11:00 am EDT, September 5, 2019

‘Riverdale’ season 4 better take more time to explore the characters

Riverdale's characters seem to fall to the wayside for the plot.

I can’t believe these words are being typed by me, but Riverdale has always left me wanting more. More depth, growth, and exploration of the characters… more. It’s time for Riverdale season 4 to do this.

Riverdale is such a guilty pleasure hit, but even through the three seasons of the show, it has never really felt like the stories have done anything except scratch the surface. The town, the mythology, the characters, there’s so much to explore and a new mystery being brought in every season, which would make the 22-episode seasons feel much more substantial than filler-y.

So with this, why does the show always move at a lightning pace and miss the chance to really tackle important storylines with their grand cast of characters? Riverdale has so many missed opportunities, honestly.

Riverdale season 4

The fault of repetition and why ‘Riverdale’ season 4 needs to break this

Riverdale, if anything, knows what the die-hard fans want to see; however, their main fault is that instead of taking these aspects and branching out of their comfort zone, the writers stick to various versions of essentially the same plot. This is particularly true when it comes to the story around Hiram Lodge, but even the Farm had similar characteristics to things we had seen before (i.e. the Blossom family’s twisted way of life).

Riverdale season 4 is the chance for the writers to finally shake things up and deliver something else to test their writing abilities and the characters in town. Leading off with a very How to Get Away with Murder-ish cliffhanger (if you’re going to borrow, borrow from the best, right?) sets things up to potentially go a very different route than we are used to.

Every season, we’re seeing similar character conflict. For two seasons now, Archie and Hiram have had tension, while Veronica and Hiram continuously go back and forth about whether or not they want to help or destroy one another. With the latter, it’s especially tiresome because it doesn’t seem like the toxic relationship between Veronica and her father will be put to rest any time soon. With Archie, now is the time for the writers to break him away from Hiram, which hopefully will be done on Riverdale season 4.

Riverdale season 4

More for the characters

Other than Jughead, I’d say we don’t really know who any of the main characters are (Veronica, Archie, and Betty). Betty and Veronica follow suit with their personalities and don’t really change, which isn’t good because we’ve never really learned who they are), while Archie has a new personality every few episodes, so it’s hard to keep anything straight with him.

As I said above, Veronica’s constant rivalry with her father distracts from anything to do with herself. She’s so busy trying to destroy him and trying not to end up anything like her parents that we don’t see Veronica. It’s more of this shell of the character she could be if the writers decided to move on to something else in her life.

The writers don’t even know who Archie is at this point, honestly. He gets a personality transplant at least every season, but during Riverdale season 3, it was especially bad. He genuinely seemed like a different character every few episodes, instead of a character that was growing from the trauma he’d endured. I get that Riverdale is the “murder capital” of the United States, but man, give him a break and let him shine… and decide who Archie is going to be.

Out of all of the characters, I would love to see more from Betty Cooper. To be fair, she’s pretty much had the most to do over the series’ three seasons and was singlehandedly trying to show what the Farm was doing to their members for all of Riverdale season 3. But who is Betty?

Without a mystery to solve, we don’t really know who Betty is at all. She gets sucked into her family’s drama, the mystery, and her relationship with Jughead. Perhaps those could all be seen as extensions of herself, which they are, and they all seem to cross with each other, but Betty is always lost in something she’s doing or who she’s helping. It’s a great characteristic to have, but investigating a crime or helping your mother cover up a murder does not an entire personality make.

Regardless, I just want to see each of the characters explored. I want to genuinely enjoy watching Archie, Veronica, and Jughead as much as I already love Betty, but unless they are explored a little bit more and things are changed up with the stories, it doesn’t seem likely. I mean, how many seasons can Hiram and Veronica’s war go on? How many seasons can Archie not have a defining personality?

It may seem like I don’t like Riverdale, but I genuinely want this show to thrive, and this is just what I believe Riverdale season 4 needs to start doing with all of its characters (outside of the main 4 as well, especially Cheryl and Kevin) to live on for years to come.

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