Riverdale is a teen drama television series based on the characters of Archie Comics. The series was adapted for The CW by Archie Comics' chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and is produced by Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, in association with Berlanti Productions and Archie Comics.
The series features an ensemble cast based on the characters of Archie Comics, with KJ Apa in the role of Archie Andrews; Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, the series' narrator, and Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom.
Season 4 consists of only 19 episodes this season.
Random and meaningless. That's the best way to sum up my feelings for this season. Off the bat I didn't expect this to be great. The series has been on a downward spiral and I didn't expect that to change, but this season was bad in another way.
Season 3 was just awful and stupid. This season is a lot more competent than the third but somehow just as bad. It's extremely pointless and it feels like they've completely run out of creativity. Season 4 feels like a bunch of rejected subplots from the other seasons bunch together. The season lacked an overarching arc making it feel cut up and disjointed.
The first part focused on Archie turning the boxing center into a community center and him making terrible decisions and being batman. I liked these characters in the first season and even the second one but they've been completely ran into the ground. They make the dumbest decision imaginable and then have the nerve to be suprised when things go wrong. Archie is an idiot who engaged the lives of a ton of children.
After that Betty and her brother investigated the Farm in what felt rushed and anticlimactic. It pretty much crapped on the last season and the foundation of this one. I had to watch season 3 and that's time I'll never get back. The very least you can do is make me feel like I didn't waste my time. But no it's a plotline that ended as fast as it started and one that's completely forgotten by the end.
Veronica has become annoying if not obnoxious. She keeps going back and forth with her father in a storyline that was played out in season two. This plotline felt recycled and tired. The second plotline follows the haunting of Cheryl Blossom, in one of the weirdest things I've seen in a bit. It's an arc that felt rushed, stupid, and plain weird. However, I would say it's the most Riverdale and frankly interesting thing in the season, but Topaz had one of the strangest reactions I've ever seen. It was bizarre.
The next story and the reason why we were all there was the death of Jughead. Something that was teased throughout the entire season but lasted a little bit longer than a commercial break. If you go in expecting this to be the focus you will be extremely disappointed. It's merely another cog in the machine, which is a real shame considering this one way pretty well done. It did feel a little top to heavy though. They laid out a path of bread crumbs throughout more than half the season only to then force an entire feast down your throat in three episodes.
I don't want to spoil anything yet, but those three episodes were better than the entire season and it's kinda sad. Those episodes are what the show should've and could've been. It was an investigation that was grounded but teetered on the edge of the supernatural and sinister. It had since twist and fin scenes. It wasn't perfect, but if the entire season was this I'd be happy. But even this lacked the it factor to keep me wanting more, and that's a problem with the entire season..
Everything felt small. And even though every story only lasted a handful of episodes they all still ended up feeling rushed. The characters were painfully stupid and the show lacked an overarching arc to be a cohesive season. Even at 19 episodes the season was filled with pointless filler episodes. I've said it before and I'll say it again this show only needs to be 13 episodes if that. It's an episode of Scooby-Doo drawn out to fifteen hours for the sole purpose of filing a schedule and no other reason. I do have to mention the first episode which pays tribute to the late Luke Perry in a really touching way.
Season 4 felt like a shadow of its former self trying to relive it's glory days and miserably failing at it. The characters got worse and all the charm is gone. All that's left is a boring plot that reads more like a cheap anthology series than a cohesive piece of work. And in the end it felt completely pointless. The one positive for season 4 is that it was better than season 3, but that really isn't saying much. Overall season 4 was a step up from season 3, but is still a painful shadow of its former self that has no clue what to do. All in all it was a random and meaningless mess that dragged itself along and completely wasted the audiences time.
With everything wrong with this show trust me when I say the acting is the least of their worries. Everyone's good if not wasted once again. The main four play their parts well and really sell the more cringey dialogue. I give props to them for at least keeping the show interesting.
Mädchen Amick who plays Alice Cooper was one of my favorite parts of the first season. Both her character and acting, but here she's pretty much wrote out the script. It's pretty disappointing because she had one of the better stories to tell and the fact that the series desperately needed content. Again this is a show intent on handicapping itself.
Madelaine Petsch is really good as Cheryl Blossom. Her character is entertaining, but you can tell they don't know what to do with her. She's there to be there and you can her to the list of wasted characters alongside Topaz, who was as wasted as she was strange. And that's the problem with all of them. They aren't characters they're objects who make decisions for the plot, and when the plot isn't very characters then the characters can only be so good. It's a domino effect that collapses an entire story.
Overall the acting was fine. I didn't think there was a bad performance but when characters are this bad, acting can only go so far.
The first episode is a tribute to Luke Perry who tragically passed away, and it's one the genuinely touched me. They kill him off in a hit a run, then archie goes after the person who did it but it was actually the guy's son. These are the type of things that invoke emotions. It ended with Archie and his friends driving his body back home where they were met with cheers from everyone paying their respects. That made me cry, and it was by far the only time in this season where I felt genuine time went into it.
Then we open with the immediate aftermath of the Farm . Where Alice is trapped with Mr. Evernever and Betty is left with her FBI agent brother, who was but by the way.
That story ends in like three episodes. An entire season left on a cliffhanger only to be closed and forgotten within the intro of the season. It's seriously infuriating how little they care, and Betty's brother was awful. He allowed a teenager to defuse a bomb. This dude should've been fired on the spot. The rest of the story plays out and Kevin is an idiot. Betty is annoying and she does things even when she's told not to despite it being stupid. She reminded me of an annoying bratty kid who did the opposite of what their parents told them just because. The thing is that she's right a lot of the times, but you don't like her anymore instead it's a broke clock right two times a day type of thing.
Polly gets strapped to a bomb and Betty defused it because why not. The FBI won't get involved so Betty has to get passports from Topaz before going to Mr. Evernever. She gets captured and tied up with her mom, then they do that thing where there's no logical way for them to escape so they just cut to them already out. Lastly they kill me Evernever and that's it. It's over. A few episodes in and we're done with the third season cliffhanger. It was anticlimactic and disappointing, unfortunately like a lot of the season.
The next story is with Archie turning the gym into a community center and its just not that interesting. A lot of the kids are involved in crime so he dresses up as batman to help them. He literally became a superhero and went around with a baseball bat. That's where we're at. He made one of the dumbest decisions you can make. He beat up a crime boss and then robbed him as if there wouldn't be consequences. Archie has never seen No Country For Old Men or has common sense.
He puts all of these kids in danger, and then the Manson family takes everybody hostage during a Thanksgiving dinner. It ends when a pot blows up and they're able to take the gun away. This is where we're at.
They throw a mini subplot in the middle of the other subplots where Reggie is dealing with an abusive father. This could've been interesting if they cared. It's done in like an episode. It starts with Archie looking at Reggie's father yelling at him. Then Reggie goes to Veronica with a black eye. She tells archie and then he confronts Reggie's dad about, which I think is the stupidest thing you can do. Then they destroy Reggie's dad's car and that somehow moves things in the right direction. What? What a-hole parent would look at their wrecked car and say I should maybe stop beating my kid? Again just no effort.
The next story wasn't great but I still ended up liking it. Mainly because the others were worse but still, this was the haunting of the Blossom house. It followed Cheryl after she put the body of Jason in her basement. This plot was fun and stupid. I really liked it. She's talking to her dead brother when some supernatural stuff starts happening. Topaz finds out about the body and she's like ok. I don't care how much you love someone if you saw that no one should be ok with it. She eventually gets Cheryl to bury it then more supernatural stuff happens. Nana then tells them about how Cheryl had another brother but ate him in the wound. A doll pops up and moves around like Annabelle.
Cheryl's aunt and uncle come over to try and buy her out the maple business. Her uncle finds Jason's body then Cheryl kills him before feeding him to his wife. It's weird, strange, but entertaining. That's what the show needs. This plot always stayed fun and tongue and cheek. A big problem with the show as a whole is how serious it takes itself. This while certainly not perfect felt like a darker episode of goosebumps which I loved. This is why I enjoyed this show. Watching these mature mysteries was fun, but it does end with a huge copout. They pull a Scooby-Doo and yank the mask off to reveal that it's all fake and Cheryl's mother was hiding in the walls. As per Riverdale standards, anything slightly good must be destroyed. You're left with nothing changing and the entire subplot being meaningless. That sums up the entire season.
They had a mid season intermission where everybody talked to the school counselor and had a new revelation on life. Only they didn't. Jughead found out he had to stop the investigation, but he didn't. Veronica found out she had to completely separate from her father, but she didn't. What was the point of the episode? There's usually one moment in each season that's powerful, and this one was when Betty's mom said she loved Betty the most. A mom revealing she loves a kid more than the others is a big thing, but they don't do anything with it. They only reference it once in the same episode with a throwaway line.
Now we go to Veronica and Hiram doing what they do best, annoy me. This is worse than the others because of how much I don't care. It felt so artificial. They fight just to fight. Hiram has another daughter and they stuff her in just to do it because she doesn't do much. He also has a disease and he's dying. Now that led to some good moments that at least attempted to be genuine, but overall it felt like an unused subplot from season 2.
The last subplot and the biggest was with Jughead and the curse of Stonewall Prep. This is what the entire season should've been. Jughead goes to a new school and uncovers a mystery where in order to write the perfect murder you have to commit the perfect murder. The is a mature Scooby-Doo episode and that's what the series is meant to be. I would say though it was so stretched out and top heavy. From like episode of three Jughead is finding little pieces of the puzzle, but they save most of everything for a three episode arc. It happened from episode 14 to 16, so right at the season end.
The story follows the death of Jughead. He goes to this new school where they get the chance to write for this huge novel series. Jughead finds out his Grandfather wrote the first novel then his teacher jumps out the window. From the it's very little thing until the big arc. They go to a party and go into the woods where Jughead is dead and Betty is standing over him with a rock. This is something I liked. Did Betty kill Jughead? This is something they poked at for about 10 minutes then they were like whatever. I knew they didn't have the stones to kill him off, but it was so disappointing when he came back the next episode. Again everything great is destroyed. He comes to life and solves the mystery.
If it 13 episodes where this was the main story arc this could've been special, but instead it's stretched out to almost being ineffective. It's also filled with filler which is expected at this point, but they have a duel and play chess. The main bad guy is peeping on people and just some random stuff to fill the runtime. However, overall I liked it. Again this is what the show is meant to be. A sinister mystery in Riverdale solved by our unlikely heroes.
The rest of the story is a pointless musical episode, then Betty reads her diary about Archie, and lastly Jughead writes a story about their principle. Fun. They throw in one scene of Betty's brother and Chick plotting for season 5 and their principle getting ready for season 5. The nerve to build for another season while you can't even do it for this season. They then burst a peep show shop and yeah that's it. Just randomness and very little of it being actually good.
I wasn't disappointed. When you expect crap and get it you can only be so sad. I wasn't expecting it to be great and unfortunately it wasn't, but it felt so pointless and almost like an erotic Creep Show fan film.
Bad characters and a pointless story mix to equal a pointless mess and this is what season 4 of Riverdale is. A pointless mess.
© 2021 Royce Proctor Jr