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16 Ways "Riverdale" And "Glee" Are Basically The Same Show

This has been right under our noses the whole damn time.

Hello, internet. I need to get something off my chest.


Ten years ago, I fell in love with a little show called Glee.


And two and a half years ago, I started watching Riverdale.


I will never outgrow network teen dramedies. NEVER.

Recently, I came to the realization that Riverdale and Glee are essentially the SAME. DAMN. SHOW.


I know, I'm blowing your mind, you cannot believe this. But allow me to present the evidence:

1. The first 13 episodes of both shows were perfect.

Fox/The CW

The mystery of Jason Blossom's murder and the Glee Club's fight to get to sectionals were the ideal plots for a short first season, and they gave us incredible climaxes. On Riverdale, it was the moment Cheryl confronted her brother's killer. On Glee, it was the moment Rachel Berry marched into a theater belting "Don't Rain On My Parade."

2. Both shows featured a massively popular relationship between (initially) supporting characters.

The CW/Fox

Bughead and Klaine, the ships that sailed so high and burned so bright that they overshadowed whoever Archie Andrews or Rachel Berry happened to be dating. Both ships eventually became central to the narrative, but that only happened after fans fell in love with them.

3. The characters all date each other.

The CW/Fox

Archie Andrews has dated every woman in Riverdale (including his teacher!). You know who else did that? One Sam Evans, another good-hearted jock who dated six Glee Club members and also the school nurse for an episode. Yay romantic intrigue!

4. Choni = Brittana

The CW/Fox

These two couples have a lot in common, and the fact that they're cheerleaders is just the beginning. Cheryl and Santana are both tough-as-nails HBICs who had a hard time coming out to their families. Toni and Brittany are both chaotic good bisexuals.

5. They use the power of musical performance to ~heighten~ the drama.

Fox/The CW

Yeah, most shows do this, but has any other show ever been able to recreate the sheer mayhem of Quinn Fabray giving birth with cutaways to Vocal Adrenaline performing "Bohemian Rhapsody"?? NOPE. That scene remains the wildest thing I've ever seen on TV.

Riverdale came close, though, when they featured Jughead Jones going through gang initiation (AKA getting beat up) while Veronica and Josie sang "Out Tonight" and stopped a drugged Cheryl from being sexually assaulted. This all happened in the span of three minutes.

6. Kevin and Kurt are basically the same, down to the haircut.

The CW/Fox

Not only have these two characters anchored important LGBTQ storylines, but they are also supportive friends to people who don't always appreciate them. They're also both super into school musicals, and were raised by a single dad.

7. Both have a TON of celebrities in supporting roles.

The CW/Fox

Andy Cohen, Kelly Ripa, Molly Ringwald, and Gina Gershon have all appeared on Riverdale. And of course, Mark Consuelos and Skeet Ulrich are part of the Riverdale Hot Dad Brigade.

On Glee: Olivia Newton John, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff freaking Goldblum, NeNe Leakes, Whoopi Goldberg, and literally so many more.

8. They both feature a sliiightly overused central antagonist.

Fox/The CW

Sue Sylvester was a great character — and those track suits were iconic! — but after the second or third time she spontaneously changed her mind about the Glee Club, it sort of felt like the show couldn't figure out what to do with her. Switch Sue Sylvester with Hiram Lodge and change "the Glee Club" to a silly redhead named Archie and you've got the last two seasons of Riverdale.

9. And they also feature an underused powerhouse singer.

Fox/The CW

Mercedes Jones and Josie McCoy both deserved better. Mercedes deserved at least as many solos as Rachel, and Josie could have been given…IDK, a storyline besides the two seconds she dated Archie. Fingers crossed Josie gets some love on Katy Keene.

10. Important characters somehow get suspicious job promotions.

The CW/Fox

How can FP become sheriff with his criminal record and without police training? The same way Sue Sylvester can become a principal without any teaching experience outside of coaching cheerleaders. It's better if you don't ask questions.

11. The high schoolers are all unreasonably accomplished.

Fox/The CW

Remember when Betty's internship let her organize a party for Toni Morrison? It was almost as absurd as that time Kurt interned at Vogue with nothing but a high school diploma and his boss was Sarah Jessica Parker. See also: Rachel's entire Funny Girl/network pilot storyline and Veronica's successful nightclub venture.

12. Both shows get real weird about hallucinations.

Fox/The CW

Remember when a gas leak made Blaine hallucinate that his classmates were puppets who worshipped him? Or when Brittany, Santana, Rachel, and Artie had — get ready — anesthesia-induced Britney Spears hallucinations? Riverdale's third season had about 32 hallucinations per episode, one of which had Betty seeing floating babies.

13. For taking place in a high school, neither show featured very much, ya know, school.

Fox/The CW

I'm pretty sure Archie and Jughead never actually go to school. And the Glee kids were only ever in a classroom when they were about to burst into song. Also, the entire process by which Rachel got into/dropped out of/got back into NYADA just flew in the face of logic.

14. Each show catapulted its then-unknown cast to international fame.

Frazer Harrison/Jason Merritt / Via Getty Images

And became extremely popular, especially among teenagers.

15. They started off as TV shows, and then became full-on brands, with merch and everything.

Hot Topic/Macy's

The covers performed on each show are available on Spotify/iTunes, and there is officially licensed apparel for sale at Hot Topic and (formerly) Macy's.

16. And finally, the most irrefutable proof of all: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, AKA the creator and showrunner of Riverdale, was also a writer and producer on Glee.

Archie Comics

More than that, he wrote a comic book crossover in which a portal causes the cast of Glee to end up in Riverdale while Archie and his friends get transported to Lima.

So, now you know. They are the same. The only difference is that one of them has show choir and the other one has murder.


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