‘Riverdale’ season 3 TV show review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
The new season of Riverdale is… a lot. As in, I can’t breathe half the time because I’m so emotionally invested, which is kind of embarrassing. The cliff-hangers, the foreshadowing, and the dramatic music make an even bigger return to the show. Reading a sign by a swimming pool that says, “Caution: No Swimming After Labour Day” probably shouldn’t make me gasp thinking somebody is totally about to die right now, but I did—which makes me wonder if the show may be just a bit over-dramatized.
The background music should be just that—background—but it is so painfully obvious in trying set the mood. Hearing party ambience switch to thudding horror movie music is an uncomfortable jump. It takes away from the suspense that should already be present without the rave in my ears of cacophonic dial tones. Is that Michael Myers? Nope, just Jughead Jones, who may just be the same person.
Oddly, the time period seems off, as though Riverdale is now set about two decades before the last season. Film cameras, olden-timey dresses, and vintage filters are put on the scenes. Suddenly there is a lack of connection to modern times, unlike the last two seasons which could have passed as any 2010s teen flick. The main issue I have here is consistency with its older seasons, but if the producers really wanted this change, then props to them because it is working.
The protagonists Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, Cheryl Blossom, and their respective families are all as theatrical as ever. Some of their characters lack consistency with the morals they had in the past seasons, but the progression is better than it was before. After the 180 Archie’s character experienced in the last season, seeing him as a powerful hero with his head screwed on right again is nice to see.
Veronica’s family is at the head of pulling strings to mess up Riverdale’s town order. However, this time around everyone knows when Veronica’s father, Hiram, is lying. Having characters continuously lie to one another while every character (and the audience) knows that they aren’t telling the truth seems counterproductive and a waste of script.
Cheryl Blossom is an icon, established by her nonconforming sexual identity and Robin Hood demeanor. She has probably undergone the most trauma throughout the series—from her twin brother Jason’s murder, her dad being the murderer, burning down her mansion, being imprisoned in a troubled youth home for conversion therapy, to her uncle and mother’s plans to murder Cheryl’s nana and take control of the family’s net worth.
Despite all this, this season shows Cheryl demonstrating a bad bitch attitude. Her introductory scene presented her strutting in high heels and wearing short shorts, a red bra under a red leather jacket, and glossy red lipstick complimenting her fiery hair. She proudly announces a party she is throwing, while making sure to namedrop her girlfriend Toni Topaz. In later gang-fight scenes, Cheryl stands atop a truck clutching a bow and arrow. Jughead dubs her someone who “never misses” after she shoots a Ghoulies gang member square in the chest. She has been shown shooting the series’ prior antagonist the Black Hood as well.
Regardless of the consistency issues and over-dramatization of the series, I am excited for what this season has in store. The characters are off to a good start and the storyline has potential for greatness. If anything, I’m going to keep watching just to see Cheryl Blossom shoot more bad guys with her bow clutched between perfectly manicured fingernails.