The Sad and Disappointing Decline of Riverdale


Caroline White

By: Caroline White

Warning, this article contains spoilers!

Riverdale. The reason why teenage girls everywhere look forward to Wednesday every week. Actors KJ Apa, Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart, and Camila Mendes have captured the hearts of fans everywhere. Based on the Archie Comics, this CW drama series takes place in the town of Riverdale and follows four high schoolers, Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica, through a series of twisted events and mysteries. I loved the first season, which I watched on Netflix and finished in a matter of days, but the second and third seasons have been disappointing.

Season 1 released in 2017, swept the country like a television show tsunami, building up a massive fan base, primarily teenager girls. Yes, one by one we fell in love with Archie Andrews, envied Veronica Lodge’s expensive wardrobe, admired Betty Cooper’s brains and strong female vibe, and swooned over Jughead Jones’ punk aesthetic. The first season focused on the mysterious murder of high school student Jason Blossom, with a finale that can be described as sickening but exciting. We all tuned into The CW and held our breath as we watched Jason be killed by his own father. The end of each episode left us thirsty for another, wondering how we would survive waiting for the next week. By the end of the first season, fans were desperate for a second season, which was released in 2018.

This new season followed a masked murderer who tormented and blackmailed one of the main characters, Betty Cooper. As I watched the second season, I couldn’t help but notice large holes in the plot. For example, Betty’s mother, Mrs. Cooper, is more or less a helicopter parent throughout the show. How is it that she didn’t realize her daughter was being blackmailed by a serial killer? Furthermore, we find out that the murderer was Betty’s father. But not before the high school janitor was blamed for the killings. It seemed like the directors needed a few more episodes in the season, so they decided to add an extra twist. Or at least, that’s how I felt while I was watching season two. I couldn’t help but feel like the second season didn’t live up to the expectations that season one gave me.

But wait! It gets worse. In season three, Veronica’s father attempts to control the entire town of Riverdale by buying property, which he turns into drug manufacturing facilities. Veronica decides to combat his efforts by buying properties of her own and investigating his scheme. Please keep in mind, this girl is a high schooler. Oh, and also, besides turning their town into one big drug factory, her dad also frames her boyfriend, Archie, for murder and has him thrown into a correctional facility.  Furthermore, the students of Riverdale High have been practically possessed by a mysterious board game, Griffins and Gargoyles. A little much to keep track of, right?

In my opinion, the plot at this point is too confusing and has too many pieces to it. It’s simply too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love television drama. But, the plot of Riverdale has gone from dramatic and suspenseful to confusing, low quality, and just crazy. The acting, however, remains as good as it was in the first season and the actors continue to captivate their audience. I will continue to watch Riverdale, in hopes that the quality of the plot will improve and I can go back to loving it the way I did during season one. I think I speak on behalf of Riverdale fans everywhere when I say that we have our fingers crossed for the show to improve.