Riverdale fans have probably noticed that the show is growing increasingly politically and socially aware as it progresses through season 2.
Some of the cast members hinted this would happen so it shouldn’t be a shock. But this transition into material that is more relevant to the real world has fans divided. It begs the question: Should Riverdale be political?
Yes, it should.
Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We may not immediately think that TV is art, but it is a visual medium that should be treated as such. Television frequently reflects the society in which it was made, as it should. Of course, we consume television for entertainment, but the creative choices by the writers and producers are not developed in a bubble. They are formed and shaped through the lens of modern society. It’s nearly impossible, and would arguably be ignorant, for it to ignore the current atmosphere.
That said, political elements should not be added just for the sake of making the show relevant. It needs to be pertinent to the plot/character development. This is true for any show. But so far, it’s working for Riverdale.
The show has approached topics such as sexual assault, class divisions, feminism, and beyond. This kind of subject matter is growing in frequency and complexity each week. Many fans may want to sit back and enjoy television without getting bombarded with politics, but we can’t ignore the world we live in.
We are living in a society where younger people are becoming more politically active and socially conscious. Riverdale is generally aimed at teenagers and young adults and it’s a good environment to raise awareness.
Good art should prompt us to think critically and ask questions. Sometimes this involves politics, whether we like it or not. Art and society are inextricably linked. Riverdale is working week after week towards adding its voice to these larger conversations. Is that so wrong?