TV Binge: Riverdale (Season 1, 2017)

Finally! Its time for another TV binge and we are finally getting to Riverdale. It feels like I finished the series forever. However, don’t you worry about my memory because I remember a good bit of it still… Thats got to be a sign of a great show, right?

Riverdale (Season 1, 2017)

riverdale

Creator: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Cast: K.J. Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Luke Perry, Casey Cott, Madelaine Petsch, Madchen Amick, Ashleigh Murray, Skeet Ulrich, Lochlyn Munro

As some of you already know, I’ve beem catching up with the comic reboot onto its new graphic novel style and it goes perfectly with the series. Story wise it stays fairly separate although I have read that the issues are considered bridges but I disagree because just take how they make Ms. Grundy a young teacher in the series instead of an older lady in the Archie comics. That may be a point where die hard fans might disagree. However, I’m not one to hate on adaptation material to switch up details to make it more dramatic. And the Ms. Grundy plot works for the most part and as one of the big situations that start off the first season, it truly shows how the show is willing to take risks and turn into a much darker tone than its original source material and in fact just bring the location Riverdale and its colorful characters to life.

Season 1 of Riverdale starts with the disappearance and soon realized death of Jason Blossom, the son of one of the wealthiest families in the small town of Riverdale. Aside from the death, we also see the beautiful and rich Veronica move in town as her appearance captivates Archie, a teenage boy who is best friends with his next door neighbor, Betty and aspires to be a musician while being on the football team. His best friend is Jughead who is best described as a loner because he chooses to be that and also happens to be the narrator of this series as he investigates to put together his novel. In fact that is how the series starts and they try to figure out what happened on July the 4th when Jason Blossom was allegedly murdered and its a series long investigation on who was where and why they were there and all the dark secrets that everyone is hiding.

Spoilers ahead!!!

What I like:

  • Betty & Veronica

betty and veronica

I’ve always been a fan of these two ladies. They have a much more different vibe here as they work more on their friendship together than being rivals over Archie. In fact, these ladies aren’t about Archie so much as they care about each other and are different in their own ways. Betty is nice on the outside but has an odd dark side that is hidden most of the time whereas Ronnie tries her best to change her old ways and be nicer to everyone even if she sometimes takes the wrong approach.

  • Betty & Jughead

riverdale

Rumors had it when the show started that Jughead had a possibility of being asexual and that would be a meaningful character so when he turned out to have a romantic arc with Betty, there was some backlash. However, the best part of the show and my most favorite bits are with Jughead and Betty together or separately. They are close and understand each other and have so many great moments where they support each other. Most importantly, they are both nice people who are unique from their group and in many ways, also each have their darker side and their secrets and together they make each other stronger.

  • Jughead

Jughead is possibly the most complex character on Riverdale. Along with Betty… However, he has hidden facts and family ties and all sort of things along with his lack of connection with his emotions and his tendency to build a wall from other people except a trusted few. Plus, he also is the narrator of the show and the going-ons. Season 1 in reality was about him. He has so much more in here than in the comics as he now has a girlfriend and while he does love his burgers, he still has other things to deal with. So much to learn and uncover especially with way Season 1 ended. Its going to be an exciting ride into Season 2, or at least I can only hope.

  • Cheryl Blossom

Riverdale

Another complex character here is Cheryl Blossom. She wants to be loved. This is one of those turning points in the show for her character that I honestly loved. It showed a side of her that was strong and would resist the power her parents had over her especially to please them and be who they wanted her to be no matter how wrong it was. Although, the way she grew up does implicate that she’s going to be doing some more drastic things and who knows what else she’ll be up to.

What I didn’t like/needs more work

  • Archie

archie

Thank goodness that this show is called Riverdale and not named after the comics and called Archie. While we’d expect it to still be called Archie in our minds, especially for fans of the old comics. This show’s weakness for about 70% of it was Archie. He actually might be the one person exactly like the comics. Maybe just a little less clumsy but he’s pretty lost and indecisive in what he wants so he never knows when to chase after what he desires. There just seems to lack depth in his character and hopefully in Season 2, it will be something of a Vampire Diaries situation where he will have his stage and character development after the first season’s foundation has been put down. I didn’t not like Archie, just thought he was a little boring, even with all his drama and his family and all that stuff.

Overall…

Riverdale is a really great show. I liked a lot of the components. Up there is what I honestly loved for the show and the one thing I hope they’d improve on. However, the mystery of the show works really well as they follow the trail of Jason Blossom’s death. There are some fantastic moments. The supporting cast was also in the parents’ roles. It was a little more messy on that front possibly intentionally however, it was more soap drama than anything else although, another thing worth mentioning is the bromance between Jughead and Archie as well as the Riverdale High crew. There was a cameo that last one or two episodes with Molly Ringwald as Archie’s mom which was nice to see as well as some familiar faces. There is no doubt that my favorite characters are Betty and Jughead together and separate but usually what starts together won’t last so I’m trying to keep my expectations low so it doesn’t break my heart if and when something happens.

riverdale

Riverdale is incredibly well done. The tone change and the characters really come to life in this show. There’s some bits and pieces that need some polish but I’m more than confident that by Season 2, they will get everything together and it’ll be an even crazier ride.

TV Binge: House of Lies [Season 4, 2015]

I’m finally writing up this TV Binge! Actually, this was way before I even saw the Season 1 of Zoo! You can see that post HERE!

I saw the Season 4 of House of Lies possibly about almost two months ago. However, I still remember what I want to talk about. A quick recap on the series: Season 1 was fantastic, Season 2 was charming enough, Season 3 lost a bit of steam but end kind of strong, and now we’re at Season 4. At this point, it can go both ways, right?

Let’s check it out!

House of Lies [Season 4, 2015]

house of lies s4

Creator: Matthew Carnahan

Cast: Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz, Josh Lawson, Donis Leonard Jr., Glynn Turman, Dawn Olivieri, Valorie Curry, Demetri Martin

Season 4 starts a few months after what happens in Season 3. Here is the spoilers so if you haven’t seen previous seasons and plan to watch this, don’t read it.

Marty Kaan is not out of jail and with his old team, they have to go for the smallest cases to try to rebuild Kaan & Associates after Jeannie’s rushed decisions caused him to go to jail and plummeted the image of the company. Jeannie is now pregnant with the hidden fact that it is Marty’s baby (but it isn’t hidden for long). The office has to share space with some digital company that has a skateboarding ramp and these cool kids which lead by Kelsey, end up teaming up with Clyde and Doug and starting this weird relationship. On top of that, Roscoe has gone off the rails after Marty went to jail. Finally, while in jail, Marty conjures up a plan to connect with a rich technological tycoon in order to do business for him when they both get out.

House of Lies S4

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Season 4. This was by far the one that was far from being a binge. I might have watched one episode or two a day and in multiple sittings. Point is, the story has kind of lost its focus. It still has some witty moments and the characters we’ve grown to know is still around and doing their thing but its a little frustrating to watch also. Especially when its watching Marty in his stupidity when dealing with Jeannie. I guess it makes sense however, it feels like everything is so awkward now. There lacks a flow that used to make the series work. The main issue is not only that the logic of decisions isn’t there but what bothers me more was Roscoe who used to be a good character, now is just an emo teen dealing with stuff that seems to be way over what he should be doing and really not seeing it. His character goes through immense change. I can see how his father going to jail would cause that but him flipping out doesn’t seem to make the situation better and goes against the character we’ve seen in the past three seasons. That is where we can say, House of Lies in this season was all about change.

House of Lies Season 4

In this season, the side characters pose a much more fun time. The best is the awkward situation between Clyde, Doug and Kelsey. Doug’s coping mechanism of being the guy that seems to be dispensable and his insecurities turns him into a really crappy person with just horrible mindsets. Except he can’t really live up to what he does sometimes and turns right back to who he was. That creates humor for sure. It is however nice for once to see that Clyde’s character is shining through because while he likes to sleep around, there’s a whole new level of learning about him in this season that should have been done much earlier. That was possibly the best parts in all its awkwardness. Kelsey is a good character.

House of Lies

To be honest, the whole business aspect of things seemed to be the more interesting turn of events. The desperate situations that occurred and the retaliations and everything in between all worked for the better as it neared the season finale. I have a soft spot for Kristen Bell so I stand up for her character Jeannie a lot. It also comes to the point that she was also a strong point in this. A single mom pregnant and being kicked out of a company she worked hard for also because of things that she regrets doing a lot and still putting up a strong face while trying to figure out her future all lumped together. When her breaking point hits, just don’t mess with her.

Overall, House of Lies Season 4 was a tad lackluster. It seemed to lose a bit of its way however keeping the tone around in forms of sarcastic humor of sorts. There are some decent new characters, some funny and awkward moments but yet, nothing enough to feel like it was binge-worthy. It gets better and better as the dramatic things seem to sort themselves out. It begs to ask how they will wrap up everything in the final season.

Netflix doesn’t have it yet so I’ll be checking it out and reporting back when it shows up.

Are you a fan of House of Lies?