Riverdale is nothing more than another glamorisation of death and mental health
Here we go again
Yet again, we are faced with a popular Netflix show that slams our efforts to raise awareness of the severity of mental health – whether that's depression, anxiety, suicide or grief. But it's just a trash TV show, right?
Yeah, it's just a show with over a two million viewers, most of whom are streaming it in lectures because they can't wait the two hours until they go home. Doesn't it scare you that we're this obsessed with a show, which paints death as little more than an excuse for high school gossip?
Add some mental health issues and boom, 2 million views
Riverdale – a small town with many secrets to hide. Isn't that the premise of every Netflix show? Ordinary american town, some murders, sprinkle a hint of supernatural in there and you've got yourself a CW hit.
But in 2017, there's a fourth criteria: mental health. Death has become, somewhat, fashionable to teen TV. As though the addition of the depressed, cynical outsider will make the show more 'relevant' to current teen issues.
It's predictable. It's romanticised. And it's an insult to anyone with a crippling mental health disorder.
Hate to break it to you Netflix, but desensitising an entire generation to depression, suicide and death is not raising awareness, it is patronising to the vast impact that death can have on a person.
Riverdale's Blossom family is just one example of the media's disgusting representation of mental health.
First, Cheryl Blossom – suicidal mean girl or gothic heroine?
Riverdale's mean girl with fake hair, fake lashes and fake daddy issues. She's the gothic version of Blair Waldorf. Only Blair's infamous, witty one liners are replaced with forced quotes that just scream "make me into a meme". It's as though the screenwriters spent more time planning the show's memes than building convincing characters. Oh, and let's not forget Thornhill, the Blossom's gothic mansion, where i'm just waiting for Cheryl's fangs and bloody victims to pop out to play.
So how do you make a predictable character more intriguing to millennials? Add some mental health issues, or better yet – make her suicidal. Duh.
Daddy kills her incestuous twin brother, involves her in a drug business and then kills himself. Meanwhile, Cheryl continues to slap on her strip lashes, prance about in her perfect mean girl outfits and and act as though Cheer Captain and boys are the most important things in her life. And then oops, she tries to kill herself.
Cheryl goes from one graceful tear to attempting suicide in a few episodes
Riverdale is patronising towards the detrimental impact that death can have on a person, whether it's the passing of a loved one or a suicide. Cheryl's development from grief to suicidal is actually shocking when you consider the recent improvements to raising awareness of mental health.
Don't get me wrong, there are still major issues in all aspects of our mental health education, diagnosis and treatment. However, for a show that has such a large teenage following, you would think that they would be a little less trivial with their approach to suicide and show a little more of the horrific brutality.
Don't tell me she represents "teenage girls" because in reality, she's a walking glamorisation of grief, depression and suicide. And ultimately, a consequence of bullshit screenwriting.
Is it just me, or is red hair more important than Jason Blossom's death?
He's the guy, who was murdered at the start and the character that the plot line should focus on. Instead, all we know is that he is a dead, incestuous american footballer with the iconic Riverdale hair and twins on the way.
Hair colour is depicted as more significant than death in this show.
I'm fairly sure "Riverdale Red" should be a hair dye because literally half of the cast have the exact same shade of unnatural, orange hair – Cheryl, Archie, Archie's mum, Jason, the list goes on. Cheryl even says:
"We Blossom's live and die by our red curls."
Does the show just have a ginger fetish or is their red hair supposed to have some shit symbollic meaning?
It's as though the Blossom's were supposed to be a gothic myth – "the family that founded Riverdale". However, they just wind up being yet another creepy, dysfunctional family, who happens to have good genes.
Back to Jason, wait, who is he again?
His death is used as an excuse for a high school murder investigation, based soley upon gossip. He leaves behind Polly, his psycho pregnant girl; Cheryl, who has all of one breakdown before recurling her hair and then his parents… oh yeah, they killed him. The entire show is based upon the death of Jason Blossom and yet, no one seems to actually give a shit about him, including the viewers.
Riverdale treats death as insignificant, forgettable and quite frankly, trivial.
But the shade of the cast's red hair? So fucking important.