Losing Luke Perry Means Riverdale Loses Its Heart & Soul

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It’s only been one week since the actor, Luke Perry passed away due to a massive stroke at the age of 52. The death came unexpected, and fans worldwide mourned him. For the older generation, he had been the iconic Dylan McKay, the brooding bad boy who oozed effortless cool and charm in Beverly Hills 90210. He was the sort of person that all the girls wanted to date and all the boys yearned to be. At the height of his fame, he was bigger than Robert Pattinson during the Twilight craze stage of his career.

Like anyone growing up in the late ’90s, I too fell in love with Beverly Hills 90210. Being twelve years old living in Naples, Italy at the time, the halls of West Beverly High seemed as alluring and unreachable as attending the Met Gala. I yearned to be as gorgeous as Brenda (Shannen Doherty) and Kelly (Jennie Garth), and could only pray that my future high school boyfriend could be as charming, generous, kind, and gorgeous as Dylan (spoiler alert, it didn’t happen). Although the show was probably seen as merely a teen drama, Luke’s portrayal of Dylan, the fatherless rebel was always intense and pulled at the heartstrings. Towards the last seasons of the show, I wasn’t really a fan anymore but continued to watch because the characters seemed like old friends and I wanted to know how it would end. I was happy when Dylan returned in the remaining last seasons, although I’ll admit that I don’t know if I ever liked the assumption of the finale that Kelly and Dylan would’ve become a couple again (probably because I had always been Team Brenda).

As the years went by, I rarely saw Luke Perry again, probably because I don’t watch much TV or simply because I wasn’t tuning in to the shows he was in. But all of that changed when Riverdale aired. Let me premise that I’ve been a huge fan of Archie Comics since I was 8, so to finally see the characters I grew up loving in comic strip form come to life was a dream come true. At the same time, I was very hesitant, because what if they screwed it up? I almost didn’t want to tune in to the show until I discovered that Luke Perry was going to be playing Fred Andrews, the dad to the show’s protagonist, Archie Andrews (played by KJ Apa). I thought, how bad can a show screw things up when if they excellently cast Luke Perry in it? I was also intrigued to see him play a father figure since the last time I saw him he was still a very sexy Dylan McKay.

Upon viewing the first episode of Riverdale, I was hooked. Luke Perry brought a certain wisdom and kindness to Fred Andrews that couldn’t be said of any of the other parents on the show. In a town that is filled with shady parents, campy plotlines, and a 1950’s Americana nostalgia, Perry’s presence was a balm of calm in the midst of craziness. If in the 90’s we envied Brenda Walsh for dating Dylan McKay, in 2017 we envied Andrew Andrews for having Fred as a father. I think we all wished we had a parent who was as sage and loving as Fred has always been with Archie. Even when in Season 1 Archie was hung up on pursuing music despite it not giving prospects to a college scholarship, Fred was more concerned about Archie lying to him about football, rather than choosing not to be on the team anymore. Anytime Archie has done anything stupid, Fred has never belittled him, but rather be patient and nurturing.

When the Season 1 finale ended with Fred Andrews being shot, I thought, OH NO! FRED CAN’T DIE! WHAT WILL RIVERDALE BE WITHOUT FRED?! Sadly, we’re going to be forced to find out very soon (I don’t know how many more episodes Luke Perry will appear in Season 3). But I can assure you that Riverdale won’t ever be the same without Fred. Luke’s furrowed brow may have seemed too mature for the high school Dylan, but it conveyed all of life’s hard battles in Fred’s gaze. Riverdale has lost its heart and moral compass, without Luke as Fred, both the town and the show is going to be a cold, dark place. R.I.P. Luke, you are missed.

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Comic-Con L.A. – Comic Book Nerds Rejoice!

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Formerly known as Comikaze Expo, Comic-Con L.A. is a three-day event that brings comic books lovers, writers, and cosplayers alike in one place to celebrate the ever-changing and expansive world that is the comic universe.

 

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I’ve always been an avid comic book reader since the age of six, in particular of horror comics and Archie comics (so yes, I DO love Riverdale, don’t judge me).

 

This event usually brings 90,000 people to share their communal love for comics. I met a lot of people that had come all the way from Italy and the U.K. to be at this event, and many east coasters found their way to Los Angeles too.

 

Of course, everyone goes to Comic-Con for the comics, but you can’t help but also go there to see all the cosplayers or to dress up yourself. This was my first time going and I decided not dress up (or at least I semi-did by wearing a Sabrina The Teenage Witch shirt and kinda selecting the rest of the outfit and makeup based on what the character of Sabrina would wear). But I had a blast getting to see everyone else dressed up (and I’ll admit that I veered on taking photos of people that were more of the goth realm than any other subculture).

 

 

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It was also very cool to see some iconic movie props and costumes being displayed at the event. From the Ghostbusters car to the suit Winona Ryder wore in Stranger Things when her character went to the Upside Down world. But one of my absolute favourites was being able to see the armor that Gary Oldman wore in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula.

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I also had a chance to meet the co-writers Jim Krueger and Samantha Levenshus when I was given a free copy of the new comic Neon Future (co-created by Emmy-nominated producer and global DJ sensation Steve Aoki in partnership with Impact Theory Studios). Not only were the writers kind enough to sign my copy of the comic but I had a pleasant chat with Jim Krueger who loved my Sabrina The Teenage Witch tee and we discussed our communal love for The Afterlife with Archie comic series and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series and how much we’re looking forward to the new Archie horror series that has the Blossom twins as protagonist called 666. Taking a look at the comic Neon Future, I was delighted to see that the comic explored the idea of how it isn’t technology that brings about the evil of the world in a futuristic dystopian society, but rather it’s the human use and feelings towards that technology that brings about the downfall of man, making it thus so that the world can be taken by cyborgs. The idea is utterly compelling and I highly recommend to check it out if you have the chance!

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And lastly…I was in comic book heaven when I saw all of the retro Archie Comics that the event had to offer. Sadly, some of the very awesome retro ones from the 50’s were out of my price range (a rare Sabrina comic was up for sale for $200) but I found many from the 70’s that were in good condition and not crazily expensive. One of the most interesting crossovers was one Archie meets Batman comic that I had to get just because it was THAT out in the left field. While I was there I also picked up a horror comic too that explores the themes in the Grimms Faerytales. I would’ve loved to purchase some retro Tales from the Crypt, but alas, the price range for those were out of this world ($500!).

 

For any 80’s fans, the con also had a ton of 80’s toys (from Teddy Ruxpin to Popples) it pretty much looked like someone had cleared out their attic and brought these toys to sell, which left me wishing I could clear out my own garage of 80’s toys so that I too could slap a $100 price tag on a Cabbage Patch Kids or $50 on a Pound Puppies plush. Are there any takers?

 

Comic-Con L.A. was a truly fun experience, and if you wish to immerse yourself in comic world memorabilia and unleash your inner child, then this event is truly for you.

Photos by: David Hanger

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