One of things I enjoy about Scriptnotes with John August and Craig Mazin is when John stumps Craig about current events. Episode 288, however, had an example of not only stumping in that direction, but then a reverse stumping of John by Craig.
John points out that Luke Perry plays Archie Andrews’ dad on the CW hit Riverdale. Craig appears to be completely unaware of the existence of the show. HOWEVER, Craig is very much an expert of the world of Archie Comics from his sister’s childhood bathroom collection of the many diverse titles. John admits he has never even picked up an Archie Comic in his entire life.
As someone who not only read Archie Comics growing up (I actually sold them as well, but that’s another story), but who is also a fan of Riverdale on the CW, I can’t help but mention the changes through which the characters have gone. Archie is pretty much the same Archie (although the CW Archie was having an affair with Miss Grundy — who is no longer an older woman with her white hair in a bun, and we will leave it at that). Jughead isn’t lazy anymore, and today he is a good detective/reporter. Josie and The Pussycats (and possibly Reggie) have somehow changed their race. But most tellingly about the current reiteration, Betty now has a dark side. In fact, Betty vs. Dark Betty has opened up a healthy discussion about the portrayal of mental health issues and invisible disabilities in the media.
Craig’s remembrances of the old Riverdale brought back nostalgic sweet memories, but I’m more excited about the awareness of causes being furthered in the new Riverdale. Without being heavy-handed and preachy, and while still being wholly entertaining, Riverdale takes on some of today’s hard issues. I agree with that approach.