Riverdale: The Much Better Version of 13 Reasons Why

I will not apologise for the title because it is nothing but the truth.

Riverdale is a CW television series which uses the characters from the famous Archie Comics to tell the story of a mysterious death in a small town, which is a statement I never thought I’d find myself writing.

Riverdale is fantastic. Not perfect. But fantastic. The only negatives are some of the acting, which does get better as the season progresses, and a couple of story elements that remain unanswered or just fade into obscurity as time passes.

Other than that, this is an excellently written, gripping story with characters that complement it. The key word is characters, because there are so many that it baffles me how the show managed to balance them all and make them compelling. This is the biggest praise I have for this show, because it’s like an overflowing beaker of an alkali metal and water that is somehow not chaotic but… Cohesive. There is so much going on with so many people and somehow everything seems necessary.

The takes on these characters really surprised me, because while they all have their core characteristics from their comic versions, they are all far more interesting and more human. While Lili Reinhart’s Betty Cooper, KJ Apa’s Archie Andrews and Camila Mendes’ Veronica Lodge are great in their own ways, with performances to match, Cole Sprouse’s Jughead Jones is the best acted and best written character on the show. Not only is he the one narrating the events of the series, his character has the most stakes and motivations, and is the most versatile of all.

Beyond this, the story of Riverdale stems across the whole town, and everyone is involved, from the main characters’ parents to the local gangs, and the mystery that is unfolding becomes one that is brilliantly told, thanks to the writing and the show’s understanding of its characters.

The season finale was a little strange because it had a lot of miscellaneous things going on, but I liked it, and I’m excited for more to come. When a show definitely doesn’t deserve another season, I know it. But when it does deserve one, it would be an insult to not deliver. Season 2 can’t come fast enough.

On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Riverdale season 1: MIHIR

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