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Riverdale: Season 1 Review

I must admit, originally I only started watching Riverdale because Cole Sprouse was in it. However, as I continued to watch, I grew more attached to the other characters and the main plot of the story. Riverdale has since become my #1 TV series from last year, and will likely continue to be my favorite as it continues.

Riverdale first aired on January 26, 2017, on The CW. It is originally based off of the beloved Archie comics, but the writers gave it a unique twist. The story captivates its viewers with its first episode, “Chapter One: The River’s Edge”, featuring the sudden and tragic death of town sweetheart Jason Blossom. At the start of the new school year, everyone is in shock and no one is the same. Take, for instance, Archie Andrews. He’s your standard football fanatic, but after his recent affair with his high school music teacher, he quits football and decides he wants to pursue his newfound passion for music. Betty Cooper, your average “good girl”, finally realizes she has a crush on best friend Andrews but finds herself too anxious to tell him so. Jughead Jones is your typical school news boy, who just so happens to also be the son of a famous gang member. Last but not least is Veronica Lodge, the new girl on the block. After her dad is arrested for embezzlement, she and her mother move to Riverdale in hope for a fresh start.

Let’s go deeper into the plot. As the year goes on, things seem to settle down after the aftermath of Jason’s death, until Veronica almost ruins the serenity by going after Archie until she realizes that she might ruin her new friendship with Cooper. Then enter Cheryl Blossom, the sister to the late Jason Blossom. Riverdale’s queen bee is more than eager to shake the beehive, all the while keeping secrets of her own, including those involving the death of Jason.

The first season was framed around the shrouding mystery of who killed Jason Blossom, along with other stories that managed to expertly wind their way into one large story.

We’ll start with Archie. He had this “big secret” from everyone, which turned out to be the aforementioned affair with his music teacher, Ms. Grundy. She seems really shady at first. While they are out one day, they hear a gunshot that they think later on might have been the bullet that killed Jason. Eventually their relationship is discovered, and the others soon realize that she wasn’t the person she said she was. She was actually Jennifer Gibson, a woman who escaped an abusive relationship and changed her identity. She soon leaves town when she is threatened, and we don’t hear from her for the rest of the season.

Veronica Lodge, aka Ronnie, is the new kid everyone wants to be friends with. What they don’t realize about her is that she isn’t who they think she is. She and Betty soon become fast friends, and Veronica is forever grateful to have someone she can trust at Riverdale High. They team up to become the dynamic duo of their school, even putting an end to one football player’s shaming of women. Eventually Archie and Veronica start dating, with Betty giving them her blessing.

The Choc Lit Shop, the famed hotspot of Riverdale, is also where former gang member and father of Jughead Jones happens to work at. Just when things seem to be going a little too easy for the Jones family, the drive-in closes and his father is arrested for stealing money from the business he shared with Archie’s dad. Eventually, he gets arrested for being a prime suspect in the death of Jason Blossom. Jughead finds newfound determination to rescue his dad from jail and seek justice.

Betty Cooper finally makes an appearance a couple episodes into the season. Betty’s older sister, Polly, was the girlfriend of Jason Blossom and is carrying his child. She ran away from home to live with the Blossoms in hopes of finding her dead boyfriend’s killer, but here’s the real kicker: In this little investigation of hers, she finds out that the Coopers are actually Blossoms by blood, meaning Jason and Polly were related. Now that’s some Game of Thrones type stuff for you there.

As the story unfolds and Riverdale PD are trying their best to find out who killed Jason; Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Archie band together to find the killer instead. They go to Kevin, a classmate of theirs who seems to have eyes everywhere, and he leads them to one of his people who might know something, only to find him dead. They soon discover Jason’s car in a secluded part of the forest and inside it, they find a flash drive in his varsity jacket. They are quick to discover that it was in fact Jason’s dad, Clifford Blossom, who shot and killed him to keep him from revealing that his dad was involved in the selling of drugs. They rush to take this valued intel to the police, but they’re too late in arresting him. They find him in his home, but he hung himself to escape arrest. Yes, it was just as horrifying as it sounds.

Then it’s the season finale and everything is hitting the fan at once. Tensions are high and all the secrets are pouring out, including, Polly finding out that she also has an older brother whom her dad Hal forced to give up for adoption. With Jughead’s dad FP still in jail, Jughead is forced in an adoptive family and has to go to South Side High. Home of the Serpents, the town gang. Jughead is offered a Serpent jacket as protection while his father is in jail and he accepts it and becomes a part of the gang himself.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Blossom isn’t taking the news of her father killing her beloved brother very well. She tries to kill herself by drowning herself in the local lake. Fortunately, Archie is there to save her from another tragic death in the family. Of course, because Cheryl is Cheryl, she does the only logical thing she can think of: she sets her family’s mansion on fire. Makes perfect sense, am I right?

At the end of the very last episode, “Chapter 13: The Sweet Hereafter”, fans are left with the worst cliffhanger of them all. When a gunman tries to rob Pop’s Choc Lit Shop, Archie’s father Fred attempts to stop him and ends up getting shot himself. When the season ends, we have no idea whether or not Fred lives or dies. This season was such a roller coaster, and that last episode made it feel like you were just thrown off the ride itself.

To me, Riverdale is the best show out there of its kind and I urge you to try it just as I did. (Just watch it for Cole Sprouse for all I care haha)

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    Score - 9/10
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Summary

The first season of Riverdale is mainly about building up the plot and the background of these characters, but that's what makes it what it is. Its a story of originality with a twist.

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