Riverdale is flipping the script on its source material. The CW's new show is based on Archie Comics but has reimagined the long-running series for today's evolving society. Taking this progressive approach has allowed the show to come into its own identity and part ways with some prominent storylines from the comics. Riverdale has deviated from the love triangle that has driven the Archie universe. Instead of focusing on whether Archie will end up with Betty or Veronica, Riverdale empowers its female characters and celebrates their agency. Through Betty, Veronica, and other women on the show, the teen drama explores feminism, the importance of female friendships, and recognizing privilege.
For example, viewers may have thought that Veronica had ruined her chances of being Betty's BFF after her "Seven Minutes In Heaven" with Archie, but thankfully they realized that their friendship was more important than squabbling over a guy. Sisterhood solidified, Betty and Veronica team up to spread some much needed girl power and remind the guys who runs the world.
When Veronica is slut-shamed by football star Chuck, she and Betty take matters into their own hands to teach him and the rest of the guys in school that this kind of objectifying behavior is unacceptable. Their crusade not only gets Chuck kicked off the team, but also helps unite the female student body of Riverdale High. Though their scheme reveals some deeper issues of Betty's, their efforts ultimately deliver a valuable message of female empowerment.
This is an inspiring friendship for fans to see. Betty and Veronica's support of one other is an important dynamic to depict on TV, especially in a genre that often pits female characters against each other when they like the same guy. Veronica and Betty lean on and defend each other, which shows how beneficial it is to form healthy female friendships. It's refreshing to see them build each other up instead of knocking each other down.
Betty and Veronica aren't the only stereotype-busting female characters worth mentioning. Josie and fellow her Pussycats are also keeping the Riverdale guys on their toes. Aside from fronting great musical performances, Josie also serves as an important reminder of how hard women of color have to work to have the same opportunities as their white peers. She is honest about privilege when Archie wants to help write songs for Josie And The Pussycats. Instead of immediately accepting his offer, Josie explains how difficult it is for black women to get ahead, something Archie will never understand.
Her message is well-received and delivered effectively, allowing it to resonate with not only Archie, but the viewers watching this tense scene. This is a pivotal moment for Josie's character, as it adds to her depth and allows her to establish herself as a strong, self-aware young woman. It also creates a platform for her to delve into issues of inequality and representation. These are topics that are relevant to all audiences, and Riverdale is doing a good job of making sure that they're addressed and understood by teens.
Betty, Veronica, Josie, and the others are not defined by their relationship to Archie or to any man. While the love triangle of the comics puts Archie at the center, Riverdale is telling stories where female characters are in the driver's seat.