When you first heard about a Riverdale spinoff, I’m willing to bet you didn’t think it would be a series revolving around the fashion and music industry, but that’s exactly what you get when you tune into The CW’s Katy Keene.
Devoid of murders and darkness, the series (based on the Archie Comics), spearheaded by Lucy Hale in the role of the titular character, shines bright amidst the supernatural vibes of its sister shows, Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and the oftentimes supernatural lineup embraced on The CW.
In place of those murder mysteries that tend to envelop the residents of Riverdale, Katy Keene sets the stage for a coming-of-age tale that propels themes of hopefulness, following your destiny, and chasing every opportunity.
Some of us might say — the ones that were old enough to have watched Gossip Girl and Sex and the City when it aired live, anyway — that the series is the younger sister of those fashion-centric show, and fills the void they left behind quite nicely with its bubbly depiction of New York’s elite, always-on-the-go, and hook-up heavy aesthetic.
But don’t be fooled — the show’s optimistic outlook doesn’t mean it’s without its fair share of drama.
Like Riverdale, Katy Keene relies on a formula of convoluted mysteries and twists, and it thrives on throwing its characters into unpredictable and messy situations, albeit, with less murder and serial killers.
And New York, much like Riverdale, can make or break you in a minute; it can snuff out that very hope it evokes and destroy the opportunities it’s made possible until you’re left feeling more alone than ever.
Katy Keene focuses heavily on its ensemble cast — heavier than Riverdale at times — giving each of its characters a storyline to dig into.
The circumstances of the Big Apple — rent as tall as the skyscrapers and the competitiveness of its inhabitants — brings Katy, an aspiring fashion designer, closer to Jorge/Ginger Lopez (Johhny Beauchamp), an aspiring Broadway star, Pepper Smith (Julia Chan), an aspiring business owner, and Riverdale’s finest, Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), an aspiring singer.
Much like Riverdale’s core four, this unit relies on each other to navigates life’s up-and-downs.
For Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead, these trials and tribulations tend to consist of dark forces and mysteries such as figuring the identity of the Black Hood, the Gargoyle King, and how to escape and stop an organ harvesting cult, among others.
Katy Keene, however, offers up a dreamlike vibe while showcasing real and more relatable issues of navigating your upper 20s with the focus being on every millennial’s struggle to juggle the pursuit of a dream career in an overpriced city alongside a romantic life.
Alex says it best — you’re no one in this city without money — and thus, a lot of the drama revolves around financial situations.
‘Katy Keene’ Cancelled at The CW After One Season – ‘Riverdale’ Spinoff Looking for New Home
After weeks of waiting, The CW has decided against renewing Katy Keene after just one season.
The network announced that the Lucy Hale-led Riverdale spinoff will not be picked up for season 2.
Katy Keene was the only series awaiting a decision after the network’s bulk renewal back in January, which saw all of its scripted shows get renewed including freshman dramas Batwoman and Nancy Drew. All shows are scheduled to return in January due to the coronavirus production delays.
Show creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa took to Instagram to share the news with fans alongside a photo of the cast, writing, “From the first #katykeene table read. It seems like a dream. So proud of this show and the beautiful souls who came together to make it.💔.”
Hale commented writing: “I am …devastated. But love you all so much.”
Julia Chan (Pepper Smith) chimed in expressing her gratitude: “Love you, Roberto and Michael and my beloved @cw_katykeene family. Eternally grateful. ♥️”
Hale also addressed the fans directly on Instagram Live. “Sad to deliver this news ! But I love the show. I love what it stands for. And mostly I love YOU. To the cast, crew and all involved. I adore you,” she captioned the clip.
QUIZ: Which ‘Katy Keene’ Character Are You?
The characters in Katy Keene’s world are bold, beautiful, and living the dream… or, at least, trying to.
Their supportive of each other even through all of life’s up-and-downs because they know there’s nothing more valuable than friendship. And in New York, you don’t get very far without friends.
Find out which Katy Keene character you are by taking our quiz below!
Katy Keene Season Finale Review – Katy and Gloria Save Lacy’s, Hiram Lodge Comes to Town (1×13)
Everything can change in a New York minute. And it did on the season 1 finale of Katy Keene.
With the future of Lacy’s and Jorge’s block on Washington Heights threatened, Katy and her friends did everything in their power to fight for what they wanted.
With a little help from their fairy godmother, Pepper, they were able to successfully save both establishments that meant a great deal to them and felt like “home.”
The series always carries some lessons, and in the finale, it wasn’t just to fight for what you want but also to fight for yourself and your loved ones.
Jorge brought out Ginger Lopez to get enough signatures to save his block. The storyline is important because it highlights the cultural neighborhoods — often poverty-stricken — in the city.
These neighborhoods, or the barrio, should be celebrated and preserved. Jorge couldn’t watch some big corporation tear down the place he grew up in, one of the only affordable places to live for thriving artists, and a home the reminded not only him but others of their roots and the American dream.
It was important to feature, but obviously, it came with a twist. The buyer was none other than Hiram Lodge. Yes, the Hiram from Riverdale. Five-years into the future, which is when Katy Keene is set, Hiram hasn’t changed. And he’s still alive, so I guess that’s good!
He’s also upset that Jorge and the Lopez family prevented him from buying his “home.” Who knew Hiram was from the Heights? Now that this is personal, it’s bound to get even uglier.
There have been previous crossovers before, but this one is one of the more exciting ones because we get to see one of the baddest men from Riverdale come wreak havoc in the often picture-perfect world.
Jorge’s father finally accepted Ginger and explained the root of his issues with her — it wasn’t ever about pride or being embarrassed for his son, it came from a place of fear since his brother, Jorge’s uncles, died for AIDS and he couldn’t protect him or do anything about it.
Of course, it doesn’t excuse Luis’s behavior, and I feel like the moment was glossed over instead of really being dissected to understand the impact on both parties, but at least we now know it was always from a place of love and fear.
Pepper redeemed herself by going above and beyond for both Jorge and Katy. She allowed the to throw a fashion show that not only benefited the block but also helped Katy right Guy’s wrongs. Katy didn’t have to go to bat for the women that were blacklisted because of Guy, but she’s the kind of person that can’t stand by and watch injustice happen.
She saw herself in those women and wanted to give them a platform for their art to shine. It’s more than Guy offered to do to make amends.
Not only is Katy beyond talented, but to see women helping other women is unheard of in the fashion industry, which showed Parsons and the Dean of Parsons that Katy deserved a spot.
With a good word from Gloria, Katy got into her dream school.
She was able to show Guy that she’s willing to risk it all, even her budding fashion career, and invested in herself.
Guy never learned his lesson despite telling Katy he did; by offering her the position of Head Designer, he was putting a bandaid over the situation, hoping to keep her close, and still manipulating her by whispering sweet nothings.
He thought Katy would fall for it, but she trusted her gut and realized she couldn’t be hiding in anyone’s shadow. And with her skills, she shouldn’t be!
Guy would still be capitalizing off of her talents. He didn’t show any remorse for what he had done and the people he used and threw away, and it was hard to imagine it would be any different with Katy.
Similarly, Pepper invested in herself by realizing that conning was not a way of life.
Her friends love her because of who she was and how much she cares about them — it was never about that made-up life.
So, she cut ties with Mrs. Freesia, the toxic woman who was constantly egging her on and dragging her down a rabbit hole. Freesia’s behavior wasn’t coming from a place of love, but rather pushing towards an unhealthy dependency.
Pepper finally has her dream artist space, she has her friends, and she has the support of those who love her, so there’s no reason to keep walking down a path that will only destroy all the things she cares about.
It’s unclear if the money will be enough to shoo her away, but for Pepper’s sake, I hope that it is. If she is truly Pepper’s mom though, then it seems like we’re stuck with her.
And I truly hope Pepper is able to pay her father back and get him the penthouse because that man deserves it. What an angel!
Katy’s fashion show not only landed her a spot at Parsons, but it also helped Gloria save Lacy’s.
How, you ask? Prince Erroll, of course. Though he doesn’t go by Prine Erroll anymore. It’s just Erroll since he stepped away from the royal family and purchased the store that’s not only a mecca in New York, but that has always treated him well.
Now, it’s unclear if Prince Erroll is still engaged or married or whatever it is that he was supposed to be, but I don’t foresee Katy and Erroll working under the same roof and not exploring their feelings. Erroll didn’t do right by Katy, but there’s unresolved chemistry there.
Katy now has almost all of her men under one roof — Erroll, Guy (who still has a space at Lacy’s), and Leo Lacy, the man who may or may not be her father.
Upon meeting Mr. Lacy, Katy blurted out this iconic line: “I think you’re my dad.” One could argue that it’s a little too forward, but prior to her even staying that, when she introduced herself as a Keene, Leo’s face crunched up and seemed to contain his surprise.
The kind of surprise that might make one say, “Oh, I didn’t know I had a child.” So, take from that what you will.
We’ve also yet to figure out what Leo and Gloria’s connection is or Gloria’s relationship with Katy’s mother.
Though, it also seems that the reason Gloria agreed to help Katy save Lacy’s is because she mentioned how much it meant to her and her mother.
There’s definitely a major story there that I can’t wait to uncover if The CW ever signs off on season 2.
After kissing a bunch of rich, famous, and ego-driven frogs in New York, Katy stumbled upon the realization that there’s no better man than KO.
And with KO being newly single, it was her time to shine. Except that it was a little too late — KO finally took the job in Philly.
Their reunion at the station was cute — and the fact that he’s the first person she wants to tell about her Parsons acceptance is telling — Katy didn’t have the heart to stop him from pursuing his dreams.
She knows KO, and if she told him how she felt, he would’ve likely stayed behind and never went to Philly. Katy knows how important it is to follow a passion, and she can’t be the one to stop him. He was always so supportive of her career, and now, she had to let him go and be supportive of his
And maybe that’s for the better. Even Katy admitted that she lost herself for a little bit following her break-up with KO. She barely spent any time being single before jumping into two very complex relationships that mixed business with pleasure.
At this point, relationships aren’t doing her any favors. It’s time she focuses on herself, puts herself first, and follows her dreams.
Unlike Guy or Erroll, KO will always be there; and no matter how much time they spend apart, he’ll always have her back and support her.
Josie seems to have closed the chapter on Alex, which also seems for the better. Alex was trying to prove a lot, but he was also lost in himself and anytime something went wrong, he relapsed.
This time, he wasn’t just drinking, he was doing cocaine. (Also, how much cocaine can you carry in a jacket? I’m not a cocaine-expert by any means, but that seemed excessive).
Josie and Xandra put aside their differences to help Alex, which was sweet, but I personally don’t want the series to continue this storyline. There’s nothing tying Josie to Xandra, an opportunist and leech who has no problem stealing material and claiming it as her own, to each other.
Josie pretty much called her out for having no talent of her own. While it was a blow to hear her own material on the radio, Josie knows she can and will write new stuff. Xandra can’t say the same.
When Josie confronted Xandra about her petty theft, she couldn’t even own up to if and instead deflected to the topic of Alex.
There’s absolutely no place in my heart for Xandra or her antics. To be honest, the whole Cabot family can cease to exist.
Without them, I’m excited to see where Josie’s career will take her especially with a spitfire like Pepper, who believes in herself now more than ever.
What did you think of the season 1 finale of Katy Keene?
We’re eagerly awaiting news about a season 2 renewal — find out what networks exec said about the chances here!
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