After a two month embargo, the first trailer for the new drama Riverdale is finally available online. Before I dive into a full deconstruction of the minute thirty of pure bliss that is this trailer, I’m going to be honest: I have been head over heels for Archie since I was nine years old.
Archie All Grown Up
As I have gotten older, so has Archie and the gang. The new Archie book series steps things up a bit with emotions directly addressed rather than flatly ignored. Jughead came out as asexual in his own reboot this summer. Just last month, we saw Betty and Veronica butt heads like they’ve never done before. But the darkest version of the series to date is the upcoming Riverdale on the CW. The new TV series kicks off with a death in sleepy, suburban Riverdale.
What Makes Riverdale so dark?
The series begins when Jason Blossom, twin brother of all around horrible Cheryl, dies under mysterious circumstances. Of course Cheryl had something to do with it, Cheryl is the worst. Then there’s Veronica, who has been coming between Betty and Archie for literal decades (yes, I’m team Betty and I want it written on my gravestone). In the new series, Veronica is new in town, and her new “friendship” with Betty is threatened when she meets the surprisingly muscled version of the show’s lead character. Actually, lets be fair about the subject: Betty, Veronica, and Archie have been in a love triangle with more knots in it than a boy scout camp since the very beginning. Only now are creators starting to recognize that the triangle might include some Betty/Veronica action as well.
While the trailer isn’t available to embed, I’ll share some of the most telling (or confusing) screengrabs below. You may want to watch it yourself, however, in which case, here is the link.
Question one: What are the Blossom twins doing in weird matching outfits?
Look, no judgement or anything (yes judgement) but aren’t twins supposed to stop dressing alike when they learn to walk? What is WITH you guys. I bet this was Cheryl’s idea. Look how weird she is, with her weird lace gloves. Bye, Cheryl.
Question Two: Why is Ms. Grundy reverse Lolita-ing Archie?
The first time through, before I remembered there’s a weird student/teacher relationship between Archie and Grundie in Riverdale, I thought this had to be either Betty or Veronica. She’s got the signature milkshake with extended straw situation going on. Both Betty and Veronica are known for great sunglasses. It is not. It is Ms. Grundy, who has certainly been drinking the same water as Aunt May lately. I don’t know, this is the only plot line I’m just uninterested in learning more about.
Question Three: Who is checking their phone at a time like this?
So the trailer gives us a good shot of Veronica and Archie making out in a coat closet, probably at the same dance where he’s seen entering with Ronnie on one arm and Betty on the other. Which begs a few questions about the coat check scene. First of all, where’s good old Betts? And if he and Betty are just friends, as some of the reviews are insinuating, then why does she want to be part of a power couple, and why shouldn’t he make out with Veronica? Finally, if this is a scandalous few minutes in heaven, why is there a distinctly blue glow on both their faces? The make-out can’t be that good if they’re checking their instagram accounts. Maybe it’s an interrupting “ding” of the messenger app. Betty wants to know where her date went–the real mystery is which one of them she’s talking about.
Question Four: Is Jughead this show’s moral compass, or just a disappointed bystander?
Everyone loves Jughead. That’s probably why the trailer is being so stingy with him. There are a few questions begging to be asked about him, though, not the least of which being where exactly he falls in all this mess. Maybe Jughead just watches it all from on high (I’m hoping). Maybe he only descends from his throne to impart wisdom and deliver finishing blows, a la Silent Bob in Chasing Amy. Maybe he’s just in it for the cheeseburger. Or maybe looks really can kill, and this glare was Jason’s actual cause of death. Whatever it is, I would probably trust Cole Sprouse with my life.
Question Five: Are you team Betty or are you Team Betty?
Honestly. Look how perfect she is. I hope she isn’t played off as some naive child though. The new books have given her some serious claws, and if that doesn’t translate to the screen, Berlanti and I are going to have some words.
Needless to say, Riverdale is a serious change from anything we’ve ever seen from Archie and his gang. I highly doubt Josie and her Pussycats are playing anything like “Sugar Sugar” at that dance, or ever in their lives.
Based on characters from Archie Comics, Riverdale was created by Greg Berlanti. The show will star KJ Apa (Archie), Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper), Camila Mendes (Veronica Lodge), and Cole Sprouse (Jughead Jones).
The show is set to premiere on the CW sometime in 2017.