Justine Yeung/The CW
The series has gone through many transformations in its run. It began as a stylistic murder mystery—the answer to the question, “What if we made the Archie comics dark and sexy?”—and then evolved into a slasher series in Season 2. In Season 3, it became a pseudo-supernatural cult drama, and then a full-on fantasy superhero series by Season 6. In its seventh and final season, Riverdale finally took the characters back to their high school roots. Only, the series no longer was set in the present day. The season takes place in 1955, after the characters time traveled when a comet destroyed present-day Riverdale. (A natural progression, of course.)
The show’s spiral towards absurdity comes during a massive shift in the TV industry, too. With the streaming boom radically changing the model, in terms of how many episodes or seasons a series may have, and smaller networks turning away from scripted content, the TV landscape that Riverdale entered just seven years ago is entirely foreign to today’s.