Welcome to Riverdale, a town with pep. But underneath that malt shop counter gloss is a seedy underbelly filled with murder, corruption and affairs.
The CW’s newest teen drama — based on the classic comic books — just might be your newest TV obsession. Strap in as we dissect the six biggest moments from the Thursday, January 26, premiere episode, “The River’s Edge,” which sets half a dozen story lines in motion and gives us the season-long mystery to theorize about.
1. Josie and the Pussycats Debut
It wouldn’t be an Archie show without Josie and the Pussycats, but what’s awesome about Riverdale is that this band, which was first introduced in the comics in 1963, has gotten a hot, hip 2017 makeover. Portrayed by Ashleigh Murray, Irie Hayleau and Ashanti Bromfield, this trio is maybe the coolest thing on a show full of cool things.
The Pussycats rehearse and later sing Cyndi Lauper‘s 1984 hit “All Through the Night” at the back-to-school dance. Something tells us this is not the last we’ve seen of them on stage — and thank goodness for that.
2. Archie Pulls a Pacey
To offer a comparison to ’90s hit Dawson’s Creek, Riverdale might have you believe that Archie (K.J. Apa) is the Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) of this creek, but it turns out he pulled a Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson) over the summer and started having an affair with his music teacher, Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel). But seriously, who could resist those red Lolita glasses she was sporting?
Oh, Archie. Naughty, naughty. Though not nearly as naughty as Ms. Grundy. Is this going to turn into an Ezria-like love affair, or will Grundy get run out of town like Dawson’s Creek‘s Ms. Jacobs (Leann Hunley)? Time will tell, but what makes the Riverdale version even more interesting is that when Archie and his teacher were making out by the river on the 4th of July, they heard a gunshot — perhaps the gunshot that killed Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines)? — and they haven’t told the police about it yet. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
3. Betty and Veronica Are Faking It
At the end of their cheerleading tryout, Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) share a kiss to bring “the heat, the sizzle.” That said, it kinda felt like a cheap ploy on the show’s part to have a B&V makeout sesh.
Luckily, Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) was there to smack them down for the viewers: “Check your sell-by date, ladies. Faux-lesbian kissing hasn’t been taboo since 1994.”
4. Meet the Parents
The high schoolers don’t have a monopoly on drama. There is plenty going on with the parents too, which is great since some viewers no doubt recognize the parents as Beverly Hills, 90210‘s Dylan McKay, Twin Peaks‘ Shelley the waitress and Teen Wolf‘s Corinne.
In one short episode, we learned Verornica’s mom, Hermione (Marisol Nichols), used to date Archie’s dad, Fred (Luke Perry); Hermoine’s jailbird husband, Hiram, is still up to no good and sending her bags full of cash; and Betty’s mom, Alice (Madchen Amick), is a super intense, kind of psycho helicopter parent whose older daughter, Polly, apparently had a nervous breakdown and lives in a group home.
We can’t wait to learn more about all these parental shenanigans.
5. Seven Minutes in Hell
At Cheryl’s post-dance party, Archie and Veronica make out in the closet — right after Betty got her heart broken by telling Archie how she feels, something Veronica totally knew about.
It sets up the eternal love triangle of Betty-Archie-Veronica, though this one is made a little stickier by the fact that Archie is doing an “independent study” with (of?) his music teacher.
This betrayal also gives us the bit of info that Archie and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) aren’t really friends anymore, which is sad. We wonder what happened there …
6. Jason Blossom’s Body Surfaces
In addition to Kevin (Casey Cott) finding out Moose (Cody Kearsley) is gay and wanting to do “everything but kiss” down at the river, Kevin almost literally has Jason Blossom’s body fall into his lap.
Turns out Jason was shot in the forehead, and in a few days, the first arrest is going to be made — at school, halfway through first period. So we have our mystery, and how refreshing that Riverdale’s Laura Palmer (the dearly departed on Twin Peaks) or Lilly Kane (from Veronica Mars) is not a blonde party girl, but rather the redheaded captain of the football team.
Tell Us: Who’s your No. 1 suspect in Jason Blossom’s murder?
Riverdale airs on the CW Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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