Production for season 3 of Riverdale is underway and as the cast dye their hair and get into character, I’m reminded of what is so special about this show. I am open and ready to admit that I have watched and loved every episode of this ridiculous series. And that is because Riverdale makes stupid television an art form.
When I say stupid in this context I mean it as compliment. There’s no use in lying about it, everyone watches stupid TV. We all need to switch off every now and then. But there is a hierarchy of stupid television. Some television is stupid because its empty and meaningless, like Keeping Up With The Kardashians. But Riverdale is different. The stupid is handled with care. It’s masterful. When you watch Riverdale you are treated to top of the range, first class, handcrafted stupidity.
I will never forget the wonderful moment that brought me to this realization. For the less fortunate who have never seen an episode it requires a little context. There is a blonde family called the Coopers who have a long standing feud with a red headed family called the Blossoms (Yes the families are determined by distinct hair colors). The younger members of the two families are less invested in the feud and Betty Cooper allows Cheryl Blossom over to her house.
Now of course Betty’s mother is not happy about this. So how does she respond? Does she give Betty a speech about betraying the family? Does she remind Betty of all the turmoil the Blossoms have called the Coopers? Does she threaten to kick Betty out of the house? Of course not. Instead she waits until Cheryl leaves and walks into Betty’s room burning sage to “cleanse the evil.” That’s an Emmy moment right there.
And it’s not even the only one. From overt and over the top references to movies like The Godfather and Silence of The Lambs, to random misplaced cameos, Riverdale consistently delivers a level of stupidly that makes you laugh at loud, chastise yourself for watching, and franticly click to play the next episode.
Season 3 can’t come soon enough, because the stupid television I’ve been watching in the meantime just doesn’t compare.