Review: Riverdale Season 1 Episode 1 “Chapter One: The River’s Edge”

Teen soap shows are notorious for their forced pop culture references that blatantly try to target specific audiences and come off as cringeworthy. While ‘Riverdale’ is filled with clichéd character dynamics and designs, its approach to the genre feels refined, as the references to everything from Mad Men to Ansel Elgort feel fluid, witty and never pretentious or showy. It fuses this youthful, modern tone with self-aware writing that is both clever and right at home in our current television era. It matches the electric production design and cinematography and makes sure the show never slows down or lacks energy. At times this does mean the plot comes in too quickly and without a lot of restraint, with the narration being rather stilted and too convenient. But it’s certainly hard to look away, as the world the writer and director has created, is magnificently engaging and visually impeccable. 9.1/10

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