Riverdale Season 7 Trailer (HD) Final Season

If there’s one drawback of going back to the drawing board, it’s that resetting sometimes means rehashing things already covered in the original Riverdale timeline. Cheryl’s experience of homophobia, for instance, is poignant but not all that different from what she experienced in the present day. (In both timelines, Cheryl’s evil mother denounces her as “unnatural.”) But those of us who grew up on fan fiction know the pleasure of reconfiguring a familiar story in an alternate universe, and in this particular case, Petsch plays Cheryl’s closeted arc with aplomb.

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All of the actors make the most of the material. Apa absolutely nails Archie’s “aw, shucks” persona, with some genuinely hilarious line readings in the early episodes. Mendes, often left stranded by the plot in recent seasons, has been restored to the center of attention as a Hollywood It Girl, and it’s exactly where she belongs. The whole cast seems to have come to the final season with renewed vigor. There’s a meta element to a group of adults playing teens who are actually adults (or however this twisted timeline works), and they’re doing so with a winking humor that’s irresistible.

But just when you think the series has settled in to being a funny high school period piece, somebody turns up to a school function covered in blood. Riverdale is still the murder capital of the world, after all. It’s a town full of dark secrets in any universe or timeline. The coming episodes will undoubtedly unravel in a typically outrageous manner that only this series is capable of—a manner, it must be said, that will be sorely missed when this final season concludes. For now, we get to enjoy Riverdale at the height of its powers, gorgeous, goofy, brilliant, and absolutely bananas. In other words: television at its most swell.

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Riverdale season 7 premieres March 29 on The CW