Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Sara and Melissa Talk About...Riverdale

We've been running a column series (for over two years now!) to get more personal with our readers. This month, we're talking about Riverdale. Remember our New Years Resolutions post? Melissa made it a goal to watch Riverdale this year and Sara decided to watch it too. Now that we've finished all six seasons (and are eagerly anticipating the seventh), we have a lot to say about this wild twist on the Archie comics of our youth. It's so fitting with Halloween, as there is a horror element, and some witchcraft too! 

We're always open to topic suggestions, so please don't hesitate to share those in the comments. We'd also love to know if you can relate to anything we've said or hear your own thoughts on the topic. So don't be shy. :) We look forward to getting to know you as much as we're letting you get to know us. You can find our previous columns here, in case you missed them.

Melissa Amster:                                                                                                                          I may have just become slightly obsessed with Riverdale this past year. I even wrote two blog posts at my personal blog about it:                                                              Seasons one - three                                            Seasons four - six                                                                                                                      One of my favorite elements of Riverdale is their nod to musical theater. I originally got hooked into watching because of the Heathers episode (I still can't get enough of their rendition of "Seventeen"), but then saw there was so much more to this series when it comes to musicals. I was so excited when they sang "Out Tonight" from Rent in one of the earlier episodes. I also got really into listening to the original cast recording of Carrie because of this show. In later seasons, they have done episodes featuring songs from Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Next to Normal. In the latest season, they did songs from American Psycho, which I didn't even know was turned into a musical. With one more season to go, I'm hoping they will do another musical episode, but it will be interesting to see which one, given where things left off in season six... 

I had high hopes that they would do certain musicals, but aside from a single song from one of them, that has not yet come to pass. They could do a lot more with the music from Rent, especially with the many, many songs they have to work with. I was even casting who the characters would be if they were in Rent.

Mark: Jughead
Mimi: Veronica
Roger: Archie
Maureen: Cheryl 
Joanne: Toni
Angel: Kevin
Collins: Moose or Fangs
Benny: Reggie

I didn't see a main role for Betty in this one, but perhaps she could be some of the supporting parts, like Alexi Darling or the person leading the group meetings? (They had a woman do that in Rent Live a few years ago.)

I also thought Spring Awakening would be such a great musical for this show. It's so dark and intense and the songs fit the vibe of Riverdale really well. The closest they got to it was featuring American Psycho, since Duncan Sheik also wrote the music for that one. However, the music from American Psycho hasn't grabbed me enough to listen frequently. However, the person who created this musical also works on Riverdale, so I can see why they chose it. 

Just for fun, I wouldn't mind seeing them do songs from Rocky Horror, even though Glee did that at one point... If they want to be even more obscure, they could do songs from Shock Treatment too. 

Anyway, as bizarre as Riverdale can get sometimes (especially in season six), I totally love it and am going through withdrawal while waiting for the next season. I don't know what I'll do when it's completely done though. 

Sara Steven:                                                                                                                             
When I was a kid, there was a brief period of time when I delved into the Archie comics. I’m not sure if my obsession with Mad Magazine had been the catalyst for that, or maybe I’d been influenced by my older relatives who’d grown up with Archie and Jughead themselves. I think at the time, a lot of the funny went over my head, which is probably why I stopped reading them. But I could still recall a lot of the various characters I’d grown up with, which is why Riverdale initially caught my eye. 

I mean, how clever would it be to base a somewhat dark, somewhat supernatural drama on a beloved comic book series?  

I can’t remember who made the initial suggestion to watch the show. Was it me, or was it Melissa? We often share one another’s watch list, so it could go either way. What I can remember is how I’d instantly become hooked from the very first viewing.

A potentially dead teenager. A young woman dealing with a father recently arrested for embezzlement. Bullying. An illegal affair. Estranged friendships. And that’s just in the first episode! While the backdrop centers around high schoolers, the theme is anything but sophomoric, and it’s that juxtaposition that really creates an enticing, engrossing experience.   

It’s hard not to feel like I’m in the thick of the episode I’m watching. Especially when there are so many beautifully flawed characters. Some of my favorites are Cheryl Blossom, Toni Topaz, Hermione Lodge, Nana Rose Blossom, and F.P. Jones. (But that might be due to the tiny little crush I used to have on Skeet Ulrich back in the 90s.) And even though I often despise the bad guys, I can’t help but to appreciate them, too, like Hiram Lodge–who is portrayed by Mark Consuelos. The messed up father/daughter dynamics between Hiram and Veronica, not to mention the pretty terrible things that he chooses to do to his family and to the town, continually play at the forefront of the show. Although, I’m not sure if Hiram can hold a candle to the latest addition to the bad guy roster, Percival Pickens. He really is the absolute worst. 

It looks like there will be one more season of Riverdale before the curtains fall on one of the most unique shows I’ve ever seen. It will be really interesting to see where it goes and how it will end, considering how much of the Archie comics has been incorporated within the show, and how it appears there are no limits as to where the episodes will take its viewers. Will we go back to Rivervale? Will the Trash Bag Killer return? Or maybe Percival? How about Hiram? You never really know with this show. And that’s why it’s so good, and why I’ll keep watching.   

Do you watch Riverdale? If so, what do you love about it? If not, does this post make you want to check it out?

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