Based on the Archie Comics, The CW’s Riverdale released its first episode on Netflix on January 26. The story follows the same Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) we all remember from the comics.
Riverdale commences on the first day of the school year, after Jason Blossom disappears and his body has yet to be found. Narrated by Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), the series manages to preserve the small-town realness of Riverdale.
With all of Jughead’s usual cynicism, his role as the town storyteller is intriguing, to say the least. He becomes obsessed with the disappearance of Jason Blossom, to the point where he sees motive in everyone.
It’s disappointing to see the beloved Archie Andrews transform into someone more attractive. Clumsy, sheepish Archie is long gone, and has been replaced with a rougher, buffer version. Moreover, he develops a relationship with Ms. Grundy—who, by the way, is an elderly woman in the comics. Their connection seems to overshadow the more important aspects of the series. It pushes its way into the show, uninvited and slightly stomach-churning.
Betty Cooper remains fairly similar to the comics. However, while her character appears one-dimensional in the comics, Riverdale provides her with more depth. In the show, Betty struggles with her mental health and the added context gives her a realistic persona beyond her upbeat attitude and perfect blonde hair.
Despite the changes in certain characters, Riverdale perpetuates many of the comics’ ongoing ideas (such as the love triangle between Archie, Betty, and Veronica). But if you’re looking for a revival of the Archie comics, you won’t find it here.
Riverdale releases a new episode on Netflix every week.