Betty and Jughead are the heart of Riverdale
As soon as I saw promos for The CW’s new show “Riverdale,” I was intrigued. It looked mysterious and romantic, and I knew this was a teen show I didn’t want to miss. I was hooked from the very first scene.
The show is based loosely on the “Archie” comics we all read and loved growing up. There’s redheaded Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), who turns into a guitar-playing dreamboat one summer, prompting the iconic love triangle between Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) to take off in earnest. There’s Josie and the Pussycats with lead singer Josephine McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) knocking us out with her amazing voice. And there’s even Jughead, played by Disney child star Cole Sprouse, who wears his iconic hat like a security blanket. But that’s basically where the similarities end. Because while Archie and friends have lighthearted fun in the comic books, the show is dealing with the murder of fellow teen Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines) and just who may have killed him.
Honestly, “Riverdale” is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Imagine if “Twin Peaks,” “Veronica Mars” and “Dawson’s Creek” melded together and were somehow based on a classic comic book series. Noirish, sexy and with a breakneck storytelling speed, this might be my new favourite show, mostly because I can’t get enough of “Bughead.”
“Bughead” is the ‘ship name for Betty and Jughead, who are currently dating on the show. And O.M.G. they are completely adorable. I never even considered the possibility of a Betty/Jughead pairing, especially as he’s asexual in the comics. But somehow it just works onscreen, with the chemistry between the two actors lighting up every moment. (Editor’s note: Maybe that’s because rumours are swirling that the two actors are also dating IRL!) They’re sweet, they’re affectionate and they make Archie jealous, which is kind of a nice side-effect. I’m a complete Bughead goner.
“Riverdale” airs on Netflix in Canada, with a new episode available most Fridays, and trust me when I say you won’t want to miss it. Not only is it dark and fast-paced, but the mystery at its core is just starting to ramp up. But while I wait for the mystery to slowly unravel, I’ll just sit back and delight in the sweetly poignant moments happening between Betty and Jughead.
On that note, here are five reasons why Riverdale’s Bughead is the best new ‘ship around: WE DIDN’T SEE IT COMING I was so sure the show would go the classic route and have Veronica and Betty constantly fighting for Archie’s affections. But instead Betty has found love elsewhere and she and Veronica are genuinely great friends. There is a part of me that’s disappointed that the show didn’t keep Jughead’s character asexual, especially as asexual characters are so often under-represented in pop culture. But the issue has been addressed by Jughead actor Cole Sprouse who sees Jughead’s sexuality as more of a journey, and one that we may eventually end up seeing played out on the screen.
THEY’RE A CRIME-SOLVING DUO
They just work well together. They’re both interested in journalism, and they’re both naturally inclined to try to seek out answers to unsolved questions, like who killed Jason Blossom. Betty and Jughead’s pursuit of the truth is the place where their opposite personalities meet, and it gives them a common interest that brings them closer together.
THEY GENUINELY SUPPORT EACH OTHER
Both Betty and Jughead have pretty messed up family lives. And while it might take a while for them to fully open up, they’re slowly learning to lean on each other. When Betty needs comforting, Jughead is there with all the right words. When she needs help with her sister’s baby shower, he’s there to move cakes. Similarly, when Jughead is dealing with his father issues, Betty shows up. No matter what, these two are on each other’s side.
THEY WORK THROUGH THEIR ISSUES
It’s so rare to see a healthy couple on TV, let alone one so young. But Bughead is so healthy, in part because they recognize the moments where they aren’t. Both suffer from social anxiety, and both have to deal with their issues in their own ways. Betty constantly tries to fit in, to be “perfect” while Jughead chooses to buck those trends and embrace his “weird.” When faced with a conflict, the two talk it out and come out stronger on the other side. In episode 10, it seems like Betty’s unwelcome birthday party for Jughead will end their relationship. Instead, the two talk, open up and we get a scene with Jughead kissing the selfinflicted cuts on Betty’s hands. THOSE KISSES! This is a couple that is new and exciting, with every look packing loads of meaning. But they also still seem comfortable and established, like they’ve been together for years.
My biggest “Riverdale” fear is that the love triangles start forming for real, pitting Jughead against Archie or Betty against Veronica. But right now, Betty and Jughead are (by far) the most interesting part of this show. And that’s saying something, considering how every episode turns out to be nuts.
I have no idea where “Riverdale” is taking all of this, but as long as Bughead is a part of it, then I am definitely along for the ride.
KJ Apa as Archie, Camila Mendes as Veronica, Cole Sprouse as Jughead and Lili Reinhart as Betty, star in “Riverdale.” Think “Twin Peaks” meets “Veronica Mars” meets “Dawson’s Creek.”