27 January 2017 | Ed-Shullivan
Sex, lies and comic book characters brought to life in home sweet home Riverdale
Impressive character concept from both the Archie and Josie and the Pussycats comic books mixes the picturesque small town of Riverdale with all the original cartoon characters from these two favorite Americana nostalgia period. This series has so many interesting characters residing in small town Riverdale that attend high school at Riverdale High and as any group of hormone charged teenagers competing on the football field, arts and music and with math and science, the birds and bees and romance in the air these teenagers simply want to be liked.
If you are a purist who enjoyed the Archie comic books, Josie and the Pussycats comic books, or the circa 1968-1970 Saturday morning cartoon shows of the same name, then this series Riverdale is not for you.
This is certainly a PG rated series and not for the pre-teen cartoon loving audience. Betty Cooper played by Lili Reinhart is picture perfect as the innocent blonde virgin vying for her childhood sweetheart Archie Andrews attention and he is also who she wants for her first love. Archie the redhead is played by K.J. Apa and he is not the innocent young teenager that Betty Cooper thinks he is since they grew up together in picturesque Riverdale.
Then we have the newly appointed vixen who just arrived in town from New York city, Veronica Lodge played superbly by Camila Mendes. Veronica is living with mother Hermione Lodge played by Marisol Nichols and they were forced to move out of the big apple New York because Hermione's ex- husband has been publicly proclaimed the biggest fraudster in the state of New York. Now Veronica who has always grown up filthy rich in New York comes down from the high clouds in New York city and she realizes now that she must tone down her extravagant spending habits and social climbing to live within hers and her mothers more realistic means in Riverdale. Veronica Lodge has found her first true friend in the shy but beautiful Betty Cooper. Veronica is willing to try and expose Betty to the ways and means to trap a man, and also how to get on to the Riverdale High cheerleading squad.
Of course Riverdale has all the other characters we grew up loving such as music teacher Ms. Grundy, although in this series Ms. Grundy played by Sarah Habel is very hot and horny. There is also Jughead Jones, Big Moose Mason, Dilton Doiley and Josie and her Pussycats. On top of this young and fresh cast, the producers were smart enough to bring in some more established heart throbs from previous successful drama series such as Luke Perry who plays Archie Andrews father Fred, who is divorced and single and trying hard to run his own construction business. Betty Cooper's parents Alica and Hal Cooper are played by seasoned actors Madchen Amick and Lochlyn Munro.
There are some interesting story lines such as the rich red head Blossom twins who go out on the water in a row boat but only Penelope Blossom returns as apparently her brother fell out of the boat only to be taken away by the swift current. In this series which takes place in 2017 you have characters Big Moose Mason (Cody Kearsley) and Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) enjoying each others company as any two gay lovers would in today's more realistic society. I found the varying story lines and abundance of characters from the original animated books and Saturday morning cartoons quite enjoyable. Kudos to the writers, directors and producers who took the risk in blending characters and a small town atmosphere like Riverdale from a simpler period in life to the more complex world we live in today.
I give the series pilot an 8 out of 10 rating with much potential.