Even if you’ve never read a single issue of Archie Comics in your life (and, until recently, I hadn’t either) you know the earmarks of this All-American institution: red-headed teen Archie Andrews, his best bud Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and the town of Riverdale, U.S.A. The comics series, once one of the most popular in America, has been running for some 70 years, and is your typical Normal Rockwell/Happy Days idea of what wholesome Midwestern high school life is all about.
In recent years, Archie Comics has done its best to update for the 21st Century, as seen in comics like Afterlife with Archie and Kevin Keller. But none of those seem to hold a candle to the upcoming CW series Riverdale, which is itself an even more modern reinvention of the world of Archie and friends. How much of a reinvention are we talking about? Well, recently the folks at Bleeding Cool got a copy of the pilot script for Riverdale—written by Archie comics writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa—and let’s just say…it was WAY more racy than anything one would come to expect from the pop culture phenomenon that once gave us the cutesy hit song “Sugar Sugar.”
According to the review, “the script begins with a narrator talking about the town of Riverdale, and how it isn’t what people think. We are shown what may be familiar locations, the city hall, the cinema, Pop’s Chok’lit Shoppe Diner, but also derelict buildings with boarded up walls, graffiti and meth addicts. Because this is the real Riverdale, all of it, folks. This isn’t just Archie the TV series. It’s ‘Betty & Veronica Mars.'”
Meth addicts in Riverdale?? Whoa. But the shocks don’t stop there. The review also adds that this is a “Riverdale of strip joints, and, yes, a just-16 year old Archie sleeping with his music teacher and then using it to blackmail her.” Sexual activity isn’t limited to Archie himself; Kevin Keller, the gay 16-year-old introduced in recent years in the comics, is shown trolling the Grindr app for casual sex hookups.
This show, should it make it to air, is sure to cause massive controversy if it keeps all these elements, with conservative watchdog groups no doubt already lined up to protest this trashing of an American institution… which will no doubt result in big ratings for the CW. As for me… I’m actually genuinely intrigued now by an Archie TV series, whereas I couldn’t have cared less before. So mission accomplished, CW.
What do you think of this scandalous new take on Archie? Are you disgusted, or are you already setting your DVR like me? Let us know in the comments below.
HT: Bleeding Cool
IMAGES: Archie Comics