Riverdale Has Gotten Pretty Dark

Illustration for article titled iRiverdale/i Has Gotten Pretty Dark

We were warned that the CW treatment of the beloved Archie comics would be “surprising and subversive,” but some of the new series’ plot points revealed at their upfront are pretty grim. For starters, Archie is Pacey Wittering it up with music teacher, Ms. Grundy.


Slashfilm shared the pilot’s official synopsis, and these kids are facing some serious challenges including DUN DUN DUN murder:

As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the recent, tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom — and nothing feels the same… Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is still the all-American teen, but the summer’s events made him realize that he wants to pursue a career in music — not follow in his dad’s footsteps—despite the sudden end of his forbidden relationship with Riverdale’s young music teacher, Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel). Which means Archie doesn’t have anyone who will mentor him — certainly not singer Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), who is only focused on her band, the soon-to-be-world-famous Pussycats. It’s all weighing heavily on Archie’s mind — as is his fractured friendship with budding writer and fellow classmate Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she’s not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty’s nerves – which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice (Mädchen Amick) aren’t the only thing holding her back.


Vulture reports that though the details are reminiscent of a number of prior teen dramas, including Dawson’s Creek, the show is freaking subversive af according to stars Lilli Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, and KJ Apa:

“I think that it’s definitely a lot darker and more subversive,” Apa said. “We’ve been saying it’s not the same as the comics that you’ve been reading. It’s a lot darker. We can’t really compare it to anything on TV.”

“Betty’s mother is giving her Adderall and things like that,” said Reinhart. “They’re dealing with very real-world problems.”

“While it might look super risqué to the people who first started reading the Archie comics,” Sprouse said, “it’s going to be familiar and real and honest to people who are our age and the people who are going to be a little younger and dealing with these issues, and that’s why it’s important and fundamental that this stuff keeps it alive.”

Adderall? That explains how the Riverdale gang had the energy for so many sock hops.

Image via Twitter.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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Ms. Grundy? Really?!?!