With the return of appointment television, Netflix is now releasing on a weekly basis episodes of new CW teen-hit Riverdale. At first glance it seems like any other teen drama: exaggerated, straightforward and surreal. Not to mention every 16-year-old character looks old enough to have three kids, a mortgage and a lab named Kennedy. I was unaware of Archie Comics when I was looking for a new show to start, but I chose Riverdale because the reviews were great, with a solid 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, it couldn’t just be any teen drama.

It took me to the second episode to understand what was going on, that it was in fact a spin-off of a comic book franchise, which makes opulent (right on the edge between passable and tacky) names such as the Blossom twins, Veronica Lodge and Jugehead Jones (played by our beloved Cole Spouse) make more sense. The murder-mystery drama fits right in with current shows such as Stranger Things and long-running Pretty Little Liars. It seems that these shows are giving a fresh take to dated series like Supernatural, Veronica Mars and, of course, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, remodeling and recapturing the essence of Twin Peaks, which originally let loose the teen-drama/mystery horse that still propels itself today. What makes Riverdale stand out from the bunch is its comic-book background, not to mention its cartoon debut in 1968, that followed the trend of The Jetsons and The Flintstones.

Filled with anticipation, slight anxiety and quintessential inane High School schemes, Riverdale is quite the show. It revolves around the mysterious shooting of one of the Blossom twins on a misty lake on 4th of July morning, a whodunit that plays on the events on the morning-of and at present times. The show has a certain charm, which undeniably irked me before I appreciated it, but out of the reboots and remakes Hollywood has come up with this year, this is one of the best.

The show’s latest installment, episode three, hit a home run on social issues. From diversity and race, to feminism, slut shaming and gender roles, the series is definitely a product of 2017. Spreading awareness on these topics during these dark days of political and social turmoil, sheds light on our current problematic times. Broadcasting the words of peace and acceptance Hollywood is taking sides and clearly waging in on the war against the insanity certain persons in power are disseminating.

It’s seemingly promising and hopefully it won’t drag on the way Pretty Little Liars did (the second most infuriating and vexing event after Donald Trump’s election) and we’ll be able to have real hints throughout, like a good, clean game of cluedo — not randomly-appearing twins no one ever could have guessed.

Also, following Nocturnal Animalscomme il faut, half of the show’s cast has red hair. I knew all along this year would be the one of the revolution.

About the author

Bianca Serafini

Resident American Arts Editor, overseas the Arts section with meticulous efficiency. Pitch her anything, big or small, as she’s usually locked up in the Badger office drinking coffee, and occasionally absconds in search of a cheeseburger. Fun warning: don’t bring up Trump.

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