When The CW announced that it was bringing an adaptation of Archie comics to the small screen, I’ll admit that I was intrigued. Though the network has almost become synonymous with the words “teen drama,” Archie was certainly outside the typical genre fare that we’ve come to expect from their programming.

Later, when reports surfaced that Riverdale would have a Twin Peaks-esque twist and was being headed up by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the current Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics, I ear-marked it mentally as a show to watch out for. There’s a lot about the Archie comics that I admire, even if I consider myself more of a casual reader. The potential for the show, especially when it came to queer representation, was an exciting prospect.

Clearly, I should have known better.

On the surface, there’s a lot that Riverdale appears to be doing right — from seemingly nipping Betty and Veronica’s love rivalry over Archie in the bud, to casting an all black Josie and the Pussycats, to openly gay character Kevin Keller featuring heavily across the first season. But when you start to look closer, beyond the smokescreen of Riverdale’s eerie, murder-mystery core, the cracks begin to show.

Over the course of Archie Comics’ 75 year history, it has made it several times over, most notably with Kevin Keller’s introduction in 2010’s Veronica 202. Keller’s debut was so hugely popular that Archie Comics gave him his own series the following year, making him the first openly gay character with a solo series in mainstream comics.

But where Archie has arguably made its biggest strides when it comes to representation is with the recent revelation that Jughead Jones — long-time best friend of Archie Andrews — is aromantic asexual. It wasn’t anything too surprising, even to a casual reader. Jughead, from his introduction in 1941, had always seemed to be more interested in burgers than embarking on any kind of relationship with women or otherwise. For a time, this led to speculation amongst fans that the character might be gay, but once Chip Zdarsky confirmed Jughead’s asexuality, everything suddenly seemed to make a perfect kind of sense.

“They just didn’t have a label for it, so they just called him a woman-hater. But he’s not a misogynist — he just watches his cohorts lose their minds with hormones,” Zdarsky told fans during an Archie panel at New York Comic Con in 2015. “People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I’m writing Jughead, because I’m very romantic, and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in Archie. I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I’m continuing to write him that way.”

It was little wonder, then, that there was more than a kernel of hope amongst fans that Riverdale might just take its cue from the source material and take a positive representation of aromantic asexuality from the page to the screen. Certainly, Jughead’s actor, Cole Sprouse, was throwing himself behind the idea wholeheartedly. And his enthusiasm, and willingness to learn and explore asexuality in preparation for the role was emboldening.

So, when a recent interview with Sprouse revealed that, rather than being aromantic asexual like his comic counterpart, Jughead would instead be embarking on romances — yes, plural — with women, it wasn’t surprising that fans were angry and more than a little disappointed. On several occasions throughout the Archie comics, Jughead has made it explicitly clear that not only is he asexual, he is also averse to dating and romance. That erasure of the aromantic aspect of Jughead’s asexuality, in favor of making him a ‘heartthrob,’ is more than disappointing. It’s egregious.

But Sprouse, whilst conceding that the decision was out of his control, reassured fans that he would continue to fight hard to represent Jughead the way that the character deserves. “Asexuality is not one of those things in my research that is so understood at face value, and I think maybe the development of that narrative could also be something very interesting and very unique and still resonate with people, and not step on anyone’s toes,” Sprouse said. “I think sexuality, especially, is one of those fluid things where often times we find who we are through certain things that happen in our lives.”

And though Sprouse’s comments to Hollywoodlife may keep a small spark of hope alive, those underrepresented by the media, as anyone identifying as aromantic, asexual, both or otherwise certainly is, knows with an almost grim certainty that it will remain a distant hope — though it by no means should be, considering the precedent set by the comics themselves. But where Sprouse has been vocal about Jughead’s sexuality, Riverdale‘s creators have been suspiciously silent in the face of fan outcry — and that silence continues to speak volumes.

That Jughead’s aromantic asexuality is not something that Riverdale has embraced is more than a missed opportunity. It’s symptomatic of a far larger issue across the television landscape. That when it comes to a perceived alternative lifestyle, outside the societal norm of heterosexuality, that there is only room for one version of it at any given time.

We need only look at the way Betty and Veronica have been treated within the promotional material for Riverdale, the premiere episode, as well as comments made during press for the show, as further evidence for that.

When a Riverdale trailer titled ‘Stranger’ debuted, it didn’t escape the notice of fans that Betty and Veronica appeared closer than we’d ever seen them before, sharing a fairly charged kiss. It kicked into high gear a conversation that we might see a more fluid sexuality for them both, one that they would explore together and outside of their love for Archie.

But before the show had even had a chance to debut, that possibility was shot down by actress Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty.

“They’re soulmates in a friends’ way. Our show is not meant to be fan fiction,” Reinhart told HollywoodLife. “We give them a taste of it when they kiss, but that’s all it is. People love Beronica and they want to see them together, but that’s just not our show.”

Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with the idea that two characters with a friendship as close as Betty and Veronica’s might consider each other platonic soulmates, but when the show included their kiss within their promotional material it chose to bait fans that might be invested in seeing a more complex, perhaps queer, representation of that relationship.

Queerbaiting isn’t an unfamiliar concept for those of us searching for more encompassing, nuanced representation of sexuality. As someone who is rather fluid in her attractions, I am constantly and consistently fighting and hoping for more from my media, and the dismissal of the importance of what Betty and Veronica’s relationship could represent left a bitter taste in my mouth. Especially the idea that anything outside of heterosexuality for either of them should be left to the realm of fanfiction, delegitimizing the idea that they could have attractions that are more complex than a heteronormative expectation of romantic relationships.

Kevin Keller need not be the only queer character on Riverdale. Betty and Veronica can be attracted to each other, and Archie, at the same time — those attractions are not mutually exclusive. And Jughead can experience confusion about his lack of sexual or romantic attraction to either the same or opposite sex, without needing to explore it in a way that requires him to conform to the expectations of a sexually charged teen drama.

Of course the chance still remains, as Sprouse espoused, that should Riverdale continue past its freshman season it might embark on an arc exploring Jughead’s sexuality, before eventually revealing that the character is aromantic asexual.

But for now, Riverdale is sending a very clear message that there is only room to explore one facet of queerness within its show. And though we can be thankful that Kevin Keller appears to have a significant part to play during the series, he certainly shouldn’t be the token representation within a cast that has the potential to be more diverse than its allowing itself to be.

Riverdale has a unique opportunity to take the gauntlet that Archie has thrown down, and explore teen sexuality in a way that we have yet to experience on a primetime television series. Confusing, questioning, and not nearly as straightforward as the media would have us believe.

Tags: Riverdale, the cw

Here are the 2017 Oscars winners and losers

8:25 pm EST, February 26, 2017

The 2017 Oscars took place Sunday night in Hollywood and found La La Land cleaning up with six wins. Here are the Academy Award winners!

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 2017 Oscars, which took place at the Dolby Theater. The event featured live performances of all five Oscar-nominated songs.

2017 Oscar winners list

Read full article

The 2017 Oscars took place Sunday night in Hollywood and found La La Land cleaning up with six wins. Here are the Academy Award winners!

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 2017 Oscars, which took place at the Dolby Theater. The event featured live performances of all five Oscar-nominated songs.

2017 Oscar winners list

Related: We asked our parents to describe the 2017 Oscar nominees

Below is a complete list of Oscar winner and losers.

2017 Oscar winner list

Note: The final winner of the night was originally announced to be La La Land, but the announcement was actually an error — Moonlight won Best Picture. Awkward.

Best Picture:
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land

Lion
Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight

Best Actress:
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Emma Stone – La La Land
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Actor:
Casey Affleck – Manchester By the Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Director:
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By the Sea
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Arrival – Eric Heisserer
Fences – August Wilson
Hidden Figures – Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi
Lion – Luke Davies
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins

Best Original Screenplay:
20th Century Women – Mike Mills
Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Manchester By the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan

Best Original Song:
“Audition” – La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Trolls
“City of Stars” – La La Land
“The Empty Chair” – Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go” – Moana

Best Score:
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Best Cinematography:
Bradford Young – Arrival
Linus Sandgren – La La Land
Grieg Fraser – Lion
James Laxton – Moonlight
Rodrigo Prieto – Silence

Best Live Action Short Film
Timecode
Sing
Silent Nights
Ennemis Interieurs
La Femme et le TGV

Best Documentary, Short Subject:
4.1 Miles
Extremis
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Best Editing:
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Best Visual Effects:
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Production Design:
Arrival
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Animated Feature:
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Best Animated Short:
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

Best Foreign Language Film:
Land of Mine, Denmark
The Salesman, Iran
A Man Called Ove, Sweden
Tanna, Australia
Toni Erdmann, Germany

Best Supporting Actress:
Viola Davis – Fences
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester By the Sea

Best Sound Mixing:
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours

Best Sound Editing:
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Best Documentary Feature:
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th

Best Costume Design:
Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad
A Man Called Ove

Best Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel – Lion
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Tags: 2017 Oscars

Lightning McQueen’s biggest enemy is himself in the new Cars 3 trailer.

The second major preview premiered during the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon, where voice actor Owen Wilson served as grand marshal.

The new Cars 3 trailer finds Lightning pushing himself to compete with high tech cars that are engineered to win. The character suffers a serious accident during a race and finds himself back at square one, having to work himself back up to what he once was.

Read full article

Lightning McQueen’s biggest enemy is himself in the new Cars 3 trailer.

The second major preview premiered during the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon, where voice actor Owen Wilson served as grand marshal.

The new Cars 3 trailer finds Lightning pushing himself to compete with high tech cars that are engineered to win. The character suffers a serious accident during a race and finds himself back at square one, having to work himself back up to what he once was.

While Cars 3’s main setting is unclear, we do see Lightning at least briefly returning to Radiator Springs (Gotta keep Cars Land at Disneyland relevant)!. This appears to be the I-need-to-rediscover-myself-by-remembering-my-origins scene.

Cars 3 looks dramatic, emotional, and possibly targeting kids and adults? We’ll race into theaters for this installment when Pixar’s latest opens this summer.

A synopsis from Pixar reads: “Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!”

Tags: cars 3

We asked our parents to describe the 2017 Oscar nominees

It's because we love them that we use them for our amusement.

10:30 am EST, February 26, 2017

When your friends and family don’t know about the films of the 2017 Oscars, you just have to take advantage of their ignorance and laugh.

The title of a movie (usually) makes obvious sense when you know what that movie is about. But titles can be so vague, and when you have no prior knowledge of the movie, the plot isn’t typically easy to decipher. How fun would it be then, to ask our friends and family to guess the plots of the nominees for the 2017 Oscars?

The task was simple for us. We gave our friends and family a movie title from the 2017 Oscars, and asked them to guess what the movie is about. It’s not, however, such a simple task for them. They weren’t allowed to look it up. No cheating allowed! As you can imagine, we got some interesting responses.

Read full article

When your friends and family don’t know about the films of the 2017 Oscars, you just have to take advantage of their ignorance and laugh.

The title of a movie (usually) makes obvious sense when you know what that movie is about. But titles can be so vague, and when you have no prior knowledge of the movie, the plot isn’t typically easy to decipher. How fun would it be then, to ask our friends and family to guess the plots of the nominees for the 2017 Oscars?

The task was simple for us. We gave our friends and family a movie title from the 2017 Oscars, and asked them to guess what the movie is about. It’s not, however, such a simple task for them. They weren’t allowed to look it up. No cheating allowed! As you can imagine, we got some interesting responses.

Be sure to check out the ridiculous responses we got for the 2016 Oscars too!

Time to let her rip tater chip.

‘Lion’

Our participants start out on a high note. Well, they at least know who’s in the movie.

‘Arrival’

Success continues with Arrival, as they have the vague idea it’s about space aliens (although it’s possible one of them is confused with Passengers).

‘Fences’

There was a common general premise our friends and family had of Fences.

‘Moonlight’

They did well with Moonlight…until they didn’t.

‘La La Land’

Maybe La La Land will be better! Everyone knows La La Land! Right…?

‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Oh no, we’re starting to lose them!

‘Hidden Figures’

No lie though, I’d watch that.

‘Captain Fantastic’

We’ve officially lost them.

‘Hell or High Water’

Could these plots be any more varied?

‘Nocturnal Animals’

It might have been a good idea for Nocturnal Animals to change its name.

‘Silence’

They’re really losing it now. They’ve had enough!

‘Manchester by the Sea’

Someone needs to turn these ideas into full screenplays, they are gold.

‘The Lobster’

What did they expect people would think when they named it The Lobster?

Thanks to Ariella, Brandi, Donya, Karen, Kendra, Kyle, Matthew, Pamela, Selina, and the friends and family they may or may not have annoyed all week.

Which 2017 Oscars movie do you think has the most misleading title?