When Riverdale premiered in 2017, the Archie Comic characters were juniors in high school grappling with the unexpected death of a fellow classmate. The following seasons were also set in the upperclassmen years of high school, with events like prom, graduation, and the occasional serial killer on the loose.
For Season 5, it was announced that Riverdale was going to take a peek into the future by aging up all the characters seven years and skipping through time. The characters would be college graduates and not quite as close as they used to be but would return to Riverdale to save the dying town.
A time-jump is a risky plot device that can either lead to the rise or fall of a series, and there are plenty of reasons why Riverdale could both benefit and suffer from this dramatic change.
Although only two calendar years have passed between seasons 1 and 4 of Riverdale, the cast has aged normally, making them much older than the characters they’re portrayed. Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead was born in 1992, making him a decade older than his character. Archie’s KJ Apa is the closest to his character’s high school age at 23.
With a time-jump, the characters will all be around 25 years old, and this much more realistic for how the actors look as 20-something’s. Now the audience can stop having to bend reality and believe that grown adults look like teenagers.
When Alias jumped forward two years in its third season way back in 2003, fans thought that was a massive jump. There was so much that happened that needed to be explained and couldn’t within the confines of 22 forty-minute episodes.
By going seven years into the future, Riverdale is leaving a lot up to the viewers’ imaginations. Fans are left to make their own interpretations of what happened in those missing years, because they may never be shown on screen.
Seasons 1-4 of Riverdale loved reminding the audience that despite catching serial killers and solving murders, the gang still had to study for their SATs and be on the football field every Friday night.
The high school schtick got tiring quickly (i.e this scene), and there is so much more story to tell with the Archie Comic characters than just their high school years. It was about time for Archie and his friends to grow up.