Riverdale is one of the most hyped shows of the year, and easily the best teen drama to come out in a long time. I didn’t care about any of that as I turned my nose up at the Archie comic’s adaptation for weeks, trying to ignore the fanfare surrounding the show. Well I finally watched it, and I implore you: be like me, get over your snobbery, and watch it. If that doesn’t convince you, here are five reasons that should.
1. It’s more than an Archie comics teen show
One of the most refreshing things about Riverdale is that it gets the most obvious and tired plot: the love triangle of Archie, Betty and Veronica, an iconic part of the comics, and the stuff that teen shows are made of, and breezes by it in the first two episodes. It’s quite a statement of intent, and proof that Riverdale is a show that isn’t afraid to ignore easy entertainment.
2. You will hate Archie, but the show kind of does to#
The main reason I was put off of the show in the first place was how seemingly perfect Archie was. He does well in school, he got super-hot over the summer, and he plays acoustic guitar without, somehow, making everyone around him nauseous. Yet the show doesn’t let him away with anything, in fact he may be one of the least interesting aspects by design, with nearly every character being more interesting than him. He’s still front and centre, but his character seems to be a deconstruction of the typical teen show male lead.
3. The adult cast is excellent, yes even Luke Perry
One of the major stumbling blocks for any teen show is that the adult cast isn’t interesting, meaning that half the show is a constant dud. Riverdale has avoided that by amping up the ridiculousness with Riverdale’s older generation. A cast of familiar faces, like Luke Perry as Archie’s dad, Skeet Ulrich as Jughead’s dad, and the fantastic MadchenAmick as Betty’s mother, all play their roles with gusto, especially Amick who is so bad ass and manipulative that she can make the act of opening a door sound like she’s slamming it in your face. Now that’s skill.
4. The teen cast is even better
An Archie comic’s adaptation lives and dies on whether the actors who fill these roles can be believable. Riverdale has nailed that with nearly every character, except for the under used Moose, not only convincing as their characters, but in some cases, like Lili Reinhart as Betty, taking them in a whole new direction. The only criticism is that Reinhart is far and away the best actor of the younger cast which means anyone who acts off of her ends up look worse in comparison.
5. It has totally stolen Twin Peaks thunder
Billed as The OC meets Twin Peaks, Riverdale has matched, and surpassed that description, especially in comparison to Twin Peaks. It’s not a better show than David Lynch and Mark Frost’s masterpiece, instead it has taken Twin Peaks fearlessness and turned itself into the type of hybrid show that Twin Peaks was.