Sunday, October 21, 2018
Die, Archie, Die
Murder, mayhem, illicit relationships, forbidden romances, wrongful imprisonments, scandalous secrets, betrayal and deceit. A new edition of American Horror Story, perhaps? Nope, it's simply your everyday elements of the new adventures of Archie, aka Riverdale. Now in its third season, this one-hour drama is one part Gossip Girl, one part Twin Peaks, one part Scooby-Doo, and some part Archie. Even though the show is well-produced and acted (Lili Reinhart as Betty and former Disney Channel star Cole Sprouse as Jughead are standouts), it's unsettling to see something as innocent as Archie transmuted into a CW morass of sensuality and havoc. Though purists look askance at this novel take on the classic funnybook antics, the TV series does include nods toward the original comics, such as the inclusion of Archie's jalopy, Archie sometimes wearing a bow tie (as he did in the first decades of his comics appearances), and Jughead's hipster wool cap cut to evoke his trademark jagged-crown headgear and a capital "S" on his shirt. In fact, the characters even dressed in the traditional costumes in an amusing dream sequence. (In Archie's case, his costume went so far as to mirror his pre-1970s garb of letter sweater, bow ties, checked pants and saddle shoes). Those that can accept the transformation of the innocence of the comic books and the earlier TV outings may enjoy the permutation of Everytown USA into a sort a horror story on more level than one, especially as we Countdown to Halloween. But beware the Gargoyle King.