Riverdale Spinoff Katy Keene Is a Pleasant Fairy Story for a New Decade

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No person’s excellent, however Katy Keene comes fairly shut. A stunning younger New York native, she spends her days charming VIPs within the private purchasing division of a Bergdorf-esque establishment known as Lacy’s. By evening, she’s a budding designer, banging out whimsical pink and crimson clothes—dramatic capes, good bouclé clothes, sequined wrap clothes—for herself and her buddies on a stitching machine handed down from her mother and grandmother. She lives in a giant, shabby-chic residence with two different aspiring artists and events on the similar membership the place Okay.O. Kelly, the chiseled sweetheart who’s been her boyfriend since highschool, works as a bouncer.

On paper, this all sounds sort of cloying. However breezy Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene, which premieres Feb. 6 on the CW, is basically a fairy story—and each fairy story wants its princess. Fortunately, Lucy Hale (whose precocious poise made her a barely odd match as artsy excessive schooler Aria Montgomery within the long-running teen thriller Fairly Little Liars) makes an unusually interesting one. A stylized replace of a World-Battle-II-era Archie Comics character, she’s additionally each idealized TV profession lady rolled into one: Carrie Bradshaw with out the empty philosophizing, Midge Maisel with out the bags, a Mary Richards for our time.

Oh, she faces her share of adversity, as a lady who grew up in some outdated fantasy of a working-class Decrease East Aspect and is looking for her fortune in excessive vogue. (The present’s romantic imaginative and prescient of New York doesn’t all the time sq. with the true metropolis in 2020, which—regardless of the inevitable nitpickers on social media—is okay.) Her jealous, snooty co-workers have it out for her. The boss (Katherine LaNasa) is a Prada-wearing devil who’s stored Katy in a lowly assistant place for years as a result of she’s threatened by her underling’s competence. Okay.O. (Zane Holtz), who moonlights as a boxer, can’t set foot inside Lacy’s with out inflicting a scene.

But Katy isn’t the one Cinderella on this story. Her roommate Jorge (Jonny Beauchamp of Penny Dreadful) has a drag alter ego, Ginger, and Broadway desires however faces prejudice for his femme self-presentation within the musical theater world. New to their scrappy house is Riverdale transplant Josie (Ashleigh Murray), late of the Pussycats, who involves the town to make music and instantly meets a useful heartthrob with record-industry ties. Their pal Pepper (Julia Chan), a social butterfly with secrets and techniques who desires of opening her personal artwork house, feels considerably misplaced in Katy’s wide-eyed world. However her darker storyline is such soapy enjoyable, it’s laborious to care.

Every collection in mega-producer Greg Berlanti and government producer/co-showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Archie Comics televisual universe (which additionally consists of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) combines retro aesthetics with fixed pop-culture references, and Katy Keene isn’t any totally different. Its escapist admixture is a bit of bit Fame, a bit of bit Valley of the Dolls and a bit of bit Felicity, with distinct “summer of scam” power and many sing-along musical numbers, from Josie’s “You Can’t Hurry Love” to Ginger setting the membership on fireplace with “Material Girl.” Much less about discovering Prince Charming than it’s about making your inventive desires come true with out dropping your soul, Katy Keene is a fairy story match for a brand new decade.

Contact us at editors@time.com.



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