Friday, January 27, 2017

Pilot Review: Riverdale

Riverdale (Thursdays at 9:00 on The CW)

The influences on this newest iteration of the Archieverse are obvious. From the Pretty Little Liars-esque murder mystery to the casting of the original teen drama badboy, Beverly Hills 90210's Luke Perry, as Archie's dad and Twin Peaks alum Madchen Amick as Betty's mom, there's a moodiness and a brooding that readers of the brightly colored and cartoonishly drawn original comics won't recognize. It begs the question of if Riverdale even really is "Archie" as he's come to be known in popular culture. Even I, who has never read a single issue of the comics or seen an episode of the 1960s animated series, am aware enough of the characters and 1950s wholesomeness of Archie Andrews and the gang to realize that this is barely related. But for those who are more familiar with Aguirre-Sacasa's recent reboot and the zanier plotlines of the 1990s (Archie Meets the Punisher, for example), Riverdale will feel somewhat more familiar. Those comics proved that these characters and their world are ripe for updating, so why not have them reflect what's popular with young audiences? And when it's done this well, it's hard to argue against such an update.