Yesterday news broke that Fox and Arrow showrunner Greg Berlanti are developing Riverdale, a “subversive take” on the world of the familiar Archie comics that will examine “the surrealistic twists of small-town life plus the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.” My original reading of the press release, based both on Berlanti’s history as an EP on Dawson’s Creek and my borderline pathological desire to turn everything into The O.C., was that the producers were going give the comics a nudge into the high drama, backstabs-a-plenty teen soap opera genre. Turns out I was way off. The truth, you see, is even weirder.
From an interview with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie’s Chief Creative Officer, who wrote the pilot that got Fox on board:
Something we talk a lot about is, “Imagine if Riverdale were like Twin Peaks” and was a really weird small town. But Twin Peaks had some very funny black humor stuff to it; obviously it was very serious as well. So that kind of balance is what we’re going to try to strike with the show.
So the show is Riverdale as Twin Peaks?
Riverdale is “Archie Meets Twin Peaks.” You know how we’re doing “Archie Meets Predator”? This is “Archie Meets David Lynch.”
“Archie Meets Twin Peaks.” That is really not something I expected to read when I woke up this morning. Or ever, I guess. It almost sounds like the premise for an SNL sketch. Doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad, though. For all I know it’ll end up being a groundbreaking, era-defining series that piles up a Modern Family-like collection of Emmys. It’s just … it’s a little weird to read, is all.
Other things we learned from that interview:
- They’re kind of looking to Gotham as a template, the way it’s about a “community of characters” and the origin of the city.
- On that note: Yes, Riverdale will be an origin story, and will be set in the present. Betty and Veronica are going to meet for the first time in the pilot, and “one of the stories we’re telling is how all these kids, from very different backgrounds, with very different interests in different social circles, come together to become the most famous group of high school friends that the world has ever known.”
- Josie and the Pussycats will be “a big part of the show.”
Lot going on here. Almost too much to digest, really. So in place of any further commentary, allow me to just tip my cap to everyone involved for going big as hell with all of this. Who knows if it’ll work, but God love ’em for trying.
Source: Comic Book Resources