Comic books are back in action in Riverdale


The main characters of Riverdale, Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), Jughead Jones (Coles Spouse), and Betty Copper (Lili Reinhart) in the window of the main setting of the show, the diner of the small town.

Gillian Rush, Managing Editor

Attention all Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and The Vampire Diaries lovers: Riverdale is here, and it’s amazing. Riverdale premiered on Jan. 26, 2017 on the CW, intriguing its audience with a murder mystery plot line weaved into the classic high school dramas that are typical of the CW.

Riverdale is a television adaptation of Archie Comics, a series of comic books most popular in the mid-to-late 1900s. The comics, first published in 1941, take place in the fictional town of Riverdale, hence the name of the show. However, aside from its location and the name of the characters, Riverdale has almost nothing to do with its origins.

First and foremost, the entire initial premise of the show is based off of the mysterious death of small-town hero Jason Blossom, which occurred on the fourth of July. He was out on the lake with his sister, Cheryl, who claims he fell in the water, panicked, and drowned as a result. At the end of episode one, however, Jason’s body is miraculously recovered months later and it is revealed that he was in fact shot in the head. Talk about a sibling feud!

“I initially decided to watch the pilot because when I was younger at camp I used to read the Archie comics and I loved them, so I wanted to see what the show was like,” said junior Lauren Seltzer. “It’s kind of weird, and not like any of other shows that I watch. On Buzzfeed, I read that it’s sort of reminiscent of Gossip Girl, but with a mysterious twist, and I think that is pretty accurate. I’m glad I gave it a shot and I’m excited to see where the first season goes!”

Archie Andrews, played by New Zealand actor KJ Apa, is a brawny high school sophomore who has already found himself in three complex situations. He is torn between his passion for music and the allure of football and caught in a love triangle between Veronica Lodge, the confident new girl, and sweet girl-next-door Betty Cooper.

Finally, Archie is conflicted about whether he should come forward and tell the authorities what he knows about Jason Blossom’s murder. Archie and his music teacher, Ms. Grundy (who, by the way, is a statutory rapist), started an affair in the summer, and happen to also have some information regarding the death of Jason Blossom. However, if this information is shared, their relationship will be exposed and they would have to sacrifice their forbidden (and illegal) love.

Their teacher-student relationship is not the only flirtation off the beaten path; however, there were some incestuous vibes between the Blossom twins before Jason’s death, for example. Veronica and Betty kissed to make a point at cheerleading trials, and Betty’s best friend Kevin started a secret affair with Moose, a jock who hopes to keep his sexuality a secret.

Riverdale in itself is decent television, as it has all the qualities of other successful CW shows. It features love triangles, steamy sex, sports, death, good clothes, and controlling parents; essentially, Riverdale is the perfect combination of Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and The Vampire Diaries. So why, then, did so few people watch it?

While The Vampire Diaries pilot had nearly five million viewers, Gossip Girl three and a half and One Tree Hill two and a half, Riverdale had a mere 1.38 million viewers in its first week, and even less in its second.

“I think it probably didn’t get good ratings because of its lack of advertisement,” said Seltzer. “I wasn’t watching Gossip Girl or The Vampire Diaries at the time either premiered so I can’t say anything about their advertising methods, but even as someone who currently watches a bunch of shows of the CW, I rarely saw advertising prior to the premiere so that was probably part of the problem.”

Riverdale, though not performing as well as it should be, is a very promising new show with potential to be a new teen favorite. The show airs at 8pm on Thursdays.