Riverdale Ridiculousness: How CW’s Riverdale turned into a hot mess


Image via The CW

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

The first season of “Riverdale” piqued the interests of all teenagers around the world. This new, dark drama based on the Archie Comic Books is filled with mysteries, investigations, and a whole new aesthetic.The first season wasn’t Emmy Award-winning or anything particularly close to a masterpiece, but it was overall an “okay” start for a TV series. However, as the second season progressed, its development unfortunately did not, leading to “Riverdale” Ridiculousness.

The second season, which premiered on May 26, introduced The Black Hood, a serial killer on the loose who is driven by his anger for “sinners.” He targets people whom he believed to have sinned like Fred Andrews who supposedly had an “affair” with Hermione Lodge. The Black Hood started the season off on a very promising note, fueled by such anger and we can clearly see his passion for ridding the town of sinners. However, this went downhill as the season progressed, his sloppiness and confusing motives surfacing in the show. He started to target sinners like teenagers doing intercourse and drugs which, honestly, compared to the mob lifestyle and actions done by Hiram Lodge, is not that big of a deal. Eventually, it was revealed that The Black Hood was Hal Cooper, Betty’s father, which sadly everyone knew coming. From the green eyes, to the phone calls connecting back to Betty, it was obvious that he was the real identity of the serial killer. The most disappointing thing, however, about this whole situation was his true motive. It was revealed as well that Hal’s father, who is also Betty’s grandfather, was The Riverdale Reaper, the serial killer decades before The Black Hood. Taking inspiration from Betty’s speech at town hall, Hal was able to resume his father’s unfinished business as the town’s serial killer. However, this plot point came and snowballed out of nowhere as Hal never demonstrated any darkness before Season 2 and was predominantly absent for the duration of the season, appearing only as his serial alter ego. This twist could have been improved if some sort of significant conflict was incorporated into his character, perhaps a battle between his darkness and a bit of light he gets from his family. Unfortunately, this approach just snowballed at us viewers and didn’t come close to exceeding our expectations.

The character of Archie Andrews is another developmental fail for the series. In the first season, his conflict lies mostly on his love for both music and football as well as which girl he truly likes – typical high school problems for a guy like him. He helps solve the murder of Jason Blossom, saves the day, and can truly be considered the ultimate protagonist. However, in the second season, his character takes a 360-degree turn… for the worse. After the constant trauma he undergoes from Season 1 to his dad getting shot by The Black Hood, he deals with such by constantly engaging in intercourse with his girlfriend, Veronica, and willingly becoming a pawn for Hiram Lodge. He basically gets himself into violence that would eventually bite him back. It was a disappointing transition from golden boy to “bad boy” that just didn’t go very smoothly. However, things escalated when he eventually realized that he was being played all this time and stupidly threatens Hiram instead of doing something smarter like going to the police or collecting evidence to expose him. This lands him being framed for murder and being arrested. The light to dark theme would have been okay if it weren’t for the disorderly transition to it.

Another character I’d like to point out is Hiram himself because, aside from the Black Hood, he is a major antagonist in the show. When Hiram first arrived, us viewers knew he was the bad guy. Everyone knew that he was going to do questionable things and would be responsible for most of the conflict, and by the end of the second season, he was exactly just that. I would have personally liked to see some development from him, perhaps shed some light onto this dark character and use that light to manipulate others. He is a strong antagonist, no doubt, but he could have had conflicting attitudes in order to incorporate a stronger impact.

Next in this “Riverdale” ridiculousness is Chic, Betty’s apparent long-lost brother who was given up for adoption by their mother when she was a teenager. His introduction to the show was much anticipated as his presence could put a lot on the table. The first season builds up this perception of him, and he is finally placed into the show at season two. At first, he seems extremely creepy and suspicious. We finally get a sense of this “darkness” after Betty asks him for advice on her own darkness, to which he reveals is webcamming strangers. That wasn’t a very ideal character flaw in my opinion, especially since the Cooper family did indeed have an interesting aura of so-called darkness. Eventually, we find out that he wasn’t Betty’s real brother after all. That’s fine, but the reveal of the real Chic was very confusing. Did the imposter Chic kill him? What was their relationship? Were they forbidden lovers? How did they even meet? So many questions swirled around this situation, and it could have been more intriguing to see the real Chic surface and take his place in the show. Sadly, the writers seem to always cut off actual plot points and characters that could improve the storyline.

So these are just some examples on how “Riverdale” has become a ridiculous mess. The writers have been building up the story and adding certain subplots but, ultimately, are unable to deliver it, thus destroying a good possible outcome. They don’t take any responsibility for the development of their characters, making them often emotionally invest in one thing and breaking it. All of this has been extremely rushed and is just providing viewers disappointment each and every time. “Riverdale” should think things through instead of building things up. They should understand that teenagers aren’t only there for Cole Sprouse or the aesthetic it provides. We are also there for the artistry and the creative direction. If you’re doing a TV show, you might as well make it a good one.

So hopefully this third season, which recently premiered on Oct. 10, will be able to bring “Riverdale” back up from six feet under. This season’s themes seem to be focusing on the trial and conviction of Archie Andrews, the construction of Hiram’s southside empire and cults. Yeah, cults. So dear “Riverdale,” stop being ridiculous. Please don’t disappoint us this time around because you really do have a lot of potential to be a great show.