That’s how I describe Riverdale to anyone who doesn’t watch the show. My first experience with “the typical American teenager” Archie Andrews was reading the funnies in the newspaper. Now if you were expecting regular high school drama, you don’t know The CW. The main storyline throughout season one surrounds Jason Blossom’s death. At first it’s assumed that Jason drowned in Sweetwater River. Later, we learn that Jason was shot. But why kill the teenage heir to the Blossom Maple Farms?
This post contains spoilers if you haven’t seen the show.
One of the best things about this show is that it reveals Jason’s killer in season one. The who killed Jason storyline could have easily been dragged out for seasons. We know Clifford Blossom killed his own son because Jason was going to tell the family secret: the Blossom fortune wasn’t just from making syrup. Clifford was smuggling drugs in from other countries and used the maple syrup as a cover. Turns out, finding out who killed Jason Blossom wasn’t the biggest twist. Jason and his pregnant girlfriend Polly are third cousins. I was more shocked about that than watching Clifford kill his own son. I live for the Blossom drama. Yes, they are the main antagonist in the show, but I love Cheryl Blossom. Her overly dramatic bedroom and wardrobe are something I dream of. She’s a character you hate one moment and want to pull in for a hug the next.
My favorite friendship on the show is Betty and Veronica’s. From their first encounter, you would think they were going to be enemies. Veronica walks in and immediately takes Archie’s breath away when Betty was planning to reveal her feelings. The next day, Veronica attaches herself to Betty’s hip and Beronica was born. I love their relationship dynamic. Betty is the sugar and Veronica is the spice. I love Veronica because she could have easily gotten with Archie, but as soon as she found out Betty’s feelings, she put the brakes on her interest in the red headed heartthrob. Also, Betty’s character really grows throughout the season because of Veronica. Betty learns to stand up for herself and is more verbal about what she wants.
One relationship that brings everyone together, because everyone is completely and utterly against it, is Archie and Ms. Grundy. I’ve never seen a show fandom unite against a pair of people like this. This is one thing the show could have dealt without. My problem with the Ms. Grundy storyline was how quickly it ended. The adults found out then Ms. Grundy just left town without learning a lesson. The Grundy storyline was irrelevant.
In the past, some shows have down played serious issues. Sadly, Riverdale is now on that list of shows. Cheryl Blossom’s decision to go be with Jason and drown herself in Sweetwater River needs to be addressed. It happened on the final episode, so maybe she’ll get help in season two. The problem is that after it happened, they took Cheryl to Veronica’s apartment to warm up. She needed to go to a hospital. She was in freezing cold water dressed in summer clothes. Then, they left Cheryl alone to go back home in the environment that made her want to commit suicide. Cheryl may be the villain of the show, but she deserves better.
My biggest issue with the show is how little they utilize Josie McCoy. Granted, most of the season was about figuring out who killed Jason and why, but Josie could have had more screen time. Early in the season, Josie gets a pretty good amount. A lot of it involves Archie wanting help with his music. Towards the end of the season, Josie isn’t seen in some episodes or only has a brief moment as if she’s a background character. Josie isn’t in the core four (Betty, Veronica, Archie, and Jughead), but in the promo photos for Riverdale, Josie and Cheryl are shown. Kevin, Betty’s friend and the sheriff’s son, seems to have more screen time and he’s only a reoccurring character. Hopefully, next season we get to see more of Josie in scenes that aren’t music related.
Overall, Riverdale gets an A in my book. No show is perfect, especially on The CW, but Riverdale’s got great characters and relationships. There’s a giant hole in my heart where The Vampire Diaries and eventually Teen Wolf are leaving, and Riverdale just may be the thing to fill it.