Debuting earlier this year, Riverdale became one of 2017’s biggest hits. With a cast consisting of up-and-coming new faces, the events of the show, inspired by Archie Comics, and given a modern make over courtesy of executive producer Greg Berlanti and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, instantly hooked an adoring fanbase.
With the show about to enter its second season, let’s look back at who is who in the town which may look like something from the 1950’s, but which has the dark underbelly of the 2010’s running through it.
Archie Andrews played by KJ Apa
The centre of the show, Archie Andrews has it all. Good friends, good life, as well as the high school quarterback, he in fact wants to be a singer/songwriter, whilst having a secret relationship with his music teacher, Miss Grundy. Portrayed by Australian actor KJ Apa with a flawless American accent, his casting came as the result of a massive search by the producers to find the perfect Archie.
Betty Cooper played by Lili Reinhart
Without a doubt one of the most interesting characters on the show, Betty Cooper is literally the girl next door, as she is Archie’s neighbour, and comes from a seemingly happy family, but one which is mired in darkness and tragedy due to her sister Polly’s relationship to the murdered Jason Bloom. Brilliantly portrayed by Lili Reinhart, the character of Betty becomes one of the most complex portrayals on the show as it continues.
Veronica Lodge played by Camilla Mendes
The new arrival in town, Veronica makes up the third of the iconic trio at the heart of Riverdale. Seemingly perfect on the outside, Veronica also comes from a family with a dark side, this time knee-deep in criminal activity. With an incarcerated father who is never seen throughout the first season, Veronica comes from a very privileged background. Played by Camilla Mendes, Mendes brings layers to a character that could have easily been played in a very stereotypical way, but is very three-dimensional and very sympathetic.
Jughead played by Cole Sprouse
Without a doubt the best character on the show, Jughead is a combination of geeky and cool, taking a vested interest in both the mysterious death of Jason Bloom as well as certain aspects of town life, such as when the local drive-in is about to be closed down. Let’s face it, we all love a geek. Becoming romantically involved with Betty as the season goes on, Cole Sprouse’s performance becomes one of the biggest highlights on the show, and, like so much in Riverdale, is helped by the fact that his character contains so many hidden layers and complexities than at first appears.
Cheryl Blossom played by Madelaine Petsch
Every high school show and movie needs an antagonist of the “bitchy” variety, and Riverdale is no exception. Cheryl Blossom comes from the richest family in town and takes great joy in making the lives a living hell for everyone who comes in her way. Portrayed with almost scene stealing relish by Petsch, Cheryl threatens sometimes to become a stereotype, but stays on the right side of antagonist and even allows the character several moments of vulnerability that allows a touch of sympathy to sink in.
Josie played by Ashleigh Murray
Of the “Pussycats” fame, Josie is the lead singer of popular band Jose and the Pussycats. Like Cheryl, there is an element to Josie that is somewhat antagonistic, but like many things in Riverdale, it’s all surface, with many layers of complexities and drama that hides a more rounded and sympathetic character and is performed brilliantly by Ashleigh Murray.
Are you looking forward to the second season of Riverdale? Leave us a comment in the section below.