Thursday, 16 February 2017

Riverdale: Episode 1

I have found a new obsession!! I grew up on Archie Comics, they were the one staple in my life on long road trips, my sister and I would scour the gas stations and pick up new Archie comics at each stop, we'd read them, trade them and read them again and again.  To say I have an obsession with Archie Comics could be a bit understated. I even had all the novels that came out in the nineties, so when I heard that CW was releasing a new series based on the characters of the Archie Comics I was THRILLED!! And what is even better, is that Netflix, releases a new episode each week on the Canadian Netflix.  I can't see that this happens on the American Netflix, but I love that I get Scandal, The 100 and now Riverdale released each week after it airs!! So great!!

So here are my thoughts on each episode, things I really like, things I am not sure about, and things I really wish they hadn't changed.

The storyline of the series for season one seems to revolve around the mysterious death of Jason Blossom, the twin to Cheryl Blossom.  From what you learn in this episode Jason was beloved, almost creepily, by his twin sister, but ma have not been the nicest guy.  This stays true to the comic books, Cheryl Blossom, for sure is used to getting her way and is often depicted in the comics as the antagonist to Betty and Veronica.

Jughead appears to be our narrator, and the story he is narrating is the book he is currently scribing.  A real time account of the happenings in Riverdale.  Jughead is not on great terms with Archie and no one is saying why, I'm not sure I am a fan of this. Juggie and Archie are best friends, they shouldn't have secrets.

Betty lives next door to Archie, very colloquial girl next door, good girl vibe coming from Betty.  Betty chooses to do the right thing, even if it means she doesn't get what she wants.  Betty's best friend and sometimes voice of reason, pushing Betty to go after what she wants is Kevin Keller.  I don't remember Kevin from my first years of reading Archie, in fact I think he only came in to the comics after 2000 but I may be mistaken.  Kevin however is her gay best friend which I am pretty sure wasn't in the comics either.  What Betty doesn't realize is that Archie only sees her as a friend and nothing more, because Archie has a secret, a secret that could ruin lives.  Betty discovers by the end of the episode that Archie isn't into her that way and is devastated, she spent the summer in NYC on an internship with a publisher (I think) and thought about how when she returned to Riverdale she was going to make Archie fall in love with her as she loves him.  This doesn't happen, and it seems like Archie may have eyes for the new girl...

The new girl, Veronica Lodge, wealthy NYC socialite in the midst of a family shame that landed her father in prison for embezzlement.  But Veronica is no flamingo, she holds her head high and sticks with her father, but makes it known in the first few days at Riverdale High that she is a force to be reckoned with.  I'm not sure how I like this Veronica as the new girl, I am not sure I buy the fast friendship of her and Betty.  It's almost too contrived, but we will see, since Veronica and Archie cause some feelings of distraught for Betty maybe there will be more fights then friendships between these two.

Going back to Betty's family, wow there is a switch from the comics. Alice Cooper is a very domineering and bitchy mother.  She tries to control all aspects of her daughters lives (friendships, study habits, activities they participate in) and Betty believes that Alice is the reason her big sister Polly had a nervous breakdown.  If you are an avid Archie comic reader than you know Polly is a real character even though she doesn't make many appearances.  Alice even gives Betty a prescription bottle of Adderall, now I don't know exactly what Adderall is but I do know it's a drug and many people in the Big Brother house take it...

So the teachers were cast very differently in this show.  Mr. Weatherbee looks nothing like his depiction in the comics, and Ms Grundy is the complete opposite. I mean Ms Grundy is a young, first or second year teacher WHO HITS ON HER STUDENT IN THE SUMMER.  Yes this is the secret that Archie has, he had an affair with Ms Grundy in the summer!!! I get that these are plot points and some changes needed to made, but Ms Grundy will always be a matronly, mothering type to me and this Ms Grundy is NOT!

Josie and the Pussycats are also an integral part of the show.  They are an all girl band that play for different events at the school.  I really like the casting and like how they are changing the music of the original Josie and the Pussycats to be more modern and edgy.  It's a good switch.

My favourite casting so far those is the actress who plays Cheryl Blossom.  She has the nuances of Cheryl, being the Alpha It Girl down to a TEE.  She's great and I can't wait to see her in future episodes.

I know I didn't give too much away here but I am hoping I've dropped enough little tidbits to get you to tune in!! Let me know if you are loving this show and what you love about it or if you are hating it and what you hate about it!!

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