Arts and Entertainment

The Fall of “Riverdale”

With lackluster scriptwriting, an excessive amount of plotholes, and too many events to keep track of, “Riverdale” season four just doesn’t cut it.

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When “Riverdale” came out in 2017, it quickly became incredibly popular. At one point, it seemed like every teen in the country was watching the show. From its enticing murder mystery plotline to endless relationship drama, “Riverdale” was a hit. After a season two to match, a downer season three did not gain as much traction as its predecessors. The plot became too contrived, and the season became increasingly confusing as the show went on. Not much was expected from the cast after season three, but lo and behold, there was a season four. Viewers like me were interested to see if “Riverdale” season four would redeem the show. Unfortunately, it missed the mark, though perhaps not as badly as the dismal season three.

“Riverdale” is inspired by the 1940s comic book series Archie Comics and follows high schoolers Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), and Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) and their classmates Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petch), Kevin Keller (Casey Cott), Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan), and Reggie Mantle (Charles Melton). The town of Riverdale is known for its secrets, and it is up to these teenagers to unravel them. Season four focuses on these characters' adventures through senior year. After their crazy junior year which involved cursed board games, an organ-harvesting cult called the Farm, gang activity, and imprisonment, the group was hoping to make the most out of their last year in high school. Unfortunately, things quickly turned sour for the “core four” (as is to be expected at this point in “Riverdale”). The death of Archie’s father, Fred Andrews (Luke Perry), the restrictive reign of their new principal, Mr. Honey (Kerr Smith), a prep school full of lies, and the illness of Veronica’s father, Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos)—there were several peculiar plotlines in season four.

If you have seen any videos or memes about how bad the show is, you might be wondering if there is anything worthwhile in “Riverdale.” And shockingly, yes, there is. Despite reviews saying otherwise, “Riverdale” has a wholly original plot. There are many twists and turns in each episode that keep you on the edge of your seat. They attract viewers and give them a reason to continue watching the show.“Riverdale” season four is unique in how it uses flashbacks to hint the future, a new addition to the show as of this season. These frequent flashbacks do a great job building tension and foreshadow an event to be unveiled later.

Nevertheless, “Riverdale'' has some major faults that cannot be overlooked. There are countless plotlines that don’t go anywhere. From abrupt introductions to strange new characters to the frequently contrived and underdeveloped connections made throughout the season, these plot holes make it hard to watch the show all the way through without seriously doubting the sanity of the writers. When watching the show, it's easy to get confused and overwhelmed by the number of simultaneous plotline. Some episodes seem out of place, and others just appear out of the blue. This happens in “Riverdale” a lot, and though the writers are doing a better job of sticking with one central story this season than in season three, they still added unnecessary plotlines. But the script for “Riverdale” weakens the effectiveness and authenticity of the plot for its viewers. Some scenes are well-written and contribute to the story, but others become incredibly repetitive or often pointless. Occasionally, a scene will come about that is so terribly written and ridiculously unrealistic that it will become a viral internet sensation. This is not where “Riverdale” shines.

Not surprisingly, there will be a fifth season of “Riverdale” to be released in January 2021. Season four was actually cut short a few episodes as production was halted abruptly due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the release of season five is delayed for the same reason. The beginning of season five will, therefore, start off with the last three episodes of season four. As for where season five might go, I have no clue. “Riverdale” is known for its insane storylines, crazy plot twists, and spontaneous events, so the season can be taken in many different directions.

“Riverdale” has become a magnet for teens looking for a sense of mystery in their everyday lives. It definitely has its faults and is borderline unsalvageable. Season four is no exception and does nothing but contribute to the show’s already tarnished legacy. A tension-filled plotline is the only worthwhile part of this show. Season four could have been the redemption of “Riverdale,” but instead, it just fell flat.