A Classic With a Modern Twist – A Review of Netflix’s Riverdale

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Netflix is known for revamping many TV series or creating sublime new ones. So when I heard Riverdale was being made, I was excited. Growing up reading the Archie comics, the eternal struggle of being Betty or Veronica, seeing what Archie and Jughead got up to, or how many men Cheryl Blossom had chasing after her made for great reading. These cool kids, with a slice of retro Americana really stood out amongst the superheroes.

Riverdale has collected a fairly big following since its release. The actors have been very present in social media platforms highlighting the fact this is indeed, a very modern take on a classic.

Without spoiling it too much, Season one begins with a murder that affects the whole town. The story is well told, and even though you are told who the murder is, you have to wait until the second to last episode before it is revealed. Riverdale leads the viewer on a roller coaster of emotions. It deals with common dilemmas such as divorce, crushes and high school life with a twist that keeps you entertained long after the credits have rolled.

The core four are made up of Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart and K.J Apa. (Veronica, Jughead, Betty and Archie respectively), and including Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, the young cast are making names for themselves with these hard hitting, emotional and demanding roles. The series itself is incredible, addressing normal teen issues while keeping you in suspense.

One of Riverdale’s stand-out features is its strong female characters. Its refreshing to see girls be friends with girls, rather than the constant stereotypical cat fights. Betty and Veronica are leading the example of girl power, and Cheryl Blossom is a force on her own. The mothers in this show aren’t all sugar and spice either. They keep secrets that could potentially ruin the town, while keeping a happy face on for their children. But it works. You are pulled in by these women, and it was a joy to watch.

The series itself starts in September and follows each of the cast through the school year. The show uses imagery and camera work that is not unlike a big budget Hollywood movie. With a huge Gothic mansion, an all American diner and a abandoned drive in, its not your average sound stage concept. Being filmed in Vancouver and British Columbia, the picturesque scenery is visually stunning.

Riverdale has been well received by critics and audiences alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a fresh rating of 87% based on 45 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.62/10. On March 7, 2017, The CW renewed the series for a second season.

Id personally give it 4.5/5 simply because the only downside is the secondary actors don’t seem to get as much screen time. Example, Josie and the Pussycats, and the ending drummed up a lot more questions than answering them. That being said, its hands down the best thing I have seen on Netflix this year.

Season two is scheduled for 2018 and with the mention of Sabrina the Teenage Witch being involved (Sweetwater River separates Riverdale from Greendale – which is where Sabrina and her aunts live) I personally cant wait for it.

What do you think? Are you a Betty or a Veronica? Did the killer match your own views? Let me know!

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