Riverdale Season 1 – Twin Peaks lite minus Bob

Who needs Twins Peaks when you have Twin Peaks lite?

I’m really glad that they eased up on that Ms Grundy plotline. Let’s get to some thoughts about Riverdale season 1.

Riverdale

The show worked best when it wasn’t focusing on Archie.
Good call to call the show Riverdale and not Archie. Was I the only one who kind of shrugged at Archie’s music career? It can’t all be murders and Southside serpents, but there was very little vested interest on whether Archie would make it to the school talent show. Please give us more Betty and Veronica: sister solidarity.

The parents take centre stage.
In the comic book Archies, the parents were interchangeable with no defining characteristics other than their hair. Betty’s mother could easily have been Archie’s mother with a little hair-dye work.

The parents on the TV show are loud and proud as monsters. They have little to no compunction about scarring their offspring by throwing them into mental hospitals, including them in criminal schemes, or killing them when the whimsy takes them. They’re great to watch, however Riverdale parents are the worst parents.

The Betty, Archie, Veronica love triangle is exhausted and it hasn’t even started yet.
We’ve had 50+ years of Betty vs Veronica and possibly because it was in comic book format, it never really got old. The Betty, Archie, Veronica love-triangle has been less than 10% of this series and it’s already ready to be put to pasture. Now.

Betty and Veronica

I get that it has to pay its homages to Brenda/Dylan/Kelly and the entire history of the comic but its not really working here – everyone is invested in Jughead and Betty – anything contrived to come between them is going to be obvious and irritating. Besides, the showrunners have already established that Archie is kind of a ho so it’s a love triangle that moonlights as a part-time hexagon. So far in the span of a school year, Archie has had a yen for Ms Grundy, Veronica, Valerie, Cheryl and then Betty – not necessarily in that order and sometimes juggling several of them at a time.

The redheads are the worst actors on the show. I have nothing against redheads.
In a show of really wonderful actors (Camilia Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart), the redheads are really dragging the chain on Riverdale. Specifically Cheryl Blossom, who is inconsistently written and saddled with trying to be a sympathetic-mean girl (do you know who can do a sympathetic mean-girl act? Leighton Meester) I might have been more invested in the death of Jason Blossom if I could have been more invested in Cheryl, but nope.

Also KJ Apa – who for some reason got better as his hair lightened and Molly Ringwald (Molly I love you!) who was terrible, seriously terrible. Being completely out-acted by the other parents.

MVP of the show was Cole Sprouse
Without a doubt. His performance turned us all into imitation Miss Grundys, his Jughead was wrenching and vulnerable. A group hug for Jughead.

Where to next for next year?
It’s been renewed for next year. I’d like to place my bets on the birth and kidnapping of the Cooper/Blossom baby and the appearance of Hiram Lodge (Emilio Estevez? Judd Nelson? Thomas Calabro??). Possibly Cheryl will have to disappear because now she has nowhere to live. We could all take a break from Cheryl.

What did you think? Are you coming back to Riverdale next year?

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