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Riverdale

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Donomark   

If it's like the tone of the pilot, a Sabrina spin-off would probably be akin to something like Bible Black

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Spoiler free thoughts: I enjoyed it. It had a couple of real, glaring problems but, overall, enjoyable and it's earned a second episode from me. Then again, I've always enjoyed these kind of dramas.

After a bit of thought, spoiler-ish thoughts are just getting listed.

The Good:

  • Veronica: To be perfectly honest, Veronica is probably the best character this show has. Outside of acting as a bit of a anti-Manic Pixie Dream Girl, she is definitely the most three dimensional person here. If the entire series became Veronica being awesome, I would not be mad.
  • Betty and Veronica: I've read it in a number of the reviews and I'll reiterate: This is the show's most important relationship. This is what if Donna and Audrey on Twin Peaks became best friends. I fully expect the two of them to solve the mystery together. Hell, I'm kinda cheering that neither of them end up with Archie and instead end up together.
  • Art Direction: Whether it's Pop Tate's, the high school, or most of the sets, everything has this 50's feel to it without actually being. It helps make the town seem old which almost gives it a character all it's own.
  • Diverse Casting: The casting needs to be mentioned. You have Veronica and her mother being Latinx, Josie and the Pussycats being African-American as well as Pop Tate, and Reggie is East Asian-American. And, the thing is, I love that Josie's black-ness is a part of her character from what I saw. While Veronica and Reggie, their race was secondary, Joeie is the character who gets to own it. A lot of times with race-blind casting, and excuse my saying it, everyone either seems like a stereotype or everyone seems like you put some paint on a white building. Here, they all felt like kids, growing up in a small town. So, yeah, kudos.

The Bad:

  • The Parents: I used to watch Dawson's Creek. Anytime they would have a plotline centering around the parentals, I got bored. I know parts will probably work going forward but, for now, anytime there was a scene with Luke Perry, I got bored.
  • Focus: Is this a teen drama? Is this about the sins of the past being visited upon the next generation? Is this about a murder? I'm not quite sure and I was never sure about the tone either for that matter. The leading Judhead voice-overs alternatively helped and hindered for that matter.

The Mixed Bag

  • Kevin Kellar: One of the things I loved about the character of Kevin Kellar in the comics is that he was never a gay stereotype. Here, he was the stereotype of the GBF in addition to the entire drooling over Archie thing. I did like his relationship with Betty and Veronica and I'm hoping they do some more with him. Is it weird that I'm totally calling him as the murderer right now?
  • That... romance: The Archie/Miss Grundy thing is just weird. And also statutory rape. Remember, Archie is a sophomore. He's at best 16, probably 15. She pursued him so we can't even go with him being the aggressor. If the storyline goes someplace, fine but the entire thing is wrong on more than one level.
  • Archie: To quote a podcast: No one is going to care about your character because he's a musician. Archie is defined by the people around him. That's what I've decided. This has made the character either dull, annoying as fuck, or deeply flawed, depending on the scene. He's going to be our central character so I guess he has that going for him?

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Donomark   

I'll agree with everything you said Will, although your mixed bag is much more of a "WHAT THE FUCK?!" on my end. I found how they did Kevin Kellar, a character that was actively created to not be a stereotype, horrendously offensive. And the thing with Moose? Ehhh... Also I think they mentioned Archie not being able to drive, which puts him at 15. That stunned me. I thought for sure to get away with this statutory rape plot he'd be 16-18, but he's literally the age of an average Disney TV star. But Veronica is the best character of the show, and her relationship with Betty and Archie I thought were by far the highlights. The actress hinted that she could see her and Betty end up together.

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Episode 2 was both an improvement and a downgrade from episode 1.

The Good

  • Jughead has stuff to do! And he's interesting! Seriously, this interpretation of Jughead works. Last episode, he was just kind of there as out narrator. This episode, I get him and I like that his falling out with Archie had a basis beyond "Jocks are bad." Also, he got to have Hamburgers and that's all I want from my Jughead.
  • Archie did stuff!
  • Friendship: I don't care if we ever get to the romance bullshit. Between Archie and Jughead and Betty and Veronica, the friendships are what makes this all work. These feel like real people with real friendships.
  • Betty: Betty is awesome and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. She's growing a backbone. Good for her. Also, I think she might be more than a little bisexual.
  • Sugar Sugar: Outside of the weird dance number around it, I kind liked the Pussycat's version of the classic song. I also loved that it's still totally about romancing a girl.

The Bad

  • Holy shit is Betty's Mom cartoonishly evil! Like, it's funny but she is, by far, the most evil person on this show and, assuming she's not the killer, that includes the woman who is controlling a teenager with sex and the person who shot and tied up a kid for a week before dumping the body in a river.
  • No improvement on the Kevin Kellar front. Hell, you have a character in Moose who might be comfortably bisexual and you have Kevin doing the annoying be-erasure thing that some gay guys do. Moose has a girlfriend but he might want to have a boyfriend also. Hell, Midge might now! Midge might be encouraging it! Kevin sucks and not in a good way.
  • The Plot barely moved forward. At least the killer stuff. The fact that it took them all this time to finally take Cheryl in for questioning is absurd. Anyway, it could have been worse though. Still...

The What The Fuck

  • Okay, the show is making it clear at this point that Grundy/Archie is not going to be romanticized. She is a full-on sexual predator, taking advantage of Archie's stupidity to protect herself. It's icky, gross, and I feel no sympathy for her. I guess the show gets points for not sugar coating things but why is this plot here again?

Current Theory at the Killer: Betty's Mom killed Jason, partially for what happened to her daughter. But, adding to that, the reason Polly went insane is because Betty's Mom had an affair with Jason's Father and Polly was the result. Bad Mom told her, Polly snapped. Jason, who did care for Polly, kept asking about her until Bad Mom killed him.

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Donomark   

I thought episode 2 was the pilot part 2. I enjoy the emo weirdness of Jughead, and marked out when he mentioned cheeseburgers. Personally I thought Betty was really flaky throughout the whole thing. Snapping at Archie and Veronica, then speaking to them again. To me, Veronica is the best character.

Everyone on the show is hilariously super serious. Mr. Weatherbee is all "You didn't meet my gaze randomly in the hallway Archie...DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO HIIIIIIIDE?!!" Cheerleaders twerking to "Sugar Sugar" made me LOL. Archie jogging in the rain to Grundy's house in the middle of the night in nothing but his underwear made me LOL. The whole thing with Jason's murder is weird. Those girls who were talking to Cheryl were interrogating her like her brother's death was gossip. No one talks like that, or should.

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Got around to watching the first two episodes.  And while my Archie knowledge is next to nonexistent, I think I picked up on most of the characters.  What I really found disappointing was the lack of fun.  I don't remember a since moment that isn't riddled with angst, drama and sadness.

 

- To agree with Will, Archie himself is a bit of a problem.  He is the least interesting.  To be fair, my experence has been that the 'lead' is generally the bland one while the side characters get to interesting.

- The murder mystery doesn't really hook me yet.  Seems pretty obvious that it is Betty's Mom.  So it is probably Pops.  Reguardless, seems like this can go two ways.  1) It is the plot to introduce all the characters and then we move on or 2) it never gets solved and will never die.  I have this feeling it will go the way of number 2.

- The Student/Teacher affair seems out of place for Archie.  Seems like the only reason it exists is so Archie doesn't go after Betty and/or Veronica.  Has to be a better way to accomplish that.

 

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Donomark   

Got around to watching the first two episodes.  And while my Archie knowledge is next to nonexistent, I think I picked up on most of the characters.  What I really found disappointing was the lack of fun.  I don't remember a since moment that isn't riddled with angst, drama and sadness.

 

It's straight up Zach Snyder Archie.

The show turned this

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To this

 

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Well..

So Betty is crazy right?  That is interesting.  So she blacked out and killed Jason while wearing the black wig.  I hearby dub her crazy personality Black Betty. Bam-ba-Lam.

I assume that the teaser for next week means the teacher subplot will end.  I really do hope so.

Now, having watched One Tree Hill in the past calendar year I have to assume that Archie and Veronica get together at the same time their parents do the same.  And naturally after they break up when Archie realizes he loves Betty, he will walk in on Betty with Jughead/Veronica.  Haven't decided which way that one will go yet.

 

 

 

I love that Josie's black-ness is a part of her character from what I saw. While Veronica and Reggie, their race was secondary, Joeie is the character who gets to own it.

 

Best part of this episode for me was the other Pussycats.  Josie starts to 'own it' as you say, the other two give the biggest eye roll and knowing look to each other. 

Edited by Professor

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Donomark   

It was funny to me that most of the episode was the classic Betty and Veronica dynamic, where Betty is less aggressive than Ronnie, only to have Betty FUCKING SNAP at the end and literally try to murder Chuck. Like WTF.

Everyone in this show is evil for some reason. Fucking Dilton got dressed down by Jughead as though it were Batman demanding to know where the Joker was. I don't get how what Dilton did was so wrong.

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Didn't give thoughts on episode 3: It was mostly pretty good.

Episode 4... yeah... thoughts....

The Good

  • THE MISS GRUNDY STUFF IS FINALLY OVER!!!
  • The Parent Stuff: It's finally getting interesting, mainly the stuff going on with Hermione Lodge. She is probably the best parent on this show. She talks to her daughter, respects her, and okay, she's doing shady things for her recently imprisioned husband, but she's smart about it all. Factoring in that Luke Perry is not making me snooze off and that Crazy Alice Cooper continues to be the entertaining kind of crazy, it was a good week for the parentals. Well, almost.
  • Veronica is still the best character though Cheryl and Betty are making in-roads.
  • It would have been tempting for Sherriff Keller to be the dad who doesn't realize his son his gay or is a close minded idiot. Instead, having him as the supportive dad who's overprotective of his gay son is a nice touch. Too bad Kevin still kind of sucks and not in a good way.

The Bad

  • Yeah, the Miss Grundy stuff is over but the fact that no one except Crazy Alice Cooper called her out on being a sexual predator is just sad and pathetic, especially when it's more than a little obvious by her ogling of teenage boys at the end shows that she played all of them in more ways than one. Like, I have had some major problems with the Miss Grundy stuff and the fact that the show couldn't really decide where it's going with him. The words coming out of people's mouths were pretty non-judgemental but the direction and editing always made it clear that Grundy was doing something wrong.
  • I get it, Rebel Without a Cause is a film classic but Jesus Christ, Betty seems like the kind of person who would have been advocating for the freaking Notebook.

The Weird

  • I like Cheryl but what was her reason for doing anything this week?
  • Skeet Ulrich as Jughead's (hot) dad was weird. So, Jughead is now homeless while his dad leads a biker gang of mostly teenagers? Really weird. I'm guessing his sister got taken away by the state or something.

Current Guess at the Killer: Right now, it's either Crazy Alice Cooper, Miss Grundy, or Kevin Keller. Miss Grundy might have killed Jason when he threatened to go public. Crazy Alice Cooper is crazy so hell if I know why she might have done it. Kevin, I joked about in week 1 but now, week 4, he sees the suspect wall and then it disappears later. He hooked up with the one Southside Serpent then paid him to wreck the board because he knew his dad might be getting close. Said Serpent will end up being Victim # 2 in the next couple of weeks.

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Donomark   

My friend Josh presumes that the show tried to course correct after everyone saw the pilot was shouted how awful the Grundy thing was. I agree that Fred Andrews seemed unnervingly nonplussed about his son getting molested by his teacher. IDK what exactly happened in the episode. Grundy's obviously an awful person, but the show kind of kicked her off and dropped caring about finding out more about her.

I didn't think much happened. I really don't care about the town's evil mayor or Hermione Lodge, as a lot of that stuff seems ridiculously tacked on. I know Twin Peaks had similar endless plots with everybody, but I never thought that worked for that show either. Cheryl in this one comes off as exactly what Ronnie said she was: a 90s throwback to a television movie. She was silly to an almost Bulk and Skull degree.

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So, who is the good in this show?  Up until this episode I would have said the Ladies Lodge, but then Hermione had to go pull some shady shit.  I guess that leaves Veronica?

Yeah, the Grundy thing is 'over' (for now at least) but that was a horrible way to do so.  Luke Perry comes off as if he was in that South Park episode. 

Not so thrilled with the Biker Gang.  It adds another larger conspriae concy to a show built around one aready.  And they will probably connected together.

To pay Will's Killer Guess Game:

Think it will be: Betty.  I think the seeds have be planted for her being crazy, so she did it for revenge.
I want it to be: Father Cooper.  It is logical, keeps Mother Cooper around and gets rid of a useless character.
Random: Father Lodge.  Because SWERVE~!

 

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Six episodes in and I finally found the good in this show and it is

 

Val.  She hasn't done anything wrong as of yet.  Which means she is the killer now.  Beacasue SWERVE~! 

In the vain of everyone sucks: I guess Fred isn't all that bad.  Sheriff Keller seems supportive.  Every other parent else sucks.  Add the McCoys to the list.

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Dread   

Two episodes in and that bizarre fan theory is starting to hold some water.

 

I like it enough. The trappings of the typical teen show is the framework with some Twin Peaks weirdness guiding the tone, using the characters from Archie. Weird. I like it. I loved the Madame Satan reference.

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Stavros   

Saw the pilot. Didn't love it. Kinda felt like it's key moments were either rote high school BS about alpha female assertion, subplots nicked from Dawson's Creek and tacked on murder plots of the kind that killed season two of Friday Night Lights. Nothing new here.

Edited by Stavros

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Dread   

I love how every adult in this show is basically an asshole but Kevin Keller's dad, the tough sheriff, is all like: "son, please don't go fucking boys in the woods until this murderer is caught, ok?"

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Donomark   

I really don't care for the adult melodrama in the show. Who comes to an Archie series to see it preoccupied with characters who's major issues went down off-screen? I find Betty's parents insufferable (and clearly crazy), Cheryl's parents about as much of Saturday morning supervillains as she is, and Ronnie's mom and Luke Perry to be whiny. Just speaks to me of frantically searching for stuff to make episodes about, rather than the main cast, whom I'm now really enjoying. Cole Sprouse was terrific last week.

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