By Jack Callum
Riverdale is a strange show. Sometimes I don’t know why I watch it. It has cringe-inducing dialogue, is full of petty teenage drama and barely ever makes sense. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t get excited about each new episode. It has decent cinematography; the visuals are vibrant, and the original season had a compelling and interesting murder mystery. I’m engaged from start to finish and am always left excited for the next episode.
Then season 2 began, but I’ll get that in a bit.
The murder mystery is what drives the first season at first, with little hints trickling in. However, by around halfway through it’s really driven by the characters. While they do have some truly strange dialogue, (I remember Verónica telling Archie’s Dad that he looked ‘dilfy’) the characters are interesting, and all have intriguing storylines. They all weave together very well and progress together in a satisfying way.
The murder plot develops from a simple murder mystery to a full-blown Riverdale conspiracy, with all the families’ histories slowly being uncovered, ever so slowly getting closer to the big reveal. And the big reveal at the end isn’t stupidly dramatic but grounded and satisfying in its execution. It just works and doesn’t try to pull any cheap gimmicks.
However, in Season 2 they really shocked me. In Season one there was one major story plot. The murder mystery. We’re just beginning the second half of the second season, and so far, we’ve had a serial killer plot, a secret mafia operating through Riverdale and an economic and social crisis between the North and Southside. It’s just too much! The characters are making decisions that simply don’t make sense, and plot lines are being started and dropped by the episode.
Despite this, I’m still hooked! The show makes me laugh, intentionally and unintentionally, I do care about seeing how the story develops and what happens to the characters. It’s almost become a parody of itself, in Season one Archie had to choose between music or sport, and now he’s got to choose between the FBI and the mafia! It’s so outrageous and silly but I love it so much, and I know I’ll be watching every episode.
I know I’m not alone in this, everyone I’ve talked to seems to agree. So surely, they must be doing something right?