Better than expected but sexual dialogue is an issue
As a big fan of the original Twin Peaks I didn't expect to get a similar vibe from a show based on Archie, but Riverdale delivers. It's a much better show than I expected, with characters that are actually closer to their comic originals than you might think. That said, this isn't for kids as it is a sexy show and some of the scenes and dialogue might make some parents and even teens uncomfortable seeing as it all involves high schoolers. In particular there is an unexpected subplot involving a character - a student - in a sexual relationship with a teacher. Topical? Definitely. And it certainly doesn't treat it with approval. But it could be triggering to people who are concerned about such issues. I've only watched the first few episodes and except for a very quick-edit sex scene (which is mild and certainly nothing to compare with, say, one of the Rhimes series on ABC), and some occasional close-ups of both male and female bodies in skimpy outfits, there shouldn't be too much of concern in that area. Except for the fact that the sex scene is related to the teacher-student relationship spoken about before. There is also a same-sex kiss performed with the intent of titillation (rather than romance), but it's done as a joke. The only area where I feel Riverdale goes over the top and into potentially offensive territory is sexual dialogue. Perhaps to make up for the fact they aren't allowed nudity or explicit sex (I can imagine this show would easily fall into the excesses of cable or streaming were it made for Starz or Netflix), several characters seem to relish in spouting very explicit dialogue. There are no four-letter-words (this is network TV after all) but the first two episodes has an openly gay character speak about the size of a fellow student's "equipment", and there are other references. So from a dialogue standpoint I'd be concerned and perhaps even prepared to answer some awkward questions if young ones are watching. Riverdale probably would be a stronger show if it reigned that aspect in a bit, but that aside, I'm quite surprised at how good it is and I certainly do recommend it for older teen viewers as the story is interesting, the characters are interesting (and several fall into the "great role model" category, though several - including, I have to say, Archie himself - do not). UPDATE: Season 2 has taken a darker turn, but the series remains fascinating and the Twin Peaks comparisons remain apt. In terms of content that might be of concern, however, the season has introduced a drugs angle with a fictional analogue of pot/ecstasy called "jingle-jangle" that most of the main characters partake in at some point; it's not treated in a positive manner or glamorized and there are several scenes of clear peer pressure, and the use by several characters is symbolic of their turning to darkness (just as abstaining is symbolic of trying to stay positive), but just be aware.
This title contains:
Positive role models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking