Wednesday, February 15, 2017

slightly silly: riverdale, episode 3: body double

things start to heat up in riverdale and the show starts to settle into itself in this episode. plus we tackle some "after school special" issues. but finally the characters start to behave a little less like total caricatures and more like people. i mean everything is still highly charged and stylized, but it's just been toned down slightly so that you believe it a little more.

but like if this sets the tone for a normal episode, you can see how the show can continue. the murder mystery plot still advances, but the relationships between all the characters deepens. one of my favorite moments is one that has all our main cast sitting together in a break room, setting the main plots in motion.

this week we have a case of bad boy locker room behavior coupled with some serious slut-shaming. veronica gets caught in the crosshairs, but she's no shrinking violet and refuses to just sit down and take it. and since betty is conveniently reviving the school newspaper alongside jughead, she thinks that this has the potential to be a prime exposé on the jerks leading the football team.

it's the first time we get to see betty step out of her good girl persona, and it's all good at first. but things take a turn. and now i really want to know more about polly, because part of me is almost thinking that maybe she isn't real. except that archie and betty have been friends since they were little so clearly polly must be someone real. but then if cheryl and jason were twins and polly is betty's sister, what's the age difference we're talking about here? i'm just so intrigued by all these things.

veronica very clearly remains my favorite character, i think because she's also new to all things riverdale so she helps educate us as the audience on what the subtext is as she figures out stuff. oh, and we should keep an eye on ethel, she may have stepped up to get chuck's comeuppance in the books, but she also seems like she's up to no good.

when i think about it, the biggest problem this show has is that archie is hot, but isn't much else. his storyline about his music and banging the music teacher and fighting with his dad is so blah. compared to the high drama that betty and veronica get to deal with, it just doesn't feel like these characters inhabit the same world. we need more than a fleeting moment at pop's shop for archie, veronica, betty and jughead to be friends. i think the show is trying to get there, and i hope they figure out a way to make it work. because it's really close i think. every episode gets closer. i think once they can blow up the miss grundy/archie affair this will improve. keeping that a secret won't be nearly as interesting as what happens when everyone finds out.

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