Weekend Matinee: ‘Riverdale’ on the CW

| Staff Writer

“Riverdale” plays on the CW every Thursday at 9/8 CDT . The pilot episode and latest three episodes can be found on the CW’s website.

Ever heard of “Archie Comics”? The characters are back and better than ever in new high school drama turned crime thriller “Riverdale” on the CW. Currently in its inaugural season, “Riverdale” reinvents the beloved town from the lighthearted comics as a mysterious mecca for suspicious characters, family rivalries, misguided love and even—you guessed it—murder.

As the characters, stunningly dressed and made up, weave through the nuances of their lives, masterful cinematography and heart-wrenching plot lines follow. Although the comics were steeped in conservative sociopolitics—with straight love triangle squabbles, recurrent class clashes and an arch(i)etypical high school jock dominance—the show questions each of these themes as much as a high school drama can, featuring gay romance interests, felonious teacher-student relations and women of color struggling to prove their worth in a rich, white community. The show also depicts these struggles without tokenizing or sensationalizing them.

The drama, in fact, is left to greater things: friendship, backstabbings, vigilante investigations and, of course, high school popularity. Each of the actors truly pulls their weight, including former child star Cole Sprouse as loveable punk Jughead, and the writing constantly leaves me on the edge, sometimes even shouting at the TV.