There Is No One True Pairing Eventually

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 9.648% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

As all good fans know, Archie and Veronica got married earlier this year.  Or Archie and Betty did.
I find this deeply unsatisfying.
The marriages took place in an Archie Comics Elseworlds – two parallel storylines that posit “What if?” and show what happens after Archie graduates high school and gets hooked up.  (The concept that Archie might, like most of us, disposed of most of his high school friends to find newer ones in college remains unexplored.  Once a cartoon friend, so always must it be; ask the Muppet Babies, who’ve been trapped in an incestuous circle since birth.)  Since the marriages – one for each set of fans – we’ve gotten to see what happens afterwards.
It’s not pretty.
It’s not terrible, mind you – they couldn’t place them in the Archie-vacuum of recycled storylines, with its terrible terrible secret.  (Since at least three new Archie stories have been published monthly since 1941, I calculate that Archie and friends have stopped by the Chok’lit shop at least two thousand times.  Assuming that they stop by once a day without fail, they have been going to the Chok’lit Shop for six years.  That’s right; Archie has been running for so long that the space-time continuum must be warped to contain the number of malteds drunk at the Chok’lit Shop – and given Riverdale’s continually sunny weather, most of those visits come in the spring and summer, at that.  If I had the time, I’d try to create a Unifying Timeline of Archiness.)
Anyway, this mean that after being married, they have to do something new – and that that something is soap opera.  So in the Veronica-world, Archie is miserable because he’s working for Lodge industries and has no sense of self – and in the Betty-world, Archie is a novice teacher and cannot control his class of students.  In neither marriage does he appear to be particularly happy.
It’s said that a happy ending only comes from where you choose to stop filming… And this is true.  What’s happening in Riverdale is doubtlessly a little overwrought (really? There’s a huge mining conspiracy against Lodge Industries, that roving reporter Reggie must ferret out?), but it’s not unreasonable.  But that’s not what I want.  I want Archie to marry Betty (for as we all know, Betty is the only OTP for Archie), and settle down, and have boring kids, and live together in a gloriously uneventful yet happy life.
But no.  If the camera is rolling, we must have conflict, so Archie has to deal with the specter of cheating on Betty thanks to a ridiculously overzealous lunch lady.  (Mercifully, not Mrs. Beazley.)  And so it is discovered, as we always must, that life is not happily ever after.
Fuck that.  Stop at the wedding, or maybe the reception.  After that, to misquote a famous quote, it’s happiness all the way down.  They don’t have adventures.  They don’t have conflict, or at least any significant ones.  Archie and Betty live a beautiful life untouched by psychodrama, perhaps not wealthy, but rich in love.
It’s all I want, man.

1 Comment

  1. JFargo
    Aug 24, 2011

    This is the first time I’ve figured out what “OTP” is. I understood its meaning but never could suss out what it stood for.
    If nothing else, thank you for that.

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