Riverdale: It Surprised Me, But I Still Hate It


Image Courtesy of Netflix and the CW

Koby Haldorson, staff writer

Riverdale is a television show that premiered in 2017. Roughly a week ago, I decided that I would watch the first season of the show so that I could definitively decide that it was bad. Going in, I was certain the show would be embarrassingly bad and cringe-worthy, but after finishing the first season, I was… somewhat surprised.


When I started watching Riverdale, I obviously went in expecting a terrible product, poor writing, bad acting, a messy plot, the works. As I made my way through the pilot episode, I was laughing at awkward acting, the strange writing, anything at all, but the longer I watched, I realized there was actually a small shred of value in an otherwise pointless show.


The most notable example of this “shred of value” is the plot. At the season’s beginning, the plot is mostly cliched, full of characters fitting into every established stereotype imaginable. While it may not be the most original plot for a series ever, in fact, far from it. But surprisingly, the story that unfolded throughout season one intrigued me and was gripping enough to propel me to the end of the season.


I won’t spoil much of the main story, in case you do want to watch it for yourself, but the gist of it is that the son of the wealthiest, most stereotypically evil family in town, the Blossoms, drowns in a river. His sister, Cheryl, was with him that day, as she was helping Jason get away from their family. However, many things unfold after that which drive the plot forward.


The show’s main cast is Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Jughead Jones, Cheryl Blossom and countless other characters. A large portion of the show is centered around Archie, and as an opener for the show, that works well, but plot points centered around only one character fall to the wayside in favor of a plot that involves everyone.


This is a good decision, as no characters can really stand on their own, other than maybe Betty. The plot does genuinely hook you after the first episode, which is one of the few good things that can be said about Riverdale. The subplots of the show, however are strange and stupid, but are also hilarious to witness, given how awkwardly they are written and acted.

Riverdale isn’t exactly what I would call quality, top-tier programming. It’s not the best TV series available by a long shot, nor does it ever come close. But if you enjoy mindless television, with laughable acting and an actually gripping main plot, than you might just find something of value in the awkward piece of content that is Riverdale.