'Riverdale': A Guilty Pleasure With A Conscience

'Riverdale': A Guilty Pleasure With A Conscience

A show worthy of the Netflix Binge.

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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!


I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the film...you can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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