics have been a part of my life since I was old enough to read (which was before I was talking if you can forego me having a language I talked to animals with only), so when I found out that there was going to be a live action television show done about the gang I adored and have read more about than even Rogue and Prof X and the rest of those mutants, I was very much trepidatiously excited/nervous.
I *may have* (read: did) binged the entire first series yesterday. I currently have no bridesmaids duties to perform, and it was raining like crazy, so it was the perfect time to tuck into a good Netflix and solo-chill day/night/way early morning.
Now, if you’re thinking that this is gonna be the kind of series that will be all light and fluffy and Leave It To Beaver kind of fun, lemme just stop you and explain something. This is BASED on the characters. And yes, it has adhered to a lot of the tropey norms that have bombarded comics for generations, but let me just drop a fun little tidbit for you: Archie comics have been around since the 1940s. Technically it started in 1939, but Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica didn’t pop up until 1941. Sooooo you can say that they are the original tropey-tropers, so I am quite happy to let them have their “Reggie is still a jerk jock”, “Betty is the titular blonde sweetheart who is preppy and smart and gee-whiz, the girl next door with the 4.0 and a cheerleader”. But I think you’ll soon see that they are a lot less one-dimensional characters.
So, who are the characters? Well, the ones who have made it onto the screen so far have had a bit of a makeover – Fred Andrews, Josie McCoy, Pop, Ethel, Hot Dog isn’t even in the show, and Mr Weatherbee are all full of somewhat odd changes, but none other than Mrs. Grundy. O.o
I will say, I was prepared for that shock, as I had read a spoiler (sadly) when I was scrolling through my Facebook recently, so I was somewhat prepared for that one. And I get that the CW (yes, that lovely channel that brings us the Jared/Jensen/Misha show [supernatural, people, please try to keep up!] among others) wanted to make this a fresh take on the storyline.
Overall, I think this series delivers on a lot of levels. I would go so far as to give it a solid 9/10. And if you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know I don’t give that kind of score out easily.
**FAIR WARNING** Beyond this point, I’m going to break the series down by episodes, and I’ll do my best not to give spoilers, but undoubtedly, there will be some because that’s what the entire episode is specifically regarding.
****NOTICE: There will be 13 [more] parts to this particular review****