The golden age of comic books on television sort of snuck up on us. Suddenly we have Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Daredevil, Walking Dead, Jessica Jones and beyond. It comes as no surprise then that Archie Comics announced that CW has picked up a pilot for a series called Riverdale. Personally I think Archie and friends are due.
There have been previous attempts to get Archie to the land of the living. In the 90s there was grown up Archie in To Riverdale and Back Again. The basics were there. Archie is torn between Betty and Veronica. Jughead is avoiding Big Ethel. Reggie is a typical small time bully asshat. The trouble was that audiences did not want to see their perennial teenage pal worrying about mortgage payments and healthcare plans. If they were to try this again today after the success of the grown up stories in Life with Archie, maybe the results would be different.
There was also a TV movie in 1964 called Archie. I have had the opportunity to see this version as well. I say opportunity because to say privilege would be a bold face kick to the crotch of truth. The movie had the names of the characters in common with their comic counterparts and that is about it. At least it kept the characters in their time-frozen high school state.
This is where I have to assume the new show isn’t for me. Picture any CW show about high school over the past decade. I am sure any number of them could have been changed to be about the Archie Universe with just some minor tweaks. I know for a fact none of those shows were for me. You know what? That’s fine. I have grown comfortable with the fact that I am no longer the prime target for properties trying to expand their base. If gearing the show for the generation or two behind mine gets new fans to Everything Archie, then I am all for it.
Already Archie is showing great promise going this route in print. Bringing on new writers and artists to modernize the stories we have enjoyed for 75 years. While I will always be partial to the long standing Dan DeCarlo created house style, I understand the need to connect with tastes and attitudes of a wider audience.
I am not saying that I will not watch this new show. I am saying that it is not going to be written with me or people like me in mind. It will be written for the people it reflects, tweens and teens. That isn’t to say that I am not going to enjoy it. I just have to take into consideration that in order for something to stay around for 75 years, it has to make some changes to stick around for 75 more.
I promise to give it a fair shot and be back onFiction to tell you what I think and if I was wrong.
Until Uncle Ted returns for his thoughts on the show, tell us on Facebook what you want from a new live action Archie!