Review of Riverdale

Wednesdays, 8:00 PM ET on The CW

60 minutes

A subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life - the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale's wholesome facade.
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by Tech2002
Jan 28, 2017 12:01PM EST

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The interesting setting and built in audience from the comic may be the only thing that saves this show from it's many flaws. While the actresses who play Betty and Veronica put out great performances, their scenes are often an oasis in the cliched plot points and god awful dialog from the rest of the cardboard cut-out cast.

The cheese in the dialog is heavy and reminded me of the worst parts of CW shows like "Supernatural" and the modern DC series. You likely won't get much reaction from the emotional scenes unless you tear up reading fortune cookies and hallmark cards.

They make a half-hearted attempt to discuss some social issues. From Betty's Gay friend, Cheerleader saying its "so 1994" to be bisexual for attention, Archie getting molested by a teacher etc. but it all falls pretty flat and seems contrived. For instance, the gay best friend, like usual, is reduced to little more than a gay stereotype for Betty to bounce lines off of. "OMG isn't Archie the hottest! He has a 6 pack, omg its so FAB. Did I mention I'm gay? I'm not sure if i was clear enough, maybe I should mention it a couple of more times" It was a pretty big step back in my opinion. I usually applaud shows for even making an attempt but this is really just a big step backward. For god sake put a little effort into it, and try to write something original. Not all gay culture is defined by being sassy and talking to women about "boys".

This might play well with the CW crowd, or easily influenced teens who want to jump on the "2edgy4U" bandwagon but I don't think it has the legs to carry it much past a first season without some serious recasting and a new writing team.


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Apr 28, 2017 6:46AM EDT

Thank you for this, it's a refreshing reality check but then again SHHHHHHHHHHHH The protective inner fangirl within me has arisen. Haven't seen the whole show yet (up to ep. 10 and I dunno when new stuff comes out) but I'm a little bit in love with this show. Yes, it's kind of cliche even though it pokes fun at cliches and yeah the plot and commentary on society is a bit off the mark sometimes but it's in this nice grey area of being a show that's not amazing and gold - the caviar of netflix, but also not complete trash of reality TV such as the kardashians or dance moms etc. Basically it's a pleasant little safe place to laugh at bad jokes and distract yourself from the fact that it's 3 in the morning which means 2 hours of sleep and you'll be a monster the next couple days..

Oh yeah and HOW COULD YOU TRASH TALK SPN, MY PRECIOUS BABY!! Again, you're right it's kinda trashy and full of cringe but I'm a teen who's fallen into the whole thinking with the heart and not the brain rabbit hole (also thinking with other non-brain parts but hey it happens to the best of us).
So sorry for being an easily influenced teen and thanks for the reality check. In particular your points about how lousy their attempts at gay representation are stood out to me- by letting it just wash over I'm contributing to the problem... Maybe (just let me be naive for a second here) the people making the show are hoping for the reverse psychology affect with them poking fun at the crap show that's all around us by buying into it? Ok I have no idea what I'm saying now. Hey if anything at least Joaquin isn't 100% gay stereotype...

Completely off topic but you should see Cole Sprouse's twitter it's great. Oh yeah and of course Jughead's freaking awesome.

Also off topic but KJ Apa is a kiwi so I might be slightly biased into sticking with the show because of that farfetched connection too...

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