How 'Riverdale' Blew Tumblr Away in 2017

The CW's teen drama was practically tailor-made for Tumblr.

The CW

If there’s one thing Tumblr loves, it’s beautiful people doing dramatic things and snarking at one another. And so Riverdale, The CW’s latest hit series, was practically tailor-made for the fandom-crazed blogsite with a penchant for the dark and vaguely sexual.

Inverse spoke with Amanda Brennan, Tumblr’s Senior Content Insights Manager and self-termed “Meme Librarian,” about Tumblr’s 2017 Year In Review, which catalogs all the most popular topics of the year and organizes them into some fascinating listicles. One of the lists, the Top Live-Action TV Shows, revealed a huge change from previous years.

Riverdale, a series that rocketed onto the scene when Season 1 premiered in January 2017, was the fifth-most popular live-action TV show on Tumblr in 2017, beating out long-standing fandom-ready shows such as Sherlock and Supernatural. And Brennan knows exactly what made it such a hit.

Riverdale is a great case because it’s got the perfect storm of Tumblr; it’s a CW show, it’s got that kind of gritty feeling — I feel like that’s something that resonates with Tumblr, something that’s a little darker while still being enjoyable,” Brennan says. “Cole Sprouse is a Tumblr fav. And his whole speech about being a weirdo is very resonant with Tumblr and the kind of people that come here. And as Tumblr is the place where people connect over their passions it’s something very easy to fangirl over and to really dive in to.”


Brennan also points out that Riverdale’s being based on the long-standing Archie Comics, published since 1942, made the characters automatically resonant with so many people; fans might have grown up reading about the characters.

“People get really attached to it,” Brennan says, explaining that the show’s canon ships, diversity, and discussion of culturally relevant topics such as sexual assault really pushed it over the top. Season 2 has only gotten more wild than the first. If the show continues like this, it seems its popularity will only grow, which can only be good news for the Riverdale gang.

Jughead Jones might think he’s weird, but his friends love him — no matter what. That’s something everyone seems able to get behind. And it’s absolutely something to build an earth-shattering

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