When Gotham meets Twin Peaks
Archie Comics is one of the oldest comic book series on the battlefield of print which is, these days, dominated by superheroes. America’s Favourite Teenager celebrates 75 years of existence with a brand new TV show this year.
When you think about TV adaptations, Archie might not be the first thing that comes to mind but that hasn’t stopped CW from being the first to commission a pilot back in January 2016 with filming on the first season starting in the Spring.
It’s 2017 and the first season of Riverdale – the fictional town in which Archie’s adventures take place – has dropped in the US on CW and worldwide after Netflix acquired the international streaming rights of the series.
Archie’s official website says that the show will “take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring small-town life and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.”
Unsurprisingly, the pitch confirms that the series will focus on “the eternal love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper and rich socialite Veronica Lodge.”
After the premiere, you could confidently say that the show is likely to become much more than its pitch or its comic book counterpart.
Riverdale produced by CW is a series that, from its photography to its crime like story, seems to fully belong on Netflix with its pioneered idea of binge-watching.
“Imagine if Riverdale were like Gotham meeting with Twin Peaks: I think of it as an origin story as well.”
It is kind of a pain to consume episode by episode, waiting for a whole week, when Mother Netflix has got us accustomed to the idea of knocking down whole seasons back in less than a day – when feeling particular inspired.
Greg Berlanti, executive producer of the series, is the man in charge of the whole set list back there on the CW week schedule, having created successful shows like Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
Although it’s been around for three quarters of a century, Archie Comics is a series which was extremely popular in the ‘60s and that people who are grown up adults are more likely to be fans of.
The idea of adapting the famous comic series to the small screen feels like a reboot of the story especially if we consider that Archie, the main character, recently took a bullet from a friend back in 2012.
And it truly feels like a reboot.
It is hard to tell the series’ comic-book origins just from watching its premiere – as the creators of the series intended: “Imagine if Riverdale were like Twin Peaks; that was a really weird small town,” explained Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the creator and developer of the show.
The man behind the series tried to present Riverdale as an origin story of the three main characters of the comic book, Archie, Veronica and Betty by comparing it to Fox’s Gotham:
“The same way that Gotham is the origin story of how Gotham became the city we know in the movies, and how Batman came into being, I in a way think of Riverdale as an origin story as well,” he says.
Riverdale is in fact a show whose main focus is on its characters and how they face a brutal murder of one of their schoolmates; the series successfully creates an appealing plot that moves fast but not so fast that viewers cannot follow.
It succeeds in presenting a compelling ‘teen drama’ full of mysteries and secrets alluded to from time to time that push the audience to be engaged in the development of the plot.
Most of what entertained me as I first approached the show was the fact that it was told in a very subtle and interesting way.
Cole Sprouse – best known for his major role in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody – plays Jughead Jones, a mysterious boy who tells the story of his friend from a distant point of view as if he was actually writing a novel.
With only three episodes already aired and ten more on their way, it is actually too early to crown Riverdale as the next Twin Peaks but it is safe to say that it delivers on its premises and that it is a show that could keep you entertained during the cold nights of winter 2017.