Betty and Jughead are the Heart of The CW’s Riverdale

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Spoilers ahead for the latest episodes 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. When I actually sat down to watch it, 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. Noir-ish, sexy and with a breakneck storytelling speed, this might be my new favorite show of the whole season. Mostly because I can’t get enough of “Bughead.”

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“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 on-screen, with the chemistry between the two actors lighting up every moment. (Editor’s note: Maybe that’s because rumors 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 Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW, and trust me when I saw that 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. I’m dying to know the truth of what happened the night Jason was killed, and who, exactly, might have been involved. 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:

  1. We Didn’t See It Coming


Like I said above, I never even considered the possibility of this matchup. I was so sure that the show would go the classic root 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. Things may get more complicated down the line, but right now I’m loving the (mostly) lack of love triangles. 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 underrepresented 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.

Regardless, there’s no denying the chemistry between the characters. As soon as they kissed for the first time in episode 6, I was squeeing out-loud and jumping up and down in my seat. I’m not sure what the future will bring for either character, but for now I’m 100 percent on board with Betty and Jughead falling even more in love.

  1. They’re a Crime Solving Duo


Part of why Bughead works so well is that they just work well together. They’re both interested in journalism, and they’re both naturally inclined to try and seek out answers to unsolved questions, like who killed Jason Blossom. Their sleuthing reminds me a bit of Logan and Veronica (on Veronica Mars), who will forever be my favorite TV couple of all time. There is just something undeniably attractive about a couple who solves crimes together, and Betty and Jughead are so earnest in their pursuit of the truth that it’s adorable (I will not stop using this word to describe them, because they are the actual definition of adorable). It’s the place where their opposite personalities meet, and it gives them a common interest that brings them closer and closer together.

  1. 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 (and his lips). 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.

  1. 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” (even though she hates that word!), while Jughead chooses to buck those trends and embrace his “weird.” But while those differences might tear a lesser couple apart, they only bring Bughead closer. 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 self-inflicted cuts on Betty’s hands. HE KISSES HER HANDS. Start planning my funeral because I am officially dead.

  1. Those Kisses!


This is a couple that is new and exciting, with every look packing loads of meaning. But they also still seem somehow comfortable and established, like they’ve been together for years. They just feel so right together, and their chemistry reflects that. They also have this cute habit of smiling after they kiss each other, like they can barely contain how happy it makes them. I can’t even with these two. They’re just too adorable.


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.

Love Bughead, too? Let us know why in the comments! And don’t forget to watch Riverdale every Thursday night at 9 p.m. on The CW.

Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

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