TV | On paper, RIVERDALE (8 pm Thursdays, CW) almost sounds like a parody of a gritty, sexy CW reimagining of Archie comics. Archie has six-pack abs, and has been sleeping with his teacher, a much hotter Ms. Grundy. Jughead has been transformed from a happy-go-lucky burger-monger to a sullen teen who provides the ponderous voice-over narration. Oh, yeah: There's been a murder, and everyone's a suspect. What's awesome is that it actually all works, filtering the basic premise of the comics through the lens of Gossip Girl and Veronica Mars and ending up with something slightly sleazy, sure, but fun and popcorn-worthy. Best of all is how the series tweaks the Betty-and-Veronica relationship beyond just the blonde and brunette competing over the redhead.
VIDEO GAME | Too many video games have been about heroes taking on monsters and gods. But OKHLOS, riffing on the world of Greek mythology, finally gives the hoi polloi a chance to tear things up. Instead of controlling a single hero or well-honed squad, you direct an ever-growing mob of Greek citizens, ranging from philosophers to slaves, as they tear through Greek cities and destroy the gods themselves. Feel jilted in love? Take that, Aphrodite! Have a wicked hangover? Time to die, Dionysus! Rain on your wedding day? Get crushed, Zeus! The controls are a bit wonky and imprecise, but, hey, don't lead a mob if you don't want it to get a little out of control.
PODCAST | Plenty of podcasts purport to explore the hidden angles of the everyday, but few do this better than 99% INVISIBLE, a podcast dedicated to every nature of design. You'll learn the history of the iconic NBC sound chime. You'll hear about the world's biggest boondoggle of a bus station. You'll understand exactly why green lawns, for all their expense and impracticality, become something of a necessity for those in search of status symbols. You'll learn why "McMansions" are considered so ugly by architects, and see the intent behind benches with armrests in the middle. All this is augmented with carefully selected music and sound effects that make each episode a beautiful little work of design on its own. ♦