Featured image sourced from Netflix.com.
I’ll start this blog with admitting that over the past three weeks, I have developed a new obsession in the form of Riverdale.
I don’t know what it is about teen dramas that sucks me in, but they do. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that we’ve all been teenagers, and thus can all relate to these types of shows in some form.
However, don’t write it off because of the word ‘teen’. Riverdale deals with grown up themes such as murder, violence, drug dealing and sex.
Also, randomly, it is based entirely on Archie Comic book characters, and it took me about five episodes to realise this. I thought the mention of Josie and the Pussycats, which practically everyone recognises due to countless adaptations, was kind of just a coincidence. Duh, me.
So this is my review of season one. It won’t be spoiler free. This is largely because I imagine if you’ve landed on this page, you want to know if someone shares the same POV about the show as you do. So, let’s begin.
A Review Of Riverdale, Season One
First off, what I really like about this show is its acting talent. Every person on that cast brings something to it, and nothing seems wooden or fake (apart from one not so great crying scene from Jughead, apologies, Cole). But everyone, from KJ Apa (Archie) to Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blossom), is wonderful.
Also, side note, how weird is it to see Cole Sprouse from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody all grown up on screen? Are you allowed to be attracted to him now? All half of my brain can see is him and his brother riding round on a luggage trolley. It’s a very confusing time.
Anyway, I guess we’re now into story territory.
I kind of knew who killed Jason Blossom pretty early on. All it took was (SPOILER) one dark/heartless look from his dad as his mother cried on his shoulder that told the entire story within seconds.
No one else really had much of a motive. Not even Hiram Lodge’s story really stood up – although I will be very interested to see who they cast over the next coming months in that role. And then Jason’s dad killed himself and admitted to dealing drugs instead of maple syrup. Although a good story, it was revealed in 20 minutes out of the running time of around 13 hours. This made it feel disingenuous and unbelievable, which was a shame.
But let’s go back to another main theme in the series, Betty, Archie and Veronica. I went from liking Veronica to thinking her eyebrows looked weird, and then back to liking her again throughout the series. I don’t know what it was. One minute I was on her team, the next minute she was grating on me. And I have to admit, I really don’t ship her and Archie. He just seemed to fall in love with her in about 10 minutes during one episode. It felt fake to me.
Which leads us onto Betty and also Jughead. For those who don’t know, Betty was in love with Archie for three episodes. I’m talking head over heels. And then a few episodes later she’s in love with Jughead. Now I remember what it’s like being a teenager, it was quick and easy to fall in and out of what we called ‘love’. But I guess the difference is Betty was supposedly in love with Archie for years, which means that in reality, Jughead would simply be a rebound. Which I’m not cool with.
Consistent characters are important to me as a writer, which means their feelings should be honoured, not just rearranged to fit the story. I sadly felt the writers slipped up in this case – although I do ship Betty and Jughead, so I guess they got what they were aiming for…
Cheryl Blossom = Queen
There is, of course, another major character whom I’ve only touched on briefly so far. And that is the legend that is Cheryl Blossom.
I know I should hate her. But I love her. She’s vicious, beautiful and has attitude by the bucketload. She’s kind of everything I wish I could be, but I got a nice gene from somewhere and that put an end to that dream.
Can we also spend a moment discussing her lips? They’re au naturale and the kind of pair a girl can only dream of in this day and age. She is also a lipstick QUEEN and thus my idol.
I also kind of like Cheryl because she’s conflicted. She’s both good and bad, and that plays well to the human psyche that most people are both of these things whether we like to admit it to ourselves or not.
I like her being friends with Veronica, and I (somewhat controversially, I imagine) also ship Cheryl and Archie more than Archie and Veronica. I like the way he balances out her crazy a little bit. It would certainly make brilliant TV.
Of course, I haven’t discussed Polly in this, or FP, or Kevin, or Josie and her crew – but I guess that’s because they didn’t really hit home for me in the I-love-this-character department.
I don’t know, what are your thoughts? Do they deserve some of my attention too?
Whatever you think, I’ve started to follow a lot of the cast on Instagram and they’re promoting season 2 right now and I CANNOT WAIT.
It’s a great show. So go watch it if you haven’t already. You can thank me for the recommendation later.