Road to Riverdale: Penguin Random House Canada Screening Event

riverdale, riverdale cast

This past Friday, Penguin Random House Canada invited me to their offices for a screening of the first episode of the new CW show, Riverdale. It’s a modern take on the iconic Archie characters set in their small town of Riverdale and attendees were encouraged to dress up in either 1950s garb or as the Archie characters. I was dressed as the show’s version of Josie and quite a few guests were decked out as well — so many Jugheads! There were a ton of things happening at this swinging party including:

  • a cardboard Archie that guests could take a polaroid picture with
  • an old school popcorn machine
  • sliders, jellybeans, old fashion Coco-cola etc
  • a games corner featuring hula hoops, slinkies and yo-yos
  • a yearbook chalkboard for guests to sign
  • a slideshow of classic Archie covers and panels

Archie Comics sponsored the event and their collected comics were available for purchase. Thirty minutes into the event, we were seated to watch a panel moderated by author Evan Munday (dressed as Mr. Weatherbee) and featuring three local comic creators who’ve worked on Archie comics, J Torres, Ramón Pérez and J Bone. It was a great discussion, full of laughs, and the trio signed comics and prints after the screening.

After the talk it was finally time for the Riverdale premiere. I never had any intention of watching the show but this event made the idea enticing because it was with a group. The experience didn’t disappoint! It was great hearing everyone laugh when “Geraldine” was mentioned and Kevin’s excitement over I-Got-Hot-Over-The-Summer-Pouring-Concrete Archie. I like to describe the show as your typical CW teen show but a Twin Peaks feel and Archie characters. I was surprised by the acting, which was pretty good, and forgave the pacing since it’s the first episode. It looked great and I enjoyed the changes from Archie comics canon, which include more focus on Veronica’s mom versus her father. I agreed with the issues people had with Kevin as a stereotypical gay character but it feels like they want to subvert it (there’s a moment where they call it out). We’ll see. There were some scenes that felt unnecessary or wasteful, and the kiss between Betty and Veronica wasn’t needed at all.

Overall, I want to watch more of it. The mystery element draws me in and I’m also 100% team Betty AND Veronica. The actress playing Betty is great and the show’s version of Veronica is far more interesting than the comic version.

After the screening, there were five Riverdale prize packs courtesy of Archie Comics which included:

  • Road to Riverdale
  • Archie Vol 1
  • Archie Vol 2
  • Jughead Vol 2
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol 1

Winners were chosen through a raffle. I didn’t win but one of the winners, Cheska Sia, was kind enough to take a pic of her with her loot.

All of the guests were sent home with a Road to Riverdale poster and Josie & The Pussycats sunglasses. I had a blast and would love to go to more events like these. Check out Riverdale on the CW for Americans and Netflix for Canadians.

Ardo Omer

Ardo Omer

Former WWAC editor. Current curmudgeon and Batman's personal assistant. Icon art by Diana Sim.