Every TV season, there's always one promising new show that stands out above the rest. This season, that show is the CW's Riverdale. Now, you may be saying to yourself, "As if! I'm not going to watch a CW show." To which I say, GTFO. Over the past few years, the CW has routinely given us some of the best dramas on TV, from endearing satires like Jane The Virgin to its impressive roster of DC Comics superheroes with The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and now, Supergirl.
But one thing has been missing from the network's slate since the series finale of Gossip Girl in 2012: the real teen drama. Enter Greg Berlanti's Riverdale.
Based on the characters and town immortalized in the Archie comics, the series has been described as a "bold and subversive" take on the seemingly wholesome town of Riverdale and its teen residents Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Josie -- yes, as in Josie and the Pussycats. It may be based on a comic, but it's no genre show. On Riverdale, Archie Andrews and his friends at Riverdale High are connected by common pain of adolescence.
Berlanti has always been a bit of a provocateur in the writers' room. As the showrunner of Dawson's Creek -- perhaps one of the most seminal teen dramas -- he helped make history when the show became the first network television series to air a gay kiss on primetime. The kiss, between Jack McPhee and Ethan, was meaningful and powerful, but not for its history-making. It was grounded in authenticity; it felt real. Berlanti aims to keep that spirit alive in Riverdale, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "Even in the pilot, we deal with some of those issues. There's a gay character, a closeted character, a child on medication."
Now, if you're not already sold on the premise, then perhaps the very attractive cast will convince you that this is the single most important show to have ever been given a series order.
KJ Apa is Archie Andrews
He's not a natural redhead, but I literally could care less because this is what he looks like without his shirt on. Archie got an upgrade.
Camilla Mendes is Veronica Lodge
Intelligent? Check. Confident? Check. Perfectly arched brows? Check. Described as a "silver-tongued high school sophomore who returns to Riverdale from New York, eager to reinvent herself after a scandal involving her father," it's honestly hard not to love Veronica. (Sorry, Betty.)
Lili Reinhart is Betty Cooper
It's like this cast is contractually obligated to be good-looking or something. As Archie's childhood best friend Betty, expect there to be major chemistry between Reinhart and Apa. The sparks will be incendiary.
Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones
Cole Sprouse, CW heartthrob? We like the way that sounds. On the show Jughead is Archie's former best friend, and their falling out remains a sore subject between them. He's cool and aloof and most likely has a few broody secrets. Also, the world is a better place with Cole Sprouse, preferably shirtless, back on our television screens.