Review: Riverdale Season 3

Welcome back everyone!

Today I am going to share my thoughts on the latest season of Riverdale- I know it was airing a while ago on actual TV, but I always wait to binge watch it on Netflix and it only came on there recently. I actually mentioned a couple times in my daily posts from my trip that whenever we were on a flight or train I was watching Riverdale, and I ended up finishing the entire season towards the end of the trip.

Just for some background, I LOVED the first season of the show. I thought by the end of the season it answered just enough questions to leave viewers satisfied but also waiting for the next season. However, I found the second season disappointing. It seemed much cheesier (sometimes I literally thought it was a joke) with the random sub-plots, and the whole Black Hood storyline wasn’t my favorite. It just reminded me of A from Pretty Little Liars but with more violence rather than creepiness. Overall, I would say the third season is kind of in the middle of the spectrum for me. I still enjoyed the first season the most, but this most recent one was definitely better than its predecessor.

Don’t get me wrong, it was still quite cheesy and ridiculous in some ways (an obvious play on the Breakfast Club, a musical episode…) and some of the plot lines seemed a little outrageous at first, but at least they were entertaining. The season was also much darker than the others, but that was the component that kept me on the edge of my seat while watching.

Here’s a short overview of some of the focuses and events in this season in no particular order:

  • everyone starts playing a dangerous board game called Gryphons and Gargoyles, causing lots of problems due to its dangerous missions that often end in death/sacrifice
  • some of the hardcore G&G players form a Gargoyle gang that overtakes the Serpents and Ghoulies
  • Toni and Cheryl break away from the Serpents and form an all girl gang called the Pretty Poisons
  • The Farm grows more popular and gains more members through recruitment at Riverdale High
  • Betty is convinced the Farm is a cult and that there’s something deeper going on so she continues to investigate
  • Hiram Lodge continues to wreak havoc on Riverdale and gets involved in the trade of a drug that causes seizures
  • Veronica opens a speak-easy within Pop’s called La Bonne Nuit
  • Archie gets put in juvie by Hiram and ends up in an illegal fight club there
  • Archie does boxing after getting out of juvie and eventually opens up his own gym
  • Jughead’s mom and sister move back to Riverdale so they are kind of like a family again
  • and much more, plus various side issues that spring up from these plot points above!

I would definitely recommend catching up on the show on Netflix if you didn’t already keep up with the season as it aired. I think you can also watch episodes on the CW app if you have an account or something; I know some of my friends did that during the year. It was definitely an action-packed season and every character had a lot going on in almost every episode. I was always looking forward to getting to watch it and figure out what was going on with the various mysteries, and it was satisfying that almost everything connected and made sense in the end. Speaking of the end- I won’t spoil anything, but it was crazy and of course, action packed! I enjoyed part of it, but part of it I thought was a little unnecessary.

Besides the cheesiness factor that I mentioned before, the other thing I didn’t like about the season were the random efforts made to try and make the characters’ high school lives seem relatable. In the middle of all the cult and gang craziness, there was an episode where studying for the SATs was mentioned and the characters were focusing on that. I know they have to have some high school background-type events since the characters are teenagers, but it just seemed out of place. There was another portion of an episode related to college admissions, where Cheryl’s mother was trying to prevent her from getting into her dream school. That part was a little bit more cohesive since it added more depth to Cheryl’s personal plotline at the moment, but it still came a little out of nowhere.

The last thing I’ll talk about in this review are the characters more specifically. I liked that the parents had all their storylines going on and their own secrets, especially since they ended up intertwined with that of their children. The relationships were a bit predictable; Veronica and Archie broke up but still had feelings for each other, Betty and Jughead stayed together, etc. I liked the dynamic between Cheryl and Toni a lot, I thought they made an interesting couple. All of the characters from the Farm were quite creepy, but that was obviously intentional. Hiram Lodge continues to be very evil and cause tons of problems for Archie (he reallllly hates Archie), and everything else you would imagine.

Hopefully you guys found this informative and will go check the show out if you haven’t already! I know I was a little critical of it but I overall really enjoyed the new season and hey, it IS a show targeted for a younger audience- it just needs to be entertaining. I’ll be doing more reviews on TV/movies whenever I get the chance, and I’ll have more content to update you guys with soon!

-Brooke

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