RIVERDALE: The Complete First Season DVD Review

In a small town where life is seemingly perfect, it only takes one crack in the glass to destroy that illusion. For the folks of Riverdale, that moment comes when the dead body of a local teen, Jason Blossom, is discovered. Jason’s death begins the town’s descent into lies and deception, as the seemingly perfect town’s facade unravels. So begins our journey into Riverdale: The Complete First Season, the brand new box set of the CW’s hit adaptation of the Archie comic line. If you’re wondering if you read that wrong, you didn’t. Riverdale is an adaptation of the family friendly comic series featuring Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica, but through the lens of a Twin Peaks murder mystery!

Created by the mind behind Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, Greg Berlanti, along with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, have crafted a stylish and fun murder mystery series that brings new life to Archie and his pals. Riverdale could have easily flown off the rails early on, but thankfully strong writing, and a great cast, makes Riverdale a hit out the gate. While the idea of a grounded and gritty murder mystery set in the town of Riverdale seems like a stretch, it actually ends up being the perfect property to try this with. Much of what fans know of Archie and his gang is here, but it’s a bit updated, a bit more scandalous, and quite a bit darker. But, hey, the Archie gang has been fighting the zombie apocalypse in the comics, so anything is possible with these characters.

Riverdale: The Complete First Season comes home courtesy of Warner Bros., and features all thirteen episodes of the show’s first season. For new comers to the series, buckle up and get ready to binge, because the moment you put the first disc in, you’ll be hooked immediately. Riverdale has one of the best pilots in recent memory, with the show laying the groundwork early on for the twists and turns that it’ll eventually take. It’s hard not to fall in love with the series as it goes along, and over the course of the series thirteen episodes, you fall in love with the cast, the world, and the mystery of it all. The best part of it all is that at thirteen episodes, the show has no chance for filler episodes, and instead is breakneck in pace from it’s opening moments to the finale’s shocking ending. This is, by no exaggeration, one of the best inaugural seasons of TV in recent memory, and we’re lucky to have it.

The thing that really makes Riverdale special is its cast. From Trevor Stines, our victim Jason Blossom, to KJ Apa, our All-American Archie, Lili Reinhart as the girl next Betty, Camila Mendes as the mysterious Veronica, Cole Sprouse as the reclusive Jughead, and Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, each plays a specific part in the show’s narrative and build. Without them, the show wouldn’t work nearly as well as it does. Each brings their characters to life in vivid and unique ways, with each character having specific ticks and mannerisms that become calling cards for them. In particular, Cole Sprouse’s sardonic Jughead is one of the show’s bright spots, while also being our eyes into the world. Jughead is the show’s narrator, so we have to trust in him that what we’re seeing is the truth, and not some form of it. Sprouse delivers that in aces, and it’s hard not to love him in the role.

Of course, no DVD set is complete without special features. Riverdale comes with a handful of features that are sure to make fans happy. They are as follows:

  • Riverdale 2016 Comic-Con Panel
    – The cast and crew visit Comic-Con to tout the show before the first season launch, previewing the series to the Ballroom 20 crowd.
  • Gag Reel
    – No special features set is complete without a gag reel. Relive some of the best comic moments behind the scenes of the series, which you’re going to wish was longer.
  • Riverdale: The Ultimate Sin
    -Dive into the making of the show’s production, and how the discovery of Jason Blossom changes Riverdale forever.
  • These Are the Moments I Remember
    – Relive Archie, Veronica, and The Pussycats as they performed together in the season, now as a special feature!

Riverdale is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding first seasons of TV we’ve had in sometime, so it’s not surprise that Riverdale: The Complete First Season is worth the pick up. The set has a handful of fun special features, but most importantly, it features all thirteen episodes of the show’s inaugural season. With a fantastic cast, a great story, and a helluva mystery, Riverdale will grab you from its opening moments, and then won’t let go until the closing moments. When it’s all over, you’re going to be begging for season two to begin right away. Riverdale: The Complete First Season comes highly recommended.

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