For me, falling out of love was a slow, tumultuous descent. It was plummeting, crashing down an increasingly rocky slope, looking for anything to grab onto to slow myself down. When I did get some respite, it was always slight and temporary. And then, when you finally stop falling, you look up at the sky and wonder how you can ascend to such heights again. I am talking, of course, of my once love, Riverdale.
Recently, I re-watched the pilot episode with a group of friends in hopes of rekindling the flames that had burned so brightly before. And perhaps, it was little bit too much pressure, for the episode seemed drab, underlit, and frankly, uninspiring. In each frame, I kept searching for that spark of passion that had kept me coming back week after week since freshman year. There had been something there, hadn’t there? Yet, with each passing overwrought scene, there was nothing to be found. Worse, I could remember the moments that had been seemingly transcendent on the first watch. Riverdale, after all, is a show made up of moments splashing in the shallow end of the pool. It was a show made for social media OMGs and trending hashtag shipping. It was a show that felt like a rapidly rising tide, going up and up and up. It was everything until it became nothing.
Once, I thought I found my soulmate in this wayward show. I thought I could spend the rest of my life with it, or at least the next five seasons. Or maybe it was simply the right show at the right time. Not a deep-rooted affection, but one of those passions precisely because they are fleeting. For Riverdale was the perfect show for my freshman year. After a day of sixteen credits and more club commitments than I could handle, I would return to my dorm room. And instead of facing my ever-growing pile of homework, on Wednesdays, I would turn to the CW. Sure, Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Archie had to deal with small town gossip and a murder, but at least they didn’t have to handle the stress or loneliness of studying at 2:30 in the morning. Their stresses were so dramatic, so exaggerated that I could sit back and enjoy their reactions to the latest arrest/football game/love triangle. At the very height of my love, I watched episodes, again and again. I lurked in the comment sections of recaps. I listened to hours of podcasts devoted to the show. I devoted so much time to this show and now, I don’t know when to break off the relationship.
If the first season was an explosion, the second was an implosion. Critics and my friends agreed, the show overall was worse. But still, I wanted to hold on. I wanted to hold on, not because it was a huge part of my life or even all that important. It was, after all, just Riverdale, a ridiculous, barely-meaningful show that happened to come on every Wednesday. One of dozens, really. I hold on because it is harder to let go. Harder to find another ridiculous, barely-meaningful relationship. I hold on because I have convinced myself that I’m still in love. Or at least, I wish I was.
Riverdale airs at 8 pm on Wednesday on the CW.