The CW has been airing its Arrow/The Flash spinoff DC's Legends of Tomorrow on Thursday nights over the course of the show's first season and the first half of its second. However, starting this month, another comic book adaptation will be taking Legends' spot on Thursdays (with the former moving to Tuesday nights): Archie comic book TV adaptation Riverdale.
Created by Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Riverdale has been generating buzz ahead of its premiere for the way that it reimagines the Archie Comics universe as a moody and dark neo-noir young adult drama for the small screen. The TV show has already been compared (many times over by now) to Twin Peaks in terms of its tone and themes alike. A newly-released set of plot summaries for the series' initial two episodes only further suggest that said comparison is a fitting one.
The promos and promotional images released for Riverdale have thus far indicated that the show's eponymous town and residents have more than their fair share of dangerous secrets - something that the synopses for the series' first two episodes ('Chapter One: The River's Edge' and 'Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil') also do. For more on that, read the full summaries included below:
Chapter One: The River’s Edge:
“As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom. Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is still the all-American teen, but the summer’s events made him realize that he wants to pursue a career in music — not follow in his dad Fred’s (Luke Perry) footsteps — despite his forbidden relationship with Riverdale’s young music teacher, Ms. Grundy (guest star Sarah Habel). With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Archie must look for a new music mentor and turns to Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) but she is focused solely on her band, Josie and the Pussycats. Weighing heavily on his mind is also his fractured friendship with budding writer Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she’s not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty’s nerves, which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice (Mädchen Amick), aren’t the only thing holding her back. When a new student, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), arrives in town from New York with her mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols), there’s an undeniable spark between her and Archie, but Veronica doesn’t want to risk her new friendship with Betty. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), Riverdale’s Queen Bee, who is happy to stir up trouble amongst the others even though she’s keeping a few secrets of her own. Lee Toland Krieger directed the episode written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (#100.)"
Chapter Two: A Touch Of Evil:
“As new details of Jason’s death begin to emerge, Archie (KJ Apa) pleads with Miss Grundy (guest star Sarah Habel) to come forward with what they heard at Sweetwater River. Betty (Lili Reinhart) makes an effort to mend her friendship with Archie but takes a different stance with Veronica (Camila Mendes), who is trying to make up for her actions. With rumors around her brother’s death running rampant, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) deals with the pressure in true Queen Bee fashion, while tensions boil over when Jughead (Cole Sprouse) stumbles upon a secret Archie was hoping to keep hidden. Finally, plans for the annual fall pep rally move forward with a performance by Josie (Ashleigh Murray) and the Pussycats and a special appearance by Mayor McCoy (guest star Robin Givens.) Marisol Nichols, Madchen Amick and Luke Perry also star.
Riverdale's blend of teen soap opera and dark murder mystery, as teased in these plot summaries, arguably makes it an appropriate fit for the modern sensibilities of The CW's brand of young adult programming - and does indeed sound like "Archie meets Twin Peaks", in this respect. The show's approach even reads as being a natural step in progression for the larger Archie franchise (which turns 78 years old this year) too; what with Archie comic book stories having branched out into more mature subject matter and embraced an increasingly contemporary tone in recent years, especially under Aguirre-Sacasa's watch as CCO.
Putting a "dark and edgy" spin on either a property or a genre isn't something that's new for The CW admittedly (see The Vampire Diaries for one case in point), so Riverdale will naturally have to deliver a compelling murder mystery story and character drama in order to properly make a name for itself. The fact that Riverdale has both an acclaimed storyteller in Aguirre-Sacasa and powerhouse TV producer Greg Berlanti (co-creator of The CW's DCTV universe) in its corner, should only help in this respect.
Riverdale begins its run on The CW with 'Chapter One: The River's Edge' on Thursday, January 26th.
Source: The CW