If you had told me back in 2017 that giving ’50s comic book icon Archie Andrews a six-pack would lead to one of television’s most popular series, I would have told you that was almost as funny as Chris Pratt playing Mario (as you can see hindsight is 2022).
Nevertheless, most people do not realize how impactful “Riverdale” is. It is not impactful in the sense that it is changing anyone’s life, but rather I mean that we still live in a period of time in which networks and streaming services are trying to make their own “Riverdale.” Think about it: “Nancy Drew,‘’ “The Hardy Boys,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” and even a mature reboot of “The Powerpuff Girls.” With all these imitations, is “Riverdale’’ really that good of a foundation to build these other shows upon? Absolutely not.
“Riverdale” is trash, but it’s highly enjoyable trash. “Riverdale” is like the sexy-teen drama equivalent of reality dating shows — you know they are terrible, but you truly cannot look away. I know this because I was a loyal fan for four out of the current six seasons. That’s right, I tuned in weekly to see what crazy adventures the Archie gang could get up to, but even back then I knew how terrible this show was.
Since I have not watched the show since Season 4, I thought I would jump head-first into one of the latest episodes and see what I’ve been missing out on. It was an experiment of the show’s consistency.
To make a long story short, the insanity has not died down one bit, and I kind of love that. From the seasons I remember thoroughly watching, I recalled that they included a drug called Jingle-Jangle, a Dungeons and Dragons game that caused kids to drink the Kool-Aid, a cult leader building a Wile E. Coyote-esque escape rocket and some truly awful musical episodes.
Seriously, even if I enjoy this show, I can never forgive them for what they did to “Heathers: The Musical.” Anyway, from those four seasons I saw things that I never thought I would be seeing on a CW teen drama, but they really did all of those things.
Jumping back into the show felt like catching up with a friend from high school who clearly cannot move on from high school. You want to feel bad, but you also feel better about yourself in some strange way.
“Riverdale” continues to keep the insanity rolling, with this time around having alternate dimensions with “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” aliens, a seven-year time jump yet everyone still looks the same, and of course, the writers still have no idea what to do with Archie.
I must repeat myself in saying that this show is trash, but you have to appreciate a series that tries to be as crazy as “Riverdale.” When most shows stick around for nearly a decade, they usually start to get lazy when it comes to stories, but “Riverdale” continues to fall down the rabbit hole of insanity. It is not always good, in fact most of the time it’s not, but the writers and creators know what the show is.
Instead of trying to be something it is not, the show embraces the madness and knows that is what makes it so unique. Put it plainly, despite all the imitations, there will never be another show like “Riverdale.”