‘Katy Keene’ is a delight: Here’s why you ought to watch it
Katy Keene, The CW’s Riverdale spinoff series, has officially made its debut. With it, we’re taken to the near-magical world of the titular Katy (Lucy Hale) and her three besties: Josie (Ashleigh Murray), Jorge (Jonny Beauchamp), and Pepper (Julia Chan). These four dreamers are trying their best to make their own New York fairytales happen.
But, you ask, are they really? This is from the people who brought us Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Is it really as happy-go-lucky and optimistic as the promos want us to believe?
The short answer is yes. And if you’re looking for a sunny and optimistic fairytale, then maybe you should go and give Katy Keene a watch.
Katy is like an IRL Disney princess
Katy Keene is a character who, while tragic things have happened to her, doesn’t let her tragedy be the center of her life. While her mother died before the start of the series, she still remains kind and optimistic, wanting to make the best life possible for herself.
Honestly, Katy Keene sort of reminds us of Cinderella. Through hard work and determination, she made the best of some bad circumstances. Whether Katy is dealing with career pitfalls or mean people at work, she remains kind and always willing to help others.
It’s due to that innate kindness that people are drawn to Katy. New York has always been seen as a place of manufacturedness. No one is really who they are in New York (or any big city for that manner), but with Katy what you see is what you get. Her desire to help those around her. Her almost Disney like manner in putting a value on kindness and compassion makes her honestly refreshing to watch.
After all, isn’t it nice to see someone so nice follow her dreams and the world actually responds to that sort of goodness? Lucy Hale does a truly great job in the role, so hopefully, we’ll see her stick around for a while in Katy Keene. No one should make this sort of heavy lifting of a series look so effortless.
The rest of the core cast is utterly charming
Ashleigh Murray was criminally underused as Josie McCoy over on Riverdale. The move to Katy Keene makes a lot more sense for the character, who is five years removed from Riverdale and is ready to make her wild singer-songwriter dreams come true. Murray’s Josie is ready to stand up for herself and do what it takes to let her voice be heard. No one will stop her dreams.
Julia Chan as the mysterious Pepper Smith is pretty fun. Though the constant name-dropping of this “it” girl does wear a little thin if you don’t like that sort of thing. Honestly, she seems like a more self-aware version of Alexis Rose from Schitt’s Creek except genuine. Chan does bring that certain je n’ais ce quoi to the role.
Honestly, though, the greatest find for the series is relative unknown Jonny Beauchamp, who plays Jorge Lopez and his drag alter ego Ginger. He’s utterly magnetic on the screen in his scenes. He plays someone who is settled in his skin, but trying to have the world see him as more than the box they place him in. Beauchamp is a great performer, especially when Ginger comes out in a Katy Keene original. Even if the series doesn’t last past season one, mark our words, Beauchamp is a talent to watch.
Katy Keene really is a fairytale brought to life
Katy Keene does have its own surreality to it. Rather than going darker than its cousin series Riverdale and CAOS, Katy Keene goes the opposite route. It’s bright and it’s sunny with optimism oozing from every candy-coated orifice of it. This isn’t New York as we know it. Katy Keene’s New York is an old school fairytale version of the city.
In it, a girl from the Lower East Side could fall for an IRL Prince Charming while someone singing with a busker could be discovered by a handsome billionaire. Yes, of course, the characters will have to work to make their wild dreams come true. In the world of Katy Keene, you believe that through hard work and perseverance that New York will take the dreamers and make them into stars.
Maybe when the world is telling us that things are getting worse, it’s good to have one show to make us wonder what it would be like if things could get better. Yes, it’s a little cheesy and corny at times, but that’s all part of its charm.
The clothes though
If you enjoy some damn fine costuming, then Katy Keene will definitely be for you. From Katy’s own red motif to Jorge’s Ginger looks, there is a smorgasbord of glorious costumes in every frame of Katy Keene to enjoy.
In fact, series co-creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will one day like fans to submit their own Katy Keene costume designs, just as they would way back when in comics. So, you know, prepare yourselves there fan artists. Any clothing you draw could be brought to life, which is pretty cool.
Katy Keene airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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