Riverdale: A Broody Archie, Latino Veronica & the Same Old Betty
If you haven’t heard, Archies Comics has made a comeback to the contemporary world with the teen drama Riverdale. When I heard about the series, I immediately jumped to see how they had transitioned from print to television. Riverdale is a twisted and dark take on the town that’s home to popular American teens Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge, who are still vying for attention from Archie Andrews, the central lead.
The show begins with the mysterious death of Jason Blossom, one half of Riverdale’s infamous Blossom twins. It fills you up with a sense of anxiety about what’ll come next, thereby stepping away from its source feel-good material.
Riverdale which is on Colors Infinity and Netflix India, dives straight into introducing the main characters of the new plot.
Betty Cooper: The nice and sweet, blonde-haired girl from the comic series, seems to have gotten a similar treatment in the adaptation as well. She’s still the earnest looking girl next door, who wants Archie Andrews all to herself. The show’s creators have played it safe with this one, but they did make the other two characters quite different from their original counterparts. Oh, and incase you’re wondering, Betty’s golden pony-tail is also firmly in place.
Coming to the central lead, Archie Andrews is not the boy next door anymore. As it appears, the ginger head charmer has gotten ‘hotter’ than he was in the books. He plays varsity football and likes to write music in his spare time. “What can’t you do?” asks Veronica when she first learns of Archie’s many many talents. Our question exactly. Must he be so unattainable, and thereby that much more unreal?
This Archie has a lot more going on in his life too. More women (read: complicated) are vying for his attention, and he's broody and confused as hell. A regular teen in a soapy drama, to be honest. Think Nathan from Gossip Girl. Also, this Archie has many secrets up his sleeve. He’s even got a thing for his teacher Miss Grundy, no less. She’s not an old bat anymore, just FYI. But more on that later.
Moving on to the one female character whose personality has been altered the most. Veronica Lodge is a latina with long black hair, and is a reformed ‘bitch’, which means she used to be one, but wants to mend her ways. The books had Veronica coming across as the most one-dimensional character. Not that the others did or said ‘deep’ stuff, but still.
The latina is shown to drift away from the comic into a much more fleshed out character. In Riverdale, there are real signs of a genuine friendship blossoming between Betty and Veronica, despite their obvious attraction towards Archie.
Archie and Veronica do share a moment in the very first episode, but it seems Veronica has bigger problems, and doesn’t want to complicate matters by bringing in the love triangle just yet. We don’t know where the story might be headed in the following episodes though.
If Gossip Girl and Twilight are your guilty pleasures, then Riverdale is exactly what you’re looking for. This show knows what its audience wants and milks it to the hilt.
One-dimensional, broody characters who think the world revolves around their small-town, is the perfect recipe for a teen soap opera, and frankly, that’s part of its charm. It doesn't try to be anything more than that either and it’s actually quite fun.
Riverdale isn’t earth-shattering, but then nobody expects it to be in any case. It’s exactly what it’s meant to be - a bunch of confused teens with a murder mystery at hand, sketchy negative characters, and the ever-lasting promise of a happily ever after.
Oh, and Josie is a black woman (quite mean, though) and Betty has a gay best friend. The show definitely steps up its game when it comes to making its characters more inclusive. More than anything else, it’s nostalgia served with gloss.