The Ubiquity

Riverdale Is Overrated

By Mariah Hernandez, Staff Writer

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*This post contains spoilers for Riverdale. You have been warned.”

The new teenage drama show of 2017, Riverdale, has earned much praise and attention from its target audience. Adapted from the popular comics series, the TV show follows the lives of Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Jughead Jones, Cheryl Blossom, and all of the fellow residents of their small town, Riverdale.

The first season follows the teens as they attempt to find out the truth behind the mysterious circumstances of the death of Cheryl Blossom’s twin, Jason. Somehow, they manage to do more work than the sheriff and conclude that it was Jason’s father who had him murdered because Jason didn’t want to take over their family maple-syrup company. Instead, he longed to escape the town with his pregnant girlfriend (who turns out to be his cousin). At the end of season one, Archie’s father is shot by a masked man. This leads into the main conflict of season two, where the cast is struggling to find out the identity of the self proclaimed “Blackhood” before he kills more people.

Because of this insane plot featuring relatable teen characters, people on the Quartz Hill High School campus are constantly gossiping about their favorite couples and speculating as to who is the masked killer. Despite its popularity, though, I believe that this show is ridiculously overrated and is given more credit than it deserves.

I’ll admit it: I actually do watch the show and consider myself a fan. I don’t want to be one of those pretentious people, but I started the series when it began its run on television from season one before the show got put on Netflix and everyone started glorifying it. There is no doubt that Riverdale is entertaining; however, the entertainment is really more of a guilty pleasure in the way that it is horribly-produced and written. But, the somewhat intriguing story appeals to our curiosity just enough to continue tuning in every week.

Another huge problem I have with this show is how mature and good-looking the characters are, yet they are supposedly sophomores. Let’s be real: when have you ever seen a sophomore boy as chiseled as KJ Apa (Archie) or a sophomore girl as flawless as Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl)? Yet, this practice of casting gorgeous 20-year-olds to play 15-year-olds, awkward looking teenagers is extremely common in Hollywood and sets unrealistic standards for us all. However, seeing those beautiful people on screen helps the creators of the show to feed into our hormonal teenage fantasies about having a passionate romance with someone as hot as they are.

That being said, I feel like the writers just throw together couples out of convenience regardless of whether or not they are a compatible match. “Bughead” (AKA, Betty and Jughead) is shipped hard by fans, though they are in a constant state of feeling uncomfortable with one another. Betty is always worrying about Jughead’s life as a Serpent (a gang member). Meanwhile, Jughead is constantly hiding that part of his life and living with the guilt he feels from trying to form alliances to survive on the Southside because it makes Betty uncomfortable. Though opposites attract, being too opposite is not healthy for a relationship. Might I also add that it seems as though Jughead is Betty’s rebound boyfriend after Archie friend-zoned her.

One of the most bothersome aspects about the content itself is the clichés of the dialogue. I sometimes find myself saying the exact same line as the character is saying it, even though I have never even watched the episode. Unfortunately, this is due to the overplayed phrases that make up the entirety of the script and not my fortune telling abilities. Oftentimes, it’s super awkward and uncomfortable to even watch because of how cringe-worthy it is, such as Jughead Jones’s line (that has been ridiculed on Twitter lately), “I’m weird. I’m a weirdo.”

However, Jughead is not the absolute worst character in the show; that would be Archie Andrews. Nothing frustrates me more than watching him act like a child who doesn’t have the ability to think rationally about situations, disregarding the consequences and only acting upon his emotions. One scene that displays this perfectly is when Archie buys a gun, goes to the gang-infested Southside of town at night, and spraypaints the logo of the Red Circle, his neighborhood watch composed of teenage jocks who definitely know how to stop the notorious Black Hood serial killer (AKA, a knockoff of the infamous Zodiac Killer). Literally everything about that situation is absolutely idiotic.

Though Archie is undoubtedly the worst, the other characters are not much better and are what would be considered “stock” characters that show up in many shows. There is always that “weird,” dark, mysterious, troubled kid who is actually pretty attractive like Jughead. Bad-girl-gone-good types recur in many drama shows like Veronica Lodge, who works to move on from her sinful and reckless past. Of course, what kind of show would this be without the girl-next-door, Betty Cooper, who has the perfect grades, face, and heart?

Also, there are many weird, random subplots that really go nowhere and don’t add to the progression of the main plot. Obviously, they are going to be present to add some interest, but they are extremely excessive and seem to take up almost the entire 40 minutes of the show. It would be more effective to write in subplots that continue to the next episodes rather than dig shallow plot holes that go nowhere.

There are simply too many flaws in Riverdale that make me reluctant to admit that it is a great show. If you are someone that thinks Riverdale is the best show to ever exist, I would like to extend my sincerest apologies that you have been deprived of quality television and have no real standards.

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Riverdale Is Overrated