Time Has No Meaning on 'Riverdale' -- TV's Eyebrow-Archingest Show

Time Has No Meaning on 'Riverdale' -- TV's Eyebrow-Archingest Show

Riverdale fans have been asked to accept a lot of bonkers storylines over the years. From Jughead faking his own death to expose a murderous literary society, to a cult leader dressed like Evil Knievel fleeing the FBI in a literal rocket ship, to any time somebody seems to enjoy hearing Archie sing one of his songs. But now, as the series further descends down the rabbit hole of madness, Riverdale has jettisoned even the most fundamental underpinning of reality: time itself. 

Riverdale has always been somewhat ambiguous when it comes to its period setting; Pop's diner is straight out of the 1950s, but there's also a thriving video rental store. Everyone rides around in old-timey cars, but they also have smartphones. While this mishmash of historical touchstones has always been a part of the show's charms, things got weird this season when the writers opted to jump forward in time -- seven years after the gang graduated high school. Which wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that Veronica specifically mentions that it's now 2021.

Wait, what?! In just the previous episode, there were Class of 2021 banners at the graduation ceremony. According to the show's creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, that was just a mistake. And while he admits the show's timeline is (like everything on this show) "insane" he affirms that, after the time jump, Riverdale is "finally in the present day." But even that just makes things way more confusing because it implies that Archie and his friends actually graduated in 2014, three years before the show even began! 

And there has been plenty of evidence that Riverdale doesn't take place in the past, from assorted pop-culture references to the fact that Archie's father's grave clearly lists his year of death as 2019. And this wasn't a brief shot from an earlier season; this was from like two episodes ago!

This is either just super-sloppy or intentionally terrible. All they had to do was not go out of their way to mention the year 2021. Now some of us are stuck frantically theorizing about the space-time anomaly that is secretly plaguing the town of Riverdale. 

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability.

Top Image: Warner Bros. Television

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