Is Riverdale Season 7 actually set in the 1950s?

riverdale 1950sThe CW

Riverdale Season 7 sets the show back in time to the 1950s, but how did we get here, and will this setting last?

Love it or hate it, Riverdale, the drama-mystery series that brought Archie Comics characters to life in variously wacky ways, has certainly made a name for itself in pop culture.

Now, the popular CW series is finally coming to an end, with its seventh season being its last – and it’s certain to go out with a bang. But one thing that’s setting this season apart is, funnily enough, its setting: the 1950s.

Article continues after ad

But how did we get here? And is the situation real, or some kind of bad trip from one of the characters? Well, let us explain…

Is Riverdale Season 7 set in the 1950s?

As of writing, yes, they are actually in the 1950s. However, considering the darkness hidden within the town, there must be something afoot that we just don’t know yet.

As we state in our review of the first three episodes of the season, “the season opens with the Bill Haley classic Rock around the Clock, along with an opening sequence akin to the Brady Bunch. Everyone is back in Riverdale, back in high school, and… back in the 1950s?”

Article continues after ad

This isn’t just a dream sequence as has been done before, this is real… or so it seems so far. Perhaps the show – which has already brought up the concept of multiverses – could be doing something akin to Don’t Worry Darling, a dystopian take on simulating the past, but we have yet to find out for sure.

We see the characters act in typical 1950s fashion as well, suggesting they’re not faking their new life. The first episode of Season 7 features themes of racism and activism – Emmet Till is a plot point here – and the LGBTQ+ characters are all seemingly paired up straight; Betty and Kevin are dating, as are Archie and Cheryl. Though how secure these relationships are are another question.

Article continues after ad

Also, one character is aware that they’re not supposed to be here. As stated at the end of Season 6, “I’m the only one who remembers what life was like B.C. – Before Comet.” This line is said by our narrator Jughead Jones, who has been immune to the time shift so far.

Now, there have been some hints that Jughead is essentially god-like, with the ability to manipulate the Riverdale around him – maybe even this one. Considering a guardian angel shows up in the episode, that would make sense. However, said reason, or any reason, hasn’t quite been revealed yet.

Article continues after ad

There’s also the fact that we won’t stay in the 1950s forever. As when asked by TV Line if the show would go back to the modern day, show creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa hinted: “Yes, I can say that it is good to expect that.”

Why is Riverdale Season 7 set in the 1950s?

In literal terms of why they’re in the 1950s, lets rehash what happened in Season 6. This season began a supernatural route, with the gang themselves having superpowers.

At the season’s finale, a villainous sorcerer made it so that deadly comet was heading for Riverdale. Thankfully, Veronica was able to absorb the team’s powers via a blood transfer, and she then gave all of them to Cheryl through a kiss, which gave Cheryl – and her phoenix powers – the ability to melt the comet. However, this then suddenly led to the characters waking up in the 1950s, with many of them having no recollection of what happened before.

Article continues after ad

Now, in regard to why the show’s creators wanted to take the show back in time, well there are a few reasons. One, because it relates back to the original Archie comics, and those call-backs have always been popular amongst fans.

Secondly, because this is the final season, and as Aguirre-Sacasa told TV Line, “we all kind of hunkered down and thought: ‘What can we do that is really, really special? What stories can we tell that will be fresh and meaningful?’”

Article continues after ad

And thirdly, because it allows for a dissection of the ’50s themselves. Aguirre-Sacasa continued: “It would be disingenuous to erase the real struggles and hardships that certain types of people faced in the 1950s. Specifically, in our case, our characters of color and our queer characters. You just could not be out. In some states, it was illegal for there to be interracial marriage. That was the reality.”

Therefore, the final season will really take to task the era in which the Archie franchise was born, along with a central villain being “the conformity of the 1950s, the repressiveness of the 1950s, the racism of the 1950s, the sexism of the 1950s, the homophobia of the 1950s.”

Article continues after ad

But how well does the show evoke the 1950s vibe, both the good and the bad? Well, check out our review to see, and keep watching to find out what is exactly going on down in Riverdale.

Riverdale Season 7 is currently releasing on the CW. Find out when and where you can watch it here.

Related Topics