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    Updated on Aug 25, 2020. Posted on Aug 25, 2020

    The First Season Of "Riverdale" Was Actually A Masterpiece And Here Are 21 Moments To Prove It

    We could have had it all.

    You may have heard of a little show called Riverdale. You know, the one with gargoyle kings, serial killer genes, cults led by Chad Michael Murray, and incredible lines like this:

    The CW

    Like many people, I now tune into Riverdale almost exclusively to see how ridiculous it can get (and for Choni, of course). But there was a time when, believe it or not, Riverdale sort of made sense.

    The CW

    Here are 21 moments that prove Season 1 of Riverdale was actually really good:

    Spoilers ahead!

    1. Jason Blossom's murder was the perfect mystery.

    Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Kevin find out who Jason's killer is
    The CW

    I remember how much fun it was to go online and see everyone swap theories about who the killer might be. There were so many twists and turns and red herrings, and it was actually fairly believable. The scene where the kids find the video of Clifford Blossom shooting his own son legit gave me chills.

    2. They focused on friendships, not just romances.

    Archie and Jughead call each other brothers
    The CW

    We had Archie and Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Kevin and Betty...nowadays, some of these characters barely interact.

    3. The characters actually kind of acted like high schoolers.

    Archie at football tryouts
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    There was football, school dances, cheerleading...oh, and parents were actually around! It wasn't all cults and tickle porn.

    4. We got to see the characters date other people.

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    We got to see Archie and Valerie, Veronica and Chuck (he was the worst in Season 1, but still), Archie and Veronica, and a tease of Archie and Betty. One of the things I actually liked about Season 3 was it kind of brought this back. It felt realistic to see the characters date around instead of acting like they were married.

    5. Veronica got to have storylines that didn't revolve around her dad or Archie.

    Veronica tells Archie to hit the showers and stay the hell out of my way
    The CW

    Remember when she and Betty took down Chuck and the football team? Iconic. I love the idea of Veronica, but so much of her character is focused on Hiram and Varchie these days. I miss Season 1 Veronica's energy.

    6. Season 1 Bughead was actually really cute.

    Jughead knocks on Betty's window and says "Hey there, Juliet" and they share their first kiss
    The CW

    Look, I prefer Betty and Archie, but I'll admit Betty and Jughead were adorable at first! Back before there was any cheating or shared half brothers to worry about, I could see the appeal.

    7. There were still dramatic moments, but it didn't feel like it was ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous. When something wild happened in Season 1, it usually served a purpose.

    Archie, Kevin, and Veronica find "go to hell, Serpent slut" painted on Betty's locker
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    8. Archie had an adorable relationship with his dad.

    Veronica tells Archie to focus on someone that makes him feel safe if he gets stage-fright, he looks at his dad in the audience
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    Luke Perry is so, so missed. Fred was the only parent I really trusted on this show!

    9. There was focus on familial relationships — Archie's parents' divorce, Jughead's issues with his dad, Betty's search for her sister, and Veronica's struggle to trust her mom.

    Archie vents to Veronica about his parents' divorce
    The CW

    10. The episode where Cheryl and the Bulldogs crash Jughead's birthday party is one of the best in the series — it's chaotic and entertaining, but still feels believable enough.

    Cheryl: "Did you really think you could have a party without inviting moi?"
    The CW

    Yes, I know it also gave us Jughead's infamous "I'm a weirdo" monologue, but I stand by my statement!

    11. There were some really emotional moments that dealt with heavy topics, like Cheryl's suicide attempt and Jughead being homeless.

    Archie, Veronica, Jughead, and Betty watch in horror as Cheryl jumps into the pond of ice
    The CW

    12. The show actually called out Archie and Ms. Grundy's relationship as being predatory and not okay instead of totally romanticizing it like most shows do with student-teacher relationships.

    Fred tells Archie it's not his fault what happened to him and they hug
    The CW

    The beginning of this storyline was pretty awful, but this scene right here was so important.

    13. They did a really good job at teasing the iconic love triangle of Betty, Archie, and Veronica — you could genuinely see it going either way.

    Veronica confronts Archie about the way he was looking at Betty
    The CW

    14. Veronica and Cheryl had some really sweet scenes together and they seemed like they were on the path to a real, genuine friendship.

    Cheryl thanks Veronica for helping her through her panic attack
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    I want more Cheronica friendship screen time!

    15. The Pussycats actually got screen time! We got to see Josie's complicated relationship with her mom, Josie and Valerie feuding, and their numerous performances. Plus, remember this scene?!

    Veronica and The Pussycats stroll into school while Archie and Valerie stare
    The CW

    And in that moment, we were all Archie.

    16. The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous and went perfectly with Jughead's narration.

    Cheryl and Jason at Sweetwater River
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    17. We didn't know the full backstory on F.P. and Alice's history yet, and there was so much tension and mystery to keep us intrigued.

    F.P. taunts Alice about the night of their homecoming and hints to Betty that something happened between them
    The CW

    18. Hiram was only an offscreen villain, and he was actually much scarier this way. There was something really creepy about knowing he was up to no good, but not being able to see him.

    Veronica confronts her mother about the families her dad has wrecked and Hermione says doing business with Hiram comes with risks
    The CW

    Hermione was also much more morally gray than straight up evil before Hiram arrived on screen, and it made for a more interesting character.

    19. We got music numbers like "Kids in America" instead of weird pole dances to "Mad World."

    Archie and Veronica sing a fun duet
    The CW

    20. That sequence in the finale where Archie and Veronica hook up, Jughead joins the Serpents, and Cheryl burns her house down all while "Believer" by Imagine Dragons plays was *chef's kiss*.

    The CW

    21. And finally, Season 1 ended on one of the best cliffhangers ever.

    Archie holding his dad after Fred is shot
    The CW

    Oh, well. At least we have ridiculous moments like this to look forward to now:

    The CW

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