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Riverdale Finale Night Is Dark and Full of Terrors

ALSO: Survivor, Southern Charm, Wahlburgers, Jane the Virgin, Chicago PD and more
  • K.J. Apa as Archie in a scene from tonight's Riverdale season finale (The CW)
    K.J. Apa as Archie in a scene from tonight's Riverdale season finale (The CW)

    With Game of Thrones ending, there's a vacancy at the top of the American TV pyramid. Oh sure, we'll find other shows to nominate for Emmys and watch on Sunday nights and maybe even argue about on Monday mornings. But what show will replicate the sheer lunacy of subject matter that, when viewed by outsiders, makes us sound so crazy for arguing about dragons and ice zombies and incestuous royal dynastic lines in a land that never existed. I posit that as it closes out its third season, Riverdale may just be that show!

    For a short while in its first season, it seemed tRiverdale was indeed on the road to becoming that show. That season brought with it such a fascination that the Archie comics of old were being adapted not just as a contemporary teen drama, but as a dark, twisty, deeply absurd series of murder mysteries and criminal conspiracies, all taking place in the removed-from-space-and-time town of Riverdale, where the maple syrup flows freely and the kids are all on jingle-jangle. There's really no reason we can't all decide to watch Riverdale like we watched Game of Thrones. Both plots are similarly byzantine; both are way sexier than we expect; and both more than occasionally sound like the ravings of a madman when taken out of context. Hell, if we're gonna yell at each other like we did with GoT this week, why not make it about Archie's boxing career?

    SEASON FINALE: The third season finale of Riverdale brings together our four heroes — Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) — to confront their own past. Any TV season that ends with guest antagonist Chad Michael Murry playing a character named Edgar Evernever is a show we all should cherish. 8:00 PM ET on The CW

    SEASON FINALE: The 38th season of Survivor comes to a close tonight, although there's still plenty to sort out. For one, we've got one last player to return from the Edge of Extinction. After that, it's two tribal councils, a fire-making challenge, and the annual plea to the jurors. Thus far, this season has shown a whole lot of Rich Devens (as divisive a frontrunner as the show has seen in a while) and not a whole lot else. But Survivor finales have been known to catch fire right at the end, so don't cut bait too soon. 8:00 PM ET on CBS

    SEASON PREMIERE: Bravo's genteel cousin to the Real Housewives, Southern Charm returns for its sixth season, having shed felonious main character Thomas Ravenel from the main cast and promoting the formerly recurring Naomie and Eliza to the main cast. Of course, we're all in it for Shep, who are we kidding? 8:00 PM ET on Bravo


    • Wahlburgers kicks off its 10th season tonight, with an episode that's preceded by a one-hour "Wahl of Fame" special. Season 10 will be the end of the line for this venerable series about a famous acting family and the hamburgers that are their passion. 9:00 PM ET on A&E
    • Jane the Virgin sees Jane try to forcibly get Rafael to interact with her. 9:00 PM ET on The CW
    • What We Do in the Shadows continues to enjoy the presence of Beanie Feldstein (Lady Bird), as Nadja trains Jenna on how to take her first victim. 10:00 PM ET on FX
    • Chicago PD welcomes guest star John C. McGinley (Scrubs). 10:00 PM ET on NBC

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Riverdale, Southern Charm, Survivor, Wahlburgers