Ginchy! Riverdale season 7 takes the characters back to the 1950s for the show’s final season — where these cool cats are the bees’ knees of high school for one more go-round.
“It’s been really, really, really fun. It was creatively energizing for the writers when we landed on this concept,” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told Decider in a March 2023 interview. “We didn’t want to tell stories about, you know, Betty [Cooper] being a therapist and treating people, and Archie trying to be a foster father to his uncle’s long lost son, and Tabitha [Tate] franchising Pop’s all over the country … We just kind of wanted to go back to high school, but we didn’t want to repeat what we’d done.”
The concept of taking Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) and his gang back in time was first introduced in the Season 6 finale after the group worked together to save themselves from a comet hurling toward their town. The shift allowed the CW hit — which has been known for its dark tones and bizarre narratives since it premiered in 2017 — to channel the original Archie Comics universe and showcase the characters reflecting their classic counterparts.
“Going back to the ’50s allowed us to go back to the animating idea of the series, which is that there’s a wholesome, innocent quality to these Archie Comics, but underneath there’s these darker, more passionate roiling emotions and themes that we wanted to engage with,” Aguirre-Sacasa explained. “And the ’50s veneer allowed us to do that in, I thought, a new, fresher way.”
However, just because the series is hopping back a few decades doesn’t mean Riverdale will lose what makes it unique. Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) is seemingly aware something strange is afoot, with Aguirre-Sacasa telling Screen Rant in March 2023 that viewers should “expect” to see the version of Riverdale they’re used to wrap up before the series finale.
As for the show’s stars, Apa told TV Line in May 2022 that fans should prepare for an epic conclusion. “I promise you guys, this last season, we are going to end it with a bang, and we can’t wait to share it with you,” he gushed to the outlet.
The I Still Believe actor’s costar and onscreen love interest Lili Reinhart, who portrays Betty on the series, opened up to Entertainment Tonight in August 2022 about what she’d ending she’d like to see for her character.
“I would obviously like to see a happy ending for Betty, knowing that she will be OK — an optimistic, lighthearted note,” she shared of her onscreen counterpart, who has faced a series of traumas since the show premiered in 2017. “I don’t know who she’s gonna end up with or where, how, why, when — I know nothing about the final season — but I just hope that she’s happy, and you have an idea that things are gonna settle down for her in the best way.”
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Keep scrolling to see what each Riverdale character looks like as their 1950s counterparts: