Say what you will about The CW, but they sure know how to promote their shows. During Comic-Con, their biggest shows were showcased in Ballroom 20 and it was clear that they owned the room. To make it clear how popular they were, Once Upon a Time, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad and Star Trek: Discovery were all in that room before The CW took over but CW fans sat through those panels to ensure they had a good seat for what The CW had to offer.
The first CW show on deck was Riverdale and the shrieks from the crowd once this panel got started was a clear indication that this would be a very popular panel to attend.
The panel began with a blooper reel from season one, which will be featured on the season one DVD release. The reel isn’t laugh out loud funny but it has its moments and it definitely shows the cast loves working together, which is even more apparent once they hit the stage. The blooper reel is followed by a teaser for season 2.
The panel consisted of much of the cast, including stars KJ Apa (Archie,) Cole Sprouse (Jughead,) Lili Reinhart (Betty,) Camila Mendes (Veronica,) Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blossom,) Ashleigh Murray (Josie McCoy,) and Riverdale’s executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Sarah Schechter. Each star seemed to get cheers that topped one after the other. This is teen show fandom at its finest.
The cast talked mostly about season one but they did spill some season 2 tidbits. Firstly, for fans of Riverdale’s Kevin Keller, you can expect for the 3rd episode of Season 2 to be very Kevin-centric. Additionally, despite his happy-go-lucky demeanor, this season there will be a chance to see Kevin’s dark side. As for whether or not Kevin will find love? Well, the story between Moose and Kevin is not finished. Also, Kevin finds a very deep love that he’s needed, but in a way that might not be romantic.
When asked about whether there were any plans for more episodes modeled after the popular zombie Archie comic Afterlife With Archie, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa admitted to being aware of the theme’s popularity, but as of now, there are no plans for Afterlife with Archie. Still, Season 2 will build on Season 1 and focus on digging further into the underbelly of Riverdale. With all the secrets that have come to light this season, they will explore how the town has been affected. There’s going to more of a thriller element, as befits a film noir television series, but in a way that is still very grounded and very Riverdale.
A new character is coming aboard that may start a bit of a love triangle. Toni Topaz will be played by Vanessa Morgan and she will go to South Side High with Jughead; she’s also a part of the Serpents, which Jughead has joined. In putting some pieces together, it was revealed that Cheryl Blossom may come out as bisexual. If this is true, it was hinted at that there is a same-sex relationship in the works, specifically a romance between Cheryl and Toni. Toni may also cause a rift between Jughead and Betty.
In at the end of the first season, Cheryl had gone through a lot, between her brother’s death, her own near death experience, her father committing suicide, and setting her own house on fire with her and her mother still in it. Yet it seems that in Season 2, Cheryl has come out of her dark place. To the audience, it’ll look like Cheryl has become darker and meaner, but Petsch sees her more as a phoenix rising from the ashes of her house. She won’t be putting up with any crap from her mom.
When asked a question about Jughead and eating burgers, Cole Sprouse said that Jughead’s eating is being informed by his ability to get his hands on food when he can get his hands on food, since he’s homeless. While that’s going on, “Jughead has one foot on the North Side and one foot on the South Side. His life is forcing his attention into a certain narrative that’ll force him to recognize he can’t make everyone happy. He’s going to lose a lot and he’s going to gain a lot.” Sprouse also said eating all those burgers is not fun and that they’re definitely prop burgers and not of the gourmet variety. The shakes, however, have seemed to improve so far over season one, according to the majority of the cast.
The panel was also vocal about how proud they were that the show didn’t go down the catty route when it came to the female leads on the show. While fans of the comics might have expected the same kind of antagonism on the show between the two girls, Riverdale offers a very different approach. No longer are they fighting over Archie, but are fast friends. Still, it looks like they won’t be able to escape some kind of conflict. Apparently, Episode 5 of Season 2 will feature at least a modicum of derision between Betty and Veronica. Turns out, Betty has a secret she cannot share with Veronica and that causes a divide between the two of them.
Lastly, in regards to Veronica’s father, who was completely absent from Season 1, Hiram (Mark Consuelos) arrives and Veronica doesn’t trust him for a while, despite him making an actual effort to be a good father. That said, he will remain a business shark and he’s keeping a lot of secrets from Veronica; she wants to be let in and he won’t budge.
Once the panel wrapped up, you could actually feel the sadness in the room. There was an audible sigh amongst the crowd and I have to say it did go by fairly quickly. The panel did its job of making you look forward to season 2 and making you connect with the chemistry that the cast has cultivated since the show started.