Lili Reinhart (left) and Camila Mendes (right)
West Torrance High School

Betty vs. Veronica or Betty and Veronica?

I remember I used to read “Archie” comics every day. They were my absolute favorite. So when I heard The CW was revamping the comics to become a TV series, I was beyond excited. With “The Vampire Diaries” coming to an end, I needed a new show that I could completely throw myself into.

Sure, it’s a coming-of-age story as most high school dramas are, but it’s also a universe we don’t really experience in the network television. The team behind Riverdale hoped Archie lovers would remember just enough of the comics to be excited about the premiere, before adding in a couple (maybe a lot) of twists.

They made the show real and current– even though murder in high school isn’t exactly the most common thing, but you get my drift. I could get into the plot and characters of the story, but that’s not the main reason why I’ve been watching this show for the last four weeks. It’s because of the friend dynamic between Betty and Veronica.

Now if you have read the original comic books, you’d remember the frenemy vibes between the two ladies. The show is so much different, and so much better because of it. Especially now more than ever, girl-on-girl hate has become a “thing.” Women are ganging up on each other, and even though we just had an incredible protest, Women’s March, it can still be seen.

In episode three titled, “Body Double,” when Veronica gets the name “Sticky Maple,” by a footballer she hooked up with, Betty and Veronica team up to end slut shaming in Riverdale. And they are not alone in all this. Barb returns from the Upside Down in “Stranger Things” and joins the cast of “Riverdale” as Ethel Muggs to promote the wrongful nature of slut shaming.

Not only this, but when Betty was thought she wasn’t good enough to be a cheerleader because Cheryl doesn’t like Betty, Veronica responded with, “Betty and I come as a matching set. You want one, you take us both.” And when Betty felt she wasn’t “good enough” for Archie (because let’s be real, Archie is the one not worthy of her), Veronica supported her and told her she was worthy of anyone.

The drama in the show is great and of course I want to know who killed Jason Blossom, but like everything else in my world, friendship comes first, and I’m really glad that the creative team of the series moved away from what was shown in the comic books.

So, it seems that “Riverdale” has created something that a lot of TV shows often struggle with– female empowerment and the development of female characters, without all the dramas of a guy. It’s true that previous CW shows like “Hellcats” and “The Vampire Diaries” are centered around female friendship, but it’s almost always turns the lead actresses into emotionally unstable characters. Sure Marti (“Hellcats”) seemed like she was an independent woman who fights for what she believes in, but she was constantly in a battle between relationship vs. self vs. friends. What a life.

“Riverdale” does a 180 around these past shows and reveals that Betty and Veronica matter just as much as any of the hot guy characters in the show.

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