The pilot episode of The CW’s upcoming Archie Comics-based drama Riverdale was recently screened at San Diego Comic-Con, and so far the reviews have been extremely positive.
The show, which has been billed as a dark, subversive take on the squeaky-clean Archie Comics brand, was developed by TV mega-producer Greg Berlanti (who produced The CW’s highly successful DC Comics shows) and Archie Comics’ Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and the pedigree apparently shows. Taking place in the titular community of Riverdale, the show explores the dark, sometimes surreal underbelly of small-town America. Minor spoilers follow!
Following in the footsteps of shows like Twin Peaks, The Killing and Veronica Mars, Riverdale’s plot revolves around the shocking murder of a promising teenager—in this case, it’s Jason Blossom, who comic fans know as the spoiled twin brother of Cheryl, a minor character chasing after Archie’s affections from time to time.
In this fun new take, Archie (KJ Apa) is newly jacked and hunky after spending the summer working with his blue collar dad Fred (Luke Perry); Betty (Lili Reinhart), the All-American girl next door, struggles to stay perfect and uses Aderall as a crutch; Veronica (Camila Mendes), a sharp-witted rich girl, struggles with her father’s Madoff-esque misdeeds; Jughead (Cole Sprouse) is a soulful, broody heartthrob and narrates the story; and Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) knows more about her brother’s horrific death than she lets on.
A few comments from the various reviews:
“Riverdale builds on the success of Archie Comics’s New Riverdale publishing initiative, but does so by building in a twist: there’s a murder mystery to be solved, while some of the key relationships at the core of what makes Archie Comics familiar and comforting to generations of fans have been bent or broken.” – ComicBook.com
“Have I mentioned that this is my new favorite drama of the season? Not yet? Okay, consider this my official ruling: Riverdale is the best new drama of the season?” – Nerdist.com
“I loved every part of this pilot: the Twin Peaks, the Dawson’s Creek, the Archie. It’s a gorgeous, colorful, interesting, sexy, spooky new series, and it’s a pity we all have to wait until 2017 to see any more of it.” – BirthMoviesDeath.com
Riverdale will premiere in January on The CW.