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Series / Katy Keene

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Katy Keene is an American Dramedy television series on The CW based on the comic book series of the same name. It’s the second spinoff of Riverdale following Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the show is set in New York City a few years after the events in Riverdale. Lucy Hale stars as Katy, and Ashleigh Murray's Josie McCoy, introduced in Riverdale, is also a lead. Also appearing in the show are Jorge, Katy's friend who's a drag queen trying to make it on Broadway; Pepper Smith (pulled from Josie and the Pussycats) as an ultra-connected gossip columnist and The Cabot Twins, Alex and Alexandra (also pulled from Josie and The Pussycats) as ultra-rich media moguls.

It was announced in July 2020 that the show had been cancelled after one season due to modest ratings. An attempt to move it over to HBO Max failed, due to the soft ratings and COVID-19 pandemic upending film and television production. The show isn't completely forgotten about; Riverdale season five makes several references to the story and characters, with even a few guest spots as Riverdale did a Time Skip to Katy Keene's timeline.

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Katy Keene provides examples of:

  • Anger Born of Worry: In "Come Together", it's revealed that Jorge's paternal uncle was gay. He was beaten to death, and Luis is scared that would happen to Jorge.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the end of "Mama Said", Katy was called to work by her boss, fearing they found out Katy and Errol kiss; Patricia actually wanted Katy to design her wedding dress.
  • Big Applesauce: The show is set in New York City, it's about 5 young people making their way and hustling through the city. Just in two episodes they've covered the nightlife, Uptown, Broadway and Central Park.
  • Brutally Honest: In the third episode, Katy calls K.O. out for not answering her text to know if he's alright since their breakup. K.O. says he didn't know what to say other than that he was miserable without her.
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  • Camp Gay: Jorge, and it's Played for Drama. His family knows he's gay, but not that he's a drag queen. And he seems very uncomfortable with masculine presentation in regards to auditioning and tryouts.
  • Cold Open: Episode 4 opens with Katy waking up in bed, except it's the bed in Lacy's window. Which she's passed out in, in a robe and her underwear. And one of her bosses has just woken her up.
  • Color Motif: Katy and the scenes she's in are dominated with the colors red and pink. Josie, Pepper and Jorge alternate between blue, yellow, and green depending on the episode and their apartment has all four colors presented prominently.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Josie has red hair in this show and as she is black she fits this trope.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: After Alexander gets Josie an audition for a record deal, Alexandra puts her down. She then smugly asks if Josie thinks she's the first one of Alexander's flings he's tried to get signed on.
  • Diegetic Musical: Has both diegetic musical numbers and the traditional "break out into song" musical numbers; the diegetic numbers happen more often and are usually performances by Josie or Jorge at Molly's Crisis. One of the fan favorite performances, a rendition of the cast singing Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty", was completely diegetic, with Pepper actually starting up the music on a vinyl player.
  • Drag Queen: Jorge; his drag persona goes by the name of Ginger Lopez.
  • The Fashionista: Katy is fashion lover, and knows everything about how every outfit she has ever seen.
  • Fashion Designer: Katy is an aspiring fashion designer, having designed her own clothes ever since she was a child.
  • Five-Token Band: Katy is white, Pepper is British-Chinese, Jorge is a gay latino crossdresser and Josie is African-American.
  • Implausible Deniability: Pepper is called out on Twitter for her various claims of knowing famous people and insists she truly does. But the fact she refers to Kristen Stewart as a "Dame" (Stewart isn't even British) just adds fuel to the fire.
  • Internal Reveal: In "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)", Jorge tells his father and brothers he's a drag queen. His father is the only one having a hard time dealing with it.
  • Jerkass: The casting director doesn't exactly hide his disdain for Jorge well.
  • Lighter and Softer: Unlike Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which are Darker and Edgier takes on Archie Comics, this one goes the other way and has a lighter tone closer to the original comics (but still slightly more serious in a drama show sense).
  • Love Triangle: Katy, K.O. and Errol.
  • Manly Gay: Jorge's new boyfriend, Bernie.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: Bernie and Jorge, respectively. However, it made Jorge feel insecure being compared to his more manly boyfriend, not helping is his dad always teasing him about his masculinity (or lack of) growing up.
    • Previously, Buzz and Jorge. But Jorge ended their relationship in the second episode because Buzz is afraid to come out, and wouldn't even come to Jorge's drag queen show.
  • Mythology Gag: "Song for a Winter's Night" revealed that Alexandra used to have a cat named Sebastian. A named she used as an alias "Tuxedo C. Sebastian" to leak about her and Alexander used to date and framed Josie for leaking the story.
  • Mock Millionaire: Pepper flaunts being a high-living rich gal living it up in a posh hotel. It comes out she's run through her money, owes the hotel $60,000 and is clearly putting on some sort of act to her friends. She tells Josie that she was cut off from her rich father but Josie starts to wonder if Pepper was ever as rich as she claimed.
    • Pepper confesses the truth in episode 12: She's adopted and grew up with her doorman father and had spent much of her life engaged in various small-time con games. She's determined to get on the straight and narrow with her "Pepper Plant" while still unable to let go of some grifting.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Katy Keene is set seven years or so after the events of Riverdale, a plot element that was continued by Riverdale.
  • One of the Girls: Jorge is the only male main character that's friends with all the female leads, and Katy was his Child Hood Friend.
  • Pink Heroine: Katy wears mostly red and pink clothing (with shades in-between) to complement her plucky, independent spirit.
  • Read the Fine Print: More than once, Josie is struck by how her singing career hits a snag with her songs blocked and when she complains, is informed this was all in her contract.
    • Josie is outraged when, just before the new Pussycats' debut, Alexandra takes to the stage with her own version to sing her songs. Alexandra smugly tells Josie any song she recorded under that contract is the property of Cabot Entertainment to the point that Josie can be sued for trying to sing them herself.
  • Reality Ensues: Jorge, in full drag tells off a casting director about his casual femmephobia. It's presented as an empowering I Am What I Am moment, but then in the next episode, he later finds out he's basically blacklisted due to word going around about him mouthing off to said casting director.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Kevin Keller stopped by for one episode, and stated he was teaching at Riverdale High. Even Katy Keene was canceled, Riverdale still makes references to events of the show; K.O. Kelly fought Archie in a boxing match, Bernardo showed up to help train firefighting volunteers, and Veronica was mentioned to have been working alongside Katy at Lacy's for a time.
  • The Reveal: Francios is revealed to be a drag queen in "Mama Said".
    • The doorman at the apartment building of Pepper's "aunt" is Pepper's real father.
  • The Rival:
    • Amanda, for Katy.
    • Deveraux, for Jorge.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Jorge decides to leave the theater after being rejected one time too many.
  • Secret Keeper: In "Song for a Winter's Night", Jorge's reveals to his mother that he's a drag queen. She not only accept him, but his Ginger persona brought her tears because it reminds her of herself as a young woman. Jorge tells her she was the inspiration. They decided not to tell his dad since it would be too much for him.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Starting with episode 3, a recurring bit will be characters suddenly breaking into full-on musical numbers, complete with random strangers dancing with. Once the song is done, they go right back into the regular dramedy with no mention of how odd that musical number was.
  • Spotting the Thread: Josie realizes something is off about Pepper's claims of being rich when the woman "chooses" to leave a luxury hotel in the middle of a polar vortex.
    • The episode before had the gang going to a fancy club with Josie openly asking why, if Pepper is a "VIP", they have to sneak in through the back entrance.
  • Stealing the Credit: Katy is at first happy to get with a famous designer and even sleeping with him. She's upset when she finds him using a design of hers with him brushing it off as just a coincidence. Getting into his private desk, Katy sees scores of sketchbooks from past assistants that look just like Guy's "work" and realizes he's been stealing the ideas of his underlings to pass off as his own for years.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Song for a Winter's Night", Jorge (literally hiding in the closet from his mother) comment that it's like "summer at San Juan". His mother later makes the same statement noticing how hot Katy's room is due to turning up the heater.
  • To Be Continued: The pilot ends in a cliffhanger where Kate says this.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Alexander and Alexandra are step-siblings, as revealed in Episode 4, instead of blood siblings like in the comics. And they used to date.
  • Wham Shot: The would-be owner of the block on the Heights turns out to be Hiram Lodge.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Josie is not only upset she didn't win the audition, but at Alexander for using her in his Sibling Rivalry with his sister. And that's before she discovers that they're actually step-siblings who used to date.
    • In "Song for a Winter's Night", Jorge accidentally broke Katy's sewing machine, desperate to have his Aida dress. Katy calls him out for his selfishness because he wouldn't let her sew one dress for her boss since her job depends on it and broke the last thing she has from her deceased mother.

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