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Before there was ‘Riverdale,’ there was this ‘gritty’ Archie parody

by  in TV News Comment
Before there was ‘Riverdale,’ there was this ‘gritty’ Archie parody

The announcement today that Greg Berlanti is developing a drama for Fox called Riverdale, is certainly big news, if not entirely unexpected, given some of Archie Comics’ recent ambitions. Written by Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the series promises both the wholesome Riverdale readers have come to expect over the past seven decades and the “surrealistic twists of small-town life plus the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath.”

But before this Riverdale, there was another that featured just that: Longtime readers may recall the 2011 parody trailer of the same name that perfectly lampooned both Archie Comics and the tropes of teen melodramas.

Produced over the course of a weekend by Point Blank Creative, Riverdale was billed as a response to “the common trend of ‘gritty’ remakes of popular franchises.” Released shortly after the revival of Life With Archie and the introduction of Kevin Keller, and long before Afterlife With Archie and “The Death of Archie,” the trailer depicts the Riverdale gang grappling with serious issues (depicted in an over-the-top manner): sex, alcohol and drug abuse, bullying, gun violence, teen pregnancy, child abuse, and on and on. There’s a lot crammed into a three-and-a-half-minute trailer, including a Jughead trying to come to terms with his sexuality and his attraction to Archie.

It’s also interesting to note that the image below, of a distraught Jughead carrying the bloody body of Hot Dog down the street, predates Afterlife With Archie #1 by a couple of years. And if you think the guy playing Archie Andrews looks familiar, you may recognize him from Fox’s short-lived sci-fi dram Almost Human, where he portrayed the MX-43 (standard-issue) android.

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