What I Don’t Get About Riverdale
I cannot really say that I have been a huge fan of Archie Comics. I mean, yes, it has to some degree contributed to my childhood when I read all those Archie, Jughead, and Betty and Veronica Double Digests, but I can’t say that I was too much of a follower of those properties that I actively pursued them. In other words, they’re the kind of books that are a pleasant way to pass the time with without requiring a lot of commitment from its readers. When they’re there, that’s great; if not, then it’s okay. But, being a kid all those years ago though, there was one time that I had preferred getting a copy of an Archie comics trade than this Marvel book where, if I’m not mistaken, Iron Man and Capt. America on the cover (for the life of me, I can’t remember which book it was, really). And I’d have to say, I made a pretty good choice: better to read some ginger boy’s one-off adventures than get hooked on the superhero machine early on worse than a crack addict. I guess that is simply what Archie Comics are meant for: it’s all good funny book fun that doesn’t necessarily shake you down for your money to enjoy them. Or, you know, the Archie Comics are there for you to outgrow so that it can become a piece of your childhood. Now, the reason I’m telling you all this is to make a point, of course, especially about the current CW show Riverdale, which is based on the Archie Comics properties.
As I said, at this point I haven’t been reading Archie Comics in a long, long while; much less can I say that I’m a fan. I do, however, have fond memories of all those double digests I read way back when, so when I found out that the announcement of the Riverdale show coming up on the CW, I was willing to give it a chance. At the same time, however, I wasn’t expecting much from it; it wasn’t like I was automatically all in for the show. I even became more skeptical than I already was when I found out that Riverdale was going to be no normal reimagining. Attached to the word “reimagining” was two words I have come to despise ever since DC Comics and the WB thought they can just ape Christopher Nolan: dark and gritty.
By the time the pilot came out, I did give it a chance. I sat through one whole episode resisting the urge to stop punishing myself by having to see some of American Comics’ most beloved properties become a bunch of despicable, grimy shadows of themselves. First and foremost, they sucked the joy right out of everything in Riverdale that even Pop’s malt shop looked like Jules Winnfield could bust in at any moment and shoot everyone inside. Then, of course, there are the characters. Archie’s now turned into a horrible, horny-ass teacher-boning quasi-jock; Jughead, and this is the worst, is portrayed as a moping, withdrawn wuss who probably cuts himself at night; but hey, at least they got Veronica right on by maintaining her being a total ho bag.
Man, I’m really getting old, whining about Archie.