I thought I’d change things up by putting in a review (also my goal of writing more blog entries has already failed as I haven’t posted for over a month so you know). I thought I would review the TV show on Netflix (CW channel if you’re American) because I have a lot of thoughts and opinions about it, this will spoil the first two episodes but I have a tl;dr at the bottom if you just want to read something quick. I don’t know if I’ll do any more reviews, but hey who knows what’ll happen!
Okay first off, can CW stop making out that the relationship between Archie and Ms Grundy is so ‘sexy’ and ‘romantic’ it’s statutory rape between a sophomore (Google tells me this is the 10th year level which is between 15 and 16 years old) and a teacher in their late 20s – early 30s. In the comics this is what Ms Grundy looks like. Now I’m not going to proclaim myself as an Archie fan, I never got into the comics because they weren’t as marketed here in Austalia as they are in America (though I did watch the 2001 classic Josie and The Pussycats movie that introduced me to the amazing Alan Cummings).
I get that this is what the CW does, but there’s two articles about this that I like, one from Polygon and another from Refinery29 that both talk about the student/teacher trope that often happens *cough*PrettyLittleLiars*cough* and it more furthers my opinions on the whole thing. This plot (and it seems to be a major one) is a slap in the face of teenagers who were abused by their teachers whether it’s consented or not, the teenager is still under the age of 18. I’m all for modernising things but at what cost? With this change it’s almost like an insult to the original comics, for CW to do something “edgy” just feels… off.
Another thing that I hope they get rid of is the queer baiting. In the first episode, Veronica and Betty are shown as friendly together and even becoming friends and they sign up for cheerleading, as they do their routine there is no finale with Veronica kissing Betty, but the cheerleading captain Cheryl Blossom (who’s brother dies in the introduction of the show) states that the whole ‘faux-lesbian thing is over and done with’ which was I guess a nice thing. But it still irks me in the sense that they’re trying to pull this thing off, I just want some bisexual/pansexual people in this show, and if it’s Betty and Veronica, by God do I want it to be them.
This whole thing isn’t negative, I enjoyed the first episode, I enjoyed that they have Kevin in it (though the only negative I can have is that not every gay dude is like that, sure there are some like that, but at the same time, come on CW). I enjoy the friendship between Betty and Veronica and it’s not some Betty and Veronica cat fight like people would make it out to be, I don’t like Archie but throughout episode 2 he grows on me. I also love the whole mystery like Pretty Little Liars, all though I stopped watching that show early on, it still feels very Pretty Little Liars even Twin Peaks to a point. But I decided to continue watching Riverdale because why not. Also, I’m enjoying the CW/Netflix deal they have, and I hope that Netflix can continue this with a lot of American TV networks.
Overall: 3/5 stars
At the moment, Riverdale has 2 episodes and they’re coming out weekly on Netflix which defeats the purpose of the whole purpose of Netflix’s ‘binge’ marketing campaign but nonetheless it helps me come back every week compared to watching something online (which is where I fall flat with a lot of American TV shows, like How to Get Away With Murder). The second episode continues a lot with what the first episode had to offer.
In the last episode Veronica kisses Archie which I was waiting for, I knew it would happen but in this I like the whole “fuck bois, girls r da best” Veronica and Betty have got going on as Veronica makes up for what she did and explains that that was what New York Veronica was like, not Riverdale Veronica. It also inputs the whole “Betty and Veronica are endgame” scenario I have in my head. Also in the last episode you find out that Jason Blossom (Cheryl’s brother who died in the first episode) may have been murdered rather then drowned like Cheryl says, the thing that I find odd is that they never take Cheryl into custody to talk to her because she was technically the last person who saw him alive, and also there’s a weird incest vibe between the two, maybe I’m looking into things where I shouldn’t be but…
I love Jughead, I hope that they stick with Jughead being asexual in the show like how it’s canon in the comics, but with the lack of knowledge on asexuality as there is with homosexuality and bisexuality I’m not too sure if CW can promise that. The whole ‘emo jughead‘ is a bit weird, like he’s not a loner type in the comics, at least what I think (though tbh, this show is making me want to read the comics, hopefully, I can find them at my local library or something like that). It’s cute.
In this episode, Archie warms up to me a bit more when he tells Ms Grundy that he needs to tell the sheriff what he heard, as in the previous episode the day that Jason dies is July 4th and Grundy and Archie were doing some lovemaking (as CW wants you to believe, I’m still angry about this whole plot ok), with Grundy saying she’ll lose her job and stuff. But Archie still wants to go ahead with it after he speaks to his dad on what he should do (sans the whole sex with your teacher statutory rape stuff) and Archie wants to do what’s right (kinda like Steve Rogers, that’s why he’s warming up to me).
Betty and Veronica make the cheerleading squad but as Veronica tries to be Betty’s friend she doesn’t take it and asks Cheryl to hang out. In the end, Cheryl blames Betty’s sister (who’s in a mental illness home I believe is what they’re making it out to be, or some sort of home) Polly for her brother’s death and Betty stands up for her sister and herself and kicks Cheryl out, though in a future scene Betty’s mum blames everyone and basically tells Betty she’s an idiot (she’s another character I roll my eyes at, to be honest), and at the Pep Rally, Cheryl sees her brother on the football field in place of Archie and she runs off, Veronica comforts her which is nice and Cheryl admits that he was supposed to come back, and in some way you’re like “oh like as in, come back to life or something, ok” but Veronica makes a face which makes you think “maybe not???” honestly wasn’t a fan of that because it just feeds the audience the suspicion instead of making it on their own.
I liked the friendship tone of this show, it’s honestly something that I feel like people need, as much as you have fights and stuff and you enjoy that in TV, it becomes a God sent when people are just nice to each other, yes everyone can’t be nice to everyone (I mean Cheryl is exactly that) but it just feels good, with Betty, Veronica, Jughead and Archie all sitting down and talking, but the next day at school as Archie goes to admit to the sheriff what happened, the principal and sheriff leave the principle office to arrest Cheryl as due to Jason’s autopsy, he was murdered a week after the Fourth of July, so they’re finally bringing in Cheryl for talking!
Overall: 4/5 stars
TL;DR Riverdale has a great cast and a great plot, with a mystery that immitates Pretty Little Liars and Twin Peaks, I do feel like the queer baiting was put on and the relationship between Grundy and Archie shouldn’t be called a ‘forbidden romance’ as CW and the cast like to propose. But overall, the show is decent enough for fans of Pretty Little Liars and that sort of crowd, so give it a watch if you can. The third episode comes out tomorrow so I’m definitely going to continue watching, I mean two wrongs don’t make a right… right?