The Riverdale Rag #018 – Choices

Cecily and Chanda review “The Noose Tightens”, discuss the show’s handling of Cheryl’s conversion therapy, Kevin Keller: Convenient Gay, Cheryl’s bisexuality, and our OTP, #Falice and more. Show notes below.

Stray Observations

  • Nana Rose’s red hair streak represents her life force. The streak was wider and more visible last season, but seems thinner (yet just as bright) this season.
  • “…F.P. and Alice living their serpent dreams…” – Chanda

Show Notes1

Benjamin Bennett (1904–1985) was a well known South African crime writer. He worked as a journalist with the Cape Argus newspaper from 1925 to 1975, as a crime reporter, and subsequently as news editor and finally editor of Argus Action. He was born in Kimberley, South Africa, and was educated at Kimberley Boys’ High School.

Bennett’s prodigious output of books reflects a close involvement, as crime reporter, both at the crime scene and in the courtroom, where his professional life regularly took him, pen and notebook in hand. It is said that, for his insight, he was even consulted by the police for the solving of certain complex cases.

Conversion Therapy

If you’re interested in finding out more about conversion therapy, check out Buzzfeed’s “This Is What Happens When You Undergo Gay Conversion Therapy” or “#BornPerfect: Survivor Stories and Survivor Network” from the National Centre for Lesbian Rights.

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Music Credits

Intro/Outro – Good Morning by LAKEY INSPIRED · Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported— CC BY-SA 3.0 · Music provided by Music for Creators


  1. As best as we can tell, Bennett’s book The Noose Tightens is the source of this episode’s title. 

The Riverdale Rag #017 – Really, Archie?

This week it’s the return of the Double Digest, as Cecily and Chanda discuss "There Will Be Blood" and "Primary Colors".

Stray Observations

  • We’ve discussed how the show treats characters of colour before, but the marginalization also carries over into its queer characters. We don’t have much hope for a happy future for Kevin Keller, but Cecily thinks the show has gone to far with Cheryl’s conversion therapy storyline. We don’t trust the show to handle this subject with any seriousness or sensitivity, and we’d just like to see Riverdale’s queer characters be treated with some respect just once.

Show Notes

There Will Be Blood is a 2007 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano. The film was inspired by Upton Sinclair's novel Oil!. It tells the story of a silver miner-turned-oilman (Day-Lewis) on a ruthless quest for wealth during Southern California's oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kevin J. O'Connor, Ciarán Hinds, and Dillon Freasier are also featured in the film.

Primary Colors is a 1998 film based on the novel Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics, a roman à clef about Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign in 1992, which was originally published anonymously, but in 1996 was revealed to have been written by journalist Joe Klein, who had been covering Clinton's campaign for Newsweek. The film was directed by Mike Nichols and scripted by Elaine May; it starred John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Maura Tierney, Larry Hagman, and Adrian Lester.

News Items

i love you

A post shared by Charles Melton (@_melton_) on

Sabrina has found her Harvey (PopBuzz)

Music Credits

The Riverdale Rag #016 – Who’s Loving Who?

This week Cecily and Chanda discuss the grooming of Archie Andrews, Cheryl and Toni’s budding romance and representation of LGBTQ youth in media, and take a small detour to discuss the new so-called “feminist” reboot of Charmed. Show notes continue below.

Show Notes

The poster for the 1977 film The Hills Have Eyes
The poster for the 1977 film The Hills Have Eyes

The Hills Have Eyes is a 1977 American exploitation-horror film written, directed, and edited by Wes Craven and starring Susan Lanier, Michael Berryman and Dee Wallace. It is about a suburban family that is targeted by a family of savages after being stranded in the Nevada desert. The film was released in cinemas on 22 July 1977 and has since become a cult classic.1

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The Riverdale Rag #015 – Wakanda Forever

Black Panther Cast

Cecily and Chanda have been to the promised land, and that land is Wakanda! In this special episode, they discuss the film Black Panther, they discuss the film’s political intrigue, the representation of the diaspora in the film, and the sheer power and joy that comes from seeing your people beautifully and richly represented on screen. Oh, and being them, there’s a whole segment on Wakandan thirst traps. Spoilers abound!

The Riverdale Rag #014 – Snitches Get Stitches

How many episodes are left?

“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon” could be the unifying line for this season. So far season 2 feels 3 years long, and there’s a three-week hiatus after this episode. Can Cecily and Chanda make it? Stay tuned.

This week we talk (at length) about comics, especially The Wicked and the Dead, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and of course Archie and how the comics differ from their televised versions. Plus, we discuss “Chapter 26: The Tell-tale Heart”, and the latest news from the Archieverse.

Show Notes

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1843. It is relayed by an unnamed narrator who endeavours to convince the reader of his sanity while simultaneously describing a murder he committed. The victim was an old man with a filmy “vulture-eye”, as the narrator calls it. The narrator emphasizes the careful calculation of the murder, and he hides the body by dismembering it in the bathtub, and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately, the narrator’s feelings of guilt, or a mental disturbance, result in him hearing a thumping sound, which he interprets as the dead man’s beating heart.

The story was first published in James Russell Lowell’s The Pioneer in January 1843. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is widely considered a classic of the Gothic fiction genre and is one of Poe’s most famous short stories.1

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Music Credits

The Riverdale Rag #013 – Sex, Lies, and Videocams

I don’t want to say that Cecily and Chanda were bored of this episode, but just like Archie Andrews’ grade point average, it rarely rose above a C+. Why do we do this to ourselves? Because we care about each other, and we care about you, the listeners. This week we talk about Riverdale’s Mafia connections, Betty’s debut as a camgirl, and the never-ending saga of how this show both facinates us and disappoints us every week. Plus news, gossip, and all the great conversation you’ve come to expect from your hosts. Read on for the show notes!

Stray Observations

  • I think it’s safe to say we’ve reached the part of the season that feels like that long slog before summer vacation. We’re paying attention, but only half-heartedly because we’ve already been accepted to our top choice school, and all of our safety schools.

Show Notes

The Wicked + The Divine is a contemporary fantasy comic book series created by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, and published by Image Comics. The series is largely influenced by pop music and various mythological deities, and includes the themes of life and death in the story.

The narrative follows a young teenage girl, Laura, as she interacts with the Pantheon, a group of twelve people who discover that they are reincarnated deities. This discovery grants them fame and supernatural powers, with the stipulation that they will die within two years – part of a ninety-year cycle known as the Recurrence.

The Wicked + The Divine has received positive reviews, and was the winner of Best Comic at the 2014 British Comic Awards. It has also been noted for its diverse portrayal of ethnicity, sexuality and gender social roles. A television adaptation will be coming soon. (from Wikipedia)

This week’s episode was directed by Rachel Talalay, a British-American director who is best known for the film Tank Girl, as well as some of the most highly regarded episodes of Doctor Who, including “Heaven Sent”, “Hell Bent”, and “World Enough and Time1

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Cast in Other Roles

Check out Cecily on the most recent episode of the Bellwether Friends episode where she, Anna and Alene talk about their history with pens — yes, pens for 90 minutes. Life isnt’ a sprint, it’s a marathon.

  1. Note: Never ask Cecily about this episode. NEVER.

Music Credits

The Riverdale Rag #012 – Convenient Colo(ur)

Are the actors of colour who are bit players on Riverdale only used in times of convenience? Will we ever get to see them as fully actualized characters, or are they forever doomed to be the sidekicks? Chanda and Cecily shine a light on the sketchy way Chuck Clayton’s character is drawn in the series, whether it makes sense that Josie isn’t the star of the upcoming musical episode (UGH), and how Toni Topaz’s ambiguous ethnic coding opens up new possibilities for the series. Plus, news, insights, and borderline inappropriate thirsting over characters, all from your favourite Riverdale podcast.

Stray Observations

  • Since when is Chuck Clayton Archie’s biggest rival? In the comic, Chuck Clayton was a benevolent yet largely empty character who only existed to represent a kind of respectable blackness. Now he serves as the show’s go-to representation of toxic masculinity.
  • Penelope Blossom is going to open a brothel. If she doesn’t, I’ll eat my microphone (Cecily).

Show Notes

The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film co-produced and directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel, and starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood.  Rourke plays an aging professional wrestler who, despite his failing health and waning fame, continues to wrestle in an attempt to cling to the success of his 1980s heyday. He also tries to mend his relationship with his estranged daughter and to find romance with a woman who works as a stripper. (via Wikipedia)

This week’s episode was directed by Gregg Araki, a Japanese American director who is best known for being part of the New Queer Cinema vanguard of the 1990s, a growing movement comprised of young LGBT independent filmmakers. He’s best known for three films that are called his “Teen Apocalypse Trilogy”: Totally Fucked Up, The Doom Generation, and Nowhere, which one critic called “a trifecta of teen alienation, hazy sexuality and aggression.1

News Items

  1. https://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-oconnell/2011/01/gregg-araki-gay-boys-aliens-and-shoegaze/

Music Credits

The Riverdale Rag #011 – Sit Yo’ Ass Down

As if there’s any doubt, Mr. Wetherbee is the worst principal in the history of useless television high school principals. This week Cecily and Chanda revisit our favourite Riverdale residents, debate in-school segregation and weigh in on whether the CW deserves Black Lightning. Plus all the news and insights you’ve come to love.

Show Notes

Blackboard Jungle is a 1955 social commentary film about teachers in an inter-racial inner-city school, based on the novel The Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter and adapted for the screen and directed by Richard Brooks. It is remembered for its innovative use of rock and roll in its soundtrack and for the unusual breakout role of a black cast member, future Oscar winner and star Sidney Poitier as a rebellious, yet musically talented student. (via Wikipedia)

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Music Credits

The Riverdale Rag #010 – Like a Basket of Kittens

We’ve made it to the tenth episode of the season, and Cecily and Chanda are joined by our special guest (and Cecily’s future ex-wife) Mookie! This week we discuss The Black Hood Reveal (LOL OK), Varchie and Barchie, and the connotation of the word Southside in the world of Riverdale. As always there’s news, hijinks and hilarity. If you like this podcast, rate and subscribe!

Stray Observations

  • I (Cecily) would’ve thought Kevin would be the first person to welcome Moose back, not Reggie.
  • Betty was #PeakBecky this week when she interacted with the new janitor.
  • Ronnie is 2 for 2 in solving Riverdale’s murder mysteries
  • Is Kevin a Pussycat now? Where are Valerie and Melody anyway?

Show Notes

Silent Night, Deadly Night is a 1984 American slasher film directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr., and starring Robert Brian Wilson, Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Linnea Quigley, Britt Leach and Leo Geter. Set during Christmas, the story concerns a young man, Billy, who suffers from posttraumatic stress over witnessing his parents’ Christmas Eve murder and his subsequent upbringing in an abusive Catholic orphanage. In adulthood, the Christmas holiday leads him into a psychological breakdown, and he emerges as a spree killer donning a Santa suit. (via Wikipedia)

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Music Credits

The Riverdale Rag #009 – Betty’s Mom Has Got it Goin’ On

I don’t want to say that Cecily and Chanda are tired of the Black Hood mystery exactly, so I’ll just say they’re really happy it’ll be wrapping up soon. This week we discuss vampires, Riverdale Funko Pops, FP and Alice (and why they need to get it on, already) and the somewhat distasteful way this show sexualizes teenage girls.

Stray Observations

  • Was Jughead disgusted, disappointed, or slightly turned on at the sight of Betty doing the Snake Dance?
  • What’s the connection between the Riverdale Reaper and the Black Hood? We’re having a hard time making one.

Show Notes

House of the Devil movie poster courtesy WikipediaThe House of the Devil is a 2009 American horror film written, directed, and edited by Ti West, starring Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, and Mary Woronov.
The plot concerns a young college student (Donahue) who is hired as a babysitter at an isolated house and is soon caught up in bizarre and dangerous events as she fights for her life. The film combines elements of both the slasher film and haunted house subgenres while using the “satanic panic” of the 1980s as a central plot element. The film pays homage to horror films of the 1970s and 1980s. (from Wikipedia)

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