Tumblr Staffer Explains How 'Riverdale' Became So Popular in 2017

Since debuting in January of 2017, Riverdale has taken the pop culture world by storm. Before the show sweeped the Teen Choice Awards and was parodied on The Tonight Show, it first found its fan following on Tumblr. And according to one Tumblr staffer, there's a good reason for that.

Amanda Brennan, Tumblr's Senior Content Insights Manager and "Meme Historian", recently discussed the show's popularity during an interview with Inverse. As she put it, Riverdale has all of the right elements to find a large fandom on the micro-blogging platform.

"Riverdale is a great case because it's got the perfect storm of Tumblr." Brennan explained. "It's a CW show, it's got that kind of gritty feeling — I feel like that's something that resonates with Tumblr, something that's a little darker while still being enjoyable."

This resonance was seen pretty profoundly in Tumblr's 2017 Year in Review data, which saw Riverdale being the fifth most-popular live action television show. The show's ships and cast members also earned some notoriety, including fan-favorite Cole Sprouse.

According to Brennan, Sprouse's performance as Jughead Jones - and one memorable scene in particular - is almost tailor-made for Tumblr.


"Cole Sprouse is a Tumblr fav." Brennan added. "And his whole speech about being a weirdo is very resonant with Tumblr and the kind of people that come here. And as Tumblr is the place where people connect over their passions it's something very easy to fangirl over and to really dive in to."

Riverdale returns from midseason hiatus on January 17th, 2018.