Brief Story Line
The series was set in the year 2016 in the small town of Riverdale which was famous for its maple syrup. The story was narrated by Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse - The Suite Life Zack & Cody TV series etc) who also introduced us to the main characters aside from himself. Started with Archie Andrews (KJ Apa - A Dog's Purpose etc) who was in the football team and started to realize he loved music and wanted to be good in it. Then there was Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart - Miss Stevens, The Good Neighbor etc) who was Archie's neighbor and best friend since childhood, together with Jughead. It was told that there was a new girl in school transferred from New York named Veronica "Ronnie" Lodge (Camila Mendes) who had to follow her mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols - Big Momma's House 2, 24 TV series etc) moved to Riverdale due to some problems relating to her father.
Besides the 4 main characters, there was also Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) who was an open gay and very close to all of them. Being a story revolving on teenagers life, it would be incomplete without the main "villain" in the form of a wealthy girl and loved to bully around named Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch). There were also other supporting characters from the comic books as well, but the ones who were put as the lead characters in opening credit were Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) who was the lead singer of popular Josie and the Pussycats band from Riverdale High, Alice Cooper ( Mädchen Amick - Sleepwalkers, Twin Peaks TV series etc) who was Betty's mother and finally Fred Andrews (Luke Perry - Beverly Hills 90210 TV series etc) who was Archie's father. Other important characters would be Jughead's father FP Jones (Skeet Ulrich - Scream, The Craft etc) and Kevin's father Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins) plus Riverdale mayor Sierra McCoy (Robin Givens - Head of the Class TV series).
The first season would revolve around a main arc of the death of one Riverdale High student, plus the classic love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica and other additional dark side stories involving the rest of the characters.
End of Brief Story Line
It has been some time since I was quite absorbed with a series involving teenagers. Of course the dark style definitely was very intriguing and surprisingly suit them all. If the story was a full adaptation from Archie comic books which were mostly comedic style, perhaps I would only watch this when I was looking for light comedy and enjoy fun times. But this one despite having the lovable characters from the comic books, they added the element of death that affected the whole town in general and especially the Riverdale High students.
Starting from the pilot episode, it already raised the curiosity and what I loved the most about the series was how in each episode, we would be revealed some important fact that would always surprised you and the build up to the climax was totally awesome. My most favorite episode was definitely no. 12 which was great but it made the 13th and final episode of the season felt a little bit anticlimax. It felt like the first episode of the new season. Luckily the ending of the 13th episode gave a bit of hint what the second season would be, which promised something even darker and should be more interesting. By the time I write this post, the second season was currently playing, so in few weeks time I would be able to catch up and see them again.
This series was produced in the CW network which was famous for producing some memorable series involving teenagers/young generation such as Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, Supernatural, or those DC superheroes like Arrow, Flash, and so on. In the past few years, CW started to show some good series that garnered few award nominations and critically acclaimed like Crazy Ex-girlfriend or Jane the Virgin. This series was one of those that was not only popular but also gained positive reviews. In my personal opinion, this series was very good in term of casting. The physical appearances (be it due to costumes or make up) truly made me believe that these would be how Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica would look like in real life. In addition, most of the actors/actresses were having youthful looks that made them really looked like high school students.
Another point that probably made people quite loved the series was there were some good songs sung by either Archie or by Josie and the Pussycats. It was just too bad that another popular character from Archie comics, i.e. Sabrina the teenage witch did not show up in this series. Instead that series would be playing in Netflix but I still hope that series would share the same universe with this one and possibly crossover (though it might be more challenging due to different networks). One thing to take note is the series having some intense love making/kissing scenes which might not be suitable for pre-teens.
If you are a fan of teenage series like those that I mentioned above or if you loved a mystery/drama series like Desperate Housewives but with younger cast, then this one definitely worth to watch. If you are a fan of Archie comic books and want to see them in dark roles, it would also be interesting to see. However, if you think that Archie and friends should remain as those cartoonish characters in the comic books and not re-imagined into these dark characters, then probably better not to watch this series. I am definitely recommending my wife to see this one as I am very sure she would love this series.
Mike's movie moments rating: 4 out of 5 stars