Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why Archie Shouldn't Choose

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 12:21 PM

2632/1242836544-213921-101557-archie_super.gifThe New York Post is reporting that Archie Andrews, beloved comic book ginger, will lop off a corner of his perpetual love triangle when he finally chooses between Betty and Veronica. It's a story older than Jackie and Marilyn: rich vamp and girl next door in constant competition for an everyteen who just can't commit. The writers have teased fans before: in the mid-90s, "Love Showdown," a mini-series that spanned five titles in the Archie oeuvre, pitted Betty against Veronica and just when it seemed one girl might emerge victorious, Archie pussied out and hooked up with Riverdale transplant Cheryl Blossom. This time, the writers are claiming that Archie will not only choose but he'll propose to the girl he picks.

What are the implications if Arch goes through with the proposal, besides making me wonder if my entire childhood WAS A LIE?

Archie could never decide because the two girls were attractive to him in different ways: one a fresh-faced tomboy and one a refined material girl. Children's entertainment doesn't usually allow for multidimensional characters, so by not giving editorial preference to one girl over the other, the writers seemed to say that there is more than one way to be pretty and interesting. When Archie proposes, he will validate that girl's lifestyle, thus condemning the losing girl's personality to appear less attractive. Young girls are already confused—we stuffed our bras and wore too much makeup because we didn't know how to reconcile Judy Blume characters with Seventeen models. The idea that this primal struggle between two archetypes, the blonde and the brunette, might never be resolved was always so comforting. Betty, Veronica, Cheryl Blossom...as long as Archie keeps his options open, so can American girls.

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