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Hot Stuff: Be Ready To Go Full Dark, No Stars In CW’s Nostalgic Archie Comic Retelling, "‘Riverdale"

Hot Stuff: Be Ready To Go Full Dark, No Stars In CW’s Nostalgic Archie Comic Retelling,

Well, just admit it. You’ve read it, too. Somehow, those colorful pages of pop culture have ended up on your lap during weekends or even in the middle of class. For many of us, it’s no accident. Tons of Archie comic books have come and gone from their ingenious hiding spots between the thickest of textbooks, away from the prying eyes of our teachers and parents. And unless your school is especially careful about these things, there must at least be one class where you have stood witness to the slow mangling of a specific Archie comic from being passed around in class. Oh, the tales we have read of sweet old Riverdale and its mischievous posse.

Mendes plays Veronica, the feisty daughter of an embezzler dad with many secrets.

Apa stars as Archie, a heartbroken teen with a passion.

Reinhart is Betty, a sweet girl with not-so-sweet tendencies.



But the CW has other ideas. And Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, chief creative officer of Archie Comics, is in on it, too. On its premiere episode on January 26, the mystery drama series Riverdale immediately trumped any ideas of candy-coated towns with tired teen tropes. Instead, it dangled themes of murder, mystery, embezzlement, LGBT acceptance, mental health, and twisted taboo into a spider web viewers are likely to get caught in.

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Don’t get confused, though. Despite the nostalgia that the Archie name evokes and the murder-mystery it opens with, Riverdale is far from being set in some forgotten backwoods in the past. This tale is as present as you are. Yes, the plot may remind you of some veiled secret a la Twin Peaks, and Jughead’s narration may sound similar to the investigative voice of Veronica Mars, but the way the show pounds at social issues and inserts meta-references (Hi, Barb!) are attributes that are only ever present in today’s shows. Just look at what they’re wearing, and you’ll be convinced. By the way, the show has a sick soundtrack, too.

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Riverdale is now on its fifth chapter, and in each one, we constantly hear postmodern quips from each newly-minted character. While some lines appear uncalled for and unnatural (Really, who speaks like that?), we can’t help but eat up the attempt at relevance, if only because we also deeply relate to coping in a “post–James Franco world” and being Breakfast at Tiffany’s in an In Cold Blood place. Watching Riverdale, it’s easy to come for the alternative story and stay for the next clever retort.

Veronica “Ronnie” Lodge said it right. Be ready to go full dark, no stars because Riverdale does not hold back on issues teenybopper shows won’t touch. As the show’s resident gay best friend Kevin said, these are just “reasons for you to grab that ginger bull by the horn, tonight.”


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Photographs from The Official Riverdale Facebook page and




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