This week: ‘Riverdale’ is a new spin on Archie and more

The cast of "Riverdale" (photo: The CW)

The cast of “Riverdale” (photo: The CW)

“Riverdale” (The CW). There seems to be a mantra in the world of intellectual property that started sometime in the late 1980s and has extended to now: If you have a piece of IP that was once aimed at children, there is money is in making it “grim ’n’ gritty.” So it seems with the latest “Wizard of Oz” rethink (see below) and so it seems with “Riverdale,” the latest comic-books-to-TV series from the Warner Bros. empire. This one deals with, yes, America’s perpetual teenager Archie Andrews and pals.

Over in the comic books, while there is plenty of older material aimed at G- and PG-aged kids, the horror title “Afterlife With Archie” features the cast fighting zombies, while the newer “Archie” and “Jughead” books, both of which are excellent, run slightly older. (In a fascinating development, the new “Jughead” book has posited the man with the felt crown as asexual.) In this new show, the live-action “Riverdale” sees Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the whole gang as living in “teenage Twin Peaks,” according to producers. We’ll see how this goes. (Jan. 26)

Cloud Nothings, “Life Without Sound” (Carpark). This indie rock outfit delivers its fourth full-length album. Expect a world tour (and nobody would be surprised if they play South by Southwest). (Jan. 27)

 Japandroids, “Near to the Wild Heart of Life” (ANTI-/Epitaph). Here is the new one from this explosive Vancouver duo. If you are in the mood for anthemic, catchy, fist-pumping rock music, you could do a lot worse than these two. (Jan. 27)

Tift Merritt, “Stitch of the World” (Yep Roc). Sam Beam of Iron and Wine fame guests on the new album by this perpetually under-known American singer. (Jan. 27)

Ty Segall, “Ty Segall” (Drag City). This is Segall’s second self-titled album — his 2008 debut was also called “Ty Segall.” It is also his ninth album under his own name. He has also released dozens of full-lengths, EPs, cassettes and singles with various other acts, including Fuzz, GØGGS, Party Fowl and many more. His hands don’t sleep. (Jan. 27)

“A Dog’s Purpose.” Based on W. Bruce Cameron’s novel, this is a movie about dog reincarnation. Director Lasse “Chocolat” Hallström also helmed “My Life as a Dog” and “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” so maybe this is a thing with him. The movie has faced some controversy over really unfortunate video of what looks like a dog performer being forced into water for a scene. The spin has begun.  (Jan. 27)


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