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Chucky may be wi-fi enabled in the new Child’s Play, but it’s hardly an upgrade Chucky may be wi-fi enabled in the new Child’s Play, but it’s hardly an upgrade

Kids these days, with their newfangled wi-fi enabled homicidal dolls. Back when we were whippersnappers attending the 1988 stab-a-thon Child’s Play, we got a low-tech Chucky and we liked it! It didn’t matter if we had to walk two miles uphill both ways to the cineplex, it was worth it just to see a serial murderer…

Riverdale readies for one grim senior year in its 3rd season finale Riverdale readies for one grim senior year in its 3rd season finale

Aaron Sorkin has this little habit of titling the first-season finale episodes on his various TV series “What Kind Of Day Has It Been?” He takes each stopping point as an opportunity to take stock, to look back at what’s come before and look ahead at what’s to come. Though Riverdale has shackled itself to obligations…

The organ thievery business is booming on an incisive Riverdale The organ thievery business is booming on an incisive Riverdale

Archie’s mother uses the word “endgame” in this week’s episode, an assemblage of letters that’s taken on a few alternate meanings as of late. When she utters this word, Mary Andrews means it in the colloquial neologism sense, an expression of one’s belief that two characters deserve to be together in the conclusion of…

Rigged elections, crash dieting, multiple homicides — must be prom night on Riverdale! Rigged elections, crash dieting, multiple homicides — must be prom night on Riverdale!

“Prom is this weekend? We still do things like that here?”

Three major goodbyes on this week's Riverdale, and none of them for the show's toughest loss Three major goodbyes on this week's Riverdale, and none of them for the show's toughest loss

Two days ago, on his Instagram account, Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced that this week’s episode was the last that Luke Perry shot prior to his shocking passing. (Cast members Madelaine Petsch, Gina Gershon, and Ashleigh Murray all dutifully responded with broken-heart emojis.) The rational TV…

The bared-torso-per-minute ratio hits a new high on a particularly sweaty Riverdale The bared-torso-per-minute ratio hits a new high on a particularly sweaty Riverdale

Every character contained within Riverdale is acting on a different show, and every week, they’re in competition with one another to be the best act on the bill. In this episode, Archie and Veronica are trapped in the first four minutes of a gay porno. (Veronica is the girl at home, watching it on her computer.)…

Infiltrating a cult turns out to be pretty tricky business on a Riverdale flush with bad choices Infiltrating a cult turns out to be pretty tricky business on a Riverdale flush with bad choices

Riverdale is a show about teens who look like they’re in their twenties acting like they’re in their thirties and forties. That applies to their romantic and sexual lives, and this playacted maturity also regularly extends to their amateur extracurricular pursuits. This episode’s two main prongs — Jughead and Archie’s…

Color me stoked, Riverdale goes Heathers in a superior musical episode Color me stoked, Riverdale goes Heathers in a superior musical episode

For all intents and purposes, Riverdale is a musical. In big Broadway productions, outsized emotion spills over past the limits of reality to the point that it can only be expressed through performance. That also happens a lot on this television show, which won plenty of fans with an early scene in which Veronica and…

As Riverdale turns fifty, the more things change, the more they stay the same As Riverdale turns fifty, the more things change, the more they stay the same

This week marks Riverdale’s fiftieth episode, a milestone the show nods to through F.P.’s fiftieth birthday party. It’s a time for reflection and summing-up, for taking inventory and speechmaking. The newly reunited Jones clan receives a State of the Family address from Jughead near the tail end of this hour, in which…

Luke Perry casts a long shadow over a blissfully unaware Riverdale Luke Perry casts a long shadow over a blissfully unaware Riverdale

One week ago, Luke Perry suffered a stroke at his Sherman Oaks home. He was immediately hospitalized, where he remained until passing away from complications related to the stroke five days later. His untimely death at age 52 has spurred an outpouring of excellent, passionate writing vaunting Perry both as the…

Archie stings like a butterfly, floats like a big beautiful idiot through a punch-drunk Riverdale Archie stings like a butterfly, floats like a big beautiful idiot through a punch-drunk Riverdale

The hazard of squeezing a baker’s dozen of plot developments into a single hour, as Riverdale did when last we met in the appropriately-named “Biazrrodale,” is that an episode merely containing a near-fatal cult ritual and a corrupt boxing match feels slight by comparison.

The Sex Bunker gets a workout in a Riverdale chockablock with cock-blocking The Sex Bunker gets a workout in a Riverdale chockablock with cock-blocking

On Riverdale as in life, our time feels both impossibly long and impossibly brief. It is nothing short of mind-boggling to me that each episode of this show lasts only forty-two minutes, swollen as they are with minimum four hours’ worth of plot developments. The volume and mass of this show simply do not square up.

Forget it, guest star Kelly Ripa, it's Extra-Reverent Noir Homage Week on Riverdale Forget it, guest star Kelly Ripa, it's Extra-Reverent Noir Homage Week on Riverdale

Watching “The Red Dahlia,” Riverdale’s most reverent homage yet to the tropes and textures of film noir, a viewer might be reminded of another show well-schooled in pop-culture mimicry, Community. Both programs demonstrated an in-and-out understanding of what defines a certain Dan Harmon’s cult-adored sitcom…

Riverdale returns to form (and high school) as the gang bones up for the SATs Riverdale returns to form (and high school) as the gang bones up for the SATs

The trouble with shows like Riverdale, which survive by continuously raising their stakes, is that the writers can’t keep raising them forever. Eventually, American Horror Story Syndrome starts to take effect, and the creative team must fling every provocation at the wall in increasingly desperate hopes that one may…

Riverdale returns with bisexual cat burglars and shifting relationship dynamics  Riverdale returns with bisexual cat burglars and shifting relationship dynamics 

Riverdale is a show built around protracted flirtations, none more thrilling than that between its kookoo-bananas invented world and our flesh-and-blood reality. For a vast swath of fans (including, admittedly, myself), the program does not take place between 8 and 9 P.M. on Wednesday nights but all day every day,…

A knife-brandishing Gina Gershon livens up Riverdale's midseason finale A knife-brandishing Gina Gershon livens up Riverdale's midseason finale

Endings on Riverdale always feel strange, relative even to the normal out-of-body experience that is watching this gloriously reason-averse show. When the writers arrive at a finale (or in this case, a mid-season finale), they must pass off a season that frequently seems to be making it up as it goes in the guise of a…

A spoonful of nostalgia helps the calculated Mary Poppins Returns go down A spoonful of nostalgia helps the calculated Mary Poppins Returns go down

Mary Poppins isn’t a great childcare professional because she’s magic. Her real power is imagination. (Let it be established upfront that a high tolerance for extreme earnestness is a must-have for anyone hoping to make it through two more hours with England’s most airborne nanny.) She does the same thing as any…

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