Television has become one of the most easily digestible art forms of modern times. With the added flexibility of streaming services and the ability to stop and binge-watch entire seasons of our favorite shows, television has become more than America's favorite past time... it has universally become our favorite habit.
A key component to successful television branding are themes. A great show has a very clear theme that comes with it's own set of rules and specific messaging. So that's why I was extremely frustrated after spending my free time watching the first two seasons of Riverdale only to realize that my time had been wasted.
What I thought was an innocent show about a group of teenagers trying to solve mysteries in a spooky town slowly turned into a show filled with:
unaddressed pedophilia/over sexualization of teenagers (although played by clearly adult actors ….ew I don't want to see a 16 year old have sex with his 40 year old teacher)
a mob family thingy....which is kind of cool, I guess.
incest (who in this town isn't related?)
a biker gang that looks like a group of Freddy Mercury backup dancers (I mean come on...the name of the primary drug they sell is called "Jingle Jangle"... where does this gang do business Sesame Street?)
extremely long draw out plots that lead to no real character development, and one of the worst crimes in a television series ….
a gay character who serves no other purpose but to be gay... and no this character's sexuality isn't even used to open any meaningful dialogues but merely a tool for the writers to justify a specific plot point for a few episodes (secret sex in the woods when a murderer is on the loose?? Seriously??)
and to top it all off the show isn't even funny... this show has endless potential to be one of the greatest parody shows of all time and instead the creators said "Take all of this seriously".
The biggest problem with the show is that it has way too many writers. This show is constantly being pulled in twenty different creative directions at once and it suffers immensely. The first season of the show was relatively good. There was a primary focus: find out who murdered Jason Blossom. Yes the show took us on many side quest and missions, but the eventual payoff at least delivered on the original set up. The second season was the beginning of the shows self destruction in my opinion... this show lacks identity and is a genre less mesh of cheesy dialogue and meaningless characters.
The only saving grace for this show is the amazing cinematography and costuming. The visuals are so stunning and colorfully designed that upon first glance you might actually think this show is worth watching.
Spoiler alert. It's not.
My rating 4/10