The CW Updates the Archie Comics with New Show “Riverdale”
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The CW debuted a new drama TV show called Riverdale on January 17, which is based around the popular Archie comics. Although the show only has seven episodes so far, each episode has been jam packed with drama, leaving viewers aching for more.
While the show is certainly exciting and draws the audience in, a popular complaint among devoted Archie fans is that the show strays too far from the original comics. All of the familiar characters are there- Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead- but it is far darker than what fans are used to.
The show is based around the idea that the town of Riverdale may not be as squeaky clean as what it seems. The town is full of secrets, including the mystery of Jason Blossom’s murder. Jason disappeared while he was in the woods with his not-so-nice twin sister, Cheryl Blossom, but no one knows who committed the murder.
Another thing that is quite different from the comics is Archie. Archie, played by K.J. Apa, is not just the boy-next-door in the show- he is so much more. He is an aspiring musician, but he actually winds up dating his music teacher, Ms. Grundy, before his dad found out. He is also a bit of a player- we are only seven episodes into the first season, and he has already had flings with three girls. It is not exactly the family-friendly comic that so many are used to.
Betty is also significantly different from the comics. She is not just the nice girl either- she has a dark side, and it is certainly showing through. She and Veronica team up for a revenge plot against a boy in the school who would go out on dates with girls just to make up false rumors about them that painted them in a bad light. The Betty in the comics would have let this boy get away with what he was doing, but Betty in the show stands for truth and fights for what is right.
Betty also currently has a fling with Jughead Jones, which I fully support, but it was revealed in recent comics that Jughead is actually asexual. This story line in the show is yet another example of how the show is straying from the comics.
However, not all aspects are different. Archie’s red hair, Betty’s constant ponytail and Veronica’s white ponytail are classics from the comics, and remind viewers that the show is, indeed, based off the beloved Archie comics.
Overall, Riverdale has the potential to be a really captivating show with strong character development and great dynamics between all the characters. The show has been renewed for a second season, so time will truly tell whether or not this show is a success.