Since Riverdale began, the main focus, like many nighttime soaps with a high school setting, has been on "teenage" characters. Though they're played by adults, it's the kids who are the real stars of Riverdale. Yet the more that Riverdale gets into season 2, the more interesting the real adults, the parents, become.
In "Chapter 26: The Tell-Tale Heart" alone, there was discussion of two extra-martial affairs, a big reveal involving a fake FBI agent, a plot to destroy a body and whatever shady thing Hiram Lodge is doing at all times. Riverdale should always be centered around the kids but giving the adults a little of the spotlight wouldn't hurt.
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The Expanding Lodge Family Empire
Riverdale will always be Archie and the gang's show. Yet there's a reason that the series is called Riverdale and not Riverdale High. The parents are becoming just an important to the series' machinations and schemes as anything launched by Archie Andrews or Betty Cooper. In fact, with Archie now firmly part of "the family" with the Lodges, Riverdale must get more involved in that particular criminal empire. The time has ended for Hiram Lodge to be enigmatic and aloof.
Approaching the Lodge family's criminal enterprises from Veronica and Archie's perspective is fine but, regardless of the quality of both characters, they're not the main attraction of the storyline. The interesting thing about Archie and Veronica getting sucked into the Lodge organization is how Hermione and Hiram influence them, not the other way around.
Veronica gets off a little bit easier because she's much more intelligent and savvy than Archie. However, Hiram and Hermione are able to steal the scene when it comes to the Lodge family discussion in a truly remarkable way. Hermione bringing Archie to the cliffside to reveal the truth about Agent Adams was just as ridiculous and entertaining as any grand slow-motion entrance by Cheryl Blossom.
After not being seen at all in Riverdale season 1, Hiram Lodge has become one of the show's most compelling characters. Every interaction between Archie and Hiram is the stuff that makes Riverdale its own very specific and overly dramatic beast. On any other show, Hiram would be laughable but on Riverdale he's the quintessential mafioso. Even though Archie is hopelessly out of his depth, Riverdale has found a way to make those scenes sparkle. That's almost entirely up to the fact that Hiram is magnificently riveting, hitting the right balance between charisma and horror.
Age Has No Limit on Love
It's not just the Lodge family that Riverdale needs more of in the future. The other half of Riverdale's core four, Jughead and Betty, are in a wonderful crisis with their own parents. FP Jones and Alice Cooper have really been two of the unsung heroes of Riverdale so far. The relationship between Betty and Jughead might've stolen the hearts of most Riverdale viewers but there's a steamy chemistry all its own between FP and Alice that's dying to be explored. This is especially true now that the two are now bonded by the fact they've hidden a body together.
Whatever is going on with FP and Alice has also threatened, against all odds, to make Hal Cooper a little more interesting. Hal is, easily, one of the weakest characters on Riverdale, being neither likable or all that interesting. Yet his new affair with Penelope Blossom has made Hal just the teensiest bit compelling. He's still a horrible husband, father and person (even though he is probably right that Chic is no good) but at least Hal's watchable now.
The twisted love affair of Penelope and Hal and the potential of something developing between FP and Alice is messier, more believable and more interesting than the currently complicated and interconnected love lives of Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead. Archie did kiss Betty during the height of the Black Hood. All of that can be traded in for Penelope moving on from her husband to his cousin and Alice reconnecting with her Serpent roots.
Crazy in Moderation
There is a very real chance that Riverdale's parents are only so interesting because they exist mostly in the background. Jughead's arc in the first half of season 2 is proof that just because a character is tremendous in a supporting role doesn't mean they can carry their own story. Riverdale doesn't need a whole episode consisting of FP storming into a room and screaming, "Boy!" at Jughead.
The Lodges, the Coopers, Penelope and even Fred Andrews are great, but they shouldn't overshadow the younger generation. It still would be more than welcome to put them on equal footing from time to time.
But what do you make of the Riverdale parents? Do you want to see more of Alice, FP, Hiram and everyone else? Are they currently being used the perfect amount?
(Image courtesy of The CW)