Loving ‘Riverdale’

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As you long time TransGriot readers know I’m a huge fan of the Archie comics, and have written several posts about some interesting gender related developments in that iconic cartoon universe.

I was intrigued when the CW broadcast its first season of Riverdale, based on the iconic characters back in January.   But because I was busy with a lot of community events and fighting the GOP flavored transphobic evil emanating out of Austin I didn’t get to watch the initial thirteen episode run.

Riverdale hit Netflix on May 18, but I finally got a chance to binge watch it this weekend, and I can see now why it got rave reviews from television critics.

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This is definitely not your parents and grandparents Archie cartoon.  It basically shook up and blew up the classic love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica and in many cases everything you know from Archie canon about the characters.

The show starts with Archie getting busy with Geraldine Grundy, the school’s music teacher during the summer vacation break.  Yeah, they went there.  Archie is also seen dating Valerie Brown and escorting Cheryl Blossom to one of her family events before he eventually starts the relationship with Veronica.

Girl next door Betty is not only shown to have a dark side and dates Jughead, Veronica in this show is moving to Riverdale from New York and is trying to be less mean girl than she was.

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In addition to focusing the Season One storyline on who killed Riverdale queen bee Cheryl Blossom’s twin brother Jason, the show is set in a contemporary time period.

Many of the beloved Archie characters you know are part of this show like Kevin Keller, Chuck Clayton, Moose Mason, and Ethel Muggs  The characters also all have deep secrets and backstories that get revealed as the show moves through those thirteen episodes that lead to a shocking whodunit.

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They also flipped the casting script on many of those beloved characters.   Veronica Lodge and her family are Latinx.   Josie and the Pussycats are not only all African American, but Josie’s mother Sierra McCoy is the mayor of Riverdale played by Robin Givens.

Pops Tate, the owner of the town’s 24 hour diner Pop’s Chok’lit Shoppe and RHS principal Mr. Weatherbee are also African American.  Reggie Mantle and Dilton Doiley are Asian.

Geraldine Grundy also became a younger woman instead of a senior citizen

Since I mentioned Robin Givens is in it, other recognizable actors you’ll see in it are Luke Perry playing Archie’s father Fred Andrews, Madchen Amick playing Alice Cooper, and Molly Ringwald playing Mary Andrews.

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Riverdale has already been renewed for a second season slated to start on the CW in October, and in the upcoming Season 2 we’ll not only see Sabrina Spellman enter this show, but also Hiram Lodge, played by Mark Consuelos.

The show also ended with a cliffhanger that if you haven’t seen it, I’ll let you head to Netflix to watch and won’t spoil it for you

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