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The sophomore season of any show is always the most crucial time in any series. It’s the time to prove that the first season that deserved a renewal over all the other new shows was not just a fluke. Riverdale’s first season was a great blend of murder mystery and teen melodrama with a great whodunit at the centre of the story that sent echoes through the small town it called home. With a shocking cliffhanger to start on, Riverdale’s sophomore season looked to not only be on par with its previous season, but bring more drama, mystery and even more murder.
The main story of season two revolves around the aftermath in the shooting of Fred Andrews leading to the emergence of a mysterious serial killer named the Black Hood. As Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead try to uncover the identity of the masked man, the killer continues to purge the town of sinners. Meanwhile, Veronica’s estranged father Hiram Lodge returns from prison, taking Archie under his wing to learn the family business while trying to legitimize his it. Tensions rise as the north and south sides begin to show hostility towards one another and Betty’s estranged brother returns home. As the mayoral election approaches and the town stays divided on their decision, the gang must convince many different parties to come together and fight a common foe.
Riverdale blends so many other successful shows and their elements together making it both familiar and yet unique at the same time. It takes the whodunit that surrounds the town from Twin Peaks, the love triangle and relationships is a mix of Gossip Girl and Dawson’s Creek, the teen melodrama of small-town America is from Pretty Little Liars, the teen detective aspects are from Veronica Mars and the style and attractive cast of a CW show.
As with the first season, Riverdale’s main story centers around a whodunit murder, but this time there is much more happening behind the scenes. The main four characters deal with their own issues that occasionally overlap and remind us of the campy teen drama at the core of this series. The adult characters play a bigger role this season as the focus shifts from a show about Riverdale the school to Riverdale the town. With the introduction of Veronica’s father, the re-emergence of Archie’s mother and the many familial storylines that play out, the parents become just as important as their kids in battling the darkness that surrounds their home.
In terms of performances, the fact that many of the actors could push through the campiness of the teen drama and bring very real and emotional characters was impressive. Standouts of the season were Skeet Ulrich, Luke Perry, Madchen Amick, Lochlyn Munro, Mark Consuelos, Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse and Madelaine Petsch. Archie’s portrayal was a bit disappointing as for the better half of it he was acting completely out of character and seemed to be constantly making oxymoronic decisions. He was so focused on his own agenda that he would do anything to stop what was going on and then all of a sudden forget about those same ideals and get involved in a completely separate situation. Aside from those out of character moments, the writing gave us a drama-filled ensemble that makes it hard to wait until fall to see what happens to these characters.
This season of Riverdale was an action-packed teen melodrama that takes everything great about the first season and multiplies it while adding more layers to the darkness that surrounds this small town. While some of the storylines can be a bit tedious, and some characters make unbelievable and rash decisions, the mysteries surrounding this town, paired with the layered stories of both generations that reside in it, make for a pulse-pounding whodunit that ends on a series changing cliffhanger with consistent twists and turns along the way. From its topical themes, campy drama and great performances, this show is an easy guilty pleasure so it’s definitely worth the watch.
Here’s our video review:
What did you think of Riverdale? Was this season as entertaining as the last? Let me know in the comments!
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