Today’s going to be a little different. I read a lot, but I also watch a lot of movies and shows when I can, so I wanted to do something a little different for this blog post and write up a bit about a show I just started watching: Riverdale.
I am watching this show on Netflix.
Chapter One – The River’s Edge
For those of you readers who have seen it, this may be nothing new. For those of you who have no desir to see it, but are curious what it’s about… well… Carry on!
Now, I grew up with the Archie comics that were featured in the Comics section of the Sunday paper. I remember Archie as a fun-loving, goofy kid/teen who loved milkshakes (he was ALWAYS in a diner drinking a milkshake if he wasn’t at school) and had some kind of, not exactly, love triangle going on with him, Veronica, and Betty (I never really could tell his exact feelings for either girl, poor things). That said, it’s been YEARS since I’ve even seen an Archie comic, much less read one. So, let’s pretend I’m coming into the show blind and I don’t know anything about the comics.
Trust me. This is for the best.
For those who’ve never read the comics, the show is basically a more contemporary murder-mystery form of both The Vampire Diaries that revolves along the same lines as Gossip Girl. There’s enough sex and drama to drown a cat that knows how to swim. Add to that a murder mystery where there’s no body – just the word of the missing boy’s twin sister – and you’ve got yourself a classic who-done-it-with-who show.
Seriously. Because for the first episode, that seemed to be the main focus: sex. Who was screwing around with who and why.
I remember loving Archie in the comics. This guy? Not so much. He’s stringing two girls along all the while he has the hots for teacher.
Yup. You read that right. Not only is he in some weird love triangle, but it’s more like a love square. Over the summer, he had an affair with his teacher – how did no one not notice this?!? – and he’s become a bit obsessed with her. At least, that’s the vibe I got every time he looked at her when she was in the same scene.
It’s covered up with his closet-poet-like manner. He’s been writing songs and she is the music teacher, but I don’t know how much of it is that he really wants help with his music and how much of it is that he wants to spend time with her and will do anything he can to make it happen. I just don’t know.
If you set aside any and all comic differences and take the show in the feat that it is – a sex-filled murder mystery – it’s actually decent. There’s enough intrigue to make me want to continue watching at least.
First, there’s the main mystery. A pair of twins went out in a row boat on July 4th and the girl of the pair was found huddled up on some rocks, soaking wet, claiming her brother had drowned. Cheryl comes across as a victim in the first couple of scenes we see her in, as a drowned rat, but as the episode progresses, it’s easy to see the grade-A bitch she is.
Then, there’s Veronica’s family. Her father is being charged with embezzlement, and she and her mother have moved to Riverdale to start anew. While Veronica seems like a nice person, I’m not certain I trust her, and I definitely don’t trust her mother. I can’t explain it either. Maybe because she quickly becomes friends with Betty, who’s broadcasted as the outcast from the get-go, and I’ve seen that too many times as a revenge plot. Bleh. As for her mother, I honestly thought she was set on starting a new life until she opened a bag that had been reported “missing” and there was a bunch of cash inside. Red flag there. Big red flag.
Jughead as the narrator of it all is interesting, especially when we find out – near the end, mind you, although it’s probably noticable as he’s narrorating the entire thing – that he’s writing a novel about the town. The episodes are called chapters rather than episodes, which I thought paired along with Jughead’s character in the show and the fact that he’s writing the story about the town and all its secrets.
Murder Mystery Theories
Theories about the mysteries! First of all, we have the missing/dead twin. Everyone believes he’s dead, and there’s confirmation one way or the other at the end of the episode. It’s a murder mystery show. I wonder which way it was confirmed. Hmmm…
I don’t understand the twins. On one side, we have people saying that they’re decent people. On the other, there’s hate and anger. Understandable. Especially when they’re the richest family in town to rival Veronica’s wealth. What I don’t get what they were even doing out on the water, and then the quote from Cheryl about being afraid? What? What was she even talking about?
From the moment she uttered those words, I suspected she had a larger part to play in her beloved brother’s disappearance. I don’t trust her. She’s mean, spiteful, and a straight up (and I absolutely HATE this word, so you should know how much I dispise the girl since I’m using it) cunt. My theory: the brother, Jason, comitted suicide. But he had help. You guessed it. His sister.
Why? That’s the mystery for me. Like I said, I don’t understand the twins. Granted, we only see one half of them. I would love to see some flashback clips of Jason to see what he was like, but something tells me I’m not going to get them. Either way, that’s my theory so far.
I don’t know what’s going on with Veronica’s family. Her father’s been charged with embezzlement, but I don’t know if the mother’s involved or not, although I have my suspicions she is. Is the daughter involved with the embezzlement? I think not. Still, I don’t trust her either as she seems to be good at causing trouble herself, and I’m still not certain her friendship with Betty is an honest-to-goodness one rather than her using the blonde. I realize they had a friendship in the comics, but this is DEFINITELY not the comics. It’s too dark, has too much sex, and there’s no humor, which was one of the best things about the comic actually.
Honestly, the best character so far has been Archie’s dad, Fred, who made a comment when he discovered Archie was lying to his teacher and him about his priorities, about being confident in himself. He’s been upfront with everyone: Archie, Veronica’s mother, himself. The man deserves a gold star. He didn’t have much screen time in this episode, but every time he did, he was a godsend.
“You wanted fire? Sorry, Cheryl Bombshell, my specialty is ice.” ~ Veronica Lodge
“If you mean Betty: whatever happened, just talk to her. You know, it’d go a long way.” *pauses* “It would have gone a long way with me.” ~ Jughead Jones
“But some advice, man-to-man? These decisions that you’re making now, son, they have consequences. They go on to form who you are and who you’ll become. Whatever you decide, be confident enough in it that you don’t have to lie.” ~ Fred Andrews
While this show is almost absolutely nothing like the comics I remember, besides the fact that the main characters all have the same names, I’m interested enough that I’m going on to episode two, and I’ll give it three episodes before I make a final decision about it. We’ll see how it turns out…
Have you watched this show? What did you think about it?