Riverdale has become infamous these days for having the most outlandish things possible happen to its high school aged cast, including them becoming vigilantes, joining gangs, and running speakeasies before they’ve even sat their exams. It’s a show that no longer really exists in any recognisable reality.
But Riverdale’s initial thirteen episodes are a different story. It’s a tightly focused murder mystery that exposes the dark and seedy underbelly lurking underneath the sweet exterior of a Middle American suburban paradise. The high school characters actually act their age, although the actors themselves are still clearly too old to be playing teenagers, and the final twist of the killer’s identity genuinely works.
It’s clear that after the season one finale the writers immediately ran out of ideas and started putting in the most insane plot twists they could think of to keep the ratings up. The episode count being increased from thirteen to around twenty-two also stretches any ideas that could be decent into season-long arcs that massively overstay their welcomes.