What Makes Riverdale Different from Other Teen Dramas

As of last Wednesday, Season 2 of Riverdale is back! The CW show, based on Archie Comics, takes place in the small town of Riverdale, focusing on a group of high schoolers who try to solve mysterious crimes around the town.

Even though the show is only in its second season and started airing just last year, Riverdale and its cast have already been nominated and won multiple awards. Among these are the Teen Choice Awards for Choice Breakout TV Show and Choice Drama TV Show in 2017. So, what makes Riverdale so popular?

First of all, Riverdale adds a little "pizzazz" to the typical teen drama by incorporating mystery. Suspenseful teen dramas have been a huge hit on TV lately – just take Stranger Things for example. Riverdale also has a gorgeous cast. Let’s be real, we all had a crush on Cole Sprouse growing up. And all of them are not only beautiful people, but they are also humble, normal people when they interact with fans through social media.

Photo by Katie Yu / The CW

All of these factors would definitely make someone start watching Riverdale, but the true reason that people keep watching is the quality of the relationships between the characters. Unlike countless other teen dramas, such as Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, and 13 Reasons Why, the main characters aren’t pitted against each other. Yes, of course, Betty, Jughead, Archie, Veronica, and the rest still get into fights and quarrels, but ultimately, they value their friendships above everything else.

This modern take on friendship is so refreshing, especially since it’s actually realistic. Riverdale shows that even though friendships are never perfect, they are important. Instead of meddling in petty plotlines about betrayal between friends, Riverdale gets busy with its mysteries.

What makes it even better is that the cast is actually friends in real life – TV besties turned real-life besties! How wholesome is that? Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart, whose characters, Jughead and Betty, are dating on the show, are rumored to be dating in real life, too.

Photo by Jay Clendinin / Los Angeles Times

The fans of Riverdale keep watching it for a variety of reasons, from wanting to find out who the killer is to the cast’s killer good looks, but this teen drama’s most redeeming quality is its emphasis on the value of friendship. When it comes down to life or death situations, the Riverdale characters always choose each other.


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