Chapter One: The River's Edge: The best thing about the CW's latest pretty people/murder mystery is the eschewing of the expected, Betty-Veronica rivalry. Instead, what the pilot presented was a strong friendship between two beautiful and smart women. Then again, at least they would have a better reason now...Archie got hot! Hot but still simple and annoying and flat and indecisive. The supporting cast are less well-rounded. Jughead was interestingly reimagined but otherwise an enigma (although what happened between him and Archie?); Cheryl Blossom was too much a mean girl to be anything else but annoying; Kevin is the stereotypical gay bff (but at least Moose is in the closet); and Reggie was one-note. Separately, the parental units are not as cookie-cutter as one would imagined. Looks like Riverdale will essentially be focusing on the core trio with Jughead at the periphery and Cheryl as the nemesis. So why is Josie a regular? Only time will tell. As for plot wise, nothing really new emerged that we have not seen from this genre. Banter is passable with too much pop culture reference veering towards trying-too-hard. Feels a lot like Pretty Little Liars meets Wayward Pines influenced by Glee and Veronica Mars and paying homage to Twin Peaks.
Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil: The second episode confirms that Betty and Veronica's friendship is the best part of this show, and that the silly Archie and Ms Grundy's relationship was the weakest, lamest and silliest. The murder mystery also needs more traction and intrigued to really propel the narrative. The Jughead and Archie relationship also needs more of a boost. But at least they have not forgotten about the sexiness appeal of their ridiculously good-looking cast. The adults are actually quite well-played too and they are definitely hiding something.