Starring: KJ Apa, Cole Sprouse, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch

When it was first announced, it seemed like a practical joke: the stories of Archie Andrews and friends imagined as a dark, gritty teen drama, equally influenced by Twin Peaks and Beverly Hills, 90210. While Riverdale is patently ridiculous, it is very much real, and its ridiculousness is what makes it so entertaining. Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), Betty (Lili Reinhart), and Veronica (Camila Mendes) live in Riverdale along with their assorted friends and deal with everyday high school life, as well as organized crime, serial killers, and uh, a Satanic board game. The Riverdale writers room seems to take bets on how ridiculous they can make the show (Betty once sang “Mad World” and did a striptease in front of Jughead and her mom), and the audience is better for it: Riverdale operates well at a certain lunacy, and is one of the most entertaining teen dramas of the past couple of years. —Andy Herrera