A time jump in a television show can revive a stale premise with new characters, new motivations, and new settings. It’s a way for new viewers to pick up the plot. And it’s a way to skip over the boring parts of a story, and get to the exciting, narrative-turning action.
In the case of the CW’s Riverdale, the latter was the main reason for its Season 5 time jump–seven years after the characters’ high school graduation.
“We did decide very quickly because all of the kids were seemingly going to different colleges and we didn’t want them to all go to, like, Riverdale University,” said showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa in an . “And in terms of drama, for me, college is a less appealing version of high school stories… This time jump allows us to start with a clean slate, drop in the middle of stories, and then have people catch up.”