'Riverdale' gives a bolder, darker twist to the original 'Archie' comics
"Riverdale" premiered on Thursday with a promise that it will transform the classic "Archie" Comics Digests to a dark and lavish teen tale. Based on the earlier teasers, it was very clear that the new CW series will be different from the 75-year old comic book. As per the first episode of the series titled "The River's Edge," the show is indeed a lot different than its source material.
The episode opened with the voice of Jughead (Cole Sprouse), narrating how the town of Riverdale is far from its picturesque appearance. In reality, the town is not the peaceful and innocent place that it seems to be.
Jughead recounted the events on the 4th of July, where Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsche) was found soaked wet by the river, claiming that her twin brother Jason (Trevor Stines) was missing after the siblings went for a boat ride. The case was ruled out as an accident at first, but the real crime surfaced as Jason's body was found with a bullet hole in his head. This event sets up the eerie premise of "Riverdale," as each character will become a suspect for Jason's murder.
The viewers got to see the TV counterparts of the classic "Archie" characters. Starting with Archie himself (K.J. Apa), the long-time fans of the comics would notice the character has become more attractive, plus Archie picking up a more serious, yet moody, behavior. Also, the "Riverdale" version of Veronica (Camila Mendes) remains faithful to the comics' beautiful and sophisticated brunette, although it appears that the character has shed off the bratty attitude and become "humanized," according to TV Line.
Betty (Lili Reinhart), Archie's blonde BFF who develops a crush on the latter, was introduced as a sweet and charming high school sophomore, although just like Riverdale herself, her character is keeping a secret of her own. The secret may not be new to other teenagers striving to live a normal life. Betty also strives to live well in spite of her toxic mother actually forcing her into substance abuse.
As for the famous Archie-Betty-Veronica love triangle, "Riverdale" also shows that aspect, except that another woman will also be involved with Archie. Ms. Grundy (Sara Habel), Archie's music teacher, had a one-time fling with her student.
Interestingly, Archie's affair with a grown-up woman is what will keep the main plotline running in the coming episodes. It turns out that Archie and Ms. Grundy might be the ear-witnesses to Jason's murder, as the two were making out by the river when suddenly, a gunshot was heard. As the investigation regarding the crime began to roll, Ms. Grundy urged Archie not to tell anyone what they heard. For one, Archie telling the whole truth would also raise the fact that Mrs. Grundy, a high school teacher, hooked up with her own student.
The episode ended with another look at Jughead. At this point, the viewers also learned that he is actually Archie's former best friend. As per Mashable, this is one of the major plot differences between "Riverdale" and Archie digests, as Archie and Jughead remained best pals in the comics as they solve the town's greatest mysteries together. Still, there are more episodes left in the season to explain everything that has transpired.
"Riverdale" airs Thursday on The CW at 9 p.m. EST.© 2021 The Classical Arts, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.