Why Do I Keep Going Back To Riverdale?
Because I’m weird. I’m a weirdo.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for all 4 seasons of Riverdale.
I have a confession to make. I’m terrible at watching objectively “good” television.
Before you write me off as an “I’m not like other girls” girl, let me plead my case. I’m just not a serious screen connoisseur. I enjoy a Netflix session like everyone else, but I’ll often be catching up on the latest craze well after everyone else has already finished. Sometimes my attention span simply doesn’t warrant 10-15 hours of television. Shoot me. But there’s one show that I rarely miss on its weekly release. A show that has been meme-d and ridiculed to the ends of the earth (“I dropped out in fourth grade, to run drugs to support my Nana.”). A show that love-hate doesn’t even touch.
You’ve guessed it- it’s Riverdale. Before you click off, hear me out.
I began watching Riverdale when season one dropped, back in the cool abyss of 2017. I had faint knowledge of its source material (Archie Comics) and full knowledge that Cole Sprouse, a lingering childhood crush that I can’t shake off, starred in it. Good enough for me.
In my unasked-for opinion, season one of Riverdale was a certified Good Season of Television. Not fantastic, but good. Only 13 episodes long (compared to later 19-22 episode stretches), it reintroduced the world to Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica, as well as their families and peers. There was an engaging whodunnit plotline that was so open ended that I couldn’t hazard a guess at the culprit. The relationship between music teacher Ms. Grundy and Archie was just awful, but at least she died off quickly and was never mentioned again. Of course, the secondary plots involved high school bullies and whether Archie would choose music or football as his extracurricular (gasp!) but that’s to be expected in a teen drama. Even when it got silly, season one never took itself too seriously.
The three remaining seasons feel like someone got drunk as hell, was given the names of the four main characters, and was told to continue the show. And continue they did, giving us award-winning plotlines like underage Veronica running a fully-fledged Speakeasy and an organ harvesting cult moving into town, led by Chad Michael Murray (who eventually tries to escape in a rocket ship). Riverdale: The Town With Pep!
That’s just the start of it. What about the season three plotline where Betty leads a convent of drugged, hallucinatory girls to safety by convincing them that she is the Griffin Queen, Queen of the Griffins? Can anyone explain Veronica and the schools cheerleading team, the Vixens, performing Jailhouse Rock on the grounds of a juvie while the inmates whoop and holler? Did I mention the sheer amount of secret half-siblings? I’d like answers here, people!
Upon hearing that season five of Riverdale is coming soon, I immediately got excited. But I find it difficult to answer the simple question of why I’m looking forward to it. In essence, this is a Very Bad Show. Convoluted, confusing, and plain cringeworthy. After some thought, I’ve realized that I need that sometimes. Watching Riverdale take itself so seriously reverses the whole intent, and is actually pretty funny. Although this show is a hellfire, you can bet your last chocolate milkshake (with two straws) that I’ll be tuning in.
So, watch and revel in the ridiculousness of Riverdale. Even if your life is falling apart, at least your boyfriend isn’t faking his death and hiding in an underground bunker to escape his murderous classmates while your school cheerleading team has a mass drug-induced hallway seizure and your dad conducts a killing spree so vicious that he is ultimately murdered himself. Wait, what?
Catch season 5 of Riverdale January 20th on the CW.