• Sophie Stekel

Riverdale: Teen Show Turned to Trash

Last night as I was watching Riverdale, I glared at my screen and wondered why people like this show. It has millions of fans obsessed, some even dressing up as the characters for Halloween. However to me, watching Riverdale is a waste of 45 minutes that I will never get back.


There was so much hype about Riverdale before it first aired in January 2017. After all, the concept is ingenious: taking the beloved characters from the Archie comics (Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica) and bringing them to life. Riverdale was also highly anticipated because it marked Cole Sprouse’s return to TV after his six-year hiatus and breakup with the Disney Channel.


However, Riverdale is far from the squeaky-clean narrative that Sprouse is used to. As the series progresses, Riverdale’s subject matter gets more intense exploring themes like murder, gangs, sexual assault, mental illness, and incarceration.


The worst part about Riverdale is that despite all the aforementioned themes, it does not really have an overarching plot. If someone turns to me to ask me what Riverdale is about, I would struggle to tell them. The show jumps back and forth between storylines and leaves numerous plot holes behind in the process. What ever happened to Chic? Betty’s fake long lost brother may be gone, but he is not forgotten.


Archie may be physically attractive but he is a complete moron who sets an awful example for kids watching at home. As a viewer, it is frustrating to watch Archie make one terrible decision after another like having an affair with his teacher, starting a rebellion, and volunteering to go to prison for a crime he did not commit. Archie's penchant for vengeance against the Black Hood even causes him to trade his guitar in for a handgun. Archie needs to stop being a martyr and grow up before he throws his life away.


KJ Apa and his fellow cast members do not have the best acting chops either. I do not want to completely blame the actors though because they are given some pretty terrible lines to work with. The dialogue makes me visibly cringe at least three times per episode, usually when Veronica bats her eyes and calls Archie pet names like “Archiekins”. Cue eye-roll. Do we think that Camila Mendes groans as she says those lines too? Probably, if she has any taste at all.


I also have a major problem with shows that depict characters as far from their own age. The writers expect us to believe that Archie, Jughead, Veronica and Betty are sixteen years old while they are fully taking on adult roles. Veronica singlehandedly owns Pop’s diner and the speakeasy underneath it. Betty and Jughead are sleuthing around sans Sheriff Minetta in an attempt to solve the town’s crimes. Have they ever heard of doing normal sixteen-year-old things, like homework?


Truthfully, I do not care who the culprit of the latest murder is anymore. The real mystery of Riverdale is how it is still on the air.