Why ‘Riverdale’ Is The Best Teen Drama On TV Right Now

Katie Yu/The CW

Katie Yu/The CW

The CW’s Riverdale hasn’t yet reached the end of its first season and it’s already garnered more acclaim than many shows well beyond their tenure.

There’s just something about Riverdale that viewers can’t get enough and we don’t really know what exactly it is. The show’s formula isn’t particularly innovative. How many TV shows have we seen about a group of teenage friends in a small town? All of them.

At first glance, the main characters are also pretty familiar: the popular girl, the jock, the innocent girl and the weird, angsty boy. However, Riverdale takes the iconic Archie comic book characters and puts unexpected twists on them. And when they’re out-of-the-box, that’s when the show really does peak in its magic. There’s always a huge twist that we couldn’t be more excited about.

With murder mysteries, inappropriate relationships and personality disorders, there’s a certain intrigue hanging over Archie and his friends that we can’t get enough of. Here are a few of the show’s highlights from the season so far, as well as some possible explanations for why we just can’t stop tuning into Riverdale.


1. The comebacks.

Katie Yu/The CW

Katie Yu/The CW

If you’re a Disney lover, you probably grew up watching Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Well, Cole Sprouse makes his long-awaited comeback as the iconic character of Jughead. I think it’s important to note that although Jughead seems to be a minor character for now, he’s technically the one telling the story. He’s the keeper of secrets and his voiceovers, though creepy, are kind of poetic in a mysterious and angst-ridden kind of way.

Archie and Luke Perry as Fred -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

Diyah Pera/The CW

The show also showcases the return of Luke Perry. If you’re an avid teenage television show fanatic, you’ve at least heard of Beverly Hills, 90210. It was iconic and was probably one of the first shows to tackle real teenage issues while embodying the lifestyle of the wealthy. Luke Perry played resident bad boy Dylan, who often got himself into a bit of a love triangle for most of the series. Sound familiar? Think pre-Riverdale Archie. On Riverdale, Perry plays Archie’s father. Character development.


2. The diversity.

By now you probably know that nearly everyone in the Archie comics was a redhead. One of the most refreshing changes to the classic comics was the new adaptation of Josie. Josie is the leader of the local band Josie & The Pussycats. Played by Ashleigh Murray, not only is Josie beautiful but she’s also full of attitude and confidence and she isn’t afraid to leave it all on stage while she’s performing. So far, the songs we’ve heard have been nothing short of great. We can’t wait to hear more as the series goes on and to see even more of the much-needed changes to the old tropes.


3. It tackled slut shaming in a major way.

Courtesy of The CW

Courtesy of The CW

We rarely see television shows even address slut shaming, let alone tackle it in the bold way that Riverdale did during its third episode. After new girl Veronica is slut-shamed by the football team, Betty teams up with her take down the boys and end the harassment. The girls get pretty risque with their plan (FYI jacuzzis, handcuffs and BDSM are involved) are eventually victorious. The show does an amazing job executing what slut shaming is and how it really affects young girls.

Watch Riverdale on Thursdays at 8:00 P.M. on The CW. It’s only getting better and better.

Alima KhanuCOLLEGECANDY Writer
Soon to be Rutgers Grad, writer, and poet who lives for Raspberry tea, Shondaland Thursdays and frequent trips to the movie theater.
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