Riverdale is based on the iconic Archie Comics Universe. Those who know the original will be aware of the cheerful tone of these comics. However, the Riverdale show takes on a dark turn, which serves as a glimpse of what the town is like beneath its happy facade. From betrayal to murder, there are some big secrets that lie beneath the surface.
That said, viewers who know of Archie Comics will be familiar with the characters featured – such as Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones, Hiram Lodge, and more. With incredible twists and turns, the show has been keeping its audience engaged for four seasons now with no sign of it letting up.
While fans were initially wary of their favorite comic book characters being used in a creative retelling, post-release reception has been very positive and only improved over time.
The first season of Riverdale is a murder mystery. The death of Jason Blossom leads to a season-long exploration of who could be responsible, along with the deterioration of the Blossom family. The show’s antagonist, Cheryl Blossom, is seen grieving her daughter and becoming increasingly suspicious of her family members.
However, there are some lighter tones to this show, which include a classic high school love triangle between Betty, Veronica, and Archie. Essentially, the first season combines a coming of age story with a classic mystery. All characters are shown to have a dark side and no one is free from secrets in the series.
Over the seasons we see the characters evolve. For example, we find out more about Hiram Lodge’s darkest secrets, the truth behind the Blossom family, and Betty’s dark self. It is a show that turns the original Archie Comics setting upside down and fans love it.
Unlike the original Archie Comics universe where most of the stories are light-hearted, Riverdale is dark, twisted and gritty. The reimagining of the beloved franchise had a lot of potential risks but it clicked with the audience immediately.
Cast and characters
The cast features some of the most vibrant young talents in the industry. Cole Sprouse from Zack and Cody makes a comeback as Jughead Jones, while KJ Apa takes on the role of Archie Andrews.
Betty Cooper is played by the extremely talented Lili Reinhardt. We also see a reimagining of Veronica Lodge’s character with Camila Mendes, who takes on the role of the spoilt heiress with a heart of gold.
Most of Riverdale is filmed in Vancouver, Canada. Notably, the icy lodge shown in season four was shot at this location. Some of the scenes are set in British Columbia (also in Canada). However, the aerial view of Riverdale shown in the opening sequence of the show was shot in Michigan at Harbor Springs.
The script of Riverdale was written by the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The producer behind the show is Greg Berlanti – also known as the same genius behind shows such as Dawson’s Creek and Flash. The show airs on the CW and Netflix. It has been one of the most popular shows on the streaming platform since it first started airing.
Episodes and reception
Riverdale’s first season saw a generally positive response in terms of critical reviews. Furthermore, its success on Netflix led to the renewal of the show for three more seasons. Season 5 is also in the works but is currently on hold due to the ongoing global pandemic.
With a rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, Riverdale continues to be one of the most popular TV shows on both the CW and Netflix. The show seemed to peak during seasons 2 and 3 with a massive viewership spike. Notably, it continues to be among the top ten shows on Netflix since its initial release. The show has bagged many awards from the Teen Choice Awards, Leo Awards, and Dorian Awards.
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