TV Shows, Pop Culture

I used to love Archie, but now, thanks to Riverdale, I can’t even look at him.

Now before anybody chops my head off, let me just start this off by saying that I've always been a fan of the Archie comics.

When someone says “Archie,” I take walk down the memory lane. 

I can see ten-year-old me, bundled up in a blanket on a winter afternoon reading an Archie comic as if the vanity of existence was inconsequential. I’m cozy, comfy and pretending my life is exactly like the little fictional town of Riverdale.

So, when present-day me discovered the show Riverdale, I thought it could be the perfect way to relive my glory days with Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead.

However…things didn’t exactly work out the way I had planned.

I joined the Riverdale bandwagon a little late.  I started as a result of the all the buzz and speculation I’d been hearing about the show. I ended up fabricating lofty expectations which quickly fell flat. To be honest, I loved the first few episodes of Riverdale despite its incongruities to the comics. 

But, as the characters began to shed their skins, my disappointment was too large to ignore. 

While the Archie comics adopt a bright hue in terms of plot and characters and focuses primarily on the friend-foe relationship of Veronica and Betty as they fight over Archie, Riverdale completely deviates from that path and has a lingering dark aura.

[bctt tweet=”But, as the characters began to shed their skins, my disappointment was too large to ignore. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

As happy as I am to see the show promoting strong female leads dealing with important aspects of their lives that are not restricted to a boy tearing them apart, the heavy tone of Riverdale can be too much to digest for some of us who grew up with the comics.

[bctt tweet=”This could have been a perfect opportunity to bring a healthy and happy asexual character to a large audience. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

Although the show clearly states that it is based on the characters from the comics and isn’t an adaptation of the comics as a whole, my incorrectly wired brain just refuses to deal with that.

Despite Riverdale having a nail-biting plot revolving around several murders and tons of twists and turns, for me, it loses the simple essence of love, friendship, and innocence that the comics retained.

As the plot progresses, the backstories of even the most minor characters are woven with great intricacy on Riverdale

However, the lead character Archie Andrews is reduced to nothing more than the eye candy. 

Not only does the Archie in Riverdale look nothing like the freckled Archie Andrews, it is baffling to see how much the character is deficient when it comes to thinking and making important decisions. 

Especially considering the show’s thriller genre.

[bctt tweet=”It loses the simple essence of love, friendship and innocence that the comics retain.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Riverdale (almost) makes up for its Archie Andrews character with its brilliant job in terms of representation, ranging from an all black Josie and the Pussycats to gay characters veiling their sexuality with their hyper-masculinity and social status. 

However, I’ll admit that I was still a bit let down by Riverdale’s portrayal of Jughead and his sexuality. I had truly been longing for an asexual Jughead. The lack of LGBTQ+ representation in the media has always been a problem, and the fact a huge chance of finally exploring asexuality was passed so easily is upsetting. This could have been a perfect opportunity to bring a healthy and happy asexual character to a large audience. 

My relationship with Riverdale is complex, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to stop hate-binging it. 

It’s not a perfect show by any means, but I know ten-year-old me would never forgive me for letting go of the town of Riverdale so easily. 

Attribution: [Image description: A .gif of Betty, Archie, and Veronica with red solo cups in their hands and jumping up and down, while at a party.]