by: Madeline Weaver-Nolting ’19 A&E Staff
The CW hit show Riverdale has returned for its third season. The high school dramedy’s popularity has drawn fans because of the first two seasons on Netflix, which has increased their fanbase. The series is based on Archies Comics but has a much darker tone. With murder, deception, gangs, affairs, it is not like the comics of our parents’ generation.
As the comics were brought to life, the producers went in a very different direction. The comics are all about the adventures that the high school students get themselves into, whereas the television show brought the characters to life and created different storylines. Betty and Veronica are unrecognizable on the television version because they are not in constant competition with one another over Archie. Archie is not as innocent as he was in the comics, and Betty has a dark side and is more than the pastel clothing that she wears. Jughead is portrayed as a bitter loner. However, do not worry, Pop’s Diner is still the coolest hangout spot and the best place to grab a milkshake.
Riverdale is different from many of the other high school television shows because it blends so many different genres together. Although there are dark, and sometimes disturbing, moments, the corny scenes can make the show seem like a parody. After all, it is kind of hard to take the show seriously when one of the main characters is named Jughead. Riverdale has everything—there was even a musical episode when the cast performed Carrie The Musical. According to Elite Daily, there are rumors of another musical episode in season three.
What is interesting about Riverdale is that even though the main characters are supposed to be teenagers in high school, it is most popular in the set of 18-49 year olds according to Variety. Although the show is highly unrealistic, college students cannot stop watching it. It is the show everyone loves to hate because there are so many cringey moments.
Fans of older movies might see a few familiar faces. Molly Ringwald plays Archie’s mother and is featured in a few episodes. Skeet Ulrich from Scream is also a main character as well as Luke Perry from 90210. For the younger generation, Cole Sprouse from Suite Life of Zack and Cody has grown up and plays Jughead, but he is surrounded by other breakout actors.
Despite the early success, the show has been deemed problematic by some viewers. First, Affinity Magazine points out the obvious problem from season 1: the way that the student-teacher relationship is portrayed. It is presented as a romantic relationship, when it is actually illegal, and Archie never realizes why this relationship is so toxic. The show has a tendency to sexualize the characters who are supposed to be 15 or 16 years old. Another problem in the show, is the use of Spanish by non-authentic Spanish speakers. Nevertheless, behind these controversies is a unique, thrilling television adaptation of a classic comic. The originality, the cast, and the unpredictability of events makes season 3 of Riverdale a perfect fall bingeing option.