When Riverdale created in 2017, the Archie Comic The characters were high school juniors struggling with the unexpected death of a classmate. The following seasons also took place in the upper years of high school, with events like the prom, graduation, and the occasional serial killer on the loose.
For season 5, it was announced that Riverdale was going to peek into the future as they age all the characters by seven years and jump back in time. The characters are said to be college graduates and not quite as close as they were, but would return to Riverdale to save the dying town.
A time jump is a risky plot device that can lead to the rise or fall of a series, and there are many reasons why Riverdale could both benefit and suffer from this radical change.
- 1 ten Good idea: the age of the actors
- 2 9 Bad idea: seven years is a long time
- 3 8 Good idea: there is more to life than high school
- 4 7 Bad idea: university years are missing
- 5 6 Good idea: exploring new relationships
- 6 5 Bad idea: unresolved scenarios
- 7 4 Good idea: solving the crime now makes sense
- 8 3 Bad idea: ruptures
- 9 2 Good idea: introduction of new characters
- 10 1 Bad Idea: Key Missing Life Events
ten Good idea: the age of the actors
Although only two calendar years have elapsed between seasons 1 and 4 of Riverdale, the actors have aged normally, which makes them much older than the characters they represent. Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead was born in 1992, which makes him a decade older than his character. Archie’s KJ Apa is closest to his character’s high school age at 23.
With a time jump, the characters will all be around 25 years old, and that’s much more realistic for what the actors look like at 20. Now the public can stop having to bend reality and believe that grown-ups look like teenagers.
9 Bad idea: seven years is a long time
When A.k.a jumped forward two years into its third season in 2003, fans thought it was a huge leap. There was so much that needed to be explained that couldn’t within 22 forty-minute episodes.
Going seven years into the future, Riverdale leaves a lot to the imagination of viewers. Fans need to make their own interpretations of what happened in those missing years, as they may never be shown on screen.
8 Good idea: there is more to life than high school
Seasons 1-4 of Riverdale loved reminding audiences that despite capturing serial killers and solving murders, the gang still had to study for their SATs and be on the soccer field every Friday night.
The high school schtick got tired quickly (i.e. this scene), and there is so much more story to be told with the Archie Comic characters than just their high school years. It was time for Archie and his friends to grow up.
7 Bad idea: university years are missing
Despite a lot of talk during Season 4 about where the characters were going to go to college, we never see any of their choices come to fruition. Betty was accepted to Yale, but seven years later she has already graduated and is in FBI academy.
Jughead has written and published an entire novel, Toni went to school for social work and is now a guidance counselor, and Kevin is a drama teacher at Riverdale High. College is a focal point in most people’s lives, so it would have been interesting to see them all navigate life outside of high school.
6 Good idea: exploring new relationships
Betty and Jughead put six episodes together in Season 1 and, aside from a few short breaks, stayed together until they went their separate ways for college. Likewise, Archie and Veronica were together for most of the series’ run.
With seven years between two breakups in core four, this leaves room to explore new couples. Betty and Archie’s romance is brought to light a lot more in the comics, and the time jump might be the perfect opportunity for them to finally explore their long-standing chemistry and adoration.
5 Bad idea: unresolved scenarios
Many supporting character story arcs have been developed at the start of the seasons of Riverdale. Josie McCoy left as part of Katy keenespin-off series, but which got canceled, so what does that mean for Josie’s place in Riverdale all these years later?
Additionally, “The Farm” was a huge part of Season 3, and the consequences of exploring the psychological trauma its members endured were virtually nonexistent. Cult members were lied to, brainwashed, and operated on, but none of it seemed to leave a lasting impact. Now, jumping into the future, there’s a good chance this will never be recognized again.
4 Good idea: solving the crime now makes sense
Betty started the show as the sweet girl next door and quickly became an FBI prodigy. Its time to write for the Blue and gold The diary helped her ask the important questions, but it seemed odd that a 17-year-old was so good at catching bad guys so bad.
Now that she’s about 20 years old and trained to catch killers on the loose and solve mysteries, her storylines will hopefully make a little more sense. It doesn’t seem super unrealistic to her to work with the FBI like he did while she was still in high school.
3 Bad idea: ruptures
When Archie returns to Riverdale after seven years in the military, he first finds a pregnant Toni who informs him of all the happenings in town. He asks questions about Cheryl, who turns out to be a painful subject for Toni, an indication that the two have ended their relationship, something that never explicitly played out on screen.
Even though it was implied around graduation that Toni and Cheryl weren’t going to last (Cheryl’s grandmother demanded they end their relationship or she wouldn’t talk to her again), never knowing what had happened to them in detail was quite disappointing.
2 Good idea: introduction of new characters
Most of the time when new characters are just a long-running series, they can either wreak momentary havoc and cause tension between the main characters or end up sticking around for the long haul.
Riverdale could benefit from adding more BIPOC characters, given that the focus has been on four white characters over the past four years. Joining the mix this season is Tabitha Tate (played by Erinn Westbrook), granddaughter of Pop Tate who runs the restaurant. Her introduction sets up a potential relationship between her and Jughead, which would be a nice change of pace from the Betty and Jug saga.
1 Bad Idea: Key Missing Life Events
It is revealed in the post-time jump episode that Veronica Lodge is now a married woman, having married a man who looks like her father in more than one way and works on Wall Street, Chadwick Gekko.
Veronica and Chad have been married for about a year and have already suffered a serious and disturbing “accident”. When she returns to Riverdale, her old friends seem to know she got married but weren’t there for the big day. While it’s okay for people to go their separate ways, you’d think Ronnie’s best friends would have been there for the most important day of his life.
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