Never read a comic book? Not familiar with the Betty-Archie-Veronica love triangle? Aren’t sure that you’d relate to a character named ‘Jughead?’ Well, as someone who checks off all three of those boxes, I can tell you ‘Riverdale’ is still worth watching — and you’ll still love it.
I’m the first to say it: I’m not a comic book person. So when I heard The CW was creating a show based on the Archie Comics, the epic love story, the adventures and twists, I wasn’t thrilled. It’s my job, so I still watched the premiere. Then the second episode… then the third and fourth, all in one sitting. I can tell you, I may not be a comic book person — but I am a huge Riverdale fan.
“It’s a sweet town with a lot of dark secrets. Everybody always wants to know what the gossip is, what’s really going on… especially when everyone seems so perfect,” Ashleigh Murray, who plays Josie in the show told HollywoodLife.com in an exclusive interview. And when she says a lot, she means a lot. Even the basics are complex: Archie (KJ Apa) is a jock with a newly-discovered love for music, and is torn over what to do next; his best friend is the smartest girl in school, Betty (Lili Reinhart), who appears perfect (but definitely isn’t) and looks at Archie as much more than a friend; Jughead (Cole Sprouse) is the quiet kid in town and long-time best friend of Archie, who now spends his time writing a mysterious novel and eating cheeseburgers; and then there’s Veronica (Camila Mendes), the stunning new girl from New York who moved to Riverdale with her mother to run away from her father’s legal troubles.
It’s not just the kids’ whose lives are immediately intertwined though, it’s also the parents’. Veronica’s mother (Marisol Nichols) grew up with Archie’s father (Luke Perry), so being their reunion creates an interesting dynamic. They also went to school with Betty’s mother, who is now spending her time getting into everyone else’s business. But none of that drama is the center of the storyline. At the center is the murder of Jason Blossoms, the twin brother of the school’s queen bee, Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch). The mystery unfolds throughout the series, and one of the best parts — the cast has no clue who the real killer is.
“We’re filming multiple endings for episode 12 so that cast doesn’t know exactly who it is,” Cole told HollywoodLife.com, adding that he does have a theory, as do the rest of the cast members. “It changes every time I read the script,” KJ said. “It gets better and better, and more complicated.”
Riverdale combines incredibly smart writing and cheeky jokes — and awareness of their nature — with dark, brooding and sexy characters, and a plot twist that will keep you wanting more at the end of each episode.
Riverdale premieres tonight on The CW at 9PM ET.