Archie faces down moose in riverdale

The American Psycho Vibes of This Season of Riverdale Had Better Pay Off

If Archie Andrews doesn't sing "Selling Out," so help me!
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I have a deep love for Riverdale because of the absolutely batshit nature of the show, but I have a deeper love for showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the writer of the book for American Psycho the Musical. I have been eagerly waiting for the show to bring on the short-lived musical, especially with the show’s track-record of having the kids of Riverdale High do musicals that are considered cult classics.

Having performed both Carrie the Musical and Heathers, it seems fitting that American Psycho the Musical would be on their roster, and now, with the small hints that have taken over the fourth season, I have to ask: Has my time come? From random videotapes being left on the doorsteps of the residents of Riverdale to a character whose name is essentially a Bret Easton Ellis knockoff, everything is pointing towards one of my favorite musicals finally having its chance to rise again.

Let me set the scene of American Psycho for those of you out there who have never taken the leap into the Easton Ellis classic or the Mary Harron film. Focusing on the journey of Patrick Bateman, American Psycho is a satirical look at the life of the elite and what would happen if one were driven to the point of insanity and took to murdering the poor and women to stifle his bloodlust.

There are many theories about the story and whether or not it’s all in his head, but it’s the exploration of Patrick’s rage and his inability to change his “situation” that seems to be bleeding into this season of Riverdale. The most recent episode featured Archie Andrews enraged and talking about his “vigilante” acts, and for a moment, it seemed as if it was an American Psycho situation, where we weren’t sure if it was real or not.

Pair that with Cheryl Blossom and her confusion over whether or not she’s actually being haunted, and we’re thrown face first into the same themes that permeate many conversations surrounding either the novelization of American Psycho, the movie, or the musical. So, I have to ask again: Is this my time? Or is Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa just going back to a text he knows and pulling from it because it’s something that is engrained in our cultural zeitgeist enough so that we get where he’s going with this storyline?

If anyone else were in charge of this show, I’d say that it was just honoring a text that many of us have analyzed time and time again, but because Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is behind this, I have to think that this is all intentional and that we might see a performance of the instant cult classic yet!

And I’m not alone. Others on Twitter have started to see the connections to American Psycho and have even started to look into the musical, which … good.

There is something about American Psycho the Musical that has stayed with me for the last few years, something that I’ve often talked about and tried to get others to appreciate with me, so if Riverdale brings American Psycho the Musical to a mainstream platform, I might just have to deem it the best show on television yet.

(image: The CW)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.