A Criminologist Said 1 ‘Riverdale’ Scene is ‘Complete and Utter Nonsense’

Riverdale is a series on The CW that debuted on TV in January 2017. Since then, fans have been drawn to Riverdale for various reasons—the talented young cast, the comic book connection, and the variety of immersive storylines.

While many viewers love how Riverdale dissects teen drama and dives deep into intense plotlines, some have criticized the series for being a little too outrageous. Notably, a 2021 Variety interview with a criminologist sheds some light on one scene involving serial killer identification that the expert deemed as “nonsense.”

‘Riverdale’ is an intense teen drama series

Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, and Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge sip from a milkshake during the 100th episode of Riverdale
Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, and Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge in the ‘Riverdale’ 100th episode | The CW

Riverdale is loosely based on the iconic Archie Comics, an ongoing comic book series that first started publishing in the ’40s. A far cry from the wholesome, clean-cut characters from the original comics; however, many of the characters in Riverdale are involved in sordid activities like drug-taking and fetishes.

The first season of the series involves the teens attempting to unravel a gruesome murder mystery in the town of Riverdale.

With the recent news that Riverdale has been renewed for a seventh season, many new fans are diving deep to learn about the show for the first time. While there’s much to enjoy about Riverdale, some experts have noted that some of the show’s plotlines are not to be taken seriously.

What did a criminologist reveal about the serial killer identification scene in ‘Riverdale’?

In an August 2021 interview with Variety, criminologist David Wilson provided his thoughts on one Riverdale scene that involved Betty positively identifying a serial killer based purely on a series of photographs.

“The idea that there could be somebody who is going to be able to simply look at photographs and or walk down the street and identify who the serial killer is, is just complete nonsense,” Wilson said.

“I hope that isn’t too disappointing to you,” Wilson said. “But it is complete and utter nonsense. Serial killers are banal and ordinary. Serial killers are never spectacular. They’re always too human. If the serial killer really wants to be effective, they’ve got to fit in, because if they stand out, they’re not going to be able to get access to the people that they want to kill.”

The moment where Betty IDs a serial killer in a photograph isn’t the only example of outrageous Riverdale plotlines. BuzzFeed curated a selection of some of the most prominent offenders in October 2021.

One of the most egregious examples of over-the-top storylines in the show is Archie forming the “Red Circle,” a group of vigilante teenagers who worked together to patrol the streets and hunt down the man who murdered Archie’s father. While viewers might have bought into the idea of teenage vigilantes, the promotional video that Archie filmed for the Red Circle, featuring his group sitting half-naked on and around a couch, sent the storyline over the top.

The musical episodes of Riverdale also didn’t resonate with fans, with many expressing the opinion that they took viewers out of the world that the show attempted to create – while Kevin’s sudden, random urge to sell tickle fetish videos online struck viewers as something that came from completely out of the left field.

Additionally, there was one storyline that involved Cheryl keeping the corpse of her dead brother, Jason, in the basement of her home, where she proceeded to have conversations with him. Certainly, Cheryl’s Norman Bates moment isn’t something that endeared the character to viewers.

RELATED: ‘Riverdale’ Is Based on Archie Comics: How Are the Two Different?