Abstract...for work in progress.
Doing research at Bowling Green State University's Ray & Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies.
Intergenerational family dysfunction, secret societies, predatory men, marginalized women—all are Riverdale. Deconstructing the strategic and central role of setting in Riverdale provides a fuller opportunity to evaluate the influence of these tropes on the characterizations of Betty and Veronica. Have the characters truly been recrafted in ways that acknowledge the changing roles of heroines in present popular culture? Or has their potential been undervalued and are used as tropes themselves? Once the impact of the gothic setting is identified and disconnected from the overall narrative, an isolated assessment of the depictions of Betty and Veronica is accomplished.classic elements of gothic fiction and all are present in CW’s.
Throughout the decades, Betty and Veronica have been central characters and social activists involved in gender politics. Their new depiction honors that tradition. Despite, or perhaps because of, being a broadcast television show, Riverdale intersects with mainstream popular culture. As part of that culture, the series represents the interests and concerns of its audience. Are the CW’s modernized versions of Betty and Veronica fully actualized meaningfully transgressive characters? Or are they foils to showcase the boundary-crossing actions and attitudes of others? This chapter provides an analysis of the translations of Betty and Veronica and examines the ways in which they have and have not been recrafted to reflect and inform on present attitudes of gender politics, such as commodification of sexuality and gender performativity, as well as considers to what degree these heroines have been fully respected as individuals with unique voices.