I’ll just come out and say it:
Riverdale is an absolute dumpster fire of a television show.
My cousin once said it’s the trash show she watches while painting her nails, texting her friends, and fighting a hangover from the weekend on a Sunday afternoon.
This 100% checks out.
I described Riverdale as the experience of eating way too much of an overly sweet, extremely rich food despite knowing full well you’re going to be sick later.
My cousin 100% agreed with this being the general experience of watching Riverdale.
To be honest, the only reason we watch this show is because we grew up on Archie Comics, and before we could really decide the show was trash for ourselves, Riverdale had already sucked us into its ridiculous nonsense.
I mean, this show just keeps getting worse…
I honestly don’t know how they do it.
This is an actual series of texts (screenshotted day before yesterday or something) I sent my brother two or three nights ago, since he also grew up with Archie Comics and burdening him with the details of this awful show seemed like a very responsible and mature use of my time and energy.
Needless to say, he still hasn’t replied.
It’s not like I can really blame him, either. I honestly deserve to be blocked after that.
Nevertheless, Riverdale actually does have a few redeeming factors (the adults’ horrible parenting styles not being among them), and the biggest one is, without a doubt, the glorious Cheryl Blossom. Sure, her television persona is a far cry from the version of her we know from the comics, but the Riverdale Cheryl, played by the supremely talented Madeline Petsch, is actually so much better.
In the television show, unlike the old Archie Comics, there is so much more to Cheryl Blossom than just great hair, popularity, a beautiful heart, and a beautiful smile.
In Riverdale, Cheryl Blossom is complex and layered. She’s dark, abused, traumatized, fierce, loving, tender, and unfathomably strong. At such a young age, she’s already received a far worse hand in life than anyone deserves, yet she never backs down. From nearly getting raped to her super sketchy house to numerous, disturbing personal deaths to evil, abusive family members…
The list, sadly enough, goes on and on…
On the bright side, however, she’s also the gothic cheerleader we always knew we needed, as well as half the glorious ship fans endearingly refer to as “Choni.”
Now, I won’t get into “Choni” here because they could [and probably should] have their own blog series. All I’ll say is they are the queer femme couple I never knew I needed in my life until they actually happened, and Cheryl is the queer femme icon who makes watching Riverdale worth all the pain.
As you’ve probably already gathered by now, I don’t really need to say, do, or write much here, since this absolute queen of a character very much stands and speaks for herself without my help…
Regardless, here’s my very condensed list of 10 times Cheryl Blossom made Riverdale absolutely worth it.
She deserves it.
1. Each time she super dramatically roamed her family’s gothic mansion like the majestic, gothic queen she is.
The lipstick, the hair, the linens and the cloaks and the robes…
Cheryl Blossom: the cherry-themed, gothic heroine we never knew we needed.
This is what I live for and need even more of on Riverdale.
2. The way she never lets her absolutely insane family dynamics, trauma, and/or the complete madness that is simply living in Riverdale (let alone existing in the very heart of all that wretched town’s horror) get in the way of her “Queen Bee” status and persona.
She remains captain of the Vixens and rules the school, despite Mr. Honey and that new coach’s best efforts.
Cheryl Blossom knows her place, and her place is right at the top. Good for you, queen!
3. Every time she represented the girl who it seems would have it all, but actually finds herself having less and less than her peers with each passing day…
And she doesn’t even complain about it.
Furthermore, she constantly finds the most beautiful ways to be happy…
And also to expertly inflict revenge whenever and wherever it’s due, of course.
Most people would’ve given up long ago, but our queen only gets stronger with more time, trauma, and tragedy.
She is so much more than her family money.
I mean, talk about rising from the ashes.
Cheryl Blossom is an inspiration.
4. When she drugged and ditched her mother in the “teen sex bunker” (or whatever she called it) because Penelope Blossom is the absolute worst.
Actually, I’d say it was pretty amazing basically every time she carried out beautiful revenge on Penelope the Horrible, and/or cut off the woman’s oxygen (not a one-time occurrence)…
Because why the Hell not?
5. When she burned down Thornhill.
Suck it, Penelope.
6. When she hung out with the corpse of Jason for at least half a season of the show and acted like it was nothing.
This should’ve been a lot more horrible than it is, especially considering the fact that it’s the pretty old corpse of Cheryl’s murdered twin brother, but it was somehow surprisingly endearing.
Additionally, watching her and Toni casually carve pumpkins for Halloween with Jason’s corpse propped up at the table was the strange, dark humor Riverdale needs more of in its storyline(s). I hate that I laughed at the absolute trash of it all, but I did…
Because it was just bizarre enough that it was also hilarious.
7. When she hosted that gloriously vile Thanksgiving dinner for her relatives.
Those people were cruel, despicable vultures, and convincing them that they were eating the meat of her dead uncle, who she and Toni accidentally killed off in an act of self-defense, was nothing short of art.
The “cherry” on top?
Convincing them that they’re next on the menu.
8. When she threw a party and sent the entire senior class to war against their new, potentially evil principal, Mr. Honey.
Yeah, that’s right…
This horrible subplot goes far deeper than my texts to my brother let on.
Mr. Honey is so creepy and weird that he almost makes me miss Riverdale‘s pretty terrible rendition of Mr. Weatherbee.
Shoutout to Cheryl for actually taking a stand against the man. You deserve all the best things in life, queen.
9. Every time she saved the lives of her loved ones with her insane archery skills, and didn’t bother to feel guilty for doing what she had to do to protect her loved ones.
Whenever I see Cheryl rocking her bow and arrow, I get shivers.
She is, hands down, Riverdale‘s best femme fatale.
10. When she finally earned, received, and absolutely OWNED her badass, custom made, cherry-red Serpent jacket.