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The CW's 'Riverdale' has more twists and turns than an M.C. Escher painting. But can the fandom come out ahead of all others for the Bingewatch Awards?

Bingewatch Award Finalists: ‘Riverdale’ is a vote for The CW excellence

We are legion. We are many. We are on Twitter. 

Riverdale fans have a lot going for them: the show is the crown jewel of The CW and every episode has more twists and turns than an M.C. Escher painting. But can Riverdale’s fandom come out ahead of all others for the Bingewatch Awards now that it’s a finalist?

You have until Saturday, September 7th to vote for your fandom favorite. We’re breaking it down into two important and controversial categories: Best U.S. Streaming Platform & Best Show to Bingewatch. Make sure to tell us your favorites and tweet at us when you’ve voted for your faves.

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For the rest of us, here are some reasons why Riverdale is a frontrunner for the award.

Cheryl Blossom, obviously

Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) basically embodies every mean girl trope there is on TV. She’s rich, she’s beautiful, she’s captain of the cheerleader team, and she’s got a tongue sharper than a thousand knives. Basically, Blossom is a grade-A bitch (hiding a heart of gold) and, as she proved in season one, she can destroy your life with just a few words.

Have you ever heard anyone say “shoo bitches” in such an inspirational way? Cheryl has a cadre of devastating one-liners, and throughout the show has remained true to herself in spite of cults, murderers, gangs, drug rings, real estate schemes . . . the list goes on. She’s above it all, and as such is ranked at the top of this list.

Riverdale skewers TV tropes in the best way

Since 2017, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s dark edgy take on the Archie comics canon has been the leading teen show on TV. It’s no surprise to subsequently hear The CW show has officially been renewed for a fourth season.

Though it boasts all the hallmarks of any other popular teen show which came before it – most notably an extremely attractive cast including K.J. Apa (The Cul De Sac), Cole Sprouse (Friends), Camila Mendes (The New Romantic), and Lili Reinhart (The Kings of Summer) – Riverdale does so while subverting many of those hallmarks with a shrewd, progressive, and deliciously macabre scrutiny.

Riverdale is not your mom & dad’s teen show – even if it does star teen heartthrobs of times past like Luke Perry (The Fifth Element), Skeet Ulrich (The Craft), and Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink).

What Riverdale has done especially well across its two seasons is deconstruct a variety of different genre tropes while also paying loving tribute to them. At the beginning of the first season, Vox worried Riverdale “burned through its teen soap tropes” at such “record speed” it was rushing through narratives other teen shows took multiple seasons to draw out. Their worry, it turned out, was mercifully unfounded.

Riverdale reflects the horror of being a teenager

Having introduced the Black Hood at the start of season two, Riverdale has featured a slew of horror references to everything from David Fincher’s Zodiac to Krzysztof Komeda’s iconic theme for Rosemary’s Baby

Not content with simply showing lashings of bloodshed and murder, this past season has also dropped references to The Godfather II (in exploring Archie’s newfound position as a legit mobster-in-training) and one obligatory visual reference to the Twin Peaks episode in which BOB slithers over a couch towards the camera.

As Aguirre-Sacasa once put it, “All roads to Riverdale lead back to Twin Peaks,” which helps to explain the show’s firm grip on noir narrative, horror, and Americana. Like good-girl Betty Cooper, the show is perfectly content to explore standard teen storylines over milkshakes, burgers, and fluttering eyelashes.

But like Dark Betty in her black wig and lingerie, Riverdale isn’t afraid to pick away at the surface of Americana to spotlight at the corruption eating away at the pleasantries of a American small town. We even open and close every episode with a ghoulish summation of town events via a noir-esque voiceover from Jughead Jones (Sprouse), hinting there’s more to every story than meets the eye.

Riverdale has a diverse cast and addresses diverse issues

Existing as a liminal show pitched somewhere between the real world and a genre universe playing by its own set of rules, it also makes sense Riverdale features more diversity and LGBTQI representation than your average teen or genre show would.

Speaking to CBR, Aguirre-Sacasa announced, “If we’re going to do a show in the real world, it has to reflect the real world. And the real world is not 100 percent white.” 

As a result, the main cast of the show features three women of color as Josie and the Pussycats (Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield, and Hayley Law), a Latino family (Mendes, Mark Consuelos, and Marisol Nichols), and various peripheral characters portrayed by actors of color.

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