‘Riverdale’ – your new VBF

The realms of reality are blown open in this one but in a delightful casting crossover, most of the parents are played by former teen idols

 

In the world that Riverdale is set in, absolutely anything is possible. Based on the usually naive characters from Archie Comics, Riverdale takes the gloss of Gossip Girl, the thesaurus of Dawson’s Creek, the crime fighting of Scooby-Doo, the romance of a Marilyn Manson video and the lack of parental control from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to make absolutely ludicrous  but totally digestible telly.

If you’re in the pits of a hangover or simply hiding from the world on a Saturday night, as is your godforsaken right, then make the cast, the crew and the writers of Riverdale your new VBF. In Riverdale, teenagers Betty, Archie, Veronica, Jughead and Josie and her Pussycats are always one step ahead of murderers, the mayor and mob leaders. Their hair never falls out of place, even after they’ve dumped a dead body, and they still find the time to study, or in the case of Jughead, who is played by Cole Sprouse aka Ben from Friends, work on their novel. Sense rarely prevails here and if that’s your thing, then toddle over to Netflix and stream the teen show and lose up to anything from 40 minutes of your life to an entire week.

Ever since the dawn of teen TV, which roughly began in 1954 with CBS’ Meet Corless Archer, teenagers have had the power do to anything. Reaching a peak in the 90s, shows like Saved by the Bell, City Guys and Sister Sister filling up Saturday morning slots and midweek shows like The Wonder Years, Moesha, My So Called Life and Party of Five holding your attention after dinner, homework and Home and Away. While Beverly Hills 90210 and Dawson’s Creek, which was created by Scream writer Kevin Williamson, another bastion of ’90s teen culture, were the type of shows you had to switch off if your parents entered the room, the formula remained the same; friendship lasted forever, no matter how many times you stabbed each other in the back. Good guys and good girls came out on top and the bad boys were either converted into cardigan-wearing good guys or were just part of your journey to self-discovery, ie you lost your virginity to them. But in Riverdale, the formula has been rumbled. Morals are muddied because everyone has blood on their hands. It’s hard to keep track with who has dirt on who because everyone is filthy and everything is extortionately ridiculous. Par example, the teens dabble in a drug called Jingle Jangle, Jughead the teen journalist writes stories for the school paper that regularly rattle the mayor and local police, the parents spend time in Shankshaw Prison – Shank. Shaw. Shawshank – and good girl Betty gets her kicks from being a video cam girl in her spare time.

The realms of reality are blown open in this one but in a delightful casting crossover, most of the parents are played by former teen idols. Beverly Hills 90210 resident bad boy Luke Perry plays Archie’s exhausted dad, Mädchen Amick, best known as Shelley from Twin Peaks, plays Betty’s mom, and Skeet Ulrich, the crazed boyfriend from Scream, plays Jughead’s dad and leader of the nefarious Serpent gang.  Oh, and teen queen Molly Ringwald is Archie’s mam. If all of this has your interest piqued, then it’s all waiting for you. Riverdale is currently knee-deep in season two and new episodes are uploaded on a weekly basis. If your teen years are better best forgotten, or are currently restricted to studying for school exams, then tune in and live vicariously though this mad bunch instead

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