[Attention! This post contains some swearing. I thought there would be more considering I’m talking about Archie!]
It should not come as a surprise to you but Riverdale’s Archie Andrews gets on my nerves like
almost nobody else in the whole world. (Yes, Clay Jensen, I’m talking about you.)
Right from the start I began getting annoyed at him. He was just so clueless all the time. And in season two, he reached the peak of his idiocy.
It’s rare for me to like the main character of a show, especially if it is a male. It’s something that happens quite a lot to me.
Take Grey’s Anatomy’s own Derek Shepherd. I’ve always disliked him. He was an asshole, arrogant and deems as “the perfect guy“, whereas Mark Sloan, a secondary character, was much more interesting than him. And a similar comparison could to be made between Riverdale’s two main male character: Archie and Jughead.
Archie has been described, even by the show itself, as the perfect next door neighbour American guy. He is captain of the football team, extremely fit and apparently very attractive (THAT I don’t see, sorry KJ. I still like you, though)
Jughead, on the other hand, is very weird and distant kid from the bad part of town and what he has, and Archie lacks, are layers to his personality.
With Jughead, there was an apparent character development: it might have gone a bit sideways particularly in season two, but at the end it came out as a better and different person.
In 22 episodes, Archie’s personality and behaviour was not subjected to any sort of change. It was just his way of thinking and mentality that was downgraded and twisted.
It is a little bit on fair to compare to the characters but I believe it must be said that every show needs to develop in one way or another and personally, I did not see a change in Archie’s character. He had already shown some of his opportunist side in season one and in season two it only got enhanced.
Now, I have a list of all the things I believe makes Archie one of the most irritating and annoying aspect of the show:
- he’s a typical American high school jock: popular, arrogant and someone who firmly believes he is entitled to everything and more.
- Is he not capable to make a decision of his own? Hiram Lodge played him like a fiddle. He manipulated Archie, made him do all his dirty mafia related stuff and he basically indoctrinated him and forced his own believes on him. Hiram slowly and extremely efficiently played into Archie’s fears, he promised him revenge and his own version of justice.
- He was so condescending, specially to Jughead and Betty and he felt like he was better than anyone else around him. Hiram gave him the possibility of money, power and notoriety.
Just like he was attracted to Cheryl Blossom’s life: he did not care that she was trying to buy him with guitars and meetings with music executives. I totally understand the process of justice can be extremely frustrating, especially for someone who was impacted by a trauma like Archie was, but he really went down the rabbit hole: the whole “Red Circle” bullshit was so fucking stupid. Another scene in which he was insufferable was when Jughead and the Serpents were chained to Southside High and he strolled in with pincers, like a dickhead.
Towards the end, he got slightly better because he went against Hiram’s wishes. But a single episode cannot redeem himself for the other 34.
Also, he behaves like an idiot for ages and then he gets elected Student Body President. Like… how?!
I’m hoping that in season three we will see a change in his attitude and behaviour. I hope he will grow into somebody who is not as arrogant, entitled and gullible.
What do you think about Archie? Do you find him as annoying as I do? Do you think he redeemed himself at the end?