The world of Riverdale definitely exists within a heightened reality, one in which there are maple syrup blood feuds, rumoured twincest, and, potentially in the future, a teen witch named Sabrina. However, that doesn't mean that show won't deal with real-life issues as well. Petsch, who plays head River Vixen Cheryl Blossom, teased in an interview with Forbes that these kinds of problems are exactly what season 2 of Riverdale will explore.
"It's important that we go back to the things we discussed in the last season and that includes a lot of social justice issues," the actress told Forbes of the new season.
She added that one particular episode of the new season will mirror real high school experiences for many viewers.
"We're going into episode five next week of 22 and a lot of things happen in that episode that is very normal for people in high school," Petsch revealed to Forbes. "It's important for TV to bring that to light, so I'm excited for people to see it."
There are already a few ways Riverdale could tackle social justice issues in a way that connects to the previous season. In the season 1 episode "Body Double," a group of Riverdale High students — including Cheryl — worked together to take down a gross group of slut-shaming jocks, who were passing around a playbook that detailed and ranked their hookups.
It's also possible that mental health will be explored in the second season. We've seen Betty (Lili Reinhart) deal with stress in unhealthy ways over the course of season 1, and with the fact that she has a secret brother coming to light, it's quite possible that "Dark Betty" will emerge again.
Cheryl herself also dealt with some tough stuff over the course of the season: In addition to grieving her twin brother Jason (Trevor Stines), she nearly died by suicide in the show's finale after learning her father was behind Jason's murder.
Riverdale may be a mystery series with plenty of larger-than-life elements, but it's good to know that it won't neglect the more relatable storylines that people outside this creepy little town face on a daily basis.