When The CW’s hit show Riverdale first premiered, it was an instant success.
The show thrust beloved characters from the comedic, lighthearted Archie Comics into a world of mystery, murder, and secrets. However, this bold move worked.
As the seasons passed, one thing became evident — The CW’s Riverdale was no longer the exciting drama we once loved. Now, it is messy, overdramatic chaos with storylines that are not believable and even downright cringe-worthy.
But the show was not always like that. Riverdale Season 1 had a compelling storyline: who killed Jason Blossom?
As the season went on and the mystery unraveled, we only edged closer to our screens. We wanted answers, just like the characters did.
And it was impossible to turn away from the teen drama.
We were curious to see how the love triangle between Archie, Betty, and Veronica would pan out. Betty’s family dynamics and Jughead’s living situation only fueled the fire.
Yes, the season also had wacky subplots, such as Archie and Ms. Grundy’s teacher-student affair, and discovering that Polly and Jason’s relationship was incestuous. And some changes the show made were unforgivable, such as erasing Jughead’s asexuality.
However, overall, it was a decent start that could correct the errors the show had made. The season even created more potential with the final episode’s ending.
Once the characters solved Jason Blossom’s murder and endured the cliffhanger on Riverdale Season 1 Episode 13, everything was up in the air. At the time, we did not realize that an open cliffhanger could essentially ruin the show forever.
Now, we know better because, after a few episodes on Riverdale Season 2, it was evident that the aura the show had produced changed.
Black Hood was not a compelling mystery. The show’s first musical episode, Riverdale Season 2 Episode 18, was downright strange, especially for a show with heavy subject material.
Hiram’s mob felt a little too soap opera-ish. In general, the season’s drama was too contrived and forced, making Riverdale unrealistic and cringe-worthy.
And it only got worse from there.
Riverdale Season 2 may have been mediocre, but the show still had time to turn things around. However, Riverdale Season 3 doomed the show forever with the introduction of The Farm.
We understand that Riverdale is a strange place where weird things happen, but a cult that harvests organs? Really?
Not even Chad Michael Murray could save the show from this horrendous plot, especially since the season opened with Alice and Polly throwing Polly’s children into a fire as Betty watched from the porch.
Then, Betty suffered from a seizure. And those events were just on Riverdale Season 3 Episode 1, the tip of the iceberg.
That season also included the River Vixens seducing Archie and his fellow inmates with Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock, the sex bunker, Riverdale Season 3 Episode 4, Veronica’s speakeasy and casino, another cringe-worthy musical episode, Gryphons and Gargoyles, and Archie’s bear attack.
And of course, how can we forget Archie’s infamous “highs and lows of high school football”?
Archie: If we weren’t here, we’d be in high school joining clubs, trying out for sports.
Ghoulie: Not me. I dropped out in the fourth grade to run drugs to support my Nana.
Archie: That means you haven’t known the triumphs and defeats, the epic highs and lows of high school football.
Seriously, the only ordinary thing about that season was people dying, making sense on a show like Riverdale. Oh, and they somehow managed to take the SATs through all of that drama. The rest? Not so much.
Riverdale Season 4 was slightly less bizarre, but it did come with its fair share of craziness, including Stonewall Prep students as murderers, Veronica’s maple rum business, Principal Honey, the videotapes, and more.
The Stonewall Prep storyline was an excellent opportunity to get Riverdale back on track. But as usual, the writers exaggerated the idea to the point where it was just as mortifying as everything else.
It just became hard to take the show seriously. The actors are talented, but the show does not give them much to work with.
Aside from bizarre and cringe-worthy storylines, Riverdale kept digging a hole for themselves through their characters and relationships.
We are five seasons in, and it looks like they are disregarding Jughead’s asexuality entirely.
We have Cheryl and Toni’s beautiful relationship, one of the few remaining highlights. But Riverdale treats this relationship — and Toni, for the matter — like recurring characters, even though both Cheryl and Toni are part of the main cast.
We are so tired of the back and forth between Jughead, Archie, Betty, and Veronica. Especially when it always seems to be Archie & Veronica and Betty & Jughead at the end of the day.
Cheryl and Toni’s dynamic brought something new to Riverdale, and it was thrilling to watch them. But soon enough, their screentime was cut, and now we cherish the little bit they have as a couple.
And speaking of Archie, he has had way too many love interests. It looks like he has been with pretty much every girl on the show.
We expected Riverdale to focus on the iconic love triangle between Archie, Betty, and Veronica. His romance with Valerie was not a surprise either since it was a new addition to the Archie Comics back in 2010.
There was also Miss Grundy, his teacher. On Riverdale Season 3, Archie dated Josie McCoy for a while, too. It seems that he makes his way around Riverdale, and when someone has one too many love interests, any relationship involving the character becomes boring after a while.
At this point, Archie is better off alone, which is truly unfortunate since his relationship with Betty had such great potential.
Their dynamic is one of the very few things keeping Riverdale afloat these days, and there is not much left going for this show.
We want to hear from you, Fanatics!
What do you think about The CW’s Riverdale? Do you agree that the show has lost its way and cannot be saved? Is it a guilty pleasure that you cannot quit? Do you think the show writers can turn this mess around? Or do you genuinely believe it is a wonderful show?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
You can always watch Riverdale online right here, at TV Fanatic!
Sarah Novack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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