Tag Archives: riverdale

TV Review: Riverdale S1E10 Chapter Ten: The Lost Weekend

riverdaleArchie hides his true feelings about his parents’ divorce; Betty decides to throw Jughead a surprise birthday party; Veronica contemplates whether to participate in the deposition to help get her Dad released.

Riverdale brings the tension to a boil in a party that goes off the rails. It’s Jughead’s birthday and a party is thrown against his wishes and that eventually leads to confrontations as lots is brought out into the open as Chuck and Cheryl hijack it with a game of truth (without the dare).

But through all of that, the episode really focuses on Jughead and Betty and how not different they really are. The episode really comes to a head in a scene after the party between Jughead and Betty. The details here is what makes the series so solid. Jughead’s hat is off, which he specifically references earlier about never taking it off, and we see how Betty isn’t so perfect herself (you know beyond almost killing Chuck).

The series has built in how imperfect the parents of Riverdale are, but this episode really focuses on how imperfect the kids are too. Jughead. Betty. Archie. Veronica. Even Kevin and Ethel in a way. It all has slowly built in the series and here’s where we get to see the kids flaws on full display.

What’s also interesting is as all the kids’ flaws come out FP becomes a father in some ways giving Jughead some good advice and being the adult. It’s an interesting twist for the character and something we haven’t seen in full display but it’s been building to happen at some point.

And finally through all of the partying and flaws revealed, the episode is about relationships. Jughead and Betty, Veronica and Archie, Veronica and her parents, Jughead and his. Archie’s parents, Archie and Jughead, and Veronica and a budding friendship with Veronica. There’s heart on display here and situations that teenagers experienced in some ways.

The episode again shows that through all of the drama and soap opera elements, Riverdale delivers a series with a shocking amount of depth. It also makes its case as being one of the best comic adaptations on television.

Overall Rating: 9.55

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TV Review: Riverdale S1E9 Chapter Nine: La Grande Illusion

riverdaleArchie gets an offer from the Blossoms, which could help his future; Veronica befriends a classmate who was hurt by her father’s illegal actions; Hermione is conflicted about telling Fred the truth; Alice seeks revenge on the Blossoms.

Riverdale shows off that the parents of Riverdale are the ones who are completely out of their minds in an episode that feels like it shifts the focus of the show a bit from Archie, Veronica, Jughead, and Betty, to their parents. And while you might expect teenage drama, the show has more than enough drama from the parents alone.

There’s two main stories for the episode with a third thread. One is Archie getting closer with Cheryl, the next being Veronica getting closer with Ethel, and Fred dealing with Hermione and the attacks on the project he’s working on.

Most of it has an air about it that feels like it’d be perfectly in place in the movie Cruel Intentions which this show more and more feels like it’s riffing from when it comes to the creepiness of family.

And that creep is turned up to 11 as the episode revolves around the ginger Blossom family. I mention the ginger part as red is a striking color used in various shades throughout their scenes. That red is often contrasted against a winter white as snow falls around them creating an almost Red Riding Hood motif to it all. The main story is who will take over the Blossom clan with Cheryl looking to be the heir, but she’s not exactly liked. Enter Archie, who is used by her parents in hopes of making her look stable. There’s also Polly and Archie wanting to see how she’s doing for Betty. It’s an interesting plot and shows we have yet to see an adult in Riverdale that’s sane and has their act together.

Then there’s Veronica and Ethel. Veronica wants to do some good, but she also realizes that her father has screwed over Ethel’s family. It’s an interesting twist to Veronica, and character in comics that isn’t exactly the most altruistic. It adds some depth to her here but as a viewer, I knew it wasn’t going to go well. I winced at every instance.

All of this ties into the ongoing storylines for the series and it’s one of the greatest strengths of the series in that it’s able to focus on different things like the Blossom clan but still tie it into the greater storyline. And, when doing so it seems to strengthen the characters adding depth every chance it can.

Again, Riverdale is able to give us solid stories that drive the ongoing plotline while focused on other aspects and add layers to the world, characters, and more. It’s impressive storytelling and super entertaining. Riverdale continues to be some of the most entertaining television on today.

Overall Rating: 9.45

TV Review: Riverdale S1E8: Chapter Eight: The Outsiders

riverdaleWhen Fred loses his crew just as they’re about to start construction, Archie and his friends try to help, making them targets for an attack; Jughead worries how his friends will react when his secret comes out.

Riverdale is interesting for this week’s episode as it goes a different route than focusing completely on the murder mystery. Instead of that plot we get a few different ones including the construction project of Fred Andrews and the Coopers’ family relationship.

Fred’s construction story runs into an issue in that someone decides to rough up the site in hopes he’d stop. It’s pretty clear as to who’s behind it all to viewers but Archie is convinced it’s the Serpents behind it which leads him to go to a bar they hang out at in hopes of trying to find the people behind the attack. It’s a decent plot in that it feels appropriate and something Archie would do, but primarily it’s a way for Archie to find out about Jughead’s father and get the fact he’s in the gang out into the open. That leads to all sorts of clashes and also opens up Betty and Jughead to talk to his dad about the death of Jason. That deepens the overall mystery, but is interesting too in that there’s the familial aspect of it all.

This plot highlights a strength of the show in that it’s able to drive the murder mystery narrative while also expanding other plots and stories too. Things tie together but not in a way that feels forced. Through all of the above it’s rather organic and flows really nicely.

Then there’s the Blossoms and Coopers and the pregnancy which leads to a baby shower. That too is a driver to set up a conflict and revelations on the Cooper end of things with Betty and Polly’s parents having a confrontation with some interesting twists and turns. It brings out some interesting history that puts things in perspective and sets up conflict there. It also allows their mother, Alice Cooper, to really vent and show off her acting chops. She’s played a rather constricted Stepford wife for the show, but to see her blow up against Hal is a new aspect and feels like it’s going to allow her to stretch as a character. As an actress she’s amazing in this episode and this absolutely expands her character on the series adding aspects that I wasn’t expecting and cracking the perfect exterior.

Again, Riverdale is able to give us two really solid stories that drive the ongoing plotline while focused on other aspects and add layers to the world, characters, and more. It’s impressive storytelling and super entertaining. Riverdale continues to be some of the most entertaining television on today.

Overall Rating: 9.65

TV Review: Riverdale S1E7 Chapter Seven: In a Lonely Place

riverdaleNew rumors circulate as to who was really behind Jason’s murder after a major piece of evidence is mysteriously destroyed; Jughead’s father returns to the fray; Veronica takes matters into her own hands after her fight with Hermione.

Riverdale has a bit of a theme tonight of messed up parents exploring both Jughead, Cheryl, and Veronica’s in different ways.

When it comes to Veronica, which is the simpleist of plots, the episode picks up from the previous episode where Hermione forged her signature to award Fred a contract. Veronica threatens her mother, her mother cuts off her credit card. It’s all rather interesting and playing out a family where things are spiraling out of control.

Then there’s Cheryl’s parents. Polly is on the loose and Cheryl’s parents know she’s pregnant letting that information get out. They then offer support and money if Polly comes out of hiding and they’ll help care for the child. They also set the ground of a custody battle down the road. There’s something really creepy about it all, especially as Polly’s choice on what to do with the child seems to be taken away from her. It emphasizes the crazy on that side of things which matches the Cooper’s crazy. Seriously, shrinks must be cashing in when it comes to work in this town.

Finally, there’s Jughead and his father who attempts to go straight and agrees to work with Fred again. We get a lot of history about Jughead’s family and his father’s history and it fleshes out the two characters adding lots of depth. I’m not quite sure where all of that’s going, but clearly there’s a clash coming in some way.

Multiple families each dealing with issues when it comes to parenting in different ways and each showing their skeletons in different ways. The episode does a lot adding depth to the characters through their actions and in some cases fleshing out the characters more in this one episode than has occurred for the entire season so far.

And that’s what’s impressed me with Riverdale. The show continues to add depth to characters and shake things up in a way with a focused episode exploring a specific aspect of the town and its characters. Another solid episode that makes the case that this is the best comic adaptation on television.

Overall Rating: 9.45

Riverdale Gets Renewed for Season 2 at The CW

Order another round of burgers at Pop’s because Archie and the gang are back for a second season of Riverdale on The CW! Archie Comics made the announcement today.

The live-action Riverdale series offers a bold, compelling take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring small-town life and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade. The show will focus on the eternal love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper, and rich socialite Veronica Lodge, and will include the entire cast of characters from the comic books—including Archie’s rival, Reggie Mantle, and his best friend, Jughead Jones.

The series looked like it was likely to be renewed averaging about 1 million viewers and about 0.40 in the coveted 18.49 demographic.

TV Review: Riverdale S1E6 Chapter Six: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!

riverdaleValerie and Josie have a major fallout; Betty and Jughead’s probe into Jason’s death bring them to a home for troubled youth; an unexpected betrayal sends Veronica spiraling; Josie’s overbearing father appears; Hermione and Fred grow closer.

Riverdale gets deep into the mystery of Jason’s death and Polly’s incarceration in an episode full of reveals and twists and turns.

Betty and Jughead continue their best Scooby impersonation first sleuthing to figure out where Betty’s sister Polly was and then following up on a clue mentioned by Polly. Polly’s in an institution and it turns out Betty’s parents have been leaving some information on the table. It’s interesting stuff and not too shocking when revealed, but it emphasizes have dysfunctional the Cooper family really is. The two also stumble upon something else which hints Polly and Jason were into some deeper shit than anyone knew or is willing to admit, leaving more hints as to why he was really killed. It’s a lot of clues and hints packed into an hour and fantastic to see the show dive deeper into the mystery presented.

But, it wouldn’t be a CW show without lots of drama and this episode still has time for that. First, it’s talent show time! Archie wants to perform, but has some stage freight issues when it comes to that. The Pussycats are also performing at the show and things aren’t going so great with them with some artistic arguing within the ranks. That leads to a member quitting, a new member joining, all sorts of drama. There’s also Archie’s dad trying to get a contract and Veronica’s mom being able to make that happen with some duplicity.

All of that adds a bit of fun to what would be weird mystery. The revelations of what’s discovered and how that ends mixed with the talent show drama create a weird balance of a show that works and works really well.

And that’s what’s impressed me with Riverdale. The show is able to balance such different genres and still seem like a coherent vision. Part teen drama. Part murder mystery. This is a key episode that shows Riverdale is able to pull that off and then some.

Overall Rating: 9.35

TV Review: Riverdale S1E5 Chater Five: Heart of Darkness

riverdaleThe Blossom family’s preparations for Jason’s funeral include a secret agenda; an opportunity to work with a music mentor derails Archie’s attempt to refocus on football; Veronica befriends Cheryl; Hermoine seeks Fred’s help.

Riverdale goes deep into the rabbit hole as the mystery over who killed Jason is the bulk of the episode and things get into some weird gothic horror territory through it all.

The funeral for Jason is still to happen with a goal of possibly finding out who murdered him, but Cheryl also brings herself into the center of it all with a display that’s not unexpected. The show keeps hinting at something more than brother and sister between the two, but I’m still not sure the show is willing to go there. But, there’s revelations that the connection between the Coopers and the Blossoms is deeper and more complicated than originally thought.

And that focus on this episode really is interesting because the investigation driven by Betty and Jughead feels like Veronica Mars or the Hardy Boys, or Nancy Drew, as opposed to Archie. But, even with that genre mash-up, the series has a heavy dose of teenage drama. That is what the show is at its heart, a soap opera featuring Archie Comics’ teens.

Archie must decide where his heart is, with football or music? And what’s up with Archie’s father and Veronica’s mother? There’s a battle for football captain, just a nice smattering of soap opera schmaltz.

The episode veers more towards the mystery of it all with an aesthetic at times that feels like a horror film, but even with that, it doesn’t lose focus or heart as to what it is at its core. Riverdale has done an excellent job of mixing a murder mystery with teenage drama and it all works in a guilty entertainment sort of way. Defying my expectations Riverdale has become my favorite comic adaptation currently on tv.

Overall Rating: 9.05

TV Review: Riverdale S1E4 Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show

riverdaleJughead fights to keep the local drive-in open after hearing an anonymous buyers’ plans to tear it down; Betty finds startling information about Miss Grundy’s past; Veronica confronts her mother; Alice finds an opportunity to destroy Archie’s image.

Riverdale answers so many questions in this episode full of so many plotlines it’s impressive. And the impressive part is that even with so much going on everything feels like it has more than enough time devoted to it.

As I said, there’s a lot packed into the episode and all of it’s quality. The revelation that Miss Grundy has a secret past is not only explored, but answered, and the situation between her and Archie goes through a hell of a lot. There’s also a secret with Veronica’s mother that’s explored and answered in one episode. Things not being dragged out? Mysteries being solved! Instead of dragging things out Riverdale is impressively delivering on mysteries instead of just building on them. It feels like a novel idea when it comes to television (when it really shouldn’t be).

But, the episode isn’t just about Betty, Veronica, and Archie. There’s some great moments involving Kevin Keller and Jughead. We get more info on Kevin’s world beyond just what we’ve seen as he hangs out with Betty. That includes an interaction with his father that’s really honest in a way I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on television before. Then there’s Jughead, a character that’s been woefully underused in the series so far. When it comes to characters this episode delivers the most as far as him as his home life situation is fleshed out with some twists I didn’t see coming until the final scenes. The series has shown it can keep us on our toes while delivering at the same time.

Riverdale is absolutely my new guilty pleasure of the tv season and it has delivered with every episode so far and is making its case as the best comic adaptation on tv.

Overall Rating: 9.65

TV Review: Riverdale S1E3 Chapter Three: Body Double

riverdaleCheryl is under a cloud of suspicion when new information about Jason’s death is revealed; Archie makes a decision that strains his relationship with Miss Grundy; Betty decides to revive the school newspaper.

Riverdale goes from a guilty pleasure of a show to one with one hell of a message. The third episode of this shockingly good series gives us girl power as the girls of Riverdale band together to take on the football team who are demeaning the girls with rumors about sex. The episode takes on harassment, much earlier than I thought it would and does it in a way that doesn’t come off as an Afterschool Special.

There’s more girl power packed into this episode than some entertainment has their entire season as Veronica really steps forward defending and going on the attack to correct wrongs. But, at the same time, through this plotline the show also explores Betty’s trauma involving her sister. We get strength, vulnerability, and depth, all in the same plot. To achieve so much is impressive and a hell a hat trick.

The big picture story of the death of Jason is still a major plotline. Archie reveals his hearing a gunshot with consequences from that revelation. Who fired a gun is revealed. There’s a lot packed in the episode in an entertaining hour that’s full of mystery, intrigue, and kick-ass women.

Riverdale is absolutely my new guilty pleasure of the tv season but with episodes like these it’s becoming must watch tv.

Overall Rating: 9.65

Josie and the Pussycats Sing “All For Me” in Tomorrow’s Episode of Riverdale on The CW

Riverdale‘s rising stars Josie and the Pussycats are set to rock the ‘Taste of Riverdale‘ event tomorrow with an original performance of “All For Me.”

Debuting in “Chapter Three: Body Double” Thursday on The CW at 9/8c and previewed in the above YouTube clip, “All For Me” features lead vocals by Riverdale series star Ashleigh Murray (Josie) and backing vocals by guest stars Asha Bromfield (Melody) and Hayley Law (Valerie), who play the Pussycats.

“Chapter Three: Body Double” debuts on February 9th at 9/8c on The CW and February 10th on Netflix for viewers outside the United States.

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