Archibald Andrews made his debut in the December 1941 issue of Pep Comics, a superhero series of sorts, with Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones. Because of their storyline’s popularity, they eventually got their own series, and a crew of characters. Throughout the years, Archie and the gang have gone through so many spinoffs, including a live-action movie and a musical. Now in its 75th year, the latest CW treatment if our fave comic has brought us a mystery-driven TV series that also caused many millennial debates. Are you #TeamArchieComics or #TeamRiverdale?
Why you’re low-key rooting for Riverdale and that’s totally okay.
There’s a reason why the hit CW series is not named after the redhead character who drove the comics it was based on. As the title suggests, Riverdale is about the community, the bigger landscape in which Archie and the gang are made to be relevant again — millennial life in 2017. But before you even think this is another attempt to convince you to “give it a chance,” let me start off with this: Riverdale is far from perfect, but I like to watch it anyway.
We’ve all read what people have to tweet about the series — how the characters go beyond the stereotypes of their comic counterparts, how the episodes tackle important issues like sexual identity, teenage pregnancy, and dealing with existential crisis, how diverse the cast is, and how it has killer #aesthetics and music. With these alone, Riverdale has done so much more than just bring the 2D characters to life; it embodies the spirit of the original Archie comics as well — relatable, relevant, entertaining yet not to be taken too seriously.
Let’s be real: the comic lost its widespread appeal quite a while ago. But what the TV series does so well is connect with the new generation of preteens, teens, and 20-somethings who are equal parts living in the moment and just trying to get by. The members of the cast are both playing characters and just being real people who date, tweet back and take selfies with us at Coachella. The lines between on-camera and off-camera hit a sweet spot and that’s a good thing. It’s what keeps the show so engraved on our consciousness. Yeah, some might find Riverdale Archie super annoying (spoiler alert: he is) and we’ll probably roll our eyes at more monologues by Riverdale Jughead, but the fact that moments like these bring to mind IRL situations (yes, Tumblr realities count) validates the idea that theirs is a story of our generation, regardless if we find it cool or lame AF. Some might miss the old Archie Comics, but life in Riverdale is as real as it can get right now. It’s about time that Archie and the gang exist in a reality where the young’uns find them relevant again, because isn’t that what the original comic was all about? — Tin Sartorio
Why Archie Comics is Chanel to Riverdale’s Walmart.
If you were to choose between a classic versus a remake that’s pretty much unrecognizable from the original version, I’d choose the former. Let me put it this way: Archie Comics is the type of book you’d read at the dentist office. It’s fun and light, but also teeming with lessons our parents would be happy about, while Riverdale is not. Comic Riverdale — “the town with pep!” — is reinvented as a town clouded with mystery and controversy in its TV counterpart. We went on seven (eight? Who’s counting anymore?) seasons of Pretty Little Liars without knowing who “A” is and I’m certainly not looking forward to Riverdale jumping the shark and stretching the whole murder drama until the next 15 seasons.
The gang was updated with full-attitude makeovers that fit the current societal and cultural landscape, but Archie Comics have been doing that all along. While the TV show thrives on intrigue and “complex” characters, you can’t deny that some choices are questionable. Ms. Grundy in the comics is a teacher who prefers tough love over making love when it comes to dealing with her students. Let’s not even talk about Archie — nay, “Archiekins” — who’s pretty much unrecognizable in Riverdale. In the comic, he’s not a brooding singer-songwriter; he’s a superstar who has a chart-topping single called Sugar, Sugar (you may have heard of it) with his band The Archies. Comic Archie is actually adorable, and lovable so it’s understandable that the makers named the comic series — and eventually their company — after him. Meanwhile, Riverdale Archie sucks so bad that his name got bumped off the title card. Sorry, we don’t make the rules.
These updated characters do represent the ever-evolving millennials, but the way they weave in their stories in the series isn’t seamless. An episode of Riverdale has at least three or four — depends on whether Archie is singing — storylines happening and that can get confusing. Archie Comics took its sweet, sweet time developing each character and story — they even created a full-on zombie version.
Overall, Archie Comics is a timeless, lighthearted comic series that any kid can relate to. They’re not trying hard to sell by using intrigue or by fitting the mold of ever-changing pop culture standards. It took risks and told stories that stand the test of time. And besides, Riverdale wouldn’t exist without Archie Comics, so I guess we know who the real winner is. — Maine Manalansan