#CurrentlyWatching: Riverdale

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This week I did a Twitter survey to determine which show to talk about and Riverdale was apparently the strong favourite. Not that I mind, but it is a rather controversial show at the moment, so that could have gone a lot of ways – more about that later though.

Going into this show, I knew about the Archie comics, but I didn’t make the connection until later. While most of the characters are based off of those, the story really isn’t. It’s kind of a Veronica Mars meets Teen Wolf meets Secret Circle meets Gossip Girl but all without magic? So, basically I am saying it’s a mystery show with tons of teen drama. I am quite the sucker for CW shows, so I would have watched it either way. You can also watch it on Netflix, which is very convenient for me, because it gets uploaded each week.

A small town gets rattled after the death of one of their most promising teens. Everyone is a suspect, old family rivalries are awoken and relationships are tested. *insert dramatic music here* All the while our main characters try to figure out their love life and how to survive High School.

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Riverdale might not be the most faithful adaptation, but they did a great job with the visual aspect and the music (seriously adore the soundtrack). A lot darker than the original source material, I fell in love with the look of it at first glance. It’s very much like book aesthetics come to life. They did an amazing job at the costume department and the locations are beyond gorgeous. You basically have everyone from the comics there, but slightly different and a lot of them might still hold a surprise for you. But, as I said above, you don’t necessarily need to know the comics beforehand, because it’s a very loose adaptation. Still, there are nice easter-egg-kind-of situations for hardcore fans of the series.

As per CW tradition there is a lot of over the top drama and beyond gorgeous people. Shipping several of them is inevitable and even though that is the case, I do not have a separate shipping portion today. This is mainly due to the fact that I haven’t made up my mind though. They want to make the canon love triangle of Betty-Archie-Veronica happen, but at the moment I feel like everyone is just crushing on Archie because he got hot over the summer, even though he surely is the dullest of the characters presented.

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I am much more interested in the Veronica and Betty dynamic, their friendship but also what it might become in the future. They both have a lot more to them than you can see at first glance. Kevin’s lines are on point every. single. time. and he is just majorly funny. The show might feature my favourite version of Josie and the Pussycats ever and Cheryl and her possible twincest with Jason does have me intrigued as well. Still, my favourite so far remains Jughead, who definitely needs to talk more about food, but has the greatest vibe. This brings me to my next point.

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So, I mentioned controversy surrounding this show earlier and this section will explain what I meant by that. In the comic reboot Jughead has his own series in which he is openly asexual. The writer has confirmed that and has mentioned in a tweet (but not specifically in the comics as far as I noticed) that Juggie also has a tendency towards being aromantic. Now, that is not (yet) the case in the show.

Hear me out! I think that accurate ace/aro representation in mainstream media is direly needed and something that has been neglected for a while now. We’ve come a long way making TV more diverse, but there is still SO much work to do. However, I woke up after the first episode of Riverdale had aired and people were mad at the show, threatening to boycott it because Jughead wasn’t portrayed as ace/aro and I simply don’t get it. Absolutely nothing suggested that he isn’t in the first episode. Neither did it in the second or the third (which is all that has aired yet/that I have seen before this post gets published). So, my question was why everyone was so mad and I did some research!

Cole Sprouse (who portrays Jughead) revealed in an interview that they wouldn’t portray the character as ace (as they don’t seem to focus on any aro aspect, seen as it is not necessarily considered canon) in the first season, however, he also said he would keep fighting to make it a topic in the future. The producer of the show said that Riverdale is merely the beginning of those characters and that things that are canon in the comics need to still develop on the show (click here for the article). Jughead, as well as other characters, are still discovering their sexuality, so I read that as it being a real possibility that they will make Jughead’s sexual identity a future story arc.

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There’s also been some leaked material, which suggests Juggie will have a romantic storyline. Nevertheless, I don’t see how that is a hindrance just yet. Sexuality is something very fluid in my opinion and especially when you don’t know how you feel or categorize yourself, you might try different things. I feel like a lot of people don’t even know about ace and aro (and the difference between them) and maybe a teen who hasn’t figured it all out just yet would try to date like everyone around him does? I mean, he could try to fit in with the rest of his friends and then realise that it’s just not what he wants? This is obviously just my opinion and I have no idea where they are going with it in the show.

So, what I am trying to say here is that I really wish people would give the show a chance. If they mess up the portrayal, boycott away! Everyone deserves the right kind of representation, but maybe, just maybe, this show will give you a great story about a character who for the first time figures out that they are asexual. Keep in mind, the reveal in the comics wasn’t until Volume 4 either, so give them at least the possibility to work on this before condemning them.

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There isn’t much I can say as to why you shouldn’t watch the show. Maybe don’t tune in if you can’t stand water-bloated corpses? Also, this is obviously a teen drama and in case you know that that’s not your jam at all, I can’t really recommend it either. Lastly, I would understand if people wouldn’t want to watch it because they don’t want to get their hopes up about ace representation and then maybe get disappointed on the long run. If that’s a concern, maybe it’s better to wait a while and see what others say. In the end, it’s always on Netflix to binge.

Are you watching Riverdale? What are your thoughts on it?

68 thoughts on “#CurrentlyWatching: Riverdale

  1. Loving this show at the moment. I am also really intrigued by the Veronica/Betty relationship. I don’t ship them as such, but I can’t see either of them getting together with Archie tbh, and their kiss in the first episode seemed, erm, very suggestive of the direction their relationship was going to be taken lmao. The character dynamics are definitely the most interesting thing about this show – I almost don’t care about the murder mystery in comparison :p

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  2. I’m loving it so far! It’s visually stunning. I’ve never read the comics and am only vaguely aware of them. I do hope they explore Jughead being ace in the future. It would be good.

    I’ve only watched the first two episodes at the moment, it’s looking to be fab, though. I’m into the murder mystery. Definitely my cup of tea!

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  3. In class, someone (not me) was pitching a character. The lecturer asked every week – without fail – if there was going be a romantic subplot (despite the answer always being “no”). After a few weeks, they explained that the character isn’t interested in that. And the lecturer asked if the character is asexual, with finger quotes. I didn’t think there was any point in asking about that.

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  4. I am just absolutely loving this show so much.My favorite characters are Betty,Archie and Jughead,everyone else just seem dull in comparision to them.Half the time,this show is preaching about how hot Archie is,which is kind of annoying but if you get past that,it’s truly an amazing show.Ep3 was something very good and I didn’t expect it at all.RIVERDALE has been a nice surprise for me ❤

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  5. I actually didn’t know it was based on a comic until a few days ago, when I found a twitter acc, less did I know about Jughead’s asexuality, which I’m knowing by your post. I really like the tv show, I love some drama and that is not what I usually watch. Now that I know about the asexual part I really hope they develop the character into it in the future and I’m interested to see what will happen with the others.
    I also see the triangle between Veronica-Betty-Archie but I don’t think they are a triangle. Archie definitely doesn’t think of Betty in a romantic way and he is definitely *sighs* into his teacher. I think that yes, Betty likes Archie but eventually she will get over him. And about Veronica I’m not even sure. I like the relationship between V and B and I want to see more of that friendship. I think Cheryl will eventually change but for now she is the ‘bad’ one and I’m enjoying her character.
    Again, I like this tv show, like newest obsession (and now Legion is my newest obsession too) and I definitely plan to continue watching it and I’m excited to see what happens!

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    • I mentioned the love trianlge, because the actors themselves said they would be working on that. I am not going to spoiler you for episode 4, but I think you should watch it soon hahaha
      I know where you are coming from with saying those things about how Archie feels about Betty and vice versa, but I think that this is one of those shows where everyone will date everyone at some point. Barchie is a huge thing in the comics and they stated themselves in the pilot that they are endgame 😉 so, that’s definitely not over.
      I haven’t watched Legion yet, because I haven’t been in the right mindset for such a long and complex show. Visually it looks gorgeous though and it’s definitely on my list!

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      • I’m going to watch it tonight with Legion and is going to be such a great time. Again, I didn’t know a thing about Legion and while watching the first episode everything was so confusing and omg I didn’t understand a thing (not that I do now) but I looved it.
        I ship Betty and Archie, and that is why my sigh was because Archie with Miss Grundy is not what I like people. Gah, I don’t want that love triangle but there is nothing I can do other than watch it and talk to the screen.If Barchie is not over I’ll be more than happy, definitely because those first episodes broke my heart. Seriously, that friendzone hurt and when they are pretending everything was fine and Betty just couln’t while Archie sang, that was 💔
        I’m fangirling here and talking all the things 😂 I can’t wait for tonight! I might come back with some other thoughts 😀

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  6. I’m really enjoying this show. I grew up on Archie comics so seeing this world come to life has just been amazing, and even though it’s teen drama, so far it hasn’t been too trashy and the acting has been really good.
    I think the problem with the show and the fandom is that people like me who are very familiar with source material are struggling to get over the changes and their first reaction is to boycott. It’s only been four episodes and some aspects of the fandom are already annoying me.
    I’d love to see this Jughead be aro/ace because even in the older comics where he wasn’t openly so, it was clear he was, but I’d also like for Archie to not be lowkey in love with a teacher, so we can’t always get what we want. This is an adaptation and the writers do have to sell this show to some extent.
    Anyways, long comment but I do love this show and need everyone to watch it.

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    • I always appreciate long comments, so nevermind those 🙂
      I know that a lot of people have grown up with it, but the CW needs to introduce that material to a whole new generation and also the people who have no clue about it. Stuff like that can go horribly wrong *cough* Shadowhunters *cough* but the show is based more on the reboots anyway, which aren’t as extensive yet. Also, one of the creative directors of the comics is the producer of the show, so I feel like it’s in very good hands. I really, really do understand how upsetting it is when there are drastic changes, but I do like what they have done so far. I am glad you enjoy it too and I hope it will get an even bigger audience.

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  7. It’s not on my netflix 😦 I’ll probably have to get the cw app so I can catch up because it sounds like an intriguing show. I don’t like it when people start controversy without giving something a chance.

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  8. I just love these posts so, so much Kat, I love hearing you – well, reading you, ahah – talking about tv shows 😀 I don’t know whether or not I’d watch that, but…I may consider it someday ahah 🙂

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  9. I’m also currently watching Riverdale (as most people are) and JUGHEAD IS MY FAVOURITE AS WELL. I do hope they portray him as ace in the future but as you said I also don’t know the comics. I think it’ll bring some nice diversity to TV.

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  10. I’ve really been enjoying this show, and honestly, the idea that some people are boycotting it because apparently they’re not going to explicitly say “Jughead is ace” is totally stupid. And I say this as an asexual person! Honestly, it’s only been in the last six months or so that I’ve been able to confidently say I’m asexual because I would still get romantic crushes-they are few and far between, but I still get them-and I didn’t understand that there’s a difference between sexual and romantic crushes. And Jughead could be like that. I know it’s like that for a lot of asexual people. And isn’t he like only sixteen in the show, too?

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    • Thank you a thousand times for saying this! I really didn’t want to sound like I didn’t care about their concerns because I do hear them, but they didn’t even give them a chance to let Jughead, who yep, is around 16, figure things out. And this is a complex topic, there IS tons to figure out.

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      • And even if he’s not ASEXUAL, he could be grey-asexual or demisexual; both fall under the demisexual spectrum, but still means he isn’t sexually attracted to lots of people, like, honestly, most people are. It’s been what, four episodes? You can’t get an entire sense of a character in only four episodes. Plus, it’s been a main actor saying that Jughead isn’t asexual, not one of the producers or the head writer or something.

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      • Well, I think it’s because in the comics he is asexual and also a little aromantic (although the latter isn’t entirely canon), they expected him to be represented like that right away. Which, as I said before, is ridiculous. There was no way to show this yet and even if they don’t treat it at all in season 1, I am pretty sure there’s plenty of time and seeing is as a journey would be amazing anyway. Cole, the actor you mentioned, is really fighting to get that representation included.

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      • How do you even show an asexual character is asexual right away? Have them stand up on a table and announce “I’m asexual!”? Because that’s just poor writing.

        And I went and found the article, and I’m glad Cole is fighting for it.

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      • Right!? That’s what I’ve been saying. It’s not plastered on his forehead and it shouldn’t be. If they are going to develop that, I am happy they will take that route, but what people were expecting of this show right away was just impossible.

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  11. I’m currently watching this as well! ❤ And omg I didn't even know Jughead is asexual in the comics? And although having that rep in the show would be great, I don't see the point in hating the show so early on just because it wasn't explicitly said in any of the episodes so far.. I like the show so far and am looking forward to seeing where it goes from here! 🙂

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    • That’s what I’ve been saying for weeks now, which made me equally excited and anxious to post this. I didn’t want to offend anyone, but it is waaaay too early to say the show is doing anything wrong. I fell in love with it right away and I think they are missing out.

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      • Oh my gosh, yeah there’s literally only 4 episodes out right now like, that’s too. Early. It’s great that people are passionate about this but it’s kiiiiiinda too early to make such harsh judgements… But oh well, if people don’t watch it because of the asexual issue, it’ll be their loss.

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  12. Umm yeah, controversies about something that may or may not happen are over the top in my opinion. It sounds like there could be the possibility they will explore this later- and it’s not like anything they’ve portrayed so far would make this inconsistent with him revealing this about the character later- even if he does have a romantic relationship. I can understand why people will be disappointed if it doesn’t represent the character they love- but it’s really not the end of the world! That said, I’ve been watching and it’s not doing it for me- I’m probably only still watching cos everyone in it is attractive 😉

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    • I think they were so adamant, because it’s really a representation that’s near non-existent in mainstream media and one they were looking forward to, because it’s not portrayed as a joke. So, I get the frustration, but they really didn’t even wait to see if it would be included.
      I am sorry to hear it’s not for you. I am kind of obsessed with it all.

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