The latest episode of Riverdale was another entertaining offering from the subversive teen drama – but it also opened up a lot of questions.
As Jughead is drawn deeper and deeper into Serpent activities, an affair between Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy is revealed, and the Black Hood swears vengeance, there are a lot of questions to ask – and a lot of answers we need to find.
Here are five questions we need answering after the latest episode of Riverdale, Tales from the Darkside.
Each and every one of these is actually labelled “five questioned we need answering” over at Metro, because it took me the duration of the series – significantly over six months! – to realise that “five questions we have” is a better grammatical formation of what I was trying to say. I’m not sure what I was going for in the first place.
Something kinda, I guess, not threatening obviously, but direct and emphatic and a little “woah” while still being serious, you know? Hopefully you know, because then at least someone would.
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Of note – simply because it’s right around the corner, and a pretty good indication of what I have in mind – is the upcoming CW DC crossover event. Crisis on Earth X is set to unite the Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow heroes in one great big extra-dimensional fight against their alternative selves from Earth X – a secret world where the Allies lost the second World War, and all our heroes are thus Nazis.
There’s something uncomfortable about this, I think, in a way that’s not necessarily easy to articulate. It’s not that it’s normalising Nazis, exactly, because it isn’t. Rather, it’s rendering them as objects of fantasy, villains that exist only in secret alternate earths – when that isn’t really the case. It doesn’t matter if you refer back to the idea of the awful atrocities committed (and the special crossover does put concentration camps in a key role), there’s an implicit suggestion that these are ultimately just cartoonish figures by placing them in that role.
An attempt to articulate something I’d been thinking about for a few years now; I also spoke a little about Star Wars, but the main focus is Arrow etc, because it was timely. I’m quite behind on the Arrowverse shows, but I did watch the Crisis on Earth-x crossover. It was… quite something.
Looking back, this article actually posted the same weekend as one of the more egregious of those New York Times Trump voter profiles, about a man who was a literal Nazi, being celebrated because he actually quite liked Seinfeld. Which was patently ridiculous, and got me pondering the role of fiction in reaching this climate. The above is very much a starting point rather than the definitive word on the comment, but I think it gestures at something that’s broadly on point.
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I read somewhere, someone much more eloquent than me, saying “it doesn’t matter if [a character is] likeable but they have to be interesting“. You don’t have to like them, but you have to want to know what happens next. Even if you hate them or you’re scared of them or if you… as long as they’re not boring you, because boring is passive. It’s not so much not being liked… they cause you to be interested in them actively and to see where their objectives are going to take them. Which I think is the analytical way of putting it, yeah.
This is one of my favourite interviews I’ve ever done, because I absolutely loved talking to Alex Lawther – he’s just wonderful, I’m a huge fan. I promised to learn French for him, in fact. (At time of writing, and by writing I mean editing all my old posts for the new wordpress site, my duolingo streak is 177 days.)
(I would continue to talk about how great I think he is, but… well, I don’t want to overdo it, you know?)
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That Moment When stars Milana Vayntrub (Sloane in This is Us, and soon to be Squirrel Girl in Marvel’s New Warriors) as Jill, the character we control through each episode. Vayntrub is nothing short of excellent throughout, with great comic timing; she delivers a heightened performance, in pretty much exactly the way a series like this demands. In a way, it’s almost difficult to imagine the series working as well as it does without her, given how perfectly Vayntrub embodies her role here.
There’s a nice, clean aesthetic to the show – each different option is presented with a pencil sketch cartoon, representing the choice made on Jill’s behalf. It’s a subtle thing, but it’s one that’s important to get right – making sure the options aren’t intrusive, making sure it remains a cohesive whole, keeping it stylish. It’s the sort of thing that could have gone wrong, easily, but the fact that it does work is indicative of the attention to detail across the series.
An article on a new, interactive show from Eko.
I’m not convinced this sort of interactive television is ever exactly going to become the future of television – or, at least, we’re a long way off from the point where it’s going to be possible to create something that is a properly interactive narrative, rather than the sort of almost a video game kind of thing we’ve had so far.
Still! That Moment When is quite charming, and even if it is only a point of curiosity, I’d say it’s worth checking it out.
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