Tue
Oct 10 2017 1:00pm

Betty and Jughead (Bughead) Are Riverdale’s OTP

Riverdale's Jughead and Betty

Look, I've never really been a fan of comics, but even I know Archie and Betty are meant to be. They're Archie and Betty. The Girl Next Door and the titular hero of the comics should definitely be the One True Pairing (OTP). How could they not be destiny?

At least that's what I thought before watching Riverdale.

Fun, self-referential, gloriously melodramatic, my newest CW obsession brings Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead off the page and into a colorful new world... and challenges all my expectations. Yeah, Betty and Archie may be “end game” in the comics (an observation TV-Kevin even makes in the pilot episode), but in this show, all bets are off.

And in Riverdale, Jughead Jones has some mad chemistry with Betty. Like sweet, sexy, slow burn chemistry. Their romance isn't something hot and bright from the get-go. Betty and Jughead start as friends, allies, and as they spend time together, their connection grows, a connection built on sharing and some pretty tough emotions. Jughead is there for Betty without question. Betty sees beyond Jughead's loner, weirdo persona. With him, she doesn't have to be perfect, and that vulnerability is why I think Bughead is the new end game.

SEE ALSO: Are You a Betty or a Veronica?: The Riverdale Reading List!

As I mentioned, my comics knowledge is kinda shaky, but as a kid, I always thought Betty was just a little too nice. Like nice to the point of boring. But Riverdale's Betty is a bit of a badass. She's complicated and nice, but her niceness isn't a weakness. She's kind in a way TV teen stars aren't often kind, and this new, multifaceted Betty isn't one to sit around and pine for Archie while he dates other people. Nope, Betty has some respect. I just don't see this new character being okay with waiting for Archie to make up his mind and pick her. She has new things to do, people to see, life to explore.

More than that, everyone always accuses Betty of being perfect. Cheerleader, newspaper editor, straight-A student. Her mother wants the perfect daughter. Even Archie accuses her of being too perfect, but with Jughead, Betty doesn't have to be perfect. She can let her guard down, she can show him her more broken bits, and he won't judge. Sure, they have some problems and often communicate differently, but in the long run, Jughead sees Betty in a way Archie never can.

Jughead in the show is also a different character. He's darker, edgier, a bit more vulnerable. He's a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, with a biker father, an absent mother, living on his own. Jughead feels like an outsider, but with Betty, he opens up. He shares his fears, his insecurities, his past. He can be part of something with Betty, but he's not dependent on her for that either - just look at how quickly he charmed the students at his new school.

Sure, Archie and Betty may be endgame in some version in the multiverse, but the more I see Bughead, the more I realize that maybe the perfect picture of Girl Next Door and Handsome Hero isn't as compelling as the love Betty and Jughead share. Jughead accuses them of being complete opposites, that they can never work because of this, but I think their differences are what make them stronger. Maybe Bughead won't last through season two, maybe they will break up, maybe they will grow apart, but I can't help but believe that in the end, this pair will find their way to a Happily Ever After. Their chemistry is just too good not to.

Editor's Note: Wondering what Season 2 might hold for Bughead? The show's executive producer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, warns it won't all be smooth sailing in a new Variety interview, saying: “Jughead’s going to a different school and exploring what it would look like to be friends with the Serpents and perhaps join the Serpents. That’s going to create natural distance between him and Betty because he’s going on a journey she’s not going on. It’s going to challenge them.” Read the full interview here, and don't worry too much—we have faith they'll come through the other side stronger than ever!


H&H Editor Picks:

Should We Ship Riverdale’s Jughead with Betty—or Anyone?

This Isn’t the Archie Comics You Remember

October 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List

 

 

 

 

 


Lizzie Poteet is a hopeless romantic who appreciates a good kilt and a sexy Scottish burr. Even if she can hardly understand it. She studied abroad at the University of St. Andrews on the off chance she would fall back in time and meet her own warrior soul mate. Sadly, she didn’t and now lives in New York with her dog Mr. Darcy where she watches a lot of TV by night and working as a literary agent by day. You can follow her @lizziepoteet.

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4 comments
Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
I remember thinking somewhere around episode 2 or 3 that Bughead could happen, and I loved their first kiss! But idk, it concerns me that they're already an established couple by season 2...that doesn't tend to last in teen dramas. I REALLY don't want an on-again/off-again situation for them.

To be honest, I kinda wonder if Betty/Archie will get a chance down the road (I did love Kevin's line in the pilot that "they're not dating, but they are endgame") as they both mature. But for now, I think Bughead is very sweet and think Riverdale has a very good thing going.
Dr. Opossum
2. Dr. Opossum
Even as a kid reading Archie comics, I thought Archie and Betty made for a boring couple - cute perhaps but too bland and similar in personality. I am glad that others are finally starting to realize this! I trust that the show will stick with Bughead as endgame, barring obstacles. Archie needs someone diferent from him so he can stick with Veronica.
Elizabeth Poteet
3. ElizabethPoteet
@HeatherWaters - I kinda view this as a Damon-Stefan-Elena, TVD, situation here. Maybe Archie and Betty will get their chance to see if they could be more (and I do think they need to explore the What If connection they have), but in the long run I see Jughead and Betty being good for each other in any stage of their lives and any capacity - even if they spend some time going lovers-to-friends-to-lovers again as they grow. At least that's my hope.
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@Dr. Opossum -- See and I always go for the friends-to-lovers trope, so I enjoy that Betty and Archie have a lot in common and a long past.

@ElizabethPoteet -- Who's the Damon? But yeah, I also think a lot about the Pacey-Joey-Dawson triangle. In both shows, our heroine grows up and away from her first love. Except that's more complicated in Riverdale because you could argue that both Archie and Jughead are Betty's first love. So I'm very curious to see where it all goes.
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