Cringey writing is nothing new for the wildly popular CW teen drama, Riverdale, and viewers cannot help but love to hate it. Writers love to script completely otherworldly lines for Riverdale‘s sixteen-year-old characters that are packed with obscure references and SAT-level vocabulary words. In the same way, many of the characters retain a surprising amount of knowledge of famous literary works, because what high schooler doesn’t quote Jane Eyre on the daily?
Abundant literary references make a lot more sense considering individual episodes of Riverdale are categorized as “chapters,” usually followed by a famous literary title. Also, the entire series is narrated by Jughead who is apparently working on a novel about the town and its secrets. Here are some of our favorite highlights from Riverdale‘s literary reel.
A very important moment for Bughead (Betty + Jughead) shippers, this scene takes place in the sixth episode of Season 1 when the two characters kiss for the first time and the ship is born. In very literary fashion, Jughead uses a ladder to climb through Betty’s window to reach her while she is grounded. The scene makes two clever literary references. When Jughead reaches Betty’s window, he affectionately calls her “Juliet,” an easy nod to Romeo and Juliet.
Later, when referring to Betty’s house arrest, Jughead asks if Betty “has gone all Yellow Wallpaper on [him],” referencing the short story’s main character who, after being trapped in a room, begins succumbing to a debilitating mental illness that causes her to hallucinate and climb the walls. The scene is a sweet one for fans of the literary and actual couple alike — Bughead, and its real-life counterpart, Sprousehart, both came out of the series and stole our hearts.
2. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Capote’s journalistic novel following the murder of an innocent family seems obvious when considering the sinister subplot of the show’s first season; the foreshadowing reference occurs during the pilot of the show. Our resident posh chick Ronnie comments about the nature of the town as soon she steps out of her ride from New York. She proclaims herself to be much more Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the bright, city-centric novella by the same author about a dazzling female neighbor, while the town of Riverdale is much more In Cold Blood. She’s not wrong, but she sure is pretentious.
3. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The writers borrow this title of Conrad’s 1899 novel about English colonialism for the show’s fifth episode. This episode features Jason’s long-awaited funeral. Following the novel’s theme of people going where they don’t belong, Betty and Jughead sneak away during the event to lurk around the Blossom household searching for clues about Jason’s death. Here, they run into Cheryl’s grandmother who utters a famous phrase from the novel, “The horror, the horror!”
Featured Image via Meaww
Everyone likes an adaptation, and sometimes the best adaptations are underground. Here are seven picks from YouTube, perfect for marathoning, all based on classic novels and set in the modern era. No matter whether you’re a fan of Jane Austin, William Shakespeare, or Charlotte Bronte, there’s something for every classic book lover. Watch away!
If you like Much Ado About Nothing, get ready for Nothing Much to Do, an adaptation from New Zealand in vlog format, this time set at Messina High. All the accusations, the threats, and a few serenades on ukulele, this modern adaptation has all the humor and hatred you love, while also featuring a plastic flamingo. A must watch.
Based on Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
Fans of Jane Eyre will appreciate the tragedy and measured pace of Autobiography of Jane Eyre. Filmed as a video diary, this series follows nursing student Jane as she leaves school, becomes a governess, and falls for the master of the house. Covering all the original beats of the story with inventiveness and heart, it has all the Gothic appeal of the original. Plus Adele is cute.
Based on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
A classic, and for good reason. Thorough plotting, well paced character development, and silly costumes make this series compulsively watchable. Elizabeth is very much herself, lovable, judgmental, caring—Jane is sweet and decisive, Kitty is an actual cat, and Lydia is gleeful and wild. Set in California, Lizzie is a grad student with no interest in marriage—much to her mother’s chagrin.
Based on Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin
Seriously, this web series is good. I’m not joking. You might say I’m Earnest, but honestly, who isn’t? Oscar Wilde’s classic is reimagined probably exactly as he would have wanted it—with everyone confused and overdressed. At just fifty episodes, it’s an excellent binge watch, and relatable, at least if you’ve ever wondered how to propose to someone you’ve given a false name.
Based on The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
In this adaptation, Emma runs a PR firm with her brother-in-law, George Knightly. Some great parties, some terrible decisions, and outrageous confidence make this a fun and lighthearted series, despite any low moments. Fans of Austin will be thrilled, and if you’re not yet obsessed, you will be.
Based on Emma by Jane Austin
If you can’t wait to return to Green Gables—or visit for the first time—Green Gables Fables is a delightful and heartwarming take on the classic story. Never discouraged, Anne’s passion and creativity make this series sing, and even at one-hundred-fifty episodes (the longest on this list), it seems too short.
Based on Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
This adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy may have slightly less murder, but it has just as much tragedy as the original. The clash between two warring fraternities reaches new heights. Even with a lower mortality rate, this is still a tear jerker, so be warned. It’s also the shortest series on this list, with only twenty-one episodes.
Based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Featured image via NegativeSpace
Imagine a crowded arena filled with fans of hip-hop music. They await the arrival of some illustrious artist such as the Fresh Prince, DJ Jazzy Jeff, or Queen Latifah; but then, a scrawny emo kid takes the stage—it’s Romeo of house Montague. The beat drops…
In Northeastern Italy born and raised
Pining over love interests is how I spend most of my days
Stressin’ out cryin’ (eventually) dyin’ all cool
Reading some poetry outside of the school
When a couple of families that were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I stirred up one little feud and my mom got scared
She said ‘You’re gonna end up dying with that Capulet girl by the end of this play’
No? Yeah, that was bad. What won’t be is the recently announced a hip hop musical adaptation of the William Shakespeare tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Not taking place in West Philadelphia or Northeastern Italy in the 14th century, this new take will feature a different and more contemporary setting. It is being described as “a contemporary, musical take on Romeo and Juliet set against the urban rhythms of New York. The love story follows a young waitress from the streets of Brooklyn and an aspiring musician from a wealthy family whose unconventional romance forces them to confront their life choices.”
This news comes via Variety which also reports that the project will be directed and written by Solvan “Slick” Naim—a much better rapper than I will ever be. The Algerian-American writer, director, and rapper hails from Bushwick, Brooklyn; Naim already has a comedy series on Netflix entitled “It’s Bruno” which premiered today. He will pen the script for the untitled R&J project with Dave Broome for everyone’s favorite streaming powerhouse.
Producing the film will be the Fresh Prince himself, William Smith along with Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere (Flavor Unit Entertainment), James Lassiter, and Caleeb Pinkett (Overbrook Entertainment).
Featured Image Via Billboard.com
Want to know where William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet? Up until now you’ve been left in the dark, but thanks to theater historian Geoffrey Marsh the answer is finally clear.
CNN broke the news how Mr. Marsh, the director of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Department of Theatre and Performance, has spent a decade “meticulously researching the home of the English dramatist and poet by cross-referencing official records to pinpoint…” the home of this wondrous playwright.
So where did the quest to find this creator of words like ‘addiction’, ‘assassination’, ‘bedazzled’ and many others began?
In 2008 ‘The Theatre’, an Elizabethan playhouse in East London’s Shoreditch, was discovered. Infamously, this centerpiece of human visual art predated ‘The Globe’ as our good old Billy Shakes’ workplace. This got Mr. Marsh curious and, never a man to heed the old saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’ he went on a search through tales upon tales to find this mouse.
The first key piece of evidence was the knowledge that the writer of classic literature lived in Central London near Liverpool Street Station. Where, exactly? Well, taxpayer recorders in 1597 and 1598 weren’t exactly clear on that.
Mr. Marsh wasn’t satisfied. A detective on the case, he got out his magnifying glass and looked at every word from that faded 1550s document. What did he fine in that near-indecipherable erratic spelling?
Well, “[a]ccording to Marsh, evidence suggests Shakespeare had lived in a property overlooking the churchyard of St. Helens as a tenant of the Company of Leathersellers, a guild that organized the Elizabethan leather trade.”
So that’s where Shakespeare wrote his classic love story about star-crossed young lovers. Why is it important? Well…
“The place where Shakespeare lived in London gives us a more profound understanding of the inspirations for his work and life.”