Under Review: “Riverdale” Season 2

Season two of Riverdale makes the classic Archie comics even darker.

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Season two of “Riverdale” makes the classic Archie comics even darker.

Eloise Reasoner, Staff Writer

The following review may contain spoilers for Season 1 of “Riverdale.”

Archie Comics characters undergo a dark and thrilling twist in the CW show “Riverdale,” also available exclusively on Netflix as an original series. The show’s first season, which began airing in January 2017, refreshingly captured how Betty, Veronica, Archie and their peers, react to the murder of football star Jason Blossom in their town, Riverdale. The show’s first season concluded in May and the second season began airing on Oct. 11.

The season one finale answered the most pressing question of the series: who killed Jason Blossom? The season still ended with a cliffhanger when the Black Hood shot Fred Andrews, Archie’s father, in Pop’s Diner. “Riverdale” seemed to get darker than ever in that finale, but season two has grittier violence, making it more suspenseful and unpredictable.

As a sophomore in high school like the protagonists of “Riverdale,” I love seeing the depth of all the characters. Although “Riverdale” features characters who fall into the high school stereotypes of the mean girl, the geek, the jock, the perfectionist, and others, the show strives to give its archetypal characters more depth. The female characters are powerful, charismatic foils. Betty Cooper is sweet, studious and eager-to-please, but she lacks self-control. Veronica Lodge is a confident yet guilt-ridden character from New York. As an ex-bully, she uses her past as a constant reminder to stay kind. Jason Blossom’s twin sister, Cheryl, is manipulative and heartless, but I still love her. Every show should have a character like Cheryl who never hesitates to snap back with witty comebacks, narcissistic observations and savage takedowns. I hope to see more of her in season two as her behavior becomes increasingly unhinged. While at first Cheryl’s friendship with Josie, an ex-Pussycat, seems wholesome, she soon becomes possessive of Josie to an insane degree.

Archie is at his best in season two, as he begins taking more risks to keep Riverdale safe. He goes as far as illegally purchasing a gun and using jingle-jangle, the newest Riverdale drug. Although his behavior is somewhat irrational and obviously immoral, I admire Archie’s determination to keep his town safe as it makes him a more compelling character. Archie willingly puts his life on the line to avenge his father’s shooting, increasing the suspense.

While the second season of Riverdale is more intense than the first, there are a few areas that could still be improved. Archie’s “gang” becomes more individualized when Jughead joins the Serpents, so the strong friendship between Archie, Jughead, Veronica and Betty sadly weakens. In addition, the portrayal of the main antagonist, the Black Hood, is unrealistic; a serial killer on the loose would necessitate more law enforcement than just Sheriff Keller and the Riverdale police. Although these points are minor, they are definitely disappointing in such a dramatized, character-driven show.

The twenty-two episodes Riverdale” season two are being released on the CW each Wednesday, and I look forward to seeing who survives the Black Hood. Drama and romance intensify, making for a better show overall. Season two of “Riverdale” solidifies the series as a profound addition to the collection of remarkable teen dramas because of its unpredictability and enthralling plot.