Katy Keene season 1, episode 1 recap – a NYC-set spin-off from Riverdale with an eye for fashion

February 7, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV, TV Recaps


A glossy spin-off that swaps murder for New York City living, dreaming and dressing, five years removed from Riverdale.



A glossy spin-off that swaps murder for New York City living, dreaming and dressing, five years removed from Riverdale.

This recap of Katy Keene Season 1, Episode 1 contains spoilers.

Riverdale fans rejoice, the CW has you covered. Taking the runway five years in the show’s fictional future is Katy Keene, a new spin-off from the Archie Comics series about Lucy Hale’s titular fashion-obsessed department store personal shopper.

In the Katy Keene pilot, Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) has just moved in with Katy and her too-gay-for-Broadway roommate Jorge (Jonny Beauchamp) in a New York City that everyone shares a touristy enthusiasm for. “Everyone” also includes Katy’s boyfriend K.O. (Zane Holtz) and an enigmatic namedropping maybe-actor named Pepper, because why not?

I must concede that I had a suspicion I’m not exactly the target demo for this show, which Katy Keene Episode 1 promptly proved. Katy’s efforts to get a promotion at work by befriending and outfitting the girlfriend of a prince doesn’t impress her colleague Gloria (Katherine LaNasa) and didn’t do much for me, either, the idea that making clothes on the side is somehow a threat to selling other peoples’ a logical leap I couldn’t quite manage. But Hale’s bubbly protagonist is likable enough that when she’s pettily devoted to a stock room assistant, I was on her side. I suppose that’s what matters.

It’s definitely a running theme of the Katy Keene pilot that making it in New York isn’t as easy as any of these people have been led to believe; Josie and Jorge don’t have much luck either, although the latter’s subplot about auditioning for Mannequin on Broadway, first as himself and then as his drag queen alter-ego Ginger Lopez, is the more entertaining of the two. Naturally, dreaming big leads these three to drinking heavy, with surprisingly positive results, at least for Katy, and a suggestion that this show might have a bit more to it than simply trying to make it in the biggest of big cities.

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