Archie and Riverdale

Journal

So today was pretty meh: I’m still not feeling great physically so I woke up pretty late again. Besides the physical shitty feeling, we managed to do groceries this evening and I finished up a TV Show I’ve been meaning to finish watching for like, months. Which leads to today’s topic, which is different from what I planned to write, but equally interesting I hope…

Archie

Some history about myself is due before I get into things: I love Archie stories, I even own one of the first ever Archie Digest #1s. Some of my fondest memories are reading Archie Digests from the grocery store. Each time they announced something about Archie, I was right on board. They covered all kinds of topics; Zombies, time travel, magic, technology, murder, civil rights, gay rights, etc. And when they started up a new version of Archie comics I was ecstatic! Much as I loved the digests, there wasn’t much in the way of continuity for them, so for them to be doing a new version where they could tell new stories? WOOOOOOOOOOOO. And then, the big announcement:

Riverdale

A television show about one of my favorite characters on one of my favorite TV stations? My mind was blown. So yeah, I’ve got a bit of a history with these characters, which is why when Riverdale got announced I was one of the many people defending it.  The biggest complaint bar-none about Riverdale was that it was reinventing iconic characters, which is of course a stupid reason to complain given that in the history of Archie he’s been reinvented so many times I don’t even know where to begin. Basically every complaint about the show is either: I don’t care about high-schoolers and their lives, in which case the show just isn’t for you and that’s fine OR I don’t like the changes that they’ve made to the characters, in which case the show also just isn’t for you. This show is for people that are willing to let someone new play with the toys to give us something new. I know, scary concept, letting new people do new things, but it gets done all the time with other properties and people don’t care, so why did they when Riverdale was announced? Well… I honestly don’t know. But what I do know, is that this is one of my favorite shows of all time at the moment. Whether they screw it up as time goes on or not is another story, but for now it holds a special place in my heart next to Stargate Atlantis or Batman Beyond. So what attracts me to the show, beyond the concept?

Attractions

  • It reminds me a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and similar shows, where the characters have to balance slice of life with exceptional circumstances
  • It has (mostly) well written characters, there aren’t many one-dimensional characters in the show which is always good.
  • It has an overarching story arc, which for me is always one of the most important aspects of a show. It’s hard to stick with a monster of the week formula for too long without things getting stale.
  • Speaking of, the drama of the week each week is well done.
  • There isn’t one main character, its an ensemble cast. Although arguably Archie is the main character, you could easily argue that Jughead or Betty or Veronica is the focus.
  • The cast is varied: although a large portion of it is focused on the high-schoolers, a portion is also spent on their parents and their lives.
  • Things are revealed at a good pace. There’s never too much or too little information given.

When you combine all this together, you’ve got the makings for a knockout show, regardless of what it’s about. The fact that it’s about Archie? Just icing on the delicious cake that is Riverdale.

To quote Jughead: ““In case you haven’t noticed, I’m weird. I’m a weirdo. I don’t fit in. And I don’t want to fit in.”

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