Riverdale

Can we take a minute here to talk about Riverdale? Where did this show even come from? I mean last thing I heard, everyone that’s a Netflix tragic was crowing on about Stranger Things. I tune out for a moment, I look back and this strange piece of teen-angsty, murder mystery drama thing is going on. I’m confused…. about a number of things.

Still, despite my better judgement, I’ve been tuning in every week to try and make sense of of it all and; since it seems like we’re on mid-season hiatus in Australia at the moment now seems like as good of a time as any for me to bring it up. I’m still really confused about what is going on and whether or not I like. It seems to me like someone took a cartoon and then added a dash of Twin Peaks and a dollop of Gossip Girl and gave that a stir before throwing in some 90’s heartthrobs. Leave to simmer for half a season and BAM! There’s an explosion tension driven drama, punctuated by strange episodes of product placement and some incredibly iffy costume choices.

The basic plot seems to be that Jughead is writing a novel about a murder that has taken place in sleepy little Riverdale, which just happens to be the home of Archie and his posse of pals. The victim is the richest, my popular twin in town and everyone is a suspect. Said deceased twin has a very alive sister and she is the bitch of the piece. The arrival of Veronica is a challenge to that title though, as well at to Betty and her secret love of her BFF, Archie. Archie is of course too focused on the affair he’s having with his teacher to notice that Betty is in love with him. Spending 7 minutes in heaven with Veronica soon pulls focus back to his teen lady friends though and suddenly Archie has more female attention coming his way than he knows what to do with. There’s also a token gay best friend and some super hip band girls doing the backing track to the series too, and let’s not forget ol’ Juggie, banging away on his type writer and being super pissed that he’s not getting any play – all in all, it’s just like when you were in high school … except that it isn’t – at all.

Pilot
(so, DILF’s are really a thing now. Here’s candidate no. 1: Luke Perry)

I was put onto Riverdale by a friend of mine, who was pretty excited to see Luke Perry back in action. As a hardcore Beverley Hills 90210/ Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie) fan myself, it seemed too good to be true, so I had to jump in an have a look. I’ve got to confess, I’m still a hell of a Luke Perry fan too. After seeing him in this, I can’t decide if I want to marry him or have him for my own super cool dad… he’s probably not old enough to be my dad, so maybe I’ll go with marrying him. Maybe it’s fair to say that I’ve hung in with this purely for his wise interludes. He’s a single dad, just trying to connect with his musically inclined, super sensitive teen son. He’s really bad at finding common ground, but I appreciate the ultra-hip attempt he makes. One thing that really stands out to me though, is that Archie doesn’t really look like Luke Perry. Not in any way, shape or form. Kind of makes me wonder if Luke Perry is really even his dad. I mean… he’s just so normal looking when all the kids are not.

riverdale

As is the issue with a lot of CW televisions shows, everyone is too good looking to be true. Even when they’re not quite awesome looking (like in Gossip Girl) they’re still all way too good looking to be from your high school, or mine. Plus they all have amazingly expensive wardrobes and immaculate hair and nails. I don’t know about you all, but I don’t remember having time to style my hair every morning before school and a mani/pedi combo in the afternoon with my best girlfriends? No way. Even if my allowance had covered such a thing, those Mars Bars and teen magazines weren’t going to buy themselves.

Due to the super good looking thing, one of my main bugbears with this show is the colour scheme. Specifically, the colour scheme that is happening on Archie’s head. Eyebrows can be dyed in guys… stop fooling and either make him a red head of let him go back to his glossy chestnut mane. You can’t be half in/half out – you commit to the ginger or you don’t. There’s also something distinctly Edward Cullen about Archie, I can’t quite put a finger on it, but again I think it comes down to his pale skin (I can’t way he’s not going to glitter in the sun because it always seems to be overcast in Riverdale) and his gelled hair. In any case, the world has one Edward Cullen. That’s more than enough.

Veronica… what’s going on with your eyebrows? Your dye job is impeccable and you seem to be the next iteration of Blair Waldorf (still desperately seeking Chuck Bass), but there is something about those brows that just makes you look a bit cray-cray. I get that you’re the rich girl and hence, you get to wear a cape, but I am totally not buying your rich bitch, girl kissing, uber bitch persona. You’re edgy, but you’re not edgy enough.

Betty. You’re too pure to function. I have a feeling there’s some crazy (genuine crazy) lurking under your sweater sets and blonde ponytails though – so I’m going to all it early and say you’re my favourite girl on this show. Imma be rooting for you.

The real stand out for me overall though is actually Jug. When he first showed up on screen with his knitted crown beanie it was all I could do not to roll my eyes, but I have to confess he’s really grown on me. Since the little romance he is trying to kick off with Betty began I’ve found that I’ve begun to root for him. He’s not the snide and bitter guy he pretends to be in the early episodes, he’s actually deeply intelligent, lonely and misunderstood. I guess spending your formative years in the shadow of you best buddy will do that to you. I’m hoping hard that Juggie is really going to come into his own in the back end of the season. That would be nice… and really, I think that him losing the knit crown beanie is too much to hope for.

cute
(too cutie patootie)

and here’s another DILF…

skeet

Skeet Ulrich popping up as old man Jughead blew my mind a little bit. I know he’s been around in the odd television show or movie, but I’ve always remembered him best for one role and that was as Billy in Scream. I was never a hardcore Skeet fan after that movie, but look, I think we can all agree that if we’d been Sidney, we totally would have lost our virginity to him as well. Anyway, in the current era he has shown up in Riverdale as the once best-friend/business partner of Luke Perry and together they’re DILF-ing it off for all the ladies my age. Luke Perry is your classic nice guy, while Skeet is more of the bad boy (read: alcoholic gang member/biker). I don’t know which way it’s going to go between them. Feels to me like Luke Perry is too nice. Maybe I’ll also hang around just to get to the bottom of that plot point.

Having read back and considered what I have seen so far, I still feel less certain about Riverdale than I did about 12 Monkeys (which has officially become ‘a thing’, but we’ll talk about that later). I don’t know if I am going to push on. I have until the end of the month to decide. I guess we’ll wait and see what happens. It’s easy to forget that there is a murder at the heart of this drama. That it is, is a real problem.

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