Review: Riverdale Season 1 Episode 5 “Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness”

The teen soap genre is inherently associated with elements of camp, parody and melodrama. While this can often tear a show to pieces with the camp overruling story and character (I am looking at you Season 1 of Scream Queens), it can also be used to keep the show electric, engaging and in tune with pop culture. This episode of ‘Riverdale’ sits right in the middle, as though Cheryl’s family dynamic is too melodramatic and gothic, and the conflict between Archie’s musical career and his love for sport is generic and typical, the show continues to be extremely well-directed and gripping. These theatrical aspects may be a little on the nose for some, but they perfectly reflect the characters’ flamboyant features and the show’s production design and context. Having most of the main characters involved in the central arc this week (unfortunately Archie to a lesser extent) reaffirmed their positions in this highly exaggerated world. The writers didn’t push them out on their own, with individual tones that clashed, but refocused the narrative on the mystery and therefore set the atmosphere for all. It solidified the show’s direction and means of execution, for better or for worse. 8/10


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