TV Binge: Riverdale (Season 1, 2017)

Finally! Its time for another TV binge and we are finally getting to Riverdale. It feels like I finished the series forever. However, don’t you worry about my memory because I remember a good bit of it still… Thats got to be a sign of a great show, right?

Riverdale (Season 1, 2017)

riverdale

Creator: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Cast: K.J. Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Luke Perry, Casey Cott, Madelaine Petsch, Madchen Amick, Ashleigh Murray, Skeet Ulrich, Lochlyn Munro

As some of you already know, I’ve beem catching up with the comic reboot onto its new graphic novel style and it goes perfectly with the series. Story wise it stays fairly separate although I have read that the issues are considered bridges but I disagree because just take how they make Ms. Grundy a young teacher in the series instead of an older lady in the Archie comics. That may be a point where die hard fans might disagree. However, I’m not one to hate on adaptation material to switch up details to make it more dramatic. And the Ms. Grundy plot works for the most part and as one of the big situations that start off the first season, it truly shows how the show is willing to take risks and turn into a much darker tone than its original source material and in fact just bring the location Riverdale and its colorful characters to life.

Season 1 of Riverdale starts with the disappearance and soon realized death of Jason Blossom, the son of one of the wealthiest families in the small town of Riverdale. Aside from the death, we also see the beautiful and rich Veronica move in town as her appearance captivates Archie, a teenage boy who is best friends with his next door neighbor, Betty and aspires to be a musician while being on the football team. His best friend is Jughead who is best described as a loner because he chooses to be that and also happens to be the narrator of this series as he investigates to put together his novel. In fact that is how the series starts and they try to figure out what happened on July the 4th when Jason Blossom was allegedly murdered and its a series long investigation on who was where and why they were there and all the dark secrets that everyone is hiding.

Spoilers ahead!!!

What I like:

  • Betty & Veronica

betty and veronica

I’ve always been a fan of these two ladies. They have a much more different vibe here as they work more on their friendship together than being rivals over Archie. In fact, these ladies aren’t about Archie so much as they care about each other and are different in their own ways. Betty is nice on the outside but has an odd dark side that is hidden most of the time whereas Ronnie tries her best to change her old ways and be nicer to everyone even if she sometimes takes the wrong approach.

  • Betty & Jughead

riverdale

Rumors had it when the show started that Jughead had a possibility of being asexual and that would be a meaningful character so when he turned out to have a romantic arc with Betty, there was some backlash. However, the best part of the show and my most favorite bits are with Jughead and Betty together or separately. They are close and understand each other and have so many great moments where they support each other. Most importantly, they are both nice people who are unique from their group and in many ways, also each have their darker side and their secrets and together they make each other stronger.

  • Jughead

Jughead is possibly the most complex character on Riverdale. Along with Betty… However, he has hidden facts and family ties and all sort of things along with his lack of connection with his emotions and his tendency to build a wall from other people except a trusted few. Plus, he also is the narrator of the show and the going-ons. Season 1 in reality was about him. He has so much more in here than in the comics as he now has a girlfriend and while he does love his burgers, he still has other things to deal with. So much to learn and uncover especially with way Season 1 ended. Its going to be an exciting ride into Season 2, or at least I can only hope.

  • Cheryl Blossom

Riverdale

Another complex character here is Cheryl Blossom. She wants to be loved. This is one of those turning points in the show for her character that I honestly loved. It showed a side of her that was strong and would resist the power her parents had over her especially to please them and be who they wanted her to be no matter how wrong it was. Although, the way she grew up does implicate that she’s going to be doing some more drastic things and who knows what else she’ll be up to.

What I didn’t like/needs more work

  • Archie

archie

Thank goodness that this show is called Riverdale and not named after the comics and called Archie. While we’d expect it to still be called Archie in our minds, especially for fans of the old comics. This show’s weakness for about 70% of it was Archie. He actually might be the one person exactly like the comics. Maybe just a little less clumsy but he’s pretty lost and indecisive in what he wants so he never knows when to chase after what he desires. There just seems to lack depth in his character and hopefully in Season 2, it will be something of a Vampire Diaries situation where he will have his stage and character development after the first season’s foundation has been put down. I didn’t not like Archie, just thought he was a little boring, even with all his drama and his family and all that stuff.

Overall…

Riverdale is a really great show. I liked a lot of the components. Up there is what I honestly loved for the show and the one thing I hope they’d improve on. However, the mystery of the show works really well as they follow the trail of Jason Blossom’s death. There are some fantastic moments. The supporting cast was also in the parents’ roles. It was a little more messy on that front possibly intentionally however, it was more soap drama than anything else although, another thing worth mentioning is the bromance between Jughead and Archie as well as the Riverdale High crew. There was a cameo that last one or two episodes with Molly Ringwald as Archie’s mom which was nice to see as well as some familiar faces. There is no doubt that my favorite characters are Betty and Jughead together and separate but usually what starts together won’t last so I’m trying to keep my expectations low so it doesn’t break my heart if and when something happens.

riverdale

Riverdale is incredibly well done. The tone change and the characters really come to life in this show. There’s some bits and pieces that need some polish but I’m more than confident that by Season 2, they will get everything together and it’ll be an even crazier ride.

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Book Review: Road to Riverdale, Volume 1

Maybe not a book but a comic/graphic novel. If you’re new here or missed it, I’ve been checking out the revamped Archie comics. So far, I’ve been incredibly impressed.

Road to Riverdale, Volume 1

Road to Riverdale

ROAD TO RIVERDALE is an entry-level collection featuring the first issues of all modern-day Archie relaunches. – Goodreads

Road to Riverdale was apparently timed alongside the launch of the Riverdale TVseries (which I seem to have a hard time drafting up for some odd reason). I’m a fan and I personally had misunderstood what this comic was when I first bought it. Its intention is great because it actually is like a first look at each of the branches of the Archie comic reboot from not only the first issue of Archie but also Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie and Me.

What is really nice is that in one book, it gives you an idea of the tone and the art style and also what angle its going for in each of these characters and their story arcs. Of course, in Reggie and Me and Betty and Veronica, it has Reggie’s pet and Jughead’s pooch Hot Dog doing the background narrative. Its cool.

Archie: You can find my thoughts on the Archie, all available volumes right now. I’m definitely a fan. The art style and tone work so well in modernizing it.

Jughead: I personally love Jughead as a character especially in the TV series Riverdale. Something about this series works but is missing a little something more. At least from just this first issue section.

Betty and Veronica: The art style here is the most unique of all these branches. As mentioned before, it is narrated oddly by Hot Dog, Jughead’s dog. That also gives is a nice twist especially when it doesn’t objectify these ladies and has these funny snippets in between. Its a fun one. Not surprising since I did like the original Betty and Veronica comics also.

Josie and the Pussycats: This one comes a little more mid-range. Josie is a fun character because she’s kind of silly and the entertainment value is on point. Plus, this one takes the origin story point where we see how Josie and the Pussycats form.

Reggie and Me: I like bad boys and villainous characters and yet somehow, I’ve never been into the Reggie character much. While I do think this is a decent comic, I wasn’t as drawn into it as the other ones.

Road to Riverdale is an entry point to get a taste of all the branches of the Archie reboot and see if all or which works beat for you. However, it does seem that they are expanding this into multiple volumes and I’m not sure how the second volume works. If that’s the case, this can be either a cash grab or a convenient collection. It really depends on how you look at it.