The it-show of this century has all the ingredients for TV greatness: murder, hot teens, and murder. I’m speaking, of course, about Riverdale on The CW.
My name is Mary Houlihan. I’m what the industry calls a Brooklyn-based multi-hyphenate on the rise, and as such, I am a much revered trendsetter and arbiter of taste.
I have watched every episode of Riverdale thus far, and frankly, I’ve done been bit by the dang Riverdale bug. I have Riverdale Fever, and the only prescription is more Riverdale.
If you have not been graced by the dang Riverdale bug, don’t worry, I’ll explain what the show is. Riverdale takes the characters from the Archie Comics universe—Archie, Jughead, et al—and makes them sexy teens.
Now, to answer the question on everyone’s mind: DOES JUGHEAD WEAR A CROWN?
Yes. It is a beanie and the fold-over part of the beanie has points on it.
The series begins with the death of local wealthy hot teen Jason Blossom, twin brother of Cheryl Blossom and ex-boyfriend of Betty’s sister Polly. But it turns out Jason’s death wasn’t just regular-death—it was a murder-death.
The ensuing story unfolds a twisted mystery—a twystery: Who killed Jason Blossom?
I truly think Riverdale is very captivating, and does the cliffhanger storyline really well. It’s also visually so, so interesting. It’s like a live-action high fashion photo spread. The color correction is super saturated, and is best described as “early 2000s Nigel Dick-directed Britney Spears music video featured on MTV Making The Video” chic. There’s these beautiful shots of dark green forests, and fog—lots of fog. Uhh, “Riverdale?” More like “Riverfog.” Thank you.
My favorite part of Riverdale though, is, well, all these fuckin’ Archie characters are hot, and I just think that’s funny.
I’m an Archie freak. Love the stuff. When I was a little squirt, me and my brother took guitar lessons at Woodside Music Studio in Park Ridge, New Jersey. To kill time while my brother Terry took his guitar lesson, I’d walk over to the Krauszer’s across the street and pick up a brand new shinin’ issue of Archie Comics. I’d go back into Woodside and read a new issue over the soft din of a pre-teen boy playing a very slow and syncopated Guns ‘N Roses solo.
Even though I’ve read, conservatively, perhaps 100,000,000,000 issues of Archie, I can’t say that I really remember what any of the plot-lines were. I feel like it was usually like, Archie asks out Betty, and Veronica’s pissed, and Archie’s like, “uh oh, better figure this one out.” Or Archie would ask out Veronica, and Betty would be like “nuh-uh, I don’t think so, honey.” Then Jughead would eat a big sandwich.
So to take these lovably bland milkshake-drinking, homework-doin’ dweebs and give them cut bodies and sexy backstories… [author presses thumb and fingers together and kisses them like a cartoon chef would after tasting some marinara].
The characters are sexy and moody, just like me! Archie is a rugged muscle-bound singer/songwriter/football player/construction worker and also his dad is Luke Perry. Jughead is very moody. His hobbies include writing, word processing software and narrating. Also his dad (played by a delish Skeet Ulrich) is the leader of a nefarious street gang. Veronica is a sophisticated socialite from New York City who recently moved to bumblefuck Riverdale after her dad got sent to prison for some Bernie Madoff-type stuff.
Betty has a ponytail, I guess.
Personally, I think I’m an Archie because in high school I too was torn between my three loves: football, songwriting and wheelbarrowing dirt.
There’s also something so funny to me about a universe of only hot people. Everyone on Riverdale is a supermodel, whether they’re a CEO or the prom queen or a janitor or whatever. If you ask me, shows should make a choice: either cast only hot people, or only weird looking people. No more of this in-between stuff.
Each week we get a little bit closer to finding out who shot Jason Blossom. But the more we learn more about these hot freaks, the more questions come to surface. Everyone’s a suspect. Twin sister Cheryl Blossom acts awfully innocent… a little too innocent. Could it be she has something to hide? Archie and his teacher Miss Grundy were spotted at the scene of the crime, allegedly having sex in her car, but also maybe—murdering? Did Veronica’s father send out a hit from behind bars? Was it Betty’s family? Jason Blossom did date their other daughter. And what about Skeet Ulrich’s gang, The South Side Serpents? Luke Perry’s deeply set rugged forehead grooves? Everyone in Riverdale is incriminated.
Riverdale. Is. Good.
Riverdale has a sense of humor about itself. It’s definitely a drama, but there’s lots of funny parts. It reminds me of The O.C. and Degrassi, in that they’d slip in these self-aware meta jokes, but then still go right back into a storyline about teen homelessness or whatever.
Ok, you promise to start watching Riverdale yet? Trust me: It’s very good, and it’s also bad, and you’re gonna love it.
Mary Houlihan is a comedian based in New York.