Entertainment Television

Did The Riverdale Writers Miss The Mark For Barchie?

Riverdale — “Chapter Seventy-Five: Lynchian” — Image Number: RVD418b_0069b — Pictured (L – R): Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper and KJ Apa as Archie Andrews — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Okay so we’re back at it again with yet ANOTHER Riverdale Article. The last article I did was basically me diving into my weird love/hate relationship with the show. While I do feel I got my point across, more has surprisingly happened since then and I wanted to talk about the topic of Barchie. Yes, I’m talking about the pairing between Betty and Archie alongside the crazy fan response when the writers decided to bring it back up…..only for them to cop out again. Why am I surprised at this point? I want to point out this now, because I know some shippers might read this, that I’m not saying Barchie is going to happen. I’m simply just going to point out how I felt the writers missed the right “mark” to go about doing Barchie. So while I prefer Betty & Jughead over Betty & Archie, I wasn’t opposed to the idea but the way these writers have been handling this has just been……not great. I’ll explain more as I get into it in the article but I feel like there’s other ways they could’ve gone about this whole storyline in general.

Barchie Originates From The Archie Comics

So in the writers defense, Archie & Betty were a big part of the Archie Comics. The original love triangle in Season 1 started off with Archie, Betty, and Veronica which was always the main theme in the comics. Now while I get this is not the comics, it’s still based of the Archie characters and would be a waste to not at least explore Barchie. Although I think they should’ve explored this concept way earlier because had they of done that then we wouldn’t have this hot mess of a storyline we’re currently experiencing. Someone said to me, “this isn’t the Archie comics, this is Riverdale” and while I agree with that statement, the show is still based off of the Archie comics lol. It’s not a surprise the writers might want to explore that concept because the relationship with Archie & Betty was again a big part of the comics. Again, this is coming from someone who prefers Betty to be with Jughead. The point I’m basically trying to make here is the concept of Betty and Archie is not new and it makes sense for the writers to possibly want to play around with it. However, if they want to do it, they need to do it properly and in a way that doesn’t feel out of character.

The Concept Was There Since Season 1

So I’m not trying to continue to defend the writers but to be fair, the concept of Betty & Archie has been within the show since the beginning. We were first introduced to this very early on because Betty had a huge crush on Archie and he didn’t feel the same way. Honestly, during Season 1, Archie was a very “meh” character for me so I was fine when Betty ended up with Jughead. It felt more organic and they had more chemistry than what she had with Archie. Even when Bughead happened, at the end of Season 1, Archie began to question the scenario of what it would’ve been like had him and Betty gotten together. This in my opinion, was implying maybe Archie did in fact have feelings. However, Betty brushed them off because she was obviously with Jughead. So…..technically this potential pairing did NOT come out of nowhere but the way the writers revisited it this season did. I think the problem fans have is the fact that A) Archie showed really no interest up until questioning it during Season 1 and B) Betty was able to gradually develop a romantic relationship with Jughead which felt more organic and real. Also, some Bughead fans are just very “passionate” about their ship and will come up with whatever reasons to back up why their ship is better.

Barchie Should’ve Happened During Season 2

Ok so here’s the hot take: Barchie should’ve happened in Season 2. There I said it. This is when the writers missed the mark and honestly I think it’s because they were scared to do it. Why? Because of the crazy Bughead shippers that are like the plague of Twitter. I’m not saying all Bughead stans are crazy, I’m saying a fraction of them are just too into their ship. Remember this is a TV show. Ok so basically Season 2 was starting to, in my opinion, set up Archie & Betty getting together. Various times during the beginning of Season 2, the two gradually grow closer to each other with Betty confiding in Archie about her phone calls with The Black Hood and so forth. Betty’s relationship with Jughead begins to get strained and eventually Jughead breaks up with her for her own safety. Archie, has issues with Veronica as well and they also break up. This was around episode 8/9 of Season 2. This is when the writers missed their chance because at this point both Archie and Betty where single and had spent a gradual amount of time together. The two even kissed at one point, like why else would this of happened if the writers weren’t planning on putting them together? But of course they copped out in the lamest way possible. Archie got back with Veronica within like an episode after they broke up and Bughead united several episodes later. Then when the truth came out the two had kissed, Jughead and Veronica just let it go and Archie & Betty never talked about it again. I’m sorry but what?!?! It felt like the writers were building towards something yet chickened out last minute. After this Barchie was never brought up again……..until now.

They Brought Back Barchie In The Worst Way Possible

We now move onto one of our last points and frankly, my biggest issue is how they brought back this subplot. I’m going to be the first to say, I really don’t care who ends up with who, as long as it’s written enough to make sense. Towards the end of Season 4, the concept of Barchie is implied yet again. This all starts when they’re helping Jughead fake his death. Basically to make everyone believe that Jughead is dead, Betty and Archie pretend to be a couple in order to put on the act that Betty has moved on. Now obviously, we know this is staged and they’re just doing this to convince everyone that Jughead is actually dead (even though he’s not). Once everything is all said and done, Jughead returns home and things go back to normal, however it’s implied that Betty and Archie did actually feel something during their “fake relationship”. If you haven’t watched this season, I’m aware it’s confusing and is a lot to take in. Moving ont to midway through the musical episode, Betty and Archie end up sharing a kiss, basically cheating on Jughead and Veronica in the process. I have issues with this issue in particular. What’s even dumber is during the following episode, they end up deciding not to go further so once again what is the point of doing this storyline? Now, I know the writers plan to continue this storyline but I still have issues with it and regardless on how they try to redeem Betty and Archie, they still look bad. I believe that there were other ways they could of written this without tarnishing the characters of Betty and Archie. Are they able to be redeemed? Yes, but at the end of the day they still cheated in the process. There’s no way out of it and it felt SOOO out of character for them. Bottom line is, this came back out of absolutely nowhere and it felt like there was no build up leading up to it. It just felt pointless and among the millions of other subplots the show had going on this season, the writers could’ve waited until later to revisit this concept.

Final Say: The Writers Should Of Done It Sooner

To conclude this article, I’m going to say that I believe the writers should of done this love triangle sooner. I believe that there was really no reason, from a writing stand point, to bring this subplot back up during the time they did. Like I said, there was no build up this past season leading up to this. The characters of Archie and Betty seemed content with their current significant others. I also don’t like the way the writers decided to go against the characters normal traits and randomly have them cheat. Like I said, it makes their characters look bad and while it doesn’t exactly ruin their development, it does not do much to help them go forward either. The perfect timing to of done the love triangle with Betty, Veronica, Archie, and now Jughead would of been during Season 2. They had the window of opportunity right there and they obviously decided to shut it for some reason. It just irritates me because unlike this current scenario, I think the dynamic between Betty and Archie during S2 had a better build up and would’ve felt less forced and more organic. But I guess that’s just me. Do I think that Barchie is going to be the couple that is “endgame”? I have no idea and honestly, I don’t care who ends up with who. I just want the proper build up to be there so it feels earned in the end. If I’m being honest, it’s pretty obvious Betty & Jughead and Archie & Veronica will be the couples that make it to the end, but in between then, a little shift in the dynamics would keep things fresh. Just saying. That’s all I have to say.

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