We could have had it all.
You may have heard of a little show called Riverdale. You know, the one with gargoyle kings, serial killer genes, cults led by Chad Michael Murray, and incredible lines like this:
Like many people, I now tune into Riverdale almost exclusively to see how ridiculous it can get (and for Choni, of course). But there was a time when, believe it or not, Riverdale sort of made sense.
Here are 21 moments that prove Season 1 of Riverdale was actually really good:
Jason Blossom’s murder was the perfect mystery.
They focused on friendships, not just romances.
The characters actually kind of acted like high schoolers.
We got to see the characters date other people.
Veronica got to have storylines that didn’t revolve around her dad or Archie.
Season 1 Bughead was actually really cute.
There were still dramatic moments, but it didn’t feel like it was ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous. When something wild happened in Season 1, it usually served a purpose.
Archie had an adorable relationship with his dad.
There was focus on familial relationships — Archie’s parents’ divorce, Jughead’s issues with his dad, Betty’s search for her sister, and Veronica’s struggle to trust her mom.
The episode where Cheryl and the Bulldogs crash Jughead’s birthday party is one of the best in the series — it’s chaotic and entertaining, but still feels believable enough.
There were some really emotional moments that dealt with heavy topics, like Cheryl’s suicide attempt and Jughead being homeless.
The show actually called out Archie and Ms. Grundy’s relationship as being predatory and not okay instead of totally romanticizing it like most shows do with student-teacher relationships.
They did a really good job at teasing the iconic love triangle of Betty, Archie, and Veronica — you could genuinely see it going either way.
Veronica and Cheryl had some really sweet scenes together and they seemed like they were on the path to a real, genuine friendship.
The Pussycats actually got screen time! We got to see Josie’s complicated relationship with her mom, Josie and Valerie feuding, and their numerous performances. Plus, remember this scene?!
The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous and went perfectly with Jughead’s narration.
We didn’t know the full backstory on F.P. and Alice’s history yet, and there was so much tension and mystery to keep us intrigued.
Hiram was only an offscreen villain, and he was actually much scarier this way. There was something really creepy about knowing he was up to no good, but not being able to see him.
We got music numbers like “Kids in America” instead of weird pole dances to “Mad World.”
That sequence in the finale where Archie and Veronica hook up, Jughead joins the Serpents, and Cheryl burns her house down all while “Believer” by Imagine Dragons plays was *chef’s kiss*.
And finally, Season 1 ended on one of the best cliffhangers ever.
Oh, well. At least we have ridiculous moments like this to look forward to now:
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