Why ‘Riverdale’ Needs to Abandon Its ‘Archie’ Comics Source Material for Season 2

Matthew Loffhagen
The CW
(Photo: The CW)

The cast of Riverdale are currently filming the show’s second season, so be ready for more sexy teenage drama in the future when the show returns.

If anyone had said a year ago that a brooding, dark show about Archie jailbaiting a schoolteacher against the backdrop of a grizzly murder would end up being pretty good, it would have been almost impossible to take them seriously.

Heck, it’s still more than a bit of a surprise. Who’d have thought there was room for a comic book TV show that features gratuitous sex instead of superhero violence?

This being the case, here’s hoping that Riverdale takes the second season as the perfect opportunity to outgrow the comic book formula.

Archie comics are inexplicably popular. For fifty years, Betty and Veronica have argued over Archie, and while the world has passed them by, the sleepy town of Riverdale has remained lodged securely in the 1950s – or, at least, until recently.

The Archie comics line recently got a jazzy new reboot, which in retrospect almost looks like a testing of the waters for the Riverdale TV show.

Now, the show is what leads the brand, with audiences craving more edgy teen stories that feature the occasional gruesome death. It’s a far cry from the source material, and sometimes the lengths the show goes to in order to pay obligatory lip service to the comics is embarrassing.

Jughead
Source: The CW

Jughead’s hat feels like a perfect embodiment of this need within the world of Riverdale to periodically pause, wink at the audience, and continue ignoring the comics. What in the Archie books is a silly hat, a leftover reference to a bygone era of popular culture, is not some kind of weird cap that makes no sense and looks more than a little silly.

So let’s ditch it – along with everything else in Riverdale that is only there to prove that yes, definitely, this is an Archie TV show. Nobody buys this as actually being inspired by the comics to begin with.

Riverdale has a lot of potential as the new show for angsty teens everywhere to identify with. Cutting the cord to the comics and just going nuts allows the characters more room to breathe and grow on their own, allowing for more complex, nuanced stories that aren’t shackled by a need to periodically reference a comic book.

Make Riverdale its own thing, and everything in this world runs smoothly. After all, it’s not like any of this is actually following the source material in the first place!

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