Hey, I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone from hatewatching the CW’s Riverdale to making it my guilty pleasure. Confession: I’m a comics nerd purist, so I like everything exactly as I remember it from when I was ten. A bad bias to have, I know. But Archie is supposed to be a loveable cartoon goofball whose biggest problem is which date he’s keeping that night. He’s not supposed to deal in sex, murder, and drugs.
Eh, I can admit when I’m wrong. Riverdale debuted as a weird, teen drama parody of those loveable comics, and there were probably some odd choices in those early episodes which bugged me. I can’t even remember what they are now, because with the half-season break, this show has hit its sweet spot. Two years ago, I wouldn’t have believed Jughead could be the teen leader of a biker gang from the wrong side of the tracks, but Cole Sprouse pulls it off believably. Or that Betty Cooper could be a sweet-exterior girl-next door who has serious bipolar disorder problems, but Lili Reinhart does it. Or that Veronica Lodge could be a latina heiress to her parents’ serious covert criminal activities…well, no, actually, I can see Veronica doing that. But regardless, Camilla Mendes does it.
And Archie? K.J. Apa’s Archie is totally not-innocent, ready to sleep with the latest girl who shows him romance, or ready to kill the man who tried to kill his father…and yet still, at his core, that ridiculous kid in the sports jacket who represents the all-American boy.
Riverdale just wrapped up a half-season long murder mystery which cuts to the heart of what should be a sleepy New England town. (And God bless the showrunners for keeping a single overarching plot to a half-season. Multiseason plotlines are exhausting. Looking at you, Walking Dead.) A group of normal-if-neurotic kids from the comics have been turned into backstabbers, con artists, drug users, and psycho-monsters. Our only complaint might be that we need more Josie (Ashleigh Murray), who when she’s on, is on, but still remains a secondary character on this show.
But anyway, good wrapup for Season 2.1, Riverdale. That final shot of Betty was terrifying, but we look forward to seeing what you do with her this winter.
Rating: Five burgers out of five.