'Riverdale': A Guilty Pleasure With A Conscience

'Riverdale': A Guilty Pleasure With A Conscience

A show worthy of the Netflix Binge.
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I set out this weekend to fill the gaping hole that Game of Thrones left in my life with a new show to binge. I stumbled upon the CW's Riverdale on Netflix, and all my hopes were answered. Based on the Archie comic series, which debuted in 1941, you may be surprised to find that it has all the necessities of a guilty pleasure: the backstabbing, secrets, girl fights and, of course, murder. The show also manages to address some hot-button topics in a unique way. While Riverdale is set in the present day, it brings the 50s era clothes, hairstyles and sets to today in the best way possible. The beauty of this mash is how it recognizes that while we have made great strides in American society, many of the same stigmas and prejudices are still being fought today.

*Light spoilers from here on out*

They cover everything from race to slut-shaming to gender stereotypes, as well as the stigmas surrounding mental health, teen pregnancy and classism. One star of the show, Ashleigh Murray, plays Josie of the famed "Josie and the Pussycats." She effortlessly puts Archie in his place whenever it's needed. As a sassy, strong, intelligent, African American young woman, she is my new hero.

Another star, Camila Mendes, plays Veronica, the daughter of a wealthy family that moved to Riverdale to escape the fallout of her father's arrest. Mendes is a Brazilian American actress and has spoken about how important it is that she has the opportunity to play a part of a Latina family that is intelligent, wealthy and powerful. Especially opposed to the more common stereotypical latina lower-class, drug-dealing families that populate T.V. shows and film.

The show also deals heavily in classism. While Archie's family represents a blue-collar middle class (he is literally the boy next door), Jughead Jones is the low-class offspring of a drug-dealing, Southside Serpents gang leader, but he is more than that. Played by Cole Sprouse (of Disney's Suite Life of Zach and Cody), Jughead is written in such a way that he remains dynamic and original even with a home life and history that we've seen a hundred times in a hundred different shows.

He, and really all the teenagers in the show, seem much more self-aware than teens are usually allowed to be in these types of dramas. His voice narrates each episode as he pens his novel surrounding the murder of Jason Blossom, and as you get further into the show, it becomes totally apparent that he has rejected his father's lifestyle wholeheartedly, while also rejecting the idea of the nuclear family all together (without spoiling too much, this is why Jughead and Betty are my new favorite ship!).

In Riverdale, the class warfare goes deeper than money and really takes more of an "everyone" vs. "everyone else" track instead of the more usual "rich vs. poor" dynamic. The matriarchs and patriarchs of houses Blossom, Lodge, Andrews, Jones and Cooper (I miss Game of Thrones so much!) are stuck in the past waging war over centuries old disputes and whose ancestors murdered each other in cold blood; their children decide who is worthy of trust and friendship as they attempt to solve Jason's murder.

I'm beyond excited for the second season, which starts October 11 on the CW, but I have a few hopes for the second season. One of Betty's best friends, Kevin Keller, is gay, and I have mixed feelings with how the character is treated. Kevin slides so perfectly into every "Gay Best Friend" stereotype, and one has to wonder if he's meant to be seen as a real person at all. The positive side is that no one in Riverdale cares that Kevin is gay, even his dad, which is great.

We need to see more gay characters being portrayed as people that are just part of society and life like everyone else. They need to be seen as normal because they are. However, having the only gay main character fulfill every negative stereotype without humanizing him in the same way that the rest of the gang are humanized and fully-fleshed out is a problem. My hope for season two of Riverdale is that it will more accurately represent the LBGTQ community and the vast variety of people that count themselves as part of it.

Overall Riverdale gives a face-lift to the teen drama genre and takes some of the guilt out of guilty-pleasure binge-watching. October can't come fast enough. (Jughead and Betty forever! Bettyhead? Jugetty? I'll work on it...)

Cover Image Credit: CBR

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The 10 Stages Of A 2:30 P.M. Kickoff, As Told By Alabama Students

But we still say Roll MF Tide!

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We all have a love-hate relationship with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Denny Stadium, especially when it's 94 degrees.

1. Immediate sadness

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What do you mean I have to wake up at 9 a.m. to get ready?

2. Bracing yourself for the worst

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It's a marathon not a sprint ladies and gentleman.

3. Accepting the game is going to happen

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Rain or shine we are all in that student section screaming our heads off.

4. Trying to wear the least amount clothes possible without being naked on the Quad

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Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

5. Shedding a tear when you walk out your front door once you feel the heat and humidity on your skin

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Is it fall yet?

6. Drowning your sorrows inside a Red Solo cup at 11:30 a.m. at a fraternity tailgate

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Maybe I'll forget about the humidity if I start frat hopping now.

7. Getting in line to go through security realizing it'll take an hour to actually get inside Bryant Denny

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More security is great and all but remember the heat index in Alabama? Yeah, it's not easy being smushed like sardines before even getting into Bryant Denny.

8. Feeling the sweat roll down every part of your body

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Oh yeah I am working on my tan and all but what is the point of showering before kick off?

9. Attempting to cheer on the Tide, but being whacked in the head with a shaker by the girl behind you. 

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Shakers are tradition, but do we have to spin it around in a full 360 every two seconds? I have a migraine from just thinking about it.

10. Leaving a quarter into the game because Alabama is kicking ass and you're about to have a heat stroke.

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I'll watch the rest in air conditioning thank you very much!

We may not love the 2:30 kickoffs but Roll Tide!

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I Made Emma Chamberlain's Mediocre Vegan Cookies, And They're Pretty Incredible

Emma and her vegan cookies have made their way into my heart, and are here to stay.

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One day, I went down the black hole that is 'YouTube at 3 am' and discovered my favorite social media influencer of all time: Emma Chamberlain. I started binge watching her videos every night for about a week, where I came across her "Cooking With Emma" series. I decided that I wanted to give her vegan antics a go for myself.

I've never cooked or baked anything with the intention of it being vegan, so not only is that new territory for me, but I've never even eaten a vegan cookie. The only reason I'm doing this is because Emma did, and she is aesthetic goals.

To start the journey of vegan baking, I took to Pinterest, just like Emma, and found this recipe to use. Although the video that inspired all of this used a gluten free recipe, I opted for only vegan, because I'm allergic to most of the ingredients that make things gluten-free.


In true Emma style, I used a whisk to combine the wet ingredients together, making sure to use her special technique.


Then, I did the same thing with the dry ingredients.


After that, I dumped everything together and combined all of the ingredients.


Once they were combined, I chopped up a vegan chocolate bar, because Emma and I like chocolate chunk cookies, not chocolate chip, there's a difference.


Now that everything is combined, I made balls of dough and stuck it on a pan, and baked them while I binged more Emma, because what else would I be doing in my spare time?



The recipe said to make the balls a lot smaller, but we aren't perfect, so I made them gigantic. In my head, I thought the worst thing that could happen was it turn into one big cookie, but that's a whole other video you need to watch.

I took them out of the oven, and they were brown on the top, but still a little doughy. At this point I was tired of waiting and eager to eat them, so I disappointingly set them aside to cool, which only lasted a minute or so before I snagged one up to try.



The taste was definitely one I've never associated with cookies, and came to the conclusion that if I decided to go vegan, it would be doable with these cookies and Emma Chamberlain by my side.



Emma inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, which is a reoccurring theme throughout her channel, and I'm happy to be apart of it. She taught me that even if mediocre cookies is all you have, eat them with pride because you made them yourself.

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