So I completely geeked out at the invitation from Penguin Random House Canada to celebrate the launch of the new series with a 50’s themed party and advance screening.
The set up was pure treats and nostalgia.
Then came a treat I didn’t expect — a comic book Q&A panel with artists J. Torres, Ramón Pérez and J. Bone, and moderated by Evan Munday, co-creator and co-host of the Archie Comics podcast Radio Free Riverdale.
Finally came the moment we all came for — the screening of the first episode of Riverdale!
The story revolves around the death of Jason Blossom, a Riverdale resident who according to his twin sister Cheryl, fell out of a boat and drowned. This show’s Betty Cooper is feeling the pressure to be perfect, and is working up the courage to tell Archie Andrews that she loves him. Archie has discovered a love for music, and wonders how to balance writing songs with playing football and working for his dad. Veronica Lodge has just moved into town, Reggie Mantle is a sleaze, Josie and the Pussycats are the town’s top band, and Jughead Jones is the thoughtful and observant narrator who captures the events in the town in his novel-in-progress.
I loved the episode, and can’t wait to see how things unfold throughout the series. Every character seems to have a secret, and while I have my theories on the truth behind Jason’s death, I’m also excited to see how these theories change as we get to know the characters better.
The main highlight for me is Camila Mendes’ Veronica Lodge, who is just capital-A Attitude and capital-A Awesome. She moves to Riverdale from New York with her mother Hermione, and just oozes style, sass and sophistication. A scene where she takes down Riverdale Queen Bee Cheryl Blossom with a mic drop-worthy speech just stole the show. Kudos as well to her stylist, because her outfits are amazing.
Casey Cott as Kevin Keller is another highlight. He’s hilarious, delivering zingers in practically every line of dialogue. He, Betty and Veronica make a good team, and I love seeing him and Veronica working together to draw Betty out of her shell.
One of the subplots, involving a new love interest for Archie, made me cringe, but otherwise, I really enjoyed the adaptation and thought it was a fun twist on the classic characters. Check it out for yourself — Thursday nights at CW in the US and Fridays on Netflix in Canada.
Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for organizing such a fantastic event!