Cry Me a River: The Decline of Riverdale

Popular Netflix show Riverdale has never been particularly well-written or well-acted.

Despite the avid attention it garnered from its audience, it’s unlikely that anyone believed it possible that it could get any worse. But somehow, impossibly, the second season is even worse than the first. From dreaded beginning to glorious end, the plot becomes further twisted until the original storyline is beyond recognition for even the most dedicated audience. Wincing at the ridiculous lines was part of the show, but now any meagre fondness has deteriorated alongside any potential character development and interesting storyline.

While a convoluted plot often provides an intriguing touch to a series, Riverdale completely misses the mark. Within one episode alone there is likely to be enough plot-holes to swallow Earth itself. There are countless issues with season two, but perhaps the most significant is that people just don’t speak and behave like they’re portrayed. Combined with the fact that the characters are supposed to be fifteen, certain plotlines are somewhat problematic. Some scenes were uncomfortable to watch before this information came to light, and now this sense of unease has only been exacerbated. Some sections of the script are more egregious than others, but the dislocated construction in its entirety remains difficult to fix. It seems that the writers have never met another human, let alone a teenager from the snippets of stunted dialogue interspersed between random, and, quite frankly, bizarre, sex scenes.

Moreover, the repeated instances of forcing utterly terrible music scenes and singing must be stopped, it’s a disaster. The show is supposed to be some sort of mystery drama, but the only real mystery is how it managed to secure a second season at all.

Riverdale’s characters are shallow, unsatisfying and unflattering stereotypes that shouldn’t be allowed to exist. With every passing episode of the season, everyone becomes more infuriating as problems aren’t solved and their blatant misadventures come to light. It’s baffling, almost unfathomable, that Jughead is now not only a member of the serpent’s gang but championing their rights at school. His passion for writing was a nice touch in season one, but now it seems to have drowned amongst his animosity for anyone other than the serpents. His once cliché but tolerable character has been one of the worst character developments to watch because it’s only spiralled further into the gutter alongside Veronica, of course. Once so dedicated to righting her father’s injustices and proving herself to be more than just a Lodge, she has been gutted, along with any sense of her character. Now, she’s just the girl who plays to her parents’ expectations as they break the law and sings terrible reprises of songs for no apparent reason.

To conclude, the entire show is a complete travesty. It’s a shame that Riverdale is as flawed as it is; it could be a useful platform to raise some serious issues that run rampant in society today. And when something important does arise, it’s skirted around until it can hardly be justified as television. Riverdale has always been contrived to the highest extent, but Season One was somewhat entertaining. For now, Season Two foretells to be a hideous malformation of what could and should be a decent mystery drama but instead falls pitifully short of anything and everything that makes it bearable to watch.

Stephanie Bennett

Image Credit: Digital Spy