I love Riverdale for a couple of reasons. The insane plot is one of them. How can so much drama really happen to a town of teenagers? Granted this is based on the comic series, but still… However, I must say that I love Riverdale for its ability to pull it off. Each character is well-developed and I find myself being pulled into their world. You get to see so many different life-choices happening in a group of friends. Even the “bad guys”… You get to see why they make decisions, and how they are human after all.
Veronica is a character I am very interested in. She chose to become involved in her father’s business, even when she identified that he was a part of the mob. However, when she saw how her father’s influence on Archie and the town was negative she turned her back on this life. I am not sure if going into season 3 she will follow through with this approach and not beg her father to take her back. But I hope for her character progression she does not.
Betty Cooper is a very distinct character to me. I’m not totally on-board with the whole Dark Betty thing. Like I get it, but to what extent? Like she’s a teenager. What happened in her life that made her that way inclined? I believe we all have a dark side, but I think that we control it. The fact that Betty harnesses that dark side sometimes, makes me believe that this is more of an alter-ego than an actual dark side. She switches, and to me that is important. Is this going to lead somewhere in the plot? Is she like her father the Black Hood? Or is she going to learn to deal with all her emotions and become a healthy, functioning teenager – (I say this with raised eyebrows, because what is a normal teenager anyway?).
Jughead for a long time used to irritate me. What was his loyalty to the Serpents? Like what did they do for him? And I’m sure a bunch of fans will scream at me that the Serpents did a lot and yes they did. But it is a gang. And yes the South Side is a place. But I’ve never really understood Jughead’s conquest to save it. This was a developed sub-plot but the way Betty and Jughead fought to save the South Side never really made sense to me. I think that they needed to make the South Side have more of a redeeming quality. It was the haven for all the South Side residents, but the appeal wasn’t strong enough for me as an outsider to see why they were so focused on saving it. Anyway, besides my rant about this issue, I started to appreciate Jughead for his qualities towards the end of season 2. However, again. He’s so dramatic. Maybe Jughead is super dramatic because he is a writer (like me). But I just wanted to sit him down and be like calm down. (I’m not a Jughead hater, just not his biggest fan).
Archie. Now he is a character I do enjoy. I understand Archie’s motivations to go ahead and work with Hiram Lodge. He wants to keep his father and girlfriend safe. Those seemed like reasonable motives to be sneaky and sly. I mean, maybe Jughead had good motives too, but I found him to be draining. Archie was far more likeable. I could relate to him more and I really loved watching the dynamic shift between Archie and Hiram. When Archie started trying to win Hiram over I took a keen interest. He was no longer the pretty boy with a saviour complex, but a character who was willing to make real efforts to achieve his goals.
Who else? There is Cheryl. I am so conflicted about her. I feel like I have barely paid her any attention. While she truly has gone through a lot, I just don’t like her attitude to most people. She acts like she is better than most people and she is a snob which is unnecessary. I adore her style though, but I have a love-hate relationship with that red lipstick. Sometimes, she just appears to try too hard. Can she never just be in the background? Why must everything be about her? “Rolls eyes”. Grudgingly, I can say she has developed well as a character. I don’t condone that her character developed a lot after Veronica’s “friend” Nick St Clair assaulted her. I tend to dislike story narratives that rely on a female character getting hurt by a male character to move the plot forward. Like why must we be victims to improve the plot? Like it didn’t sit that well. And when Veronica just took it from her Nick too, I was just like….. Hmmm. Anyway, I do like Cheryl. On the basis that she perseveres and she is willing to help, even if her attitude annoys me a lot. I have to remind myself that she is just a teenager. Also her attitude to her mom is super cringy but also empowering. What kind of teenager gets away with burning their house down?
It may seem like I am super critical of this series and its characters, but it’s only because I enjoy it so much. I’m so excited to see what happens in season 3.