Review: How did Netflix get Riverdale's season two so wrong, and can they rectify the damage done?
Think about it, season one wasn't as awesome as you imagined it to be. It had already laid the foundation of season two's boredom
Fans of Archie Comics were definitely eager when Netflix announced the show in 2017. Season one garnered a large fan base and even those who weren't too much into the Archie gang became ardent Riverdale followers.
There were no reasons why the show wouldn't do well. The characters were based out of Archie Comics, even the place Riverdale and Pop's were something people were familiar with. The teen show was given the genre of a thriller mystery and beloved Cole Sprouse played Jughead, who wasn't just a burger hogging character, but the narrator and a bad-ass serpent, donning a leather jacket and a crown beanie.
The series debuted on January 26, 2017 to positive reviews and incredible ratings. Brian Lowry of CNN reviewed; "Archie Comics meets Twin Peaks in Riverdale, a surprisingly good adaptation that takes the familiar exploits of the cartoon gang, sexes them up — including a central murder mystery — and brings them into the 21st century."
The modern show or rather a dark adaptation was taken well by the audience well versed with dark murder mysteries such as 'Pretty Little Liars' and 'Supernatural'. The episode one of the first season begins with the tragic murder of Jason Blossom, the twin of Cheryl Blossom. While Archie Andrews is the golden boy of Riverdale High and Veronica Lodge just moved to the town to restart her life, it is the relationship between Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones (Bughead) and their thirst for solving crimes that keep the show extremely engaging. The parent-child relationship was explored and four best friends supporting each other was everything ideal friendships look like.
Even though my article is to point out where exactly did Riverdale go wrong and how season two has disappointed many, and bored, much more, fans, we need to look back to our almost perfect season one. Everything was on-point in the first 13 episodes and the anticipation for the next episode was eagerly awaited. But let's pause for a moment and reevaluate if season one is all that we think it was. The truth is, it wasn't. We were forced to think it was awesome because we did not want our childhood fantasy of Archie Comics to be crazily dismantled.
But think about the subplot.
Betty's parents were a bit too much in season one already! Granted the ancestral Blossom rivalry, Hal Cooper and Alice Cooper were too irrational in contrast to Archie's, Veronica's and even Jughead's dad, who is revealed to be a leader of the notorious gang. Everybody loves Archie because the comics were in his name. But CW's Archie was clearly an ass in the first season. Hopping from one girl to another, breaking Betty's heart, getting into a sexual relationship with a teacher, breaking up a Pussycats band to date a band member who would help him in his music career and then dumping her to date Veronica are all nothing but fuckboy antics.
When it was revealed that Jason Blossom was shot by his father, we went "wow, we did not see that coming." But neither had we sensed an incestuous undertone between Cheryl and Jason Blossom.
So there you see, season one wasn't as awesome as you imagined it to be. It had already laid the foundation of season two's boredom.
Fans realized that in October 2017, when the season premiered and the whole Black Hood saga was too stretched, prolonged and annoying. We understand the need for mystery but the person who shot Archie's dad, Fred, turned out to be a school janitor and then again the return of the Black Hood because apparently, the janitor was just a crazy psycho, cosplaying the Black Hood and mutilating himself to shield the real Black Hood.
Then comes Betty's dark side which we were briefly introduced to in season one when Veronica and Betty were seeking revenge on Chuck. In season two, Betty's other personality took a weird turn as she turned to webcamming after discovering her fake brother, Chic, was a webcam star. Chic's entry into the show was nothing but bad news. How did he mysteriously kill the drug dealer at Cooper house is something we will never know. The creepy and manipulative guy who wasn't even Alice Cooper's son is handed over to the Black Hood by Betty Cooper who doubts her father, Hal Cooper is the Black Hood.
Though the stars align and just when we think one of the fan theories are at least rendering some sense to season two mystery, concretizing an eerie connection between the Black Hood and Dark Betty. But, turns out Black Hood on a spree to kill sinners isn't Hal Cooper when Fred Andrew's is attacked again at the mayoral elections and Hal is right there at the hall. However, it's going to be a drag if the Black Hood turns out to be Hal's twin, because he is a Blossom by blood and in season two, we see the entrance made by Clifford Blossom's twin Claudius Blossom. Even Polly had twins, Cheryl had a twin, the Blossoms are all about twins.
Besides the Black Hood suspicion on Hal, he's given an important part in the episodes as he serves to be a client, or rather a lover, to Cheryl's mother, Penelope Blossom, who has now reinvented herself as an escort. (A "courtesan" in her words). Alice Cooper, on the other hand, had some sexual tension going on with Jug Head's dad, FP Jones. The teen drama rings a bell to Gossip Girl plot and the show has turned into a crossover of OG teen dramas and dark thrillers with a hint of High School Musical with Carrie Musical.
If you were someone who had survived cringe-worthy moments of previous episodes including the cheerleader dance choreography, this out-of-the-blue musical moment might have left you confused and cringed.
Added to that Archie is losing his own essence as a character, getting tossed and played by Hiram and Hermoine Lodge. Brainwashed by Hiram to come up with Red Circle, the rather useless Riverdale boy squad, Archie has also lost control over his own team and Hiram has handed the baton to Reggie, who is an underplayed character.
By now, even the toughest of the Riverdale fans who could justify almost all the follies of the show have run out of explanation and excuses to uphold Riverdale's reputation as the "it" teen show on Netflix. We are bored, but we still watch it because there's Cheryl, who entertains us the most, there's shirtless Archie, most of the time and finally the off-screen romance of Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart keeps us close to Bughead.
Now the fate of the show rests in their hands and we know this isn't how Riverdale is supposed to be. The show has been renewed for season three, we hope there's a better storyline than this. We will know if we survive boredom of season two.