Fox Developing "Subversive" Live-Action Archie TV Drama

Fox Developing "Subversive" Live-Action Archie TV Drama

archie

Iconic Riverdale Gang to get surreal (and serious?) as live-action drama

It can be easy to forget, but even in this age of superhero-domination one of the most popular and enduring ensembles in comics remains the perpetual teenagers of the Archie universe. The teenaged antics of Riverdale have experienced a renaissance in recent years, with stories tackling social issues, zombie outbreaks, alternate-timeline wedding stories and even the death of Archie himself. Now, that renaissance is set to bring Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the rest to TV.

A pitch from Arrow and Flash co-producer Greg Berlanti for a live-action drama based on the Archie characters is now in development at the Fox network. Currently titled Riverdale, the concept is described as a "subversive" take on the franchise, promising to explore "the surreality of small-town life - the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale's wholesome façade." (So... Desperate Housewives, but with Archie?) No casting or other production details are available at this juncture.

Archie was created in 1941 by writer Bob Montana. The squeaky-clean teen comedy/romance stories, in which hapless hero Archie Andrews juggles the affections of girl-next-door Betty Cooper and wealthy heiress Veronica Lodge while paling around with Jughead Jones and others spans over 70 years of comics history over dozens of books focusing on multiple characters and side-stories. Despite its substantial pop-culture presence, the franchise has only been adapted to live-action one other time - a To Riverdale And Back Again TV-movie in 1990.

Source: Deadline Hollywood

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Interesting, but I think this is a bad idea. For the most part "Archie" works best with it's one offs and fairly short storylines. Basically if you start an ongoing storyline with the intention of subverting the nature of that idyllic universe, the sincerity of which is the point (and let's be honest it's been subverted before) it defeats the entire purpose of the character and "universe" so to speak. That isn't to say that Archie hasn't gotten weird before, after all the character "Sabrina: The Teenage Witch" originated there I believe, though has had a sporadic actual influence and involvement. It also received a TV series which despite some rather terrible FX and writing actually pulled down multiple seasons.

In my mind it seems to me that what they actually want it something like "Ninja High School" or various similar concepts where the whole idea was to subvert the "normal" setting with weirdness behind (and sometimes not so behind) the façade. For the most part it should be noted that when creators have wanted this idea in the past, albeit usually with animation, which is easier to work with, they have typically worked out new IPs. Things like the old "Galaxy High" cartoon series were basically similar types of set ups to Archie albeit wanting to use a less ultra-normal setting.

But then again I suppose it really doesn't matter, as far as I'm concerned when the decision was made to start having Archie start dealing a lot of current social issues and such, I think they tainted the concept. Basically if something is controversial in real life it has no place in Riverdale (so to speak) change should only come to Riverdale when it has become totally homogenized into society. The point of Riverdale being to kind of get away from all of that crap, no matter what side of any debate you might be on IRL. Today I wouldn't be surprised if the next Archie Digest has an Ebola patient being transferred into Riverdale's hospital just because you know... that's what we're really dealing with.

Therumancer:
Interesting, but I think this is a bad idea. For the most part "Archie" works best with it's one offs and fairly short storylines. Basically if you start an ongoing storyline with the intention of subverting the nature of that idyllic universe, the sincerity of which is the point (and let's be honest it's been subverted before) it defeats the entire purpose of the character and "universe" so to speak. That isn't to say that Archie hasn't gotten weird before, after all the character "Sabrina: The Teenage Witch" originated there I believe, though has had a sporadic actual influence and involvement. It also received a TV series which despite some rather terrible FX and writing actually pulled down multiple seasons.

In my mind it seems to me that what they actually want it something like "Ninja High School" or various similar concepts where the whole idea was to subvert the "normal" setting with weirdness behind (and sometimes not so behind) the façade. For the most part it should be noted that when creators have wanted this idea in the past, albeit usually with animation, which is easier to work with, they have typically worked out new IPs. Things like the old "Galaxy High" cartoon series were basically similar types of set ups to Archie albeit wanting to use a less ultra-normal setting.

But then again I suppose it really doesn't matter, as far as I'm concerned when the decision was made to start having Archie start dealing a lot of current social issues and such, I think they tainted the concept. Basically if something is controversial in real life it has no place in Riverdale (so to speak) change should only come to Riverdale when it has become totally homogenized into society. The point of Riverdale being to kind of get away from all of that crap, no matter what side of any debate you might be on IRL. Today I wouldn't be surprised if the next Archie Digest has an Ebola patient being transferred into Riverdale's hospital just because you know... that's what we're really dealing with.

Eh, not really. People forget that Archie is a comic series running just as long as Marvel or DC and has that same COMICS ARE WEIRD vibe to it. It's hidden behind a slice of life veneer but Archie has probably fought as many aliens and wizards as Spider-Man at this point, and their last animated series was about Archie solving supernatural mysteries and nothing else. Archie is also no stranger to multi-arc stories. They tend to only last a few months at most but they exist and aren't terribly rare.

Not to mention that as a company Archie has been trying to be subversive as well. They've done winding dual timeline stories and genuinely scary zombie comics and a bunch of other stuff in the last few years alone.

Provided they don't go "too cool for school" and forget where the series came from I could actually see this working pretty well.

Still think they dropped the ball on the Archie Zombie apocalypse. The art style wasn't good for it. If you're going to go zombie Archie, use the traditional Archie style rather than something that looks more realistic. You can argue atmosphere, but it just fits the universe so much better. I mean if Archie can meet the Punisher and still maintain the original style, I think it would do well for a zombie apocalypse.

I used to be all over Archie when i was younger, I'm down for this as long as it's not tacky.

Same. I'd welcome anything Archie-related, so long as one of the weirder plotlines doesn't involve Mister Weatherbee finding the Lament Configuration and unleashing the Cenobites on a slice of unsuspecting middle America.

Because that would just be nightmare fodder. XD

The only thing funny when Fox tries to be subversive is how pitiful their attempts are

Does it seem like most things are subversive recently? It seems the subversive version of things is becoming the primary version.

Ukomba:
Does it seem like most things are subversive recently? It seems the subversive version of things is becoming the primary version.

Ironically, this is likely a big part of why Archie is still popular. It's the only pocket of sincerity left in the whole of American pop culture, even if that comes at the expense of being perpetually stuck in the early 1960s or so.

The reason why people still like Archie Comics is because it started with awful superhero comics that were bland and uninteresting, always latching onto the more successful, less awful ones, before it shed all of that and found its own little niche, with cute drawings of pretty girls tormenting some guy while weird shit happens.

I think turning it into a TV drama would demean that aspect in several ways, and if you take away all of the charm, then what do you have? Something tacky and irritating.

This is a really, really bad idea, and some things should just be left on paper.

I'd give a finger for this version of Archie to be live-action

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Steve the Pocket:

Ukomba:
Does it seem like most things are subversive recently? It seems the subversive version of things is becoming the primary version.

Ironically, this is likely a big part of why Archie is still popular. It's the only pocket of sincerity left in the whole of American pop culture, even if that comes at the expense of being perpetually stuck in the early 1960s or so.

It was. I think that's the draw for shows like MLP as well. I think Gritty realism, subversion, and deconstruction are over saturating the media now.

For that reason, I think a subversive tv show is going to fail. It's hardly unique to vilify the idealized Rockwell america. Regardless of if they go Stepford Wives or Desperate Housewives. It's internet Rule 15, that's how common it is.

Two women exist to seduce and pleasure a man?
"Subversive". Okay.

If this becomes Moral Oral 2.0, then count me out. I thought Moral Oral was too depressing, so if this Archie show is as depressing as that, then count me out...

I mean, I thought the first Season of Moral Oral was funny (Especially the Necromancy Episode), but then it seriously went downhill with every character either being a terrible person with a terribly sad backstory or a sad person with a terribly sad backstory...

So how Subversive are we talking about when we talk about Subversive?

I may enjoy subversive works and deconstructions but doing that to Archie...that doesn't sound good to me at all. I'll wait until the show actually comes out to render judgement but I won't be surprised if Fox axes it in the middle of the first season.

 

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