If you read the Archie comics growing up, “sexy” probably isn’t the word you would use to describe Riverdale’s resident redhead. Awkward? Sure. Charming? Maybe. A sexy heartthrob with abs of steel? Nope. Well, the CW has released a teaser for its new teen drama Riverdale, a grittier take on the classic comic series and Archie is HOT. Everyone is HOT. All of your favourite characters are represented and their hair colours are spot on. Otherwise, this sure isn’t the Archie you remember from your supermarket checkout aisle.
If you couldn’t tell from the ominous music or if you just got distracted by shirtless Archie (hello KJ Apa!), the story is going to follow a murder mystery which rattles the small town of Riverdale and picks up just after the arrival of Veronica Lodge, played by newcomer Camila Mendes. Lili Reinhart plays her famous frenemy and pop culture’s quintessential girl-next-door Betty Cooper, who is caught up in her crush on Archie and an overbearing mother. Archie’s aloof former bestie Jughead Jones will be played by Cole Sprouse – yes, of the Big Daddy/ Secret Life of Zack and Cody Sprouse twins. And casually, Luke freaking Perry is Archie’s dad Fred. The trailer only provides quick glimpses of the cast so here’s a closer look at the new Betty, Veronica, Archie and Jughead.
So aside from being an hour-long Ralph Lauren ad, based on the above trailer, the show is going to be chalk-full of intrigue, heartache and brooding. If I were to imagine a live action version of the Archie comics I grew up with, I’d probably lean more towards Freaks and Geeks meets Saved by the Bell than Pretty Little Liars meets Twin Peaks. But this is the CW we’re talking about and a Twin Peaks version of Archie is exactly what they were going for, according to executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. He also wrote a revamped, creepy version of the comics that this show is based on. Aguirre-Sacasa told EW that Riverdale is “definitely Archie, but a little darker, a little more complex and a little weirder than you might remember…”
I’ll admit that I was a little sceptical that a sexy take on Archie wasn’t a horrible idea but I’ve never met a teen drama I didn’t like. And this is coming from the former showrunner of one of my all-time favourites Dawson’s Creek and the network that gave us Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries, two series I watched for way longer than a grown woman should have.
Plus, the Archie comics are rife with great dramatic storylines. Exploring the dynamic between Betty and Veronica, beyond their cliché competition over Archie, could be a series on its own. Then there’s the openly gay character Kevin Keller, who will be represented in the series. Furthermore, along with Camilla Mendes’s Veronica, there are other Archie characters of colour who could pop up to add some diversity to the cast. There’s the comics’ OG black character Chuck Clayton, Valerie Brown of Josie and the Pussycats (so far, we only know for sure that Josie will be in Riverdale) and newer characters Raj Patel, Kimiko and Tomoko.
Oh, and apparently, Archie has a secret fling with Miss Grundy! WHAT. Guys, I can’t wait for Sexy Archie.
Riverdale premieres Thursday, Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. on The CW.