Riverdale ( The CW/Netflix, 2017)


Review by Ben Fenlon 
Never, in my wildest dreams, would I imagine I’d one day be writing a review of an Archie Comics television show and comparing it to Twin Peaks. Well, 2017 is just full of surprises already isn’t it!?
Riverdale, is, as I’ve suggested,  a darker, Twin Peaks-esque take on those beloved Archie Comics characters. KJ Apa plays Archie Andrews, ostensibly our main character, but not necessarily. Changing the name of the show to Riverdale allows us to spend time with the whole ensemble and boy is it worth it. 

This pilot episode kicks off with creepy twins Jason and Cheryl Blossom going out on a July 4th canoe trip, only Jason never makes it back. From here-on in we are weaved in and out of interconnecting stories between some very compelling characters. 

The cast is great too, Camila Mendes and Lili Reinhart shine as Veronica and Betty respectively while Luke Perry pops up as Archie’s Dad and Cole Sprouse makes Jughead Jones into a brooding narrator. I didn’t think a darker Jughead would work, I was very wrong. 
The plate spinning of storylines on display is masterful, full credit to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who not only wrote the pilot but shepherded this series into production. A veteran of TV and comics, Aguirre-Sacasa is chief creative officer at Archie Comics so nobody has more love for these characters than him. Yes, there are changes to the source material but good lord does it work. 

No spoilers for the story as this is a building mystery, full of bombshell and cliffhangers that need to be experienced.  However, I was pleased to see Josie and the Pussycats as part of the ensemble. Fingers crossed we get an appearance from a certain Teenage Witch soon.
Riverdale is a perfectly blended mash-up of teen drama, dark comedy and mystery that lands somewhere in the middle of a Venn diagram comprised of Twin Peaks, Cruel Intentions and Glee. 

Do not hesitate,  this series will be one to watch. 

For Fans Of :

Cruel Intentions 

Gossip Girl

Twin Peaks 

The Killing (USA)

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