Review: Riverdale Season 2 Episode 1 “Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss before Dying”

There’s an exceptional line in this episode regarding the tone of a slasher film that brilliantly represents this episode (and possibly season). The tropes and melodrama of such absurd horror films are bombarded at the audience, for better or worse. Although the elements work, there are many a sequence where the desire to pay homage or sustain consistency with the genre overwhelms what should be quieter moments, where emotional should develop organically, not out of such loud, on the nose, and campy actions. The direction and cinematography are unsurprisingly stunning, but the ambition and drive again outplay the sincerity and authenticity of characters, forgetting that less is more, even on this show. While the mystery may be a little forced, it does ultimately end up getting the correct result of intrigue and speculation, and Cheryl’s scene-stealing charisma and bravado add an extra level of tantalising, luring drama. For all the times ‘Riverdale’ forgets subtlety and nuance, it makes up for in a rolling narrative of twists. 8.1/10

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