Riverdale is the newest TV sensation to hit Netflix with a new episode streaming every Friday. The show airs on Thursday in the US on the CW Network and is currently the talking point of social media.
Riverdale is based on The Archie Comics which started in 1941, it centres around a group of students who are reeling from the death of fellow student, Jason Blossom. Jason was described as being pretty perfect but with skeletons in the closet. Immediately the show seems to be paying homage to Twin Peaks with the opening lake scene in Episode 1 set to a pop-synth soundtrack. Twin Peaks isn’t the only show that Riverdale shares similarities with, the show blends elements of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Scream TV.
Riverdale has gained notoriety for its handling of feminism, hierarchy and more. Not only does the show explain that men cannot abuse girls and get away with it but also that men should not come between two women just because they believe they hold power over them.
Betty and Veronica could have been pinned against each other in a predictable love story with Archie, instead Veronica chooses Betty over any boy, showing that girls really can stick together. Instead of being defined by her unrequited love for Archie, she instead chooses to unravel the secrets of Riverdale through the school newspaper alongside Jughead to make sure that justice is served.
So, who is in it?
Cole Sprouse has long been off our screens, with his last major role being as Cody Martin in The Suite Life on Deck. Sprouse took some time off to study at college and be a non-celebrity for a while. Now he’s back as Jughead Jones, the grungy reporter who narrates the show, he is similar to Noah in Scream TV. Not only is Cole returning as a familiar face to us 20- somethings but he’s also fighting for the character’s asexual representation that was prevalent in the comics. Asexual’s are those who are not attracted to men or women and there are lots of little strands that expand from it such as Aromantic Asexual etc. Cole spoke out about how positive this representation could be for the community and how he would continue to fight for this throughout the series, at a recent interview he said “I think sexuality, especially, is one of those fluid things where often times we find who we are through certain things that happen in our lives.” It could also be a positive thing for those that are not confident in talking about asexuality, either about themselves or about a loved one.
Other major characters include K.J. Apa as Archie Andrews, a redhead and titular character of The Archie Comics. Archie becomes embroiled in a teacher-student affair with his music teacher, Ms. Grundy. If that wasn’t drama enough, both Archie and Ms. Grundy witness a gunshot around Sweet Water River, the crime scene of Jason’s murder.
In love with Archie is his best friend, Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) the perfect princess that has to live up to her mother’s expectations. Most watching will probably despise Betty’s mother as she is both bitchy and seemingly maleficent. Betty strikes up a friendship and maybe even something more with new girl, Veronica (Camila Mendes) who was exiled from her previous rich life due to her father’s bankruptcy. Veronica is cool, confident and very witty she stands up for what’s right and she doesn’t let anyone step on her. In one poignant feminist scene in Episode 2, she warns Cheryl to call ‘these beautiful and strong women, sluts one more time’ and see what happens.
Cheryl Blossom (Madeline Petsch) is like PLL’s Alison, the Queen B who is inherently bitchy but is clearly just using it as a defence mechanism for her grief. Every story she spins doesn’t seem to add up and it wouldn’t surprise us if she was the murderer, although giving the subversive nature of this show, we think that seems too obvious. With a little bit of something for everyone, viewers will have a field day keeping up with the new age politics of high school and trying to figure out who Jason’s murderer is.
Riverdale is currently available on UK Netflix with a new episode streaming weekly.