In many teen shows, the parents are after-thoughts. They’re there to say “no” … and to be ignored.
An exception has been “Riverdale” and Fred Andrews, the good-guy dad played so convincingly by Luke Perry (shown here). Seven months after Perry died, Fred’s death fills the season-opener .
It’s a tribute to the character and the man who played him. “Luke came in and… just was Fred Andrews,” producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said last year.
Like Fred, Perry was a small-town guy. He was born in Mansfield, an Ohio industrial town of 47,000, and grew up in Fredricktown, population 2,500.
“Riverdale,” he said last year, has both sides of a small town. “You get to see a guy like Fred Andrews, who puts his heart and soul into raising his son and really (is) aboveboard. And then there’s the other people in town. They do other stuff.”
Some is extreme even by soap standards. Betty’s dad was a serial killer, Jughead’s dad was a gang leader; Veronica’s parents and Josie’s mom conspired to close a high school.
For contrast, “Riverdale” had its purest souls – Betty, Archie and Archie’s dad Fred. Perry death (at 52, after two strokes) in March impacted several shows:
— “BH90210,” the summer spin-off with “Beverly Hills 90210” stars as fictional versions of themselves. “I definitely wasn’t going to do it,” Shannen Doherty said. “(But) when Luke passed away, … I felt it was a great opportunity to sort of honor him.”
— “All Elite Wrestling,” Wednesdays on TNT. One of its stars, “Jungle Boy,” is Jack Perry, 22, Luke’s son. “He was a big supporter,” Jack said. “He was very happy with the direction things were going in.”
— And “Riverdale.” It’s entire cast – plus Doherty – pays tribute to men (real and fictional) who will be missed