Different shows have different takes on how a mystery will play out on television. Although there are still similarities we can still see some distinct differences.
For CW/Netflix’s Riverdale, the main mystery of the show is who killed Jason Blossom. The show only has one season with 13 episodes, yet it solves the main mystery in just one season. For me, the killer is pretty obvious from the start. What threw me off was the reason behind it because it didn’t really occur to me.
For Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars, the main mystery of the show is the identity of the big bad known as A or AD. The show has been running since 2010, and so far the show has revealed two A’s and will soon reveal another one in the series finale. As the show progresses and as the big bad changes, the A’s or AD’s tormenting intensifies. But seeing this kind of theme or plot for almost seven years can be pretty boring. Although as the season progresses the stakes are getting higher and higher, the overused plot becomes repetitive. It is always the four liars getting some sort of message from their mysterious tormentor, blackmailing them into doing something or else he or she will release a secret that would harm the reputation of the liars. After following the orders they will soon fight back and there is going to be a big reveal on why he or she did what they did. The red herrings of the show make up for the overused plot. This gives the audience something to work with in their theories.
Both shows end their respective episodes with a cliffhanger to make the viewers want more. They always give the biggest clue at the end of each of the episode to make the viewers engage more. It is also important for a mystery television show to always have a big surprise in each of their episodes because this surprise makes the viewers more interested in the show. It is also important that the writers do not use the same plot again and again just to prolong the show. Because when you use the same plots of how or who is the killer it makes the show more predictable and boring. As a mystery television show, the writers must not only focus on one point of their shows just like the Pretty Little Liars. For the past years, they only have one problem who is A or AD that has been tormenting them. The writers should also make other side stories or deep secrets for the characters, there has not been any character development for the characters. It seems like they have been doing the same mistakes again. While in Riverdale, the show does not only focuses on the murder of Jason Blossom, while solving the case each character in the series has been growing and unraveling each of their stories. This makes the fans interested and makes different kinds of theories in who murdered this character at the same time the viewers becomes more excited on what will happen next on their favorite characters.