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"In case you haven’t noticed, I’m weird. I’m a weirdo. I don’t “fit in” and I don’t WANT to fit in. Have you ever seen me without this stupid hat on? That’s weird."
Genre: Teen
Running Time: 42-46 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: January 26, 2017 – August 23, 2023
Network(s): The CW
Created by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Starring: KJ Apa
Lili Reinhart
Camila Mendes
Cole Sprouse
Marisol Nichols
Madelaine Petsch
Ashleigh Murray
Mädchen Amick
Luke Perry
Mark Consuelos
Casey Cott
Skeet Ulrich
Charles Melton
Vanessa Morgan
Seasons: 7
Episodes: 137

Riverdale is an American teen drama television series based on the characters of Archie Comics. The series was adapted for The CW by Archie Comics' chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and is produced by Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, in association with Berlanti Productions and Archie Comics.


Archie Andrews starts the school year with the world weighing on his shoulders. He's decided he wants to pursue a future in the music business, but his recently ended clandestine relationship with the music teacher has left him without a mentor, and his friendship with Jughead Jones is in a bad place. Things look like they might be turning around when Veronica Lodge, a new girl, arrives. Despite the instant chemistry, Veronica is hesitant to risk a friendship with Betty -- who has a crush on Archie -- to pursue anything. Amidst all the small-town banality lurks a mystery: the recent tragic death of Jason Blossom, the twin brother of a beautiful and popular troublemaker, Cheryl.

Bad Qualities

  1. While making a TV series based on an Archie Comics property and aimed at mature audiences could have been a good idea, it was done very poorly in this case, as most of the character’s personalities are butchered and it takes itself too seriously (as mentioned below).
    • Keep in mind that there is already a reboot in the comics made for teenage audiences (known as New Riverdale), which is a lot more faithful to its source material than Riverdale.
  2. The show is notorious for its poor and ridiculous writing. Because of this, it comes off as being cringe-inducing rather than being a serious teen drama. It also makes it feel like the writers never read the Archie Comics before with most of the dialogue sounding like one of those Wattpad fan-fictions.
  3. Horrendous, unrealistic, and straight-up laughable dialogue, due to the poor writing, such as the following:
    • Jughead's infamous "I'm weird" speech
    • Archie's "Highs and lows of high school football" speech
    • Every time Veronica calls Archie "Archiekins" or Hiram "Daddy" or "Daddykins"
    • Every time Cheryl calls Penelope "Mumsey"
    • Josie calling Archie "Justin Gingerlake"
    • "No one invited fascist barbie to the party"
    • "Listen up, ragamuffins!"
    • "He overdosed on Jingle Jangle!"
    • "A Vughead kiss could save a future Bughead kiss from imploding" (Do they realize those words sound the same as each other?)
    • "I'm gonna make my bones with you..."
    • "We're endgame Archie"
    • "We make tickle videos for a guy named Terry"
    • "Did you have a lobotomy for breakfast?"
    • "I invented red, I am red"
    • "I beg your misogynistic pardon?"
    • "I might have to punish you"
    • "My body is perfection, you crone!"
    • "I survived a bear attack dad"
    • "There's always room for one more kitty in my litter box"
    • "Mr. Andrews, nice haircut, looking extremely DILFy today"
    • "We are generation Z" (The actor who says it it's a millennial)
    • "I dropped out in the 4th grade to run drugs to support my nana"
    • "The serpent queen, is a warrior queen"
    • "Shut the hell up, Imposter!"
    • "Are we gonna have a problem?"
    • "I'd recognize those abs anywhere"
    • "Be the Jay to my Bey?"
    • "I'm cuckoo bananas for you, obvi"
    • "I'm the ultimate wild card"
    • "The serial killer gene"
    • "Listen up fives! A ten is speaking!"
    • Mostly everything Cheryl Blossom says.
  4. The characters have now been butchered.
    • Archie tries way too hard to be like a badass but instead comes off as a stooge.
      • There are multiple moments in the show where he acts like a complete jerk. For example, he breaks up with Veronica because she's not ready to say she loves him but is later seen kissing Betty, at this point, he has been with almost every girl on the show.
    • Betty, for some reason, has a “dark side” where she puts on a black wig and lacy underwear while she has sex with Jughead.
      • Also she has two twin siblings named Juniper and Dagwood. Who named these characters?!
    • Jughead's asexuality, which was present in the comics, was very unnecessarily erased, and he openly has sex on-screen. This caused a lot of controversies, with many calling the show acephobic.
    • Veronica has moments where she acts like a stereotypical feminist and a complete hypocrite, especially in one episode where she blurts out a toxic masculinity comment in the hallways.
      • She also snaps "Thank you for mansplaining my business to me!" at someone who promises to help break Archie out of prison in the same episode.
    • Cheryl Blossom is the typical annoying spoiled mean girl who thinks she's above everyone except that she takes it way too far as she thinks she's above everyone to the point where she gets offended when someone gives her an order.
      • Also, she thinks she owns the color Red just because she likes it. Seriously?!
  5. Gross moments in many episodes and the show itself (though not as bad as Velma):
    • The show constantly sexualizes high schoolers. As well as many female characters wearing revealing clothing. It's bad enough to have teenagers wear revealing clothing in scenes where it's generally unacceptable to do so, but it's worse when they behave in a sexualized manner.
    • There are way too many shirtless scenes of the male characters.
    • The show relies on girls twerking a lot.
    • For being in high school, these characters wear a lot of clothing that would get them suspended. Incredibly short mini skirts? We don’t think so. Cleavage-baring tank tops? Nope. While we understand that it is a fictional TV show based on comic book characters, some aspects of high school life should still be realistic.
    • The show also hinted at an incestuous relationship between Cheryl and Jason, which is illegal in real life. Not to mention that Cheryl keeps his corpse with her! This possibly makes her a necrophile.
    • Betty's infamous stripper dance; if that doesn't sound creepy enough, she does it in front of her mother.
    • Archie, a teenager, had a sexual relationship with his teacher.
    • When Archie is in prison, Veronica and the Vixens arrive in their cheerleader outfits and start to sing and dance to "Jailhouse Rock", with the boys aggressively shaking the fence like animals. Also, the guards do nothing about it.
  6. It is not faithful to the original comics at all. The whole show feels like a really bad fanfiction that tries to be dark and serious but just comes off as cringeworthy.
    • There are theories that everything that happens in Riverdale is all a series of stories written by Jughead, which could be true for many reasons.
  7. Many unlikable characters, such as Cheryl and Penelope Blossom, Hiram Lodge, Veronica, Reggie, and Hal Cooper (The Black Hood).
    • Archie and Betty can be unlikable at times.
  8. Most of the characters barely have any chemistry with each other, especially Archie and Veronica as the latter constantly says unnecessary and stupid things that visibly annoy and irritate Archie.
  9. Poorly written LGBT characters and themes:
    • Kevin has no personality outside of being the soft gay guy.
    • How the show depicts queer people and even drag queens is honestly offensive.
    • Also, the show has been accused of queerbaiting its audience. For example, there are instances where Betty and Veronica kiss, but the show never fully acknowledges their feelings for each other. They've done the same thing with Joaquin and Archie.
  10. Like 13 Reasons Why, it takes itself way too seriously.
  11. Nonsensical pacing through season 3 where they keep revealing that characters have secret siblings. What is up with that?
    • And another odd choice they made was to have the big bad of season 3, Edgar Evernever, have his master plan be that he wanted to build a rocket, which is just a very stupid motivation for a villain.
  12. Awful acting all around.
  13. They ruin perfectly good musicals and songs with their horrible and embarrassing musical episodes, which make no sense in the context of the show.
  14. How season 4 concludes is just nonsensical: They literally decide to kill their principal and then get him fired solely because they don't like him and all he did was cancel their school's variety show and then their yearbook and prom (the whole season makes it clear that they hate him but in this episode, they took it too far); And when he confronts them after getting fired (because he gets fired!), they justify themselves saying it's normal for them because they're in Riverdale. There is no way we as audiences supposed to root for these characters like this.
    • To be fair, Season 4 ended 3 episodes shorter than planned due to COVID-19 shutting down production, and those episodes had to be retooled for Season 5.
  15. The show suffers from a massive identity crisis since the writers don’t know if they want it to be a teen drama, a musical, a superhero series, or even a time travel odyssey.
  16. Honestly, at this point, nothing in the show makes sense anymore given how the series lost its mind as it went by, and how they keep introducing random and nonsensical concepts such as organ harvesting, satanic cults, Betty working for the FBI despite being a teenager, the multiverse, alternate realities; like, as of now, the characters literally have superpowers.

Good Qualities

  1. The first season is better than the later ones since it started with a very interesting premise about the murder of a high school student.
  2. Some likable or tolerable characters (such as Jughead Jones, in the first half of the season).
  3. Decent acting on some of the characters, especially from KJ Apa as Archie and Cole Sprouse as Jughead.
  4. The show's bad writing creates a lot of unintentionally hilarious moments, like Jughead's aforementioned; "I'm weird" speech.
  5. Although Veronica is now Latina, she's consistently treated like an important, fully-fleshed character and not just a token, unlike the other minor characters in the series.
  6. It was nice that the show paid tribute to the late Luke Perry (who played Archie's dad), who sadly passed away from a stroke in early March 2019, by dedicating the first episode of the fourth season to him and his character.
  7. The Jughead and Betty mysteries each season are consistently the best things about each season.
  8. There are some decent episodes.


Critical response

Riverdale received a generally positive response from critics but was panned by audiences and fans of the original comics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a fresh rating of 88% based on 62 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.22/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Riverdale offers an amusingly self-aware reimagining of its classic source material that proves eerie, odd, daring, and above all addictive." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 68 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Dave Nemetz of TVLine gave the series a "B+" saying that it turned out "to be an artfully crafted, instantly engaging teen soap with loads of potential."



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