Riverdale is the focus of the latest uniting of universes, as it crosses over with Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, with Kiernan Shipka reprising her role as the bewitching Sabrina Spellman. With plenty of characters back from the dead, doppelgangers and demons, this newest season started off with a bang; fittingly, if season five’s explosive cliffhanger is anything to go off of. This special event starting off season 6 of Riverdale, or Rivervale, as the namesake town is now referred to, sees the show in a parallel universe in which the supernatural is natural as the characters deal with witches and specters on the daily. While it has dabbled in the occult before, this will be Riverdale’s first time truly diving into the horror genre. All of this is obviously a major shake up for the long-running show.
Oftentimes when a show runs for as long as Riverdale has, a change-up to the structure needs to be made in order to keep the show fresh for long time viewers. While this is a normal thing throughout the industry, oftentimes these change-ups do more harm than good. Referred to as “jumping the shark,” many shows who find themselves either out of ideas or facing a decline in viewership, have often stabbed themselves in the back by doing something so gimmicky that it completely breaks the formula the show had built up for years. In the worst of these cases, fans will turn their backs against their once beloved show as they fear it simply cannot be salvaged. So what are Riverdale fans saying? Well, madmoiselle_c on reddit wrote “This was the best episode since season 1,” in regards to season 6 episode 5. Meanwhile on an even more positive note, reddit user boraboragusgus states, “This could have been a series finale it was that good. After being disappointed since season 5 started this was an epic turnaround.” Luckily for the creators over at Riverdale, it would appear that the show has avoided the all-to classic mistake of “jumping the shark” and has delivered to fans something worthy of their time.
But what does this mean for the future of the show? Well, given the positive reaction to this crossover, it is possible that more crossovers are in consideration. Possibly even the short lived Kate Keene, created by Riverdale’s showrunner Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, could find its way into town. But beyond this, it is also possible that the show will delve into more unfamiliar genres. As Macademicnut suggests on Reddit, “Now that we know Riverdale will do some cool stuff… can we please get a comedy episode where they actually play the comic version of themselves?” If Aguirre-Sacasa and the rest of his crew do decide to explore different avenues with Riverdale, it could prove fruitful for the show’s longevity as a series.