Positioned by some to “fill the Gossip Girl-sized hole in your heart”, Riverdale, the CW’s newest show, has been gaining some high hopes from critics and bloggers alike. With a cast including Cole Sprouse, out of mainstream television for a while now, how could it not? Add that to the fact that their previous hit The Vampire Diaries is coming to an end after nearly ten seasons, and it’s a perfect storm of hype.
Described by producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa as “Archie meets Twin Peaks”, the show is based off of the classic high school set comics that started in 1941 and has continued publication to this day. The show features most of the main crew, including Kevin Keller, the openly gay character whose featured comics won the comic a GLAAD award in 2013.
But don’t expect this so be a social responsibility centered show. The Twin Peaks aspect means the show starts with a death soon revealed to be mysterious. Here at The Untitled Magazine, we were granted a first look into episodes, and without revealing any major plot lines, our initial thoughts grant it the possibility of being a binge worthy show, but just as corny as Archie and the gang always have been.
The costuming and cinematography is probably the highlight here. They lend the perfect air of mystery, that something is off. It’s 2016 and they’re wearing vintage looking cheerleading uniforms, varsity jackets, and skirt sets. There’s plenty of dramatic close ups and ominous lighting not easily ignored either.
Plot wise, it’s nothing like original Archie comics, but that seems to be the point. A sort of Pleasantville way of looking into the seemingly idealistic small town life that reveals to be deadly and full of lies. Done before? Absolutely. But the vintage themes in a modern setting seem to hold the show together and plays off of a nostalgia that readers of the comics have been loyal to for decades.
The show’s success could easily be determined by the prevalence of Sprouse’s character, a younger generation’s interest in 1950’s American style, and the craving of a new CW show dripping with high school drama. Critics seem fairly optimistic though, especially with the rising cult following of inspiration Twin Peaks. The numbers will determine it in the end however, and the pilot airs Thursday, January 26th at 9pm EST on the CW, and we’d suggest at least seeing what all the talk is about.
Until then, watch the trailer below.