ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at Creators.co
"Zombies, exploding heads...creepy-crawlies and a date for the formal - This is classic, Spanky." Follow me on Twitter: @Scodonnell1
S.C. O'Donnell

The CW has built up a reputation for delivering interesting and addictive teen dramas. Its newest addition is Riverdale, a show based off the Archie comics, which is the culmination of every show that came before it. All of your favorite characters from the comic have come along for the ride, with Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Miss Grundy, and even Josie and the Pussy Cats getting the modern treatment (which means they are all sexy as hell).

Watch the trailer for the pilot of Riverdale below:

The pilot episode sets up a lot of storylines that are sure to carry the show for the rest of the season. The main through-line of the season revolves around the murder of Jason Blossom, that reads like an homage to Twin Peaks. We don't know much about why he was murdered, but we do know that the town has a lot of secrets.

With the death of Jason Blossom propelling the season forward, the show becomes a sort of sexy murder mystery, and at the heart of it is the relationships between the characters. Archie serves as the centerpiece with Betty and Veronica both vying for his attention. However, Archie has his sights set on someone else: his teacher Miss Grundy. The latter relationship may have further-reaching implications than you might think.

The Archie, Betty, And Veronica Love Triangle

Riverdale [Credit: The CW]
Riverdale [Credit: The CW]

presents us with a typical love triangle that those of the Archie comics are familiar with. Betty is in love with Archie, but Veronica might also have feelings for Archie, and Archie has his own torrid love-affair (more on that later). We have seen this troupe on almost every CW show ever, but this time around, it feels different.

Each one of the 3 main characters represents a different archetype. Archie is the tortured musician who wants to forge his own path in life. Betty is the "little miss perfect" type, who wants to experience some semblance of independence. Veronica is the sophisticated teen socialite from New York, whose family have fallen on hard times.

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The three meet and become friends in an organic way; however, the situations they are placed in over the course of the pilot are cliché in every way. Betty and Veronica join the cheerleading squad, and they kiss for no reason during their try-outs. Archie, Betty, and Veronica all go to the school dance together, where Betty confesses her love for Archie and is rejected. They then travel to an after party where they play 7 minutes in heaven and Veronica and Archie make out.

The interesting thing about Riverdale is we have already gone through every love triangle cliché in a single episode. It appears they don't have any more room to go with this story; however, given how far Riverdale is willing to go, they may just have some crazy storylines up their sleeve.

The Forbidden Love Of Archie and Miss Grundy

Riverdale [Credit: The CW]
Riverdale [Credit: The CW]

When we are introduced to Archie, we are reminded time and again how hot he has become. Going into his sophomore year of high school, Archie spent the summer working for his father's concrete company, and he got ripped. Although he worked most of the summer, he still had time to sleep with his teacher, Miss Grundy.

Miss Grundy — much like the rest of the show — is a sexed-up version of what we've come to expect from the comics. In the comics, she was an elderly woman, but she still had some sass about her. In Riverdale, she's become a 'sexy librarian' type, and almost seems addicted to Archie's sex appeal — when she saw him over the summer at his job, she just couldn't help herself.

The Moral Implications Of The Teacher Student Affair On 'Riverdale'

Miss Grundy From Riverdale and from Archie Comics [Credit: Alchetron/Archie Comics
Miss Grundy From Riverdale and from Archie Comics [Credit: Alchetron/Archie Comics

Riverdale seemingly exists in a world without laws, or in a state where the age of consent is about 15. The relationship between the two is not framed as forbidden love, but instead, it is purely sexual. The show also hasn't scratched the criminal implications of this relationship yet. It appears as though Miss Grundy and Archie's tryst will not affect the story line right now, but it could have serious ramifications in the future. This relationship pretty much defines the whole show, in that it's not necessary to the plot or source material, but it is entertaining.

I do wonder how audiences would have reacted if the roles were reversed, if it was a male teacher and a female student, but the double standard when it comes to these situations wouldn't allow that to be a viable story. The show poses many scenarios that deal with teenage sexuality; however in this instance Riverdale posits a world where statutory rape is a teenage sexual fantasy, rather than a serious adult crime.

It is surprising to see this relationship between Miss Grundy and Archie in 2017, given the amount of social awareness in the world. The idea that any high school teacher would have sex with a student is appalling at best, but to paint it as a male fantasy is almost reprehensible. The show might deal with this issue down the line — hopefully with legal consequences for Miss Grundy — but for now it seems morally irresponsible to lump statutory rape in with more legal teenage sexuality.

When you look at the love triangle between the 3 lead characters, and the taboo romance between Archie and Miss Grundy, it becomes clear that the show is just a vehicle for teenage sexuality. The storylines seem to exist just to invoke hot emotional reactions out of both the characters and the audience alike. If that's the case, then the show has accomplished its task perfectly. Much like the show True Blood, when you add sex and murder into one show in an intriguing way, the audience will follow. Riverdale continues its sexcapades on Thursdays 9PM/ET on The CW!

Sound Off! What did you think of Riverdale? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below!

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