‘Riverdale’ lacks imagination


reproduced with permission of Collider

Dorrie Gaeng , Editor-in-Chief

Affairs. Murder. Voluptuously red lipstick. What’s not to love? The small town of Riverdale harbors all these draws in the CW’s new series “Riverdale.”

The first season premiered Jan. 2017 and has developed into the newest high school drama, featuring sex, cheer-leading and the time-old conflict the artistically-inclined jock faces. Music or football? But there is a dark twist, for financial fraud, violence and crime plague the town as well.

Although I admit I was satisfactorily entertained by this drama, this fact might have just been my overworked high school mind succumbing to guilty-pleasure, indulgent TV. Because it seems that an interesting plot and beautiful people might be the only things the show has going for it.

The characters of the show, who were adapted from the 1940’s Archie Comics, are completely predictable and lack any sort of dynamic or multi-dimensional traits.

The star of the show, Archie Andrews, is depicted as the perfect friend, love interest, athlete and musician. He crosses all social lines, friends with nerd and jock, rich and poor, peer and parent. Even when he sleeps with his teacher, he is painted as the noble participant, taking full responsibility and receiving no ramifications. Even when he tries to be rebellious and throws a party, his drunken state is still under control and makes sure to clean everything. He’s too good to be compelling.

And this one-dimensionality applies to most of the other characters. For the females, it is even visually represented. The more evil they’re supposed to be, the darker the lipstick. The more pure and well-intentioned, the higher the neckline. How original.

The so-called villains of the show, Mr. And Mrs. Blossom, aren’t given a single redeeming quality. The cold, icy exterior of their appearance and creepy mansion matches their inward malevolence. Maybe the producers could have thrown us off their tails by making their house somewhat cheerful or making them seem like good parents in any fashion.

This lack of originality lives on for the gang from the “bad side of town” is of course called the “South side serpents.” The south side, really? A snake, really? I think the CW could have attempted some slightly more challenging symbolism. Oh, and did I mention they wear leather jackets?

All of this being said, the murder mystery around the mysterious disappearance of Jason Blossom did keep me invested enough to watch an entire 13 episode season of this drama.