Season 1 of ‘Riverdale’ leaves fans in shock and curious for more

By Lauren Jump

A new teen drama mystery, “Riverdale,” has kept teens intrigued to see a group of friends uncover the darkness behind their small town’s perfect image. Season 2 of “Riverdale” currently airs from The CW network every Wednesday at 8pm. The show and its main actors; KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes and Cole Sprouse have been nominated and won several awards at the Saturn Awards and the Teen Choice Awards.

New relationships are formed in the small town of Riverdale as people come together to investigate the murder of a popular high schooler, Jason Blossom. As a group of friends; Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, and Jughead Jones investigate deeper into the murder, they uncover many other secrets hidden within their town. The friends discover who they are as they protect the people they love.

The first couple episodes of “Riverdale” seemed like a fun series, but quickly became dark. When Betty and Veronica plotted revenge against a student for the sake of Betty’s sister, it was torturous. The binge worthy first season of “Riverdale” kept you locked in, but by the season finale almost everything that you could’ve predicted happened. Without any spoilers, fans could easily predict the story behind what happened to Jason Blossom. “Riverdale” twists the reality of life in a small town. Shocking deaths and student to teacher sexual relations are not typical events in a small town. The unrealistic qualities of the show can push many people away from watching.

The characters in Riverdale were based on the “Archie Comics”. The actors physically matched the comic characters, but there were changes to personalities. The kindness of Veronica in the show was not in the comics. There were also different relationships; Betty and Veronica didn’t have a close friendship in the comics as they do in the show. The biggest change was how the town went from innocent kids messing around to creepy and inappropriate topics. The show involves deaths, and gangs, that were not part of the comics.

Development over the characters; Archie, Betty and Veronica were visible by the end of Season one. Archie started off struggling as he tried to balance love interests and his passions, but by the end of Season one, Archie found who, and what he loved. Betty started as a perfectionist looking to please everyone. As she befriended the new girl in town, Veronica, she started to drift away from her innocence and let out her evil side. Veronica went from a rich New Yorker to the new girl. Throughout the whole season she was dedicated to switch up her old spoiled rich kid attitude to be a generous friend. Jughead, the social outcast of the group, didn’t change throughout the first season, except for his developed love for Betty.

Throughout the show, Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead, narrates the show as he writes a novel that will reveal the secrets of his small town. The narration is a great addition to recap each episode. Although, the dialogue within the show did not reach expectations. The conversations between the high school students are too mature. The most out of reality dialogue comes from Veronica, with her corny cliches. Overall, the conversations, especially at first, seemed forced and awkward.

The acting in “Riverdale” was definitely up to scale from the older actors in the show. Although, the younger actors tend to overreact their role from lack of experience. Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica, was weak in emotional scenes. Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse are definitely the strongest actors, which makes their love in the show vibrant.

The cinematography in “Riverdale” was outstanding, by focusing on bold colors and staying with a consistent color scheme. The gloomy lighting in the show was always able to support the mood. At key points in the show, they beautifully captured the moment and never managed to make shots too in your face.

The show is filmed in Vancouver, Canada, with several different sets. The houses are all very different and identifiable to each character. The most iconic set is Pop Tate’s Chocklit Shoppe, where the group always convenes. Pop Tate’s Chocklit Shoppe is a copy of a real diner, making it extremely realistic. Overall, the whole town of Riverdale has a beautiful aesthetic. The show is set in modern time yet has a cute 50’s flare, like diners and old cars. Unfortunately, the pacing in “Riverdale” is very fast; they fit so much content into one episode, and it sometimes seems like entire scenes are missing.

The soundtrack in “Riverdale” always seems to match what is happening and the mood. Although, the songs sometimes start and stop too abruptly. The makeup on the characters is kept to a low which matches the reality of high school students. Although, the characters always seem to be put together in an unbelievable way. The characters always look bright right as they wake up. The costumes given to the main characters are mostly too fancy for teenagers to wear, and are out of touch with current fashion trends. However, every character has a unique sense of style.

“Riverdale” is like other teen series, but with a dark twist. Love triangles and dysfunctional families are not the most creative elements to the series. “Riverdale” seems to be every type of cliche character brought into one show. The acting and dialogue might not be perfect, but is up to scale with many other teen series. Although, the unique filming makes up for the faults. “Riverdale” is an exciting and intriguing series for teenagers to watch if you enjoy mysteries and dark twists.