Intense, dramatic, fast-paced—while this may describe many shows, above all else, it perfectly describes the hit CW show, “Riverdale.” If you’ve seen the first season, be prepared for some of the same levels of action-packed twists and turns, amped up to an even higher level.
Based off of the “Archie” comics, the show stars K.J. Apa as protagonist Archie Andrews, alongside many of the other familiar faces from the comic series. Lili Reinhart is the “girl-next-door,” Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes portrays new girl and former queen bee, Veronica Lodge and Cole Sprouse is the rebel outcast, Jughead Jones.
While the character archetypes remain the same from comic to TV screen, there is a definite disparity in tone. The show has its light-hearted moments, but it is anything but a comedy.
(Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen the first season!)
The season premiere of season two starts off with a bang, literally. Coming fresh off of the gunshot that left Archie’s father, Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) in dire danger at the conclusion of season one, the new, central mystery of the second season seems to be: who shot Fred Andrews?
This catalyst is similar to the first season’s overarching mystery, as the audience was kept on edge every episode until the season finale to figure out who killed Jason Blossom.
The season two premiere consists of the characters’ race to find answers, as Archie examines suspects at the police station, while Veronica outwardly accuses her own mother of doing the heinous deed. Fred even has flashbacks as he lays unconscious, spanning the border between life and death.
While “Riverdale” is clearly a “CW show,” marked by characters’ exaggerated reactions to the endless stream of life-or-death problems that seem to plague them, it still manages to be an intriguing show that sets itself apart from the usually soap opera-like melodrama of many other CW shows.
Some of this, most likely, is due to characters themselves. Each one is complex, endearing and sincere in their attempts to navigate the crazy world around them. Despite some of the insane situations that they find themselves in, they really aren’t that hard to relate to, either.
Each one seems to be in contradiction with their surface-level self. Betty, seemingly prim-and-proper and cheerful, has a distinctly dark side to her that comes out in certain situations. Veronica’s a former mean girl trying to change her ways and be a better person. Archie is the stereotypical jock with a hidden love for music.
Additionally, the overall aesthetics and uniqueness of the town, Riverdale, render it both a charming, yet mysterious place.
Why does the hospital staff dress in uniforms that appear straight out of the 1920s? Why do the school hallways always seem to be hazed in a foggy backdrop? Why do the characters seem to take their style to heart, dressing in the same types of clothes and signature outfits from episode-to-episode?
Because it’s Riverdale, and it works!
Without giving too much away from the season two premiere, it’s safe to say that the show will continue its tradition of being a mystery-drama, yet with even more sinister elements revealing themselves in the town of Riverdale, it’s going to be an extreme rollercoaster ride through the current season.