Audrey Ortiz, Staff Writer
September 22, 2017
The new Netflix hit everyone is raving about.
Riverdale, loosely based on the Archie comics, is a high school teen drama consisting of five high school students being caught up in a murder investigation.
The show jam packs scandals, thievery and gossip all into a dense forty minutes. Yet, this show keeps viewers on their toes and looking forward for what’s coming up around the corner.
For a little background information, Riverdale students are balancing school and the fact that there is a murderer in their town. New friendships are formed between the friends, but their parents, who have lived in Riverdale all their lives, keep long-standing bitterness since high school.
Archie, Betty, Jughead, Veronica, Cheryl and Kevin are coming together to solve the murder of who killed Jason Bloom.
The characters are relatable for everyone, in every aspect and stereotype. The pretty girl, the mean girl, the new girl, the hot jock/musician and the weirdo—all are connected by their parents’ past, Jason’s murder, and how it affects the plot each episode.
On the surface, Riverdale has all of the components of a sappy coming-of-age sitcom, desperately hoping its viewers will be affected by the innocence and nostalgia created and maintained by this small town. After binge watching only a few episodes, viewers will see it is only an illusion and the innocence and nostalgia is a disguise. There are characters to love, others to hate, some to trust and others to fear.
Each episode begins “Our story is about a town, a small town, and the people who live in the town. From a distance, it presents itself like so many other small towns all over the world: safe, decent, innocent. Get closer though, and you start seeing the shadows underneath…” What could possibly be more engrossing and gripping but a town embedded with secrets and a group of teens to disentangle the mystery?
The show’s creator has said Riverdale is “Archie meets Twin Peaks” (slate.com). The plot of the story is clearly to solve a murder, but unbeknownst to them, the teenage investigators in this crime end up being factors in a continuing story. Events are surprising, and reality is stranger than fiction.
Season One left red-head Archie Andrews finishing the summer working construction with his dad, when a violent crime and an infamous murder cliffhanger cliche ensues. Betty Cooper, the girl-next-door, is now dating Jughead; all the while Kevin Keller, Betty’s gay best friend, is the Sheriff’s son and viewers quickly discern his indirect link with the murder plot.
The show’s writing is clearly the show’s genius. Riverdale is told in a fragmented story plot, where characters’ reflective memories are shared to propose and piece together what possibly happened or what did happen. Similar to other nonlinear story writing: flashbacks, flash forwards, and foreshadowing elements really enhance this drama and make average viewers turn to quick show addicts. Such expert script writing exists in few other popular shows such as How I Met Your Mother and American Horror Story. Riverdale certainly contains the elements to make it just as big.
Everyone in this town is to be treated with suspicion. The only people that would have to be
trustworthy are Jughead Jones, Fred Andrews, Kevin Keller, and Betty Cooper. They are all credible, despite being teenagers, due to the fact that they see both sides
of the story. All throughout the show, these characters have displayed that they were the correct people to follow for even better clues that the show lays throughout the show.
The single most important element in Riverdale is not a character, but a place: Pop’s. Pop’s is the point of recognition in the story. It is the symbol of consensus and solidarity for this group of friends. It is a place of enlightenment and insight in this small town where adults cannot be trusted. It is the personification, in a way, of recognition, theory and awareness.
Archie, Betty and the crew meet there every episode to piece the story together, talk about their intell, leads, and assumptions as to who may know more about this murder. Jughead, the narrator, journals his thoughts about the murder on his laptop.
This story grabs viewers by the heart strings. It makes viewers hope for the romance and brings viewers along for the ride that is Riverdale. The tone of the show is mysterious, especially with it having Jughead be the narrator for every episode. The way that Jughead displays the setting truly projects an image the entire season and show itself would be achieving. The setting of a small town truly shines light on what can happen within those small towns.
Season Two is set to begin on October 11. What will be revealed this season is what every anxious viewer is hoping to find out.