“Riverdale” Review: Is the Subversive, Small-Town Series Worth a Visit?

When a first look of The CW’s Riverdale was shown to a large group of journalists and advertisers at the Upronts last year in New York, one reporter tweeted, “How is Riverdale the darkest show on The CW?”

The series, based on the iconic Archie Comics characters centers of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends as they navigate through high school in their small town of — you guessed it — Riverdale.

The show is a surprising and subversive take on the comics, however, as the adaptation is not only set in present day, but at its core, is encompassed by a grisly murder mystery.

OMFGTV was fortunate enough to screen the first four episodes in advance, and believe us when we say you’re going to want to tune in!

Riverdale‘s main cast is, by no surprise, extremely talented and very attractive. Leading the cast as Archie is New Zealand actor K.J. Apa, who now joins the ranks with Paul Wesley, Jared Padalecki, and other CW hunky heartthrobs. The show makes good of the Kiwi’s perfect physique by somehow finding a way to get him shirtless and nearly naked in pretty much every episode. As aspiring songwriter Archie, Apa is the perfect leading man we’ll gladly follow.

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As snarky (read: bitchy) Cheryl Blossom and sweet-but-not-so-innocent Betty Cooper, Madelaine Petsch and Lili Reinhart perfectly portray the mean girl and angel, respectively. Meanwhile, the award for absolute stand-out among the cast definitely goes to newcomer Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica Lodge.

Just as Phoebe Tonkin stole the show as Faye Chamberlain in the short-lived The Secret Circle, the same can be said for Mendes. Her portrayal of strong and confident “Ronnie,” and her connection with Reinhart’s Betty, will make Mendes an instant favorite among the fans.

The adult cast is impressive as well! Luke Perry (“Beverly Hills, 90210”), Marisol Nichols (“Teen Wolf,” “24”) and Mädchen Amick (“Witches of East End,” “Twin Peaks”) are perfect in their roles as the respective parents, and we appreciate that they get a lot of screen time.

Riverdale is filled to the brim with shocking twists and turns — so many that we are strictly not allowed to reveal! And let’s not forget about the scandals. Yes, there is one scandal revealed in the promos for the show, but there is so much more to come. And not only does the young group of characters have their share of secrets, but their parents have many skeletons in their closets as well!

The series premiere perfectly laid a lot of groundwork for the rest of the season, and its subsequent episodes had us hooting, hollering and picking our jaws up from the floor.

Similar in tone with The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars, Riverdale has found itself perfect home on The CW. While the network’s other programming consists primarily of comic-book vigilantes, this comic book adaptation brings back the good old times when shows like Gossip Girl and other teen dramas were the norm.

Riverdale is deliciously dark, extremely scandalous, and addictive as hell!

The series premiere of Riverdale airs Tonight at 9pm on The CW.