One of the greatest things about Riverdale is its devotion towards casting teen stars of the 80s and 90s. To people of a certain age, and to teenage YouTube commentators on O.M.D music videos who think it would have been “cool to go to high school in the 80s,” Anthony Michael Hall is forever in our hearts; and now he will be on our screens once more this fall. Hall has been cast as Principal Featherhead in a Breakfast Club-inspired flashback episode. Naturally, I will be watching.
Hall is joining the growing list of Riverdale stars and guest stars who were right at home on the pages of Teen Beat and Tiger Bop 20-30 years ago including: Skeet Ulrich, Luke Perry, Lochlyn Munro (the dangerous boy in basically every NBC Monday Night Movie in the mid-90s), Robin Givens, Penelope Ann Miller, and Molly Ringwald.
Clearly, there is a trend towards casting the true greats of bygone teen eras, and I’ve compiled a list of who else Riverdale should have on this season. Some spoilers for past seasons, but Riverdale isn’t exactly the type of show you watch for the plot lines, so you’re probably safe to proceed if you’re not caught up.
Fairuza Balk, Rachel True, Neve Campbell, and Robin Tunney
Skeet Ulrich already plays Jughead’s dad, let’s go all out with the OG coven from The Craft. Bring the ladies on as concerned Riverdale High moms that have banded together to protest at Archie’s murder trial because he’s a bad influence on their own children (who will obviously be embarrassed at the level of their mothers’ involvement.) Let Betty investigate them and find out that as teenagers the ladies were part of the Serpents and confront them on their hypocrisy.
Johnathan Taylor Thomas
Have him play a reporter in town to cover Archie’s murder trial and Hank Cooper’s incarceration. Let him help Jughead and Betty track down leads to try to clear Archie’s name, only he’ll get too close to the truth and end up getting unceremoniously murdered at the end of the episode. This will lead to 8 more episodes of Betty talking about her “darkness”
Brandy & Monica
Monica can be the cool aunt of Josie McCoy (lead singer of the Pussycats), and sister to Josie’s mom, played by Robin Givens. Monica comes to town with Brandy, her college roommate, an internationally acclaimed music producer. Monica creates tension with her sister by encouraging Josie to jet off to a world tour with one of the acts Brandy works with. After a reckless night out with Brandy and Monica, she realizes her “cool aunt” isn’t cool so much as irresponsible. Josie ultimately decides to stay in Riverdale because she realizes the importance of family, school, and the acceptance of responsibility.
Let’s assume that Jughead has a yet unmentioned, clean-cut lawyer uncle that will be played by Andrew McCarthy. The uncle skipped town 30 years ago and since then has nothing to do with the family he left behind. Archie’s trial is going poorly and he needs a miracle to pull it around…enter stage left. Obviously because this is Riverdale the character will have to have a (dark) secret, and will skip town immediately after getting Archie off on a technicality.
Yes, he walked away from acting almost 30 years ago and hasn’t been heard from since, so this is a very long shot. Archie’s mom comes to town for the trial with a new gentleman-friend in tow who is none other than Michael Schoeffling. That’s it. No secrets, no surprise murder at the end of the episode. He’s just there to say hi, support his partner, meet her son, and go back to Chicago at the end of the episode presumably to live a very happy life. This would be more in line with the Andy Cohen appearance last season, because it’s clear Schoeffling’s not into acting anymore; but it would be really good to see him again, so let’s aim big, shall we?
Even if you don’t watch the show, it’s always good to revisit your old favorites. Who do you want to see cast (or let’s be honest, get work) this season?