A guide to binge-watching ‘Riverdale’

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By Gianluca Russo
Campus News

If the end of “Pretty Little Liars” has you on the lookout for a weekly dose of teen murder-mystery, The CW has your back. “Riverdale,” which just premiered its second season on the network, may just be your cup of tea. Combining murder, relationships, sass and fashion — every teen’s favorite subjects — the show quickly picked up a huge fan base and instantly rose in popularity.

While the second season has been somewhat disappointing to many, with too many characters and not enough of fully developed plotlines, the first season still reigns supreme. From the first episode, it instantly hooks the audience in, much like other shows of its kind. Essentially, it’s a mix of “Pretty Little Liars” and “Gossip Girl.” Yes, the first season really is that good.

If you haven’t gotten around to binge watching “Riverdale” quite yet, now is the time to do so. With hopes that the second season will soon pick up in drama, you certainly won’t want to miss all that could go down in this little, drama-filled town. Before you begin watching, though, here’s a guide to everything you should know before you enter the murder web that is “Riverdale.”

The show takes place in the small town of Riverdale where all seems perfect and right. That is, until Jason Blossom is found dead and all hell breaks loose. No one seems to know what happened; not even his sister, Cheryl, though she was the last to see him alive. Let the murder-mystery begin.
KJ Apa takes on the role of Archie Andrews, the show’s leading character. His innocence has been broken, though no one knows that quite just yet. In fact, all they seem to know is that after returning from summer vacation, he’s come back with abs. While all the high school girls are after him, he’s focused on his music and turning it from a hobby into a career. His father doesn’t approve at first, however, attempting to force him to focus on football.

Betty Cooper, played by Lili Reinhart, has finally worked up the courage to profess her feelings for Archie. She starts off the series as a typical ingénue: sweet personality, long, blond hair, nervous to break her mother’s expectations. She soon grows tired of her mother’s overbearing ways, however, and reveals a side to her that leaves the audience shocked. Along her side is Kevin Keller, played by Casey Cott. As best friends, he brings the sass and fun to the relationship, especially when Betty becomes a little too dark later in the season.

Betty and Kevin are shook when Veronica Lodge, played by Camila Mendes, comes to town. She is a typical Manhattan socialite: sophisticated, confident and oh, so glamourous. Running away from the mess her father has made, Veronica and her mother come to Riverdale for a fresh start. Veronica instantly becomes friends with Betty and Kevin and the three become a force to be reckoned with.

But the true drama of the series is brought by Cheryl Blossom, played by Madelaine Petsch. Whether you view her as a murder suspect, a victim, a bully or a queen, you will, undeniably, hate/love Cheryl throughout the entire season. She is a professional pot-stirrer and loves the drama more than anyone else. But above all, her fashion is the best part of her. Her signature color is red, which is quite fitting as her personality is bolder and louder than anyone else. She’s the worst, yet also the best at the same time.

Tying it all together is Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, the typical high school social outcast. Intrigued by the murder, he sets out to find the truth and to write a novel about it along the way. He has a past with Archie, having once been best friends. Something came between them, however, and now, they barely speak. That will all soon change, though, as Jughead brings all the characters together to bring justice for Jason Blossom and to uncover the truth of what happened on that mysterious July 4th.

Interested? “Riverdale” can be binged on Netflix at anytime and airs each Wednesday on the CW. Don’t miss out on the drama that is about to unfold: a lot has happened so far in this once peaceful town, and a whole lot more is about to unfold.

Regular contributor Gianluca Russo is a freelance writer who attended Schenectady County Community College and now attends UAlbany.