Episode 1: The River’s Edge
The show starts with (who we will soon realise is Jughead*) narrating the entire story, which makes me so delighted from the start.
* Juggie was my favourite character, and Cole Sprouse does NOT disappoint in this role. He steps up and takes this character by the crowned beanie tips, and is fabulous in a dramatic role. I’ll save my silly Sprouse swooning for a bit later in the show though.)
I’m gonna pause right here and just toss out that I think that the decision to make this feel like the town is stuck in some time where the 1950s held on with poodle skirts and malt shops, and yet there are computers from the 90s and smartphones from current life and everyone is equal and no one is talking about melanin contents… it’s like Riverdale is in an alternate reality of a place where the cold war might still be lingering on the fringe of the world but the civil rights movement actually did affect change. Perhaps that was CW’s way of inclusion. Perhaps it was deliberate, because a lot of the Archie comic characters were in fact caucasian. The ‘bad guys’ for lack of a better term, aren’t all one classe either. There are good and bad throughout each demographic, and it is Riverdale, as it appears, is a fun and diverse Harrison Bergeronesque kind of setting – cut off from reality almost, but with Facebook and YouTube.
Okay, on with the review:
The whole series (season 1 so far – not sure if it will get picked up for sure for a second season, but I’m going to guess that’s a solid YES) is centred around the Blossom family tragedy, and how the entire town becomes a list of suspects.
Now, I’ll also pause again and say if you want some wholesome fun family entertainment, thinking this is going to be seeing how many burgers Juggie eats in a day, you’re in for a shock. There are overtones of abuse, family secrets that are buried deep within the barrels of the community’s favourite maple syrup, and even a few moments of “Wait, did Cersei and Jamie show up in Riverdale?”
I love that they make B & V (that’s Elizabeth “Betty” Cooper and Veronica “Ronnie” Lodge) besties in this. It works. The funniest quote from V in the show’s first episode is when she remarks to B and Kev* “I’ve tried every flavour of boy but orange.” *giggle*
*that’d be Kevin, one of the newer characters to the comic series – the first openly gay character in the Riverdale/Archies stories. We’ll get back to the fact that Jughead is actually asexual in the comics, but that’s not up for discussion at this point.
Now, I’m gonna say it once. Grundy. *makes a weird face at the screen* Alright, I will give that storyline a chance…
I do love Josie and the Pussycats. And Valerie, have a talk with yourself about those eyes, woman. Damn.
“You want fire? Sorry, Cheryl Bombshell, I bring the ice.” I forgot that V had two epic quotes in this first episode. *sings* LOVE HER!
It’s kind of odd that Juggie and Arch have a weird non-friendship thing going on… but yeah, totally in, and I want to see what happens next! BRING ME MORE JUGHEAD!!!!
Well, well, well, Jason finally comes ashore…