DVD Review: Riverdale: The Complete First Season

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Riverdale is based on the characters from Archie Comics. The CW’s top new show was created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, produced by Greg Berlanti, and stars KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Murray, Mädchen Amick and Luke Perry. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is also an executive producer, along with Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater.

Based on the characters from Archie Comics, Riverdale gives a subversive take on small-town life. Things aren’t always what you expect inRiverdale. As a new school year begins, the town is reeling from the tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom. The summer’s events made all-American teen Archie Andrews realize that he wants to pursue a career in music, but his fractured friendship with Jughead Jones, and Josie McCoy’s focus on her own band leaves Archie without a mentor. Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper is not ready to reveal her true feelings for Archie, and new student, Veronica Lodge, has an undeniable spark with Betty’s crush. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom, Riverdale’s queen bee, who stirs up trouble amongst Archie, Betty and Veronica. But is Cheryl hiding something about the mysterious death of her twin brother, Jason? Riverdale may look like a quiet, sleepy town, but there’s so much more to the story.

Riverdale: The Complete First Season focuses on the death of Jason Blossom and those who are connected to him in one way or another. Everyone in this small town has their own little secrets that they’re hiding and as the season plays out, everyone and every deep dark secret is exposed. The murder mystery is stretched out during the freshman season as the viewer gets to know each of these interesting characters and what they all bring to the table. A few suspects surface along the way but the killer isn’t revealed until things start to wrap up for the first season. The pieces of this mysterious puzzle slowly come together as the story plays out. Riverdale is a nostalgic watch for fans of the classic comic book series. Back in the 90’s Archie comics was updated for a whole new generation and it went in more of a darker direction than its campy past. It has all led to this television adaptation featuring these classic characters. Even if you didn’t grown up on Archie comics, you know these interesting characters.

Archie (KJ Apa) has always been the main character and in Riverdale he’s one of the most popular kids in high school and really doesn’t have a problem getting a date or a girlfriend. In fact, when we first meet him he’s having an affair with his music teacher and let’s just say that doesn’t end well for either of them. Then there’s Betty (Lili Reinhart), Archie’s ex, who ends up dating Jughead (Cole Sprouse), the outsider and loner of the group. He’s also the voice of the school newspaper and wastes no time when there’s breaking news. There’s also Veronica (Camila Mendes), the new girl in school who quickly makes a name for herself and becomes besties with Betty. She doesn’t take crap off of anyone. And there’s Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), the poor little rich girl who lost her brother. Make no mistake about it, she’s a viper but she can also be vulnerable and even likable at times. Riverdale also features some catchy tunes courtesy of Archie and the fan favorite Josie (Ashleigh Murray) and the Pussy Cats.

The packaging comes with a nice slipcase. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes season one details, some images and list of special features. There’s also a booklet inside that includes a list of the episodes with synopsis, more images and series credits. All three DVD discs are numbered and also include some background artwork. Inserting each disc, the menu screens were simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, I passed on Riverdale: The Complete First Season when it first aired on The CW even though I did promote the series. Now I’ve gotten the opportunity to review it and I have to admit that I really like it. Sure, there’s a little of the Hollyweird agenda thrown in but that’s to be expected these days. Besides that, everything about Riverdale is extremely likeable and well crafted. The first season focuses on this murder mystery while we get to know these iconic characters from the classic comic book series and the casting is close to perfect. This talented young cast of players that’s supported by familiar veteran actors are what breathes life into this awesome series and it’s dark plot. It’s all about these wonderful characters, their relationships and this murder mystery thats ends with a shocker. Riverdale fits right in with fan favorites like Mystery, Inc. (minus the dog), Twin Peaks, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and even Scream (minus the slasher) because it’s a thought-provoking drama that’s led by these interesting characters. Riverdale: The Complete First Season releases on DVD on August 15th and is worth checking out. It’ll also be available on Blu-ray via Warner Archive Collection.

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 3 Discs / 13 Episodes / 555 Minutes

  1. Chapter One: “The River’s Edge”
  2. Chapter Two: “A Touch of Evil”
  3. Chapter Three: “Body Double”
  4. Chapter Four: “The Last Picture Show”
  5. Chapter Five: “Heart of Darkness”
  6. Chapter Six: “Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!”
  7. Chapter Seven: “In a Lonely Place”
  8. Chapter Eight: “The Outsiders”
  9. Chapter Nine: “La Grande Illusion”
  10. Chapter Ten: “The Lost Weekend”
  11. Chapter Eleven: “To Riverdale and Back Again”
  12. Chapter Twelve: “Anatomy of a Murder”
  13. Chapter Thirteen: “The Sweet Hereafter”

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include new bonus content, three featurettes, two musical pieces, never-before-seen deleted scenes and a gag reel.

  • Riverdale: 2016 Comic-Con Panel – Disc 3 (08:05)
  • Riverdale: The New Normal – Disc 1 (08:47)
  • Riverdale: The Ultimate Sin – Disc 3 (09:17)
  • I Got You – musical piece – Disc 2 (00:47)
  • These Are Moments I Remember – musical piece – Disc 3 (01:51)
  • Deleted Scenes – The deleted scenes for each episode are included on all three discs.
  • Gag Reel – Disc 3 (04:47)

 

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