30 January 2017 | atlasmb
Don't Look For Comics In Riverdale
The Archie Comics that originated in the 1940s were rated "G" for Goofy. Maybe not as goofy as "Scooby Doo", but it was a wholesome (you might say "square") universe. A version of "Archie" was even in bubble gum wrappers for a couple of years.
The universe of "Riverdale" is darker, promising that if you look closer, you can see the "shadows underneath". Sounds like "Twin Peaks".
The show features the characters we expect, but they are multi-dimensional, with problems and desires and secrets. Archie sees himself as flawed, but he wants to make music his life and vocation. Betty (his best friend) sees herself as inadequate, but she wants Archie to be more than a friend. Veronica (who just moved to Riverdale), sees herself as plagued by family history and publicity, but she wants to become a better person.
The show is very well cast. Each actor inhabits his character.
In the first episode, various secrets are alluded to, promising even more complications and conflicts than were revealed in the first installment.
Many standard themes of teen dramas are also part of this show, which may make it feel like home for some viewers. Others may grow weary of the usual tropes: the mean head cheerleader, the gay best friend, the closeted gay jock, the handsome athletic main character, the first day at the new school for the outsider. "Glee" explored many of them. And some of them date back to the forties, when Andy Hardy (the original inspiration for Archie comics) entertained us all with his teenage dramas. The show embraces them and even makes fun of them.
The first episode moves quickly, but not so quickly that viewers cannot follow. The foundation is in place for later episodes that can deliver a deliciously dark story that will entertain and allow its actors to blossom in their roles.