F*ck It, I’m Starting Riverdale: A Year-Long Live Tweet

This piece contains spoilers for Riverdale… obviously. 

On March 12, 2020, my second day in quarantine, I tweeted: Fuck it I’m starting Glee. Over the next two months, I watched six seasons of that delightful and horrifying show as I struggled through those early days of Covid.

Well, it’s time I start another long-running teen show. But a lot has changed since March 2020. For one, Twitter is pretty much dead. That’s why I’m going to try something new as I make my way through Greg Berlanti’s spin on the Archie comics. I’m going to be posting thoughts, jokes, and screenshots in this article. My very own Riverdale-specific Twitter.

Something else has changed since March 2020: I have a full time job and an IRL social life. That’s why I’m giving myself until the end of 2024. That feels like a reasonable amount of time to make it through seven seasons and 137 episodes.

I started with season one but now I’m just updating this piece whenever I watch. Hop into the jalopy! It’s gonna be a fun ride!


Okay so everything I know about Riverdale I gleaned from Riverdale superfan and Autostraddle managing editor Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya plus a brief love of the Archie comics as a child.

  1. Archie is a redhead, Jughead has a hat, Betty is blonde, and Veronica is brunette.
  2. I think Archie and Jughead can never decide whether they’re more into Betty or Veronica.
  3. Archie drives a jalopy.
  4. Betty is bisexual. (But also maybe every character is bisexual?)
  5. Josie and the Pussycats
  6. Charles Melton doesn’t show up until season two.
  7. The show has multiple timelines maybe in a multiverse sort of way?
  8. At some point, there is magic and various fantasy elements.
  9. At some point, Archie goes to prison.
  10. During the final season, Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica form a polycule.

And with that… let’s start episode 1.


Screenshot from Riverdale: the town sign

I just shouted MILLENNIAL?? Definitely assumed this was going to take place in the 50’s.

Every year in my shitty suburb, I waited for a hot new person to show up and it never happened. Imagine CAMILA MENDES walks into your little diner. I get it Arch.

Veronica: Are you familiar with the works of Truman Capote?

This is also how I made friends in high school.

Betty: Mom, I'm not Polly.

Just you wait, Betty. I hear by season seven you’re DEFINITELY poly.

Betty and Veronica kiss

If this is already happening in the pilot…

Oh okay Camila Mendes is going to be a problem for me. (The good kind.) Now I understand why you all liked that terrible Netflix movie with her.

I AM HOOKED !

Edited Riverdale screenshot of Jughead.-What are you working on? -Watching Riverdale for work.

Conversation I just had with my girlfriend.

This observation is going to be for like six people but Cole Sprous’ narrator voice has the exact same cadence as the narrator of Magnolia.

The teacher from Riverdale. CC: I could lose my job. You could be expelled. We could go to jail.

Bitch, who is “we”???

POOR BETTY !! A boy with an acoustic guitar is so dangerous for a girl that age.

Cheryl, the sheriff, and the principal. Principal: So let me state clearly, it is happening as scheduled.

Me ignoring more important work to watch Riverdale.

Are Betty and Cheryl gonna kiss?

No okay not today.

Hermione Lodge: I'm going for this Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce thing. Is it working?

It really is. (googles Hermione Lodge actress)

I am loving this Betty/Jughead investigative journalism angle.

Close up of Chuck. Chuck: You are different than what I thought you'd be.

Me finding out Riverdale is a murder mystery set in the present and not a regular teen soap set in the 50’s.

Cheryl might be my favorite character so far.

Wow Riverdale doing a Me Too storyline before Weinstein. Good for them even if it does involve something called a “Sticky Maple.”

Veronica in a bathing suit. CC: It gets very, very hot. Veronica in a bathing suit. CC: Let's get wet.

Betty in a black bob wig and a bra.

Yes, let’s.

The sheriff separates Alice and Cheryl's mom.-Whoa, whoa, who. All right. -How dare you, Alice Cooper!

Her name is Alice Cooper???

The Josie and the Pussycats facing racism in Riverdale storyline at the start of the episode just a tad undermined by the deeply uncomfortable racial politics of the revenge plot storyline at the end !!

I’m sorry but Jughead would not call Tarantino “the godfather of indie cinema.” I don’t think he’s supposed to be cool, but he’s cooler than THAT.

A close up on Lili Reinhart

Kayla was always talking about how good Lili Reinhart is on this show and she was right !!

Sheriff: I mean, is there not a nice gay kid at your school?

There are definitely some mean bisexuals.

Well… choices are certainly being made with this Ms. Grundy storyline.

An overhead shot of Archie and Val practicing guitar

Val is barely a real character so far but I like these two together!

Polly is suicidal? That’s the big secret? In my hometown, that was called being a teenager!

Cheryl and Veronica sit on Cheryl's bed. Veronica: Why did you invite me tonight?

“I thought we could start with over the clothes stuff and go from there.”

Hermione sit's in the empty diner with Archie's dad. Veronica: I didn't call the police because I don't trust them.

I knew I liked her.

If I was Hermione Lodge, I’d be so annoyed that my daughter is seemingly around every corner when I’m just trying to hookup/make shady money deals.

Polly in the garden of the institution.

Slightly disappointed Polly isn’t also played by Lili Reinhart but with like a fake nose or something.

A close up of Val looking at Archie

Kiss!

Betty and Jughead stand in Betty's room

KISS !!

Betty and Jughead kiss

Hooray!

Archie and Val kiss

HOORAY !!

I’m trying not to comment upon every film reference (or every exciting guest star) but this next episode is called “In a Lonely Place” and I do need to say that Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place is one of the best movies of all time.

Betty and Veronica look at Kevin in surprise as he reads #Nowheretohide #Sharpenyourpitchforks

Cis white lesbians on the internet when I give one of their movies a bad review.

Kevin and Veronica walk through the woodsKevin: So how's the cold war at home?

The Americans (2013-2018)

Archie, Jughead, Kevin, and Moose stand holding or wearing construction hats.Archie: We can work after practice and on weekends.

Child labor but make it sweet.

Everyone is being so chill about Polly going from missing to having a baby shower.

Betty talks to Jughead at the baby shower. Betty: I know this isn't exactly your scene.

Cis queer femme to her trans boyfriend on Ladies’ Night at the gay bar

Edited screenshot from Riverdale of Veronica pouring syrup. CC: We consume Ontario syrup by the bucket.

My Canadian girlfriend

Veronica has such Emma Woodhouse/Cher Horowitz energy.

Close up of Cheryl. Cheryl: You're looking extremely DILF-y today.

Never change, Cheryl.

Cheryl kisses Archie in the snow

Noooo Cheryl don’t kiss the guy you keep saying looks like your dead brother you’re so sexy aha

Close up on Kevin. Kevin: Oh my God, don't turn around.

Hades to Orpheus

Veronica and Cheryl dance side by side

Yes, I am deeply invested in Veronica and Cheryl dance battle who killed Jason Blossom.

Jughead sits in a chair. Jughead: In the middle of a Seth Rogen movie.

Pretty snobbish for someone who brought his girlfriend to a John Landis double feature.

Close up on Jughead. Jughead: In case you haven't noticed, I'm weird.

The context of this is actually really sad !!

Veronica kisses Archie

The best slow burns involve multiple makeouts before the couple actually gets together.

Molly Ringwald smiling

I somehow managed to avoid any guest star spoilers which has made this very delightful !

Now THAT is how you do an episode of television.

Cheryl's mom holding a milkshake. CC: Your daily milkshake.

Pretty sure this will be poisoned but I want a daily milkshake !!

Do we think it was always the plan for Cheryl’s dad to have a creepy red wig collection or was that in response to people online asking why he was wearing such a bad wig?

Unfortunately, I understand Archie because as a youth I also fell in love with every girl except the one who fell in love with me.

Archie's mom and Betty's mom apply lipstick in the mirror. CC: I didn't realize you were a polyamorist.

Mädchen Amick, I love you.

Close up on Betty looking upset and confused. CC: Everybody live for the music-go-round

“Is this fucking play about us?”

Betty and Cheryl are related?? I’m so glad they didn’t make out!

WAIT

Oh no… Polly. Oh God.

Why didn’t Betty’s dad say that was why Polly and Jason couldn’t date?? He knew, right??

The Blossom parents. CC: They were, what, third cousins.

A lot more incest conversation on this show than I’d expected.

Close up on Kevin. Kevin: I'm talk to you as the sheriff's son.

Loser narc

Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Kevin look at a computer in horror

Me watching the last ten minutes of this episode.

Alice types at a computer. Alice: That Jason Blossom learned about dear old Dad drug running.

Alice is such a bad journalist maybe she should’ve just kept writing for the high school paper.

Accurate representation of the legal system that the mayor and sheriff are busy worrying about smalltime drug dealers after discovering the kingpin killed his own son and then himself.

Kevin talks at the lunch table. Kevin: My dad says more and more drugs are hitting the streets.

NARC

Not to sound surprised, but this episode is actually really sharp about moral panics around crime and how our society reacts to violence??

And now the show is taking on the broken foster system? Who knew Riverdale was political!

Archie talks to Betty. Archie: It's just a little part of me always thought--

Stop it, Archibald.

I need these girls to stop calling their actually fathers daddy.

Sorry but Betty going full righteous journalist is making her very hot to me.

Archie carries Cheryl through the snow with Betty, Jughead, and Veronica running beside him

This was so intense !!

Betty gives a speech. Betty: If we don't face the reality of who and what we are...

Oh my God Clifford Blossom’s red hair. This is a show about Trump!

Wow okay I don’t know how it took me so long to realize this but Riverdale premiered in 2017 which makes it a total Trump era show. I’ll wait until I watch more seasons to say anything declarative but Glee was the quintessential Obama era teen show premiering in 2009 and it makes total sense Riverdale would be the quintessential Trump era teen show premiering in 2017.

Archie craddles his dad in his arms after he's been shot.

Nooooooooo!! Not Fred!!


Edited Riverdale screenshot. Archie and Veronica walk outside. CC: I want him so bad, I am like, "Yes, Riverdale, I'm ready. I'm so ready."

Me waiting for Charles Melton to show up now that I’m on season two.

Veronica naked looks at Archie in the shower. Veronica: Thought you might want some company.

This is what I want if my dad ever gets shot FYI.

Reggie talks to Archie. Reggie: Bulldogs are here for you.

CHARLES !!!

Cheryl’s monologue to her mom… this episode really walking that line between violent and horny.

Not the return of Ms. Grundy !

NOT THE DEATH OF MS. GRUNDY !!!

Close up on Jughead. CC: I can't take on any more social issues right now.

This show keeps hitting new levels of Trump era.

Midge Klump leans against a locker. CC: The Klumpster

The who??

The repeated trauma faced by Archie and the kids of Riverdale is meant to represent the trauma of today’s youth amidst political violence and mass shootings. In this essay I will…

Cheryl and Betty face off by a locker. Betty: Fun girl talk.

I mean, it’s not like the ACTORS are related…

Is the Josie and the Pussycats cover of “Milkshake” on Spotify?

It is!

Alice sits in a booth at Pop's and takes a photo on her phone

Me taking pictures of my computer screen whenever Charles Melton shows up like I’m at a concert.

Betty talks to Kevin. "Why can't you just use Grind'em like every other gay guy in the world?"

Betty Cooper, ally

A girl with dyed hair holds a camera and talks to Jughead. "Forsythe Pendleton Jones the Thurd"

WHO IS THIS??

A girl with dyed hair holds a camera and talks to Jughead. "I'm Toni Topaz"

Thank you.

Veronica listens to her mom. Edited CC: No need to be so thirsty, Drew.

My friends as I run around shouting, “TONI TOPAZ! TONI TOPAZ! TONI TOPAZ!”

Riverdale is turning into Zodiac, meanwhile Archie thinks he’s in The Avengers and Veronica thinks she’s in Gilmore Girls.

Betty is anti-cruising so actually NOT ally.

Archie stands with his hands on his hips, shirtless boys behind him in pink balaclavas

Magic Mike: Pussy Riot

Red ski masks? Those look pink to me.

Do we think maybe instead of punishing the teenage boy whose dad was shot, immediately followed by the woman who sexually assaulted him getting strangled, an adult in this town could get him some therapy?

Betty sits at a desk. "He says he's doing it for me."

Couldn’t he just shoot Ronald Reagan like a normal person??

Toni talks to Jughead. "I'm a true crime junkie."

Crush lessening slightly…

Alice Cooper remains the scariest character.

Officially, I think the Serpent/Bulldog conflict is misguided, but sorry I do think this fight in the rain is cool.

Veronica dabs at Archie's wounded stomach.

Hot girl nursing wounds is the best trope!

Betty is on the phone. CC: This is the Black Hood speaking.

“What’s your favorite scary movie?”

I’m sorry but I can’t take this kid seriously as a threat with the name Sweet Pea.

Jughead sits at his table. CC: Someone needs to step up.

Jughead isn’t a step serpent, he’s the serpent who stepped up.

Not me getting teary over Bughead…

Is Jingle Jangle molly in a pixie stick tube?

Alice Cooper walks down a red carpet in a revealing dress and a snake necklace as two women construction workers look on.

That hot construction worker is definitely feeling the thunder.

Okay for a second I thought Betty was actually the Black Hood. She isn’t, right?

Close up on Toni. Toni: I'm more into girls anyways.

I am hooting. I am hollering.

Very impressive how seriously these actors say words like Ghoulies.

Cheryl stands between a street race. Cheryl: Engines warm and ready

The Fast & Furious remake with Madelaine Petsch as Brian and Camila Mendes as Dom.

This episode is called “Death Proof” but it should’ve been called “Searching for Sugarman.”

Close up of Betty looking through window shades. Betty: I'm breathing down your neck.

Emmy for Lili Reinhart

Betty and Jughead lie in bed. Betty: ...did the Black Hood even get in the Sheriff's Station.

The Black Hood is a cop! The Black Hood is a cop! Of course he is.

Ahhh Tony Todd guest star!

I appreciate this Chuck Clayton redemption arc.

A drawing of Cheryl and Josie

Oh Cheryl…

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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and I Heart Female Directors. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 476 articles for us.

22 Comments

  1. “Kayla was always talking about how good Lili Reinhart is on this show and she was right !!”

    THANK YOU

    also realizing i should probably do one mega comment instead of multiple but la la la

    • I saw your initial 3 comments this afternoon, and when I pulled up Autostraddle this evening I saw this post was up to 13 comments and thought to myself “what are the chances all these are Kayla??” (Which I would have loved, tbh)

  2. “Slightly disappointed Polly isn’t also played by Lili Reinhart but with like a fake nose or something.”

    THIS is why Hollywood needs to be paying you the big bucks

  3. Okay this is it I have resisted it as the perfect show to knit to for SO long and this has tipped me over the edge…I will be watching Riverdale. My OG goal to watch all of Roger Eberts faves can just run in parallel.

    Also this all of this was great but this made me cackle out loud on the bus and is so true, “ ! A boy with an acoustic guitar is so dangerous for a girl that age.”

  4. I was wondering why Riverdale pilot photos were popping up in the media gallery and I am DELIGHTED to discover that this is the answer. My favorite way to consume Riverdale is through other people, especially the later seasons that I didn’t watch, so I’m excited for this!!!!

  5. As can be seen in the pictures, the most important reason why I never watched this series is the unstable relationships of the characters.
    Even a character who is apparently a lesbian has several relationships with men.
    For me, who loves pure love (true love) stories, this amount of drama is unbearable.

    • That Netflix movie was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen but YES Camila Mendes. Love of my life. And maybe it’s just the lesbianism talking but I legit think she’s a great actor! Oscar for her next!

  6. Yes. Love bonus riverdale coverage now the show is over. Me and my girlfriend still reference the show at least once a week and I am constantly trying to get people to watch it and also admit that it is actually very good. Very excited to see what you think of the later seasons (I am of the opinion that the weirder and wilder it gets the better but that is not what lots of people think)

  7. I also caved and started to watch Riverdale last fall and finished it right before new year.

    It was a struggle sometimes and Cheryl Marjorie Blossom was the only thing that kept me going.

  8. Yes.The first” The Americans” reference i see on autostraddle.
    Not surprising,since the show was so overwhelmigly heterosexual.But sooo great nonetheless.
    I looove this show ,that show and Buffy i rewatch many times.

    To me Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings some of the most complex and kick ass cis-female characters( in the true sense of the word)and Buffy too.
    and i like the fact the male lead character is in “the americans” more like many female characters In otherTV shows are.more doubting,etc.

    Drew, What are your thoughts about that show in general and in Liz Jennings in particular?

    PS i so hoped they would have a intimate RL to a same sex source but they choose to be 100% straight.

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