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Riverdale tried but failed

“Riverdale” has always been an unexplainable phenomenon to me. I watched the first two seasons, then decided it was getting too absurd and stopped. Earlier this year, “Riverdale” started its fourth season. According to a previous Hoot article, the first episode honored the death of Luke Perry, one of the actors, and apparently, it was a really good episode. Well, I didn’t watch it, but I did catch the Halloween episode, and let’s just say that “Riverdale’s” streak of good episodes ended there. 

For those who are wise enough to not watch “Riverdale,” let me catch you up on what is going on. The show centers on four teenagers: Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), the boy-next-door who likes getting into unnecessary trouble and on my nerves; Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), the girl-next-door with a mysterious “dark side;” Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), the rich girl who tries to be nice; and Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), the series’ try-hard dramatic narrator. The noteable side-characters in this episode are Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), the mean it-girl who makes appearances as random as rain on a sunny day, and her girlfriend Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan). Their relationship feels more like a forced domestic partnership than a “goals” situation. 

They all live in a small town called “Riverdale”—surprising, I know—which has more crap happening in it than there should be in 10 towns of the same size combined. Since we are four seasons in, I could spend hours describing what has happened, but to spare us all, let’s just say a lot of random sh*t goes down in “Riverdale.” 

The Halloween episode starts with videotapes of the houses appearing on their own doorsteps all over “Riverdale,” which results in widespread fear; after everything these people have dealt with (i.e a serial killer, people dressing as gargoyles, multiple drug gangs) videotapes almost feel harmless. 

For this Halloween, Archie-I-always-try-to-do-good-but-fail-Andrews wants to keep kids off the streets by turning his gym into a community center. He decides to throw a party on Halloween, so kids don’t end up going around dealing drugs. Intriguing start right? Too bad everything else is nonsense. Archie comes head to head with one of Riverdale’s main drug dealers, and the latter ends up shooting one of the kids at the party. Noble, but naive, Andrews. He always bothered me.   

Jughead seems to have started attending some kind of fancy school with a bunch of stuck up jerks, who as you can imagine are not the most pleasant to be around. They haze the poor kid, who really just wants to be left alone and study. Sound familiar? Well, this is “Riverdale,” so “cliche teen movie” is not enough. The other students don’t just haze Jughead, they also lock him up in a coffin for the night. Let me say that again: The poor kid spent the entire night in a coffin. 

Comparatively, Betty got the most peaceful evening of all. She starts at home with  Jughead’s little sister, trying to enjoy the night. But their peace is interrupted when they start getting silent phone-calls, and since this is “Riverdale,” prank calls do not exist, so it has to be a serial killer calling them. The conclusion of this was also quite unimpressive for “Riverdale” standards: It was just Betty’s older sister trying to get in touch with her. As a side-note, Betty’s older sister is currently part of a murdering cult that is on the run from authorities for all the messed up things they have done in the past. 

Veronica, just like the rest of the characters, is a senior in high school. But she already owns a diner which has a speakeasy under it. Normal, right? Anyway, Veronica was alone in her diner late at night—which you know, is always a good idea—when she encounters a customer asking to come in and eat even though the diner is closed. Of course, she lets him in and feeds him, until she saw on TV that he was actually an escaped patient from a psychiatric facility. He then tries to murder her. Didn’t see that one coming? Yeah, neither did I. 

In case all of this was not enough to persuade you of the pure absurdity of this show, I saved the best for last: It appears that, for a while, Cheryl kept the body of her brother (who died in season one) in the basement of her house. She would go talk to him and dress him and play with him like a doll. How is this even allowed on TV? Thankfully, Toni finally makes her bury the body: Oh my God, someone in this show has some common sense. 

These are just the highlights of what happened in this year’s Halloween episode of “Riverdale,” and it is truly a lot. I am almost certain that the writers are just messing with the audience at this point—there is no way they think any of this is even mildly believable. After seeing all of this in one place, I only have one thing to say: “Riverdale” is a sh*tshow.

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