There Is a Riverdale Musical Episode Coming and It Just Might End Me

Cause of death: a lethal combination of the horror of Stephen King, the OTT flourish of Broadway and the quiet desperation of a meandering, confusing, brain-numbingly boring season 2

Riverdale Musical Episode: KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse and Cami Mendes pose in a photo from the set of Riverdale
(Photo: Eric Ray Davidson/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

The status of my relationship with Riverdale is definitely “it’s complicated” and this latest horrendous news is really not helping. According to the CW, an upcoming ep of my formerly fave show will be entirely musical. Pardonnez moi? What did we do to deserve this????!!! *insert one million cringing emojis followed by one billion waterfall tear emojis*

Despite becoming my summer 2017 obsession by satisfying every single one of my frivolous entertainment needs (brooding teens that look like extras from the Twilight series? Check. Echos of Gossip Girl in Veronica and Cheryl’s wardrobes and queen bee bitchiness? Check. A cute couple to ship on-screen and off? Thank the baby Jesus, check.), season 2 has been one meandering disappointment after another. We saw more character development from Kevin Keller early on in the season’s third episode (yay!) only to literally forget he existed until episode 11. We fell in love with Cheryl Blossom, hints of sadistic tendencies and all, and then the show teased an unhealthy obsession with Josie in episode 7 only to… completely abandon that plot line and give our fave redhead much less screen time than she deserves.

And watching the build-up to and then the inevitable Black Hood “reveal” (or possible fake-out but literally who cares anymore?) was akin to pricking an air mattress with a needle and watching the air slowly leak out: painful, dull and v. v. anticlimactic. I can’t be the only person wondering if they’re writing like only two episodes in advance, right? And now the news that one entire season 2 episode will go full-Glee—I am beside myself with secondhand embarrassment.

The CW announced on January 24 that an upcoming episode will revolve around a Riverdale High production of Carrie: The Musical, based on Stephen King’s 1976 novel (on which the film is also based, of course). The stage adaptation famously premiered on the Great White Way in 1988 and was such a stinker, it closed after just a handful of performances. And as with many critical bombs (hi, The Room), it’s since become something of a cult fave. (Also fun fact: Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the 2013 remake of the film Carrie and has written Broadway musicals, so perhaps there’s hope this won’t a complete humiliation? Not holding my breath, tho.)

The ep, which will air on the CW on April 18 and land on Netflix on April 19, will apparently feature 11 songs (ELEVEN!) and be presented as a documentary about the school’s theatre production of Carrie filmed by resident film buff Jughead Jones. Phew. That’s more layers than a mille-feuille (and far less enticing).

But who will play Carrie, you ask?? Cheryl will take on the lead role (BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY, CHERYL IS NOTHING IF NOT LEADING LADY MATERIAL) while Kevin serves as the show-within-the-show’s director, and Varchie plays the story’s golden couple Sue and Tommy (snooze). In a bit of delightful news, A-Coops herself will play Carrie’s unhinged mom which doesn’t feel like that much of a stretch, tbh. Peep the full cast list below courtesy of Aguirre’s Twitter:

I don’t know about *you* but I watched the musical episode of Buffy through embarrassed fingers and have never seen the 2012 Les Mis movie for fear of never looking at Anne and Hugh the same way.  Maybe I’m just a musical-hating party pooper but this capsule episode sounds like a nightmare. IMO, if you’re gonna go musical, you need to go full-kitsch from the get like Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens or Glee. But dipping a toe in the Broadway waters for a single, random episode when you’re mostly trying to be perceived as a Serious Teen Drama is risky biz. Join me in a three-month long nap to avoid this hot, steaming mess, won’t you?

  • Click here for more Riverdale, like interviews, GIF recaps and all things Cole Sprouse and #Bughead
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