'Scandal' returns; 'Riverdale' debuts this week

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 12:00 AM Written by 

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Of the two competing soaps airing in prime time Thursday, The CW's "Riverdale" (9 p.m., WPCW) may be a better if less familiar bet than ABC's returning "Scandal" (9 p.m., WTAE).

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That's not to say in the age of the DVR a viewer might not choose to see both but as I wrote earlier this month in my review of "Riverdale," there's a freshness to its new take on teen drama tropes.

That said, the craziness of "Scandal" is as high-wire nutso as ever. But in a post-facts, "alternative facts" real world, the lunacy of "Scandal" seems almost quaint by comparison.

Thursday's season premiere resolves who won the election -- Republican Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) or Democrat Francisco Vargas (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) -- but not necessarily in a way viewers expect. As one would expect with "Scandal" there are twists that then require one to brush up on the U.S. Constitution to guess where the show might go next.

As a viewer who has wanted to quit "Scandal" on many occasions -- too many of the characters are murderers at this point -- there's nothing in this first hour that is likely to make me actually quit watching this time. But in terms of which series I'll be more eager to watch each week, "Riverdale" wins.

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