Riverdale Season 1 Was The Best


We could have had it all.

You may have heard of a little show called Riverdale. You know, the one with gargoyle kings, serial killer genes, cults led by Chad Michael Murray, and incredible lines like this:

Like many people, I now tune into Riverdale almost exclusively to see how ridiculous it can get (and for Choni, of course). But there was a time when, believe it or not, Riverdale sort of made sense.

Here are 21 moments that prove Season 1 of Riverdale was actually really good:

Spoilers ahead!


Jason Blossom’s murder was the perfect mystery.

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I remember how much fun it was to go online and see everyone swap theories about who the killer might be. There were so many twists and turns and red herrings, and it was actually fairly believable. The scene where the kids find the video of Clifford Blossom shooting his own son legit gave me chills.


They focused on friendships, not just romances.

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We had Archie and Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Kevin and Betty…nowadays, some of these characters barely interact.


The characters actually kind of acted like high schoolers.

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There was football, school dances, cheerleading…oh, and parents were actually around! It wasn’t all cults and tickle porn.


We got to see the characters date other people.

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We got to see Archie and Valerie, Veronica and Chuck (he was the worst in Season 1, but still), Archie and Veronica, and a tease of Archie and Betty. One of the things I actually liked about Season 3 was it kind of brought this back. It felt realistic to see the characters date around instead of acting like they were married.


Veronica got to have storylines that didn’t revolve around her dad or Archie.

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Remember when she and Betty took down Chuck and the football team? Iconic. I love the idea of Veronica, but so much of her character is focused on Hiram and Varchie these days. I miss Season 1 Veronica’s energy.


Season 1 Bughead was actually really cute.

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Look, I prefer Betty and Archie, but I’ll admit Betty and Jughead were adorable at first! Back before there was any cheating or shared half brothers to worry about, I could see the appeal.


There were still dramatic moments, but it didn’t feel like it was ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous. When something wild happened in Season 1, it usually served a purpose.


Archie had an adorable relationship with his dad.

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Luke Perry is so, so missed. Fred was the only parent I really trusted on this show!


There was focus on familial relationships — Archie’s parents’ divorce, Jughead’s issues with his dad, Betty’s search for her sister, and Veronica’s struggle to trust her mom.


The episode where Cheryl and the Bulldogs crash Jughead’s birthday party is one of the best in the series — it’s chaotic and entertaining, but still feels believable enough.

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Yes, I know it also gave us Jughead’s infamous “I’m a weirdo” monologue, but I stand by my statement!


There were some really emotional moments that dealt with heavy topics, like Cheryl’s suicide attempt and Jughead being homeless.


The show actually called out Archie and Ms. Grundy’s relationship as being predatory and not okay instead of totally romanticizing it like most shows do with student-teacher relationships.

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The beginning of this storyline was pretty awful, but this scene right here was so important.


They did a really good job at teasing the iconic love triangle of Betty, Archie, and Veronica — you could genuinely see it going either way.


Veronica and Cheryl had some really sweet scenes together and they seemed like they were on the path to a real, genuine friendship.

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I want more Cheronica friendship screen time!


The Pussycats actually got screen time! We got to see Josie’s complicated relationship with her mom, Josie and Valerie feuding, and their numerous performances. Plus, remember this scene?!

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And in that moment, we were all Archie.


The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous and went perfectly with Jughead’s narration.


We didn’t know the full backstory on F.P. and Alice’s history yet, and there was so much tension and mystery to keep us intrigued.


Hiram was only an offscreen villain, and he was actually much scarier this way. There was something really creepy about knowing he was up to no good, but not being able to see him.

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Hermione was also much more morally gray than straight up evil before Hiram arrived on screen, and it made for a more interesting character.


We got music numbers like “Kids in America” instead of weird pole dances to “Mad World.”


That sequence in the finale where Archie and Veronica hook up, Jughead joins the Serpents, and Cheryl burns her house down all while “Believer” by Imagine Dragons plays was *chef’s kiss*.


And finally, Season 1 ended on one of the best cliffhangers ever.

Oh, well. At least we have ridiculous moments like this to look forward to now:

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