The Podcast: Riverdale!

If you’re anything like us, it seems like everyone you know is watching Riverdale, this spring’s CW-aired reimagining of the classic Archie Comics characters. Marisa, real-life Archie doppelganger Nathaniel (seriously, you should see him in his Riverdale High t-shirt), Jesse, and YA expert Maggie all watched Season 1, including the recent season finale, then got together to discuss the show: as the teen soap du jour, as an adaptation of Archie Comics, and how it compares to the 2001 feature film Josie and the Pussycats. We talk about Archie! Jughead! Betty! Veronica! Plus even Reggie! And all the boring adults! Join us as we examine Riverdale Season 1 from all kinds of angles, from deep Archie fandom (Nathaniel) to YA fiction to thinking this version of Archie Andrews is very, very stupid (Marisa and Jesse).

How To Listen

We are now up to SIX (6) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:


Jesse is a cofounder of even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
    • Pretty cheeky, Netflix!

      And regarding what we want to happen in Season 2, you and Jesse mentioned Souphead (Jughead’s younger-but-otherwise-identical* cousin) on Twitter (I also forgot that Cole Sprouse had a twin brother!), so that seems like a natural thing they ought to do! Maybe he ends up at Riverdale High while Jughead is stuck at Southside High?

      * I mean, the other difference is, of course, that he likes soup as much as Jug like’s burgers.

      Also, I know the 13 episode season (and presumably being a midseason show again?) means it’s unlikely, but if they’re going to stick with a relatively grounded world for the show, we’re missing out on them not doing a killer Halloween special. The Archie horror comics Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has written are really excellent, so I feel like they could really pull it off. And if they do eventually want to dip into the supernatural with Sabrina, I hope we get an off-the-rails season where they just go all in. Sabrina & co., sure. But also Jingles the Elf showing the gang the meaning of Christmas & helping Archie get holiday revenge on Reggie. Jughead joining the Time Police & teaming up (and maybe falling in love) with January McAndrews (Archie’s descendant).

  • Marisa

    After listening to the podcast, I agree with everyone that the dealings among adults is a weak spot for the show, and I agree that the details of the murder mystery weren’t iron clad. For Season 2, I want those elements to get better, but I don’t want them gone entirely! If it were just a show about teens and cycling through their various relationships, and not set in the wider context of a nefarious town with a dark underbelly, I’d QUIT in a heartbeat. Because I have Degrassi for that. So yes to genre trappings, even if (or especially because), as Nathaniel suggested, they get weirder and weirder.

  • In addition to Archie’s trauma from abuse that Maggie pointed out, I also think he’s suffering from the early stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. I don’t know if Archie’s any good at football, but he’s certainly always getting the stuffing beat out of him. Would explain why his brain is so bad.

  • When discussing shows that influenced this one, I would say the legacy Dawson’s Creek cannot be understated. The lack of subtext made me feel right at home.

    Also, when I used to watch Dawson’s Creek (I think on bailed after 2 or 3 seasons) I was dating a girl who was obsessed with Twin Peaks. I think I can say you’re all mispronouncing Madchen Amick. I think this because said girl would say “That’s Madchen Amick!” when she guested on…Dawson’s Creek.

    • I may have misremembered it (or made the mistake during the recording!), but I thought I got my pronunciation (MAID-chin) from how she pronounced it herself in an interview with Lynch on some Twin Peaks disc. And I think both first and last name have a long “a,” but I’m less confident about her last name.

  • Excellent work here by Nathaniel, but I think he messed up in one regard. When Marisa mentioned that dishy NYT piece about the fight over the Archie dynasty, he had a story to tell. Nancy Silberkleit, the co-owner accused of sexual harassment who was barred from the Archie offices by court order for a time, once told him he looked just like Archie!

    • Marisa

      !!! If I knew that, I didn’t remember it. The tea just keeps spilling.

      • Heh, yep! It was at a screening of the documentary Archie’s Betty.

  • I was also disappointed in the lack of Reggie. Apparently this was due to scheduling conflicts with 13 reasons why.
    To fix this, he is being recast with an actor of another race

    • Is this true? I don’t know the new actor, and his previous credit was for a character named “Mr. Wu” on American Horror Story.

      • I could be wrong, then! He just looked really different. I thought he was a white guy.

        • jesse

          I would have sworn from her IMDB photo combined with her country of origin (Canada) that the lady who plays Mantis in Guardians 2 was not Asian, but she totally is part Asian.

  • Nathaniel probably knows that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Riverdale creator and Archie Comics COO, got a cease and desist from Archie comics many years ago for an unauthorized play he wrote where Archie comics out of the closet. What you might not know is that one of his first comics works was when Bill Jemas tried to fire Mark Waid off of Fantastic Four and replace him with RAS because he wanted a family sitcom instead of fighting Doctor Doom. This backfired, retailers went to Ike Perlmutter, and Jemas lost his job instead. They ran a second FF series for RAS.

  • Thank you for mentioning the makeup commercials.

  • Marisa mentioned that I also watch all the Arrowverse shows. If I really knew why I did that, I could solve most of my problems.