Review: Riverdale Season 1



Riverdale- (Netflix)

or: This. Show.


So like most people on the planet, I have Netflix; I’ve been done with mainstream free to air TV for a good 5 years. About 2 years ago, I got hooked on Netflix. I’ve watched a lot of shows in my short time on Netflix, from a range of different genres, and binge watched a majority. My tastes in TV vary greatly depending on my mood, but usually I stay away from the faux teen angst dramas. I think they’re stupid and obnoxious.

When Riverdale was first uploaded to Australian Netflix, I totally ignored it. I was finishing off a few different shows, and wasn’t interested with the tooth aching promo pictures. Eventually, though, the net was abuzz with it; everyone was talking about Riverdale, and I begun to grow a little more curious. As my relationship with my Ex ended, I needed to binge watch something crappy, and so, in a fit of feminine woe, I clicked on the first episode.

I don’t know what I expected- perhaps a pretty-little liars and vampire diaries hybrid? – This so wasn’t it.

I watched the first 5 episodes in one sitting, then had to wait while each episode came out. I was hooked. No, I AM hooked.

There’s something about ambiguously attractive 20-somethings playing teenagers that has just snared my attention. The mystery that the story rotates around, at first, seems so cheesy it’s not funny. But then three episodes in, it becomes obvious that this isn’t what you thought.

Now, I’m usually pretty good with who-dun-its. There’s only really been three that have really, deeply shocked me; there is the one who shall remain nameless because i’m still traumatised and get the wails each time I even think of the title, Broadchurch and this damn show.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself… I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

Because that’s one of the best things about this show; it takes you for a ride. The mystery is bold, but intricately crafted. The plot points each episode are fresh, different in style, and keep the narrative spinning on. The whole series has excellent pace, and I cannot think of one second of it that dragged.

From a cinema-buff’s point of view, the techniques and the shots were fabulous. Slow intense closeups, cut with wide shots and super high quality mp characterises some really innovative work. Props to the cameraman.

But perhaps one of my favourite things was the use, and the play on colours.


The highly saturated, definitely digitally enhanced, colours made the whole story velvet gold. The manipulation of colours in this way is clearly a nod back to the source material; the TV show is based off the old comic series Archie. But the colours also add a touch of modern-ness to this; the use of colour in this way reeks of current film trends, and the impact of the technique is so huge, I could right a thesis paper on it.

Colour helps to define characters and their motives. The Blossoms are shades of red (don’t forget the symbolism here folks! Red is an important colour for a reason), Betty is Pink (cute colour offset by a much deeper and surprising character), Jughead and JP in Blacks and Greys (total opposites personality wise, and made to play off each other in the same hue), Archie in blues and reds (to highlight the two different Archie’s employed by the show writers at particular points in the series) and so on.

I liked that the show writers didn’t force the show into the super long American standard episodes (in comparison to usually shorter model European and British shows use); had they done so, it definitely would have cheapened the show. The impact is in it’s succinctness.

Now that season one has come to an end (I’m not crying, your crying!) I feel weirdly satisfied. I mean, I’m definitely going to be on tenterhooks for season two, but man that was such a neat way to end the series (i’m a hideous tease I know ;-))

Riverdale will definitely surprise you; trust me, even my review isn’t going to assist you here. 100% would recommend this show. My only advice is, wait to judge if you will continue the series until after episode four. If it’s not doing it for you after episode four, it might not be for you. And hey, you’ve got plenty of time to binge watch season one, season two might be a while.

I hope you liked my first TV show review. Something a bit different, but good to get back into the swing of things again.