MUNCHIE OF THE MOMENT: RIVERDALE
Hello again, fellow bingers. It's been a while, I know, and we have a lottttttt of catching up to do. First things first, I'm starting a new thang--munchie of the moment--basically I have loads of TV shows that I love watching because of their, as I call it, "junkfood quality." Junkfood, by definition, is food that we know is shit for us, but we eat massive amounts of anyways because it tastes sooo damn good. Well a junkfood quality in TV and film has a similar meaning--it's the movies that we know aren't in the running for any oscars and the tv that won't be on the list for a single golden globe, but we still watch because its popcorn-worthy dramatics satisfies our naughtiest cravings.
Well, the first show that I certify snackworthy is CW's Riverdale. The CW has gifted us with gems like OTH, 90210, TVD, and Gossip Girl, but Riverdale is strikingly different from the channel's normal teen drama programming. It's almost, dare I say, realistic. There's no sons throwing their fathers off of roofs, no crazy babysitters that kidnap children, and no vampires, wherewolves, or witches--by the traditional definition, at least.
Riverdale is actually based upon the Archie Comics. If you were a 90s kid--or any era before---you might be familiar with such works. I, personally, am familiar with the comic books and when I heard they were making a TV show about them I had a few thoughts: "The CW is taking their comic book obsession WAAY too far." "Why?" and "How will they make a show about this?" To my surprise, the show paints the beloved, golden characters with a seriously dark brush. The show is mysterious, ominous, eerie, other like synonyms, but, above all, delightful. The twists, turns, and plentiful cliffhangers leave the viewer gasping for air and praying for more.
Riverdale's tremendous cast features TV virgins in the forefront and Hollywood veterans as background. Let's take a look.
Archie's big shoes are filled by Australian actor and fake ginger, KJ Apa (A Dog's Purpose)
Betty Cooper finds her real-life twin in newcomer, Lilli Reinhart.
The sensual, badass, Camila Mendes, dons the sassy stilettos of Veronica Lodge.
Thank god TV has brought Cody Martin back to the small screen as Jughead Jones. Childhood crush turns teen heartthrob. Check.
The fiery redheaded Madelaine Pesch *Blossoms* as sorta amazing/sorta devil-incarnate Cheryl.
Archie's pops is none other than Dylan of Beverly Hills 90210, Luke Perry (The OG).
Betty's vindictive, helicopter parent may look familiar from Twin Peaks.
The last necessary mention. Jughead's DILF is Scream himself. SOooOo thankful.
OK, but WTF happened? (CONDENSED SUMMARY)
Now, the show is obviously bingeable and entertaining, but let's digest the actual mystery.
We're introduced to our principal narrator, Jughead--an intellectual, movie-buff who gives off some serious Lucas Scott vibes. Jason Blossom went missing on July 4th and was presumed dead until everyone's GBF, Kevin Keller, finds a redheaded, bullet-ridden corpse at Sweetwater River weeks later. Soo Jay Jay was murdered and the number one question...Do Cheryl and her bro have a Jame/Cersei twincestuous relationship? Jk...But also can someone answer that question? No? OK...The real question...Who killed him and why? Fingers are pointed, blame gets tossed around, and a lengthy suspect list emerges. And surprise, surprise! Everyone seems to have a motive.
...Especially the Coopers. The bloodfeuding families have been at war for generations over murder, maple syrup, and incest. Basically Betty's great grandfather is Cheryl's great grandfather's brother and Betty's ggpa's life and livelihood was stolen by Cheryl's ggpa. Polly and Jason's love was so forbidden because they are actually cousins. Ew. And Polly's pregnancy further instigates the shame, secrets, and seriousness of the situation. Hence the formation of the escape plan that is to be expected in any and all stories of star-crossed lovers. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And so they do. Polly is sent to some creepy Christian rehab and Jason is...murdered?
Somehow, in the midst of all the messiness, the Jones family claims the unfortunate spotlight as prime suspects because, basically, they're poor, scummy, and are assumed to look at all humans as dispensable objects with price tags. The show made it pretty difficult to come up with fan theories because every time they would give us a new suspect, they would debunk the presumed guilty party in the same episode.
The mystery is actually solved in episode 2 by Betty's own mother. "That family is pure evil. I'm wondering if the Blossoms didn't kill Jason themselves. Sacrificed him to some dark, pagan god that they worship in that insane mansion of theirs." Yup. That was said in the second episode, but the mystery isn't actually (and underwhelmingly) resolved until episode 13.
So, to sum up. B and V rule the world. Bughead is born and thrives. Varchie becomes a thing, too, but they're very meh. And the Jason Blossom case is closed as murder-suicide perpetrated by his own father. A lot of buildup for a smaller payoff, but hey, who's actually watching this show for the story and not KJ Apa's abs? (Seriously)
NECESSARY ARCHIE RANT
How can a guy who claims to LOVE music be so musically illiterate? In the weirdly named "Chapter Six: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!" There are THREE unbelievable examples of Archie's complete and total lack of musical knowledge. One: At the dinner table with Josie and her family, Josie's Jazz connoisseur, douchebag father mentions Jazz artist Josephine Baker who Archie has never heard of, but I'll give him a pass here because Archie is a white boy who doesn't listen to Jazz and, frankly, I have no idea who that is either. The completely unfathomable example is a conversation with his father--a man who is supposed to have a profound influence over your musical tastes. Fred Andrews gives his son the song and dance about how he'll always be there for him by using the analogy, "Even if you bomb like an electric Dylan at a folk concert." to which Archie responds, "Who is that?" DYLAN. BOB DYLAN. Hoow Archie? Who ARE your musical influences? Ms. Grundy? Yeesh. Lastly, Archie clearly doesn't know anything about The Beatles either which is disgraceful, but that's besides the point. He talks Val out of singing with him at the variety show by saying, "I don't want to be the guy who broke up the Beatles." First off, wtf is Rockland County battle of the bands and how does the title equate the pussycats to THE BEATLES? AND, Secondly, YOKO IS A WOMAN! Maybe he knows who Yoko Ono is and just used the masculine pronoun, but then Archie is just sexist. No Archikins, no.
Veronica way overreacted to her mom and Fred Andrews getting it on to the point that it was annoying. Let the freakishly attractive old people be! Your dad is a presumably dangerous, mobster-like criminal who, for someone in jail, has reach like Gerard Butler in Law Abiding Citizen. Would she really prefer her mom to stick by that? IDK. Hiram seems as awful as his name (Hi, ram! like really...Hiram better say hi to every ram he sees...unless that name means something in another language/culture/religion and I'm being insensitive, but...Hiram?...SRSLY?...I can't be alone here).
Stream Riverdale on Netflix now for overkill half-nudity and severely
out-of-place party scenes like this one!!!!!