Critical Condition: Riverdale

Riverdale (Netflix, from Friday)

“With a murder mystery and all manner of tawdry darkness, The CW’s latest comic book adaptation isn’t your father’s take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the gang … Riverdale is full of recognizably Archie elements, but the familiar character names and some of their superficial traits have been funneled into a creepy murder mystery with shadings of incest, inappropriate student-teacher relations and corruption that would make the original Riverdale gang blush. Think Dawson’s Creek meets Twin Peaks.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

“If you’re looking for a trip down comic-book memory lane in the CW’s new Riverdale, look elsewhere. Archie, Betty and Veronica, not to mention Riverdale itself, have grown up and gone modern … Producer Greg Berlanti has forged successful TV versions of other popular comics, including Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl, but Riverdale reaches new heights (or depths) of campiness.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

Riverdale, in fact, is the sum of all trends: franchise extension, comic-book adaptation, theory-baiting crypto serial, edgy YA romance, and densely ironic deconstruction. Riverdale is keenly aware of this: Coded within its solidly satisfying juvie pulp is a sly spoof of itself and the business of reinvention.” — Entertainment Weekly.

Riverdale is an eerie and offbeat take on the high school mythos — both addictive and confusing in equal parts. Its incredibly attractive leads, secret backstories, complex buried relationships, and unreliable, unethical adults are reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. But where those shows, and most teen shows, serve as titillating coming-of-age narratives, hovering between the wholesome bubble of innocence and the seductive call of the wider adult world, Riverdale is a much more stylised story, trying to create dynamism out of what is, to most viewers, one of the most frozen-in-time franchises in comics.” — Variety.

“The early episodes get better the deeper they delve into the murder mystery, despite false notes like members of a biker gang who look like extras from Grease. If the tone is not yet consistent, the aesthetic is, a strong sign that Riverdale knows what it wants to be. The terrific art direction warps the bubble-gum iconography into something haunting and lurid.” — New York Times.

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3 Responses to “Critical Condition: Riverdale”

  1. AW, whatever happened to poor ole Archie? but still I probably will watch it :) Also on Netflix we have now got season 1 of Fargo … still no season 2 of Gotham though :)

  2. Coming in Feb is Santa Clarita Diet, I am quite looking forward to this as I am a Timothy Olyphant fan and the show seems to be a mix of Dexter and iZombie.

  3. First ep was ok but a little too heavy on the Twin Peaks homagery. And some characterisations have major changes from the comics: a ‘nice’ veronica is just not right!

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