"Bughead" Is The Best Thing About 'Riverdale,' The End
Coming into Riverdale cold, with little knowledge of the source material, I basically thought that the "Archie" in Archie comics was short for archetype. Weren't these characters pretty much set in stone in terms of their personalities and relationships? Imagine my surprise when I, like so many fans, realized that Betty and Jughead are the best thing about Riverdale. This "Bughead" relationship, despite the juvenile name, is something to root for in 2017 at last.
First of all, as fandom has been quick to latch on to, Hot Archie is hella boring. He's a bargain basement Troy Bolton at best, mixed in with a little Lucas Till from Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" video. He and Betty might be "endgame" as far as Kevin Keller is concerned, but they both have more interesting romantic options elsewhere for now. I don't not get why everyone in Riverdale is obsessed with Archie Andrews, but it's clear that the classic Betty and Veronica love triangle with Archie is so 2000 and late.
We've seen the Betty and Veronica frenemy trope countless times, whether it's modernized with Serena and Blair on Gossip Girl, down in history with Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, or even gender and hair-swapped with Angel and Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Why stick with the old, when in real life women are so much more complicated than a "good girl"/"bad girl" dichotomy? It's smart that Riverdale paid homage to the original 'shipping war and then quickly veered in a different direction.
Boy am I thankful, too, because Bughead is just so stinkin' cute! Everyone who ever wanted the girl next door to forgo her crush on the jock and see the sensitive guy in the corner should be jumping for joy right now. The fact that all of the characters involved are more layered than that, and Jughead never pined or fit into a problematic "nice guy" stereotype is also great. Plus, they make a really good team — something I always look for in my favorite 'ships.
Honestly, Betty and Jughead as a simple and straightforward couple is the fantasy these days. They're not ghosting each other via text message. They don't hide their emotions behind a wall of fear and three levels of irony. Both of them have demons and angst like any self-respecting teen, but not when it comes to each other. We should value this kind of romantic sincerity! Keep it safe!
That said, and as Vulture aptly explained, it is still possible for Jughead to come out as asexual on Riverdale like he is in the comics — which would be awesome for a community that has little to no representation on television. For now, I'm going to enjoy this sweet relationship. It's just high school. It's not forever.
Plus, Val/Archie is totally canon in the comics too — and if Riverdale wants to go with this story, I am not stopping them. All of these choices are great, Bughead is lovely, and here's hoping that Cheryl "Kylie Lip Kit" Blossom is able to find peace (and tweet with fewer hashtags) as well. Riverdale has something for everybody, and Betty's relationship with Jughead is quite the unexpected treat.