4 Ways Riverdale is Breaking Boundaries

If you haven’t heard of the CW’s critically-acclaimed new show Riverdale, I’ll fill you in. Based off the the Archie comics, Riverdale is a teen drama that puts a darker spin on the small-town Americana vibes of its source material; instead of innocent high school drama focused on teen crushes and academia, it’s based around the mystery of Jason Blossom’s murder. Beyond its darker and more mysterious tones, Riverdale is also proving itself to be unafraid of breaking barriers that too many teen drama often leave intact. Here’s four examples:

1. Girl power, girl power, and more girl power

The Archie comics are centered around Archie Andrews and his love for two girls, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge, who also happen to be best friends. Even though their shared love for Archie causes fights between them at times, their friendship usually comes out on top. Riverdale takes this a step further - the love triangle storyline is virtually absent, and the friendship between Betty and Veronica is truly the heart of the show. Who needs pointless cattiness when you can have the power of girl friendship?

2. LGBTQ representation

In the Archie comics, Kevin Keller was the first openly gay character in the town of Riverdale. In the show, Kevin (played wonderfully by Casey Cott) is featured front and center as Betty’s best friend and often the voice of reason for the gang. Instead of just leaving Kevin to pine, Riverdale has given him a dangerous love interest in the form of Joaquin (played by Rob Raco), a gang member from the other side of the tracks. What’s better than representation with a side of thrilling romance?

3. Diversity

The Archie comics have always been willing to lead the way when it comes to diversity and representation. Riverdale has taken this a step further with its diverse casting. For example, Veronica Lodge and Josie McCoy are played by Camila Mendes and Ashleigh Murray, respectively. Both characters are white in the comic books, and having them be played by women of color is yet another example of Riverdale’s willingness to break boundaries. 

4. The importance of the arts

It’s not hard to think of teen dramas with a focus on sports. One Tree HillTeen Wolf, and Friday Night Lights all have main characters who are dedicated to their sports, from basketball to lacrosse and everything in between. Riverdale has a slightly different edge in that the main character, Archie himself, is more interested in writing and performing music than playing football like his dad wants him to. Josie and the Pussycats are also featured as some of the most popular girls in school because of their incredible musical talent. Sure, sports are great, but it’s refreshing to see a show focus on the importance of the arts, too!

If you’re looking for a suspenseful and entertaining drama with a diverse cast and subversive storylines, you should definitely check out Riverdale! Besides all of the ways that the show is taking on barriers and stigma in the entertainment world, it’s also just plain good. The last few episodes are on the CW website, so get caught up and let this amazing show take over your life!

 

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5