Jugghead?? I mean…really?
Not only was I inveingled into watching Riverdale, but I wasn’t at all familiar with the Archie comicbooks (although I’ve done a bit of–mostly horrified–reading since then).
I can’t believe they made a TV series out of Archie comics.
Not only that, but the series manages to mix the essence of YA fiction with some really black humour and noir goings on in the “pep” filled Riverdale….
Absolutely, this is a show for the young and the young at heart. The producers are self-aware enough to know that, and show it by casting 1980’s teen stars Luke Perry and Molly Ringwald as Archie’s parents. (And that brings back memories!).
I gotta admit that most of the heart-stopping moments in the series just don’t do anything for me. There’s just a touch too much cliche and comic book high jinx for me to take it seriously and invest in the characters.
That’s probably why I watch Jugghead so closely.
It was even more of a shock to find out what the Jugghead character is like in the comics (mostly, a cypher who eats hamburgers), because in the TV series, he’s the most intelligent and thoughtful character on the screen. The entire series is filtered through his on-screen narration. He’s writing a book about the events in the series, and the episodes open and close with his voice-overs.
I do like a smart hero.
Even more, I like bad boy heroes, and Jugghead is edging into that territory with every episode. His dad is a gang member, Jugghead spends the first half of the first season homeless, or living in a broom closet at school, there’s beatings and murders, and he rides around on a vintage motorbike.
The actor who plays Jugghead, Cole Sprouse, I’ve seen before, only I didn’t know it until I looked him up. He played Ben, Ross Geller’s baby son, on Friends.
Man, do I feel old!
I still find Riverdale and Jugghead fascinating, because they are good reminders of the power of redemption in heroes. Bad boys made good again by the power of love, which makes Betty’s and his relationship far more satisfying than the syrupy romance between Veronica and Archie.
I feed a bad boy romance coming on….
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February 11 update:
I thought I should add a quick note here to say that, alas, the superficiality and silliness of Riverdale didn’t hold my attention much beyond the end of the first season. It simply became, well, stoopid, and we stopped watching. Which was just as well, because what we selected to watch next is freaking brilliant. See the next Pulse Pause for more on that.
I’m still glad I watched as much as I did of Riverdale, because it was a timely, a great reminder of the power of a bad boy hero. I will be looking for a good excuse to create such a hero in a romance as soon as I can manage it.