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How does it feel to be a black girl of considerable social standing, the mother of the mayor no less, in a town like Riverdale?But the development ends with this episode, without ever probing the question too deeply.We deal with romantic foibles, desires, and fears just as richly complex as the white leads this genre focuses on to the detriment of the black girls coloring the marginsis probably the best example of teen narratives that use black girls to comment on racial politics.For those who haven’t seen this masterpiece, the film follows the spunky, determined Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) who becomes the cheerleading captain of the Toros after its former queen, nicknamed Big Red (Lindsay Sloane), graduates.(Guess he hasn’t heard .) Meanwhile her mother, Mayor Sierra Mc Coy (Robin Givens), is obsessive about cultivating her brand.This gives Josie a bit of a complex, which leads her to be pretty terrible to Valerie.(While Apa is half-Samoan, Archie’s parents are played by Molly Ringwald and Luke Perry so he is coded as white within the series.) In many films and TV shows, this is also used as a way to discuss racial politics.
Valerie, the lightest of the all-black trio, is unsurprisingly the one positioned as Archie’s love interest, which gives her a bit more screen time due to her proximity to Archie.
As for Melody, she’s given one line of dialogue in the entire episode.
If you replaced her character with a lamp I’m sure hardly anyone would notice.
Soon enough, though, Josie finds a replacement who fits her mother’s parameters — someone pretty, thin, and a woman of color — in Veronica, who needs a healthy way to let out her own aggression.
Musical numbers, witty comebacks, and family drama ensue.While Melody embodies the frustrating idea that only so many black girls can get development at the same time, Valerie and Josie’s growth in the episode should be something to celebrate, right?