Am I the only one who’s surprised that anyone would ever think that a television show based on Archie comics would be a good idea? Well, that’s precisely what the folks over at CW thought and they struck gold. It would be easy to say that this should’ve been obvious, especially with today’s entertainment climate focusing on turning comics into live-action movies and television shows. But usually, those comics are more serious, not the comedy hijinks of Archie and the gang.
So, what did the CW do? Make it all serious and stuff! And thus we got Riverdale, where we still get to see Archie, Betty and Veronica and the rest of the characters but… different. We now have an Archie that’s in love with Miss Grundy, a Betty that has to deal with oppressive and overbearing parents and a Veronica who’s actually kind, giving and poor. Oh, and there’s the murder of Jason Blossom, Cheryl Blossom’s brother… who may have some kind of an incestual relationship with her twin. Oh, if you think those are strange alterations for Archie, that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Essentially, Riverdale is incredibly strange and every time I watch it, I seesaw between liking and hating the show.
It’s really weird! Riverdale is kind of like those other teen dramas like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. Those weird dramas where the teens don’t act like regular teenagers and have more angsty issues than you can shake a stick at. Most of the adults are just strange monsters who all have their own selfish agenda. Even though I’m a girl and I’m the target demographic, I never really liked those kinds of shows. They’re just really trite and just surrealistically unbelievable. But, for some reason, it just works with Riverdale for me. Unlike the other shows that I mentioned, I can generally accept the rather cartoony personalities as, well, the show is based on a comic book series. That just makes it easier to swallow how ridiculous some of the characters are.
I also like how the CW tried to add some twists to the cast of characters of Archie comics. The CW could’ve made a straight up adaption of Archie comics and just make a few tweaks to it and I would’ve still watched it. But they decided to go really crazy at times with how the characters are portrayed and, with some of them, I approve strongly of these changes.
I really love what they did with Veronica. It would’ve so easy to make her the snobby rich kid she is in the comics. But I guess the CW already had plotted out that role for Cheryl Blossom. So, what did they do? They made her the daughter of a rich guy who got arrested and had all of her millions taken away for her. But even though she grew up surrounded by wealth, Veronica is actually incredibly grounded and strangely nice to everyone she meets. It’s a nice change of pace and a welcome change.
Speaking of mean girl Cheryl Blossom, I actually like her. In the comics, she was the really just a more arrogant Veronica. But in Riverdale, they made her extra special in the smugness department. She isn’t the flamboyant female that flaunts her beauty and sexuality like in the comics. Rather, they made her the meanest of the mean girls and I love it! I think a lot of it has to be with the way Madelaine Petsch brings Cheryl Blossom to life. It’s right on the line of cartoonish ridiculousness and predictable strereotype that’s just incredibly fun.
Too bad not all the characters in Riverdale were given better personalities. In fact, besides Veronica and Cheryl Blossom, I pretty much don’t like everyone else in the show. I don’t like how they made Betty the oppressed teen with a dark side who has to act perfect due to her overbearing parents. I don’t like how Chuck Clayton is an oversexed jock. I don’t like how they made “Big” Ethel not all that big. I don’t like how they made Josie crave for her father’s approval. There’s just so weird and almost an insult to the characters!
But the worst thing is what they did to Jughead. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a hardcore Archie fan… come to think of it, I don’t actually know anyone who would call themselves a hardcore Archie fan. But that’s besides the point. The way they portray Jughead in Riverdale is such a departure from his character from the comics. I heard that a lot of viewers actually like this version of the character. But not me! I really, really hate it as he’s an abomination of the usually lazy, always eating and, most importantly, rather asexual character Jughead was in the comics! I think it’s a travesty that Jughead in Riverdale now is an emo, tortured soul that actually likes girls! They even made Betty his girlfriend, for crap’s sake!
Maybe I wouldn’t be so upset with how the CW is depicting Jughead in Riverdale if he wasn’t my favorite character in Archie comics. But, still, it seems incredibly weird that, with a show that tries to add a lot of strange and dark quirks to the teenybobber cast of characters, they did the opposite with Jughead. By making him more interested in girls and less interested in food, it’s like they castrated one of the most unique characters in comics history. Jughead isn’t normal and doesn’t play by the general rules of society. He doesn’t care if he’s different from the rest of the gang at Riverdale High. That’s why he’s so interesting!
But I do understand that the writers of the show are trying to change things up with all of the characters, including Jughead. I will acknowledge that there are even some stories in the comics wherein Jughead would acknowledge to have some weird feelings for Betty and some other girls. However, these stories don’t make Jughead the weird and quirky character I’ve grown to love. In fact, it’s the total opposite as it just makes Jughead a normal teen. I know there are “Bughead” fans but for me, bleargh! That’s a vomit sound effect, by the way.
Riverdale is one of those weird shows where I actually like and hate it for the same reasons. I like how they’re changing up some of the characters and how they utilized those characters in strange ways. And yet, I also hate the way they’re using some of these characters and just adding dark stuff in their lives just to be different. It’s really strange but, right now, I will admit I’m hooked on the CW’s Riverdale. I’m actually looking forward to each and every episode that comes out and I want to see what happens to these characters, despite me actually hating some of them.
Oh, and by they way, I’m predicting they’ll reveal who Jason Blossom’s murderer is at the end of the season. And it’s going to be…
Little Ambrose, all grown up!
I predict that they’ll reveal that Ambrose has been bullied as a kid and terrorized by Archie and the gang. He has been living in the woods and planned to kill Archie but he mistook Jason Blossom for the red-headed teen and murdered him. You heard it here first!
What do you think of Riverdale? Let me know in the comments section below!