The Romance Trope: aka My Rant for Riverdale and My Love of Parks and Rec

By a member of the Teen Advisory Group


Has anyone else noticed that basically all songs are about falling in love? Books and movies too, in one shape or another. It kind of gets old after a while. So it was kind of cool when I found this online:

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Hehehehe. “Whatsername”=Veronica.

So yeah, Jughead is asexual. For those who don’t know, that means he doesn’t feel attracted of the sexual sort towards anybody. A lot of people accidentally interpret that to mean that they aren’t romantically interested in anyone as well, but romantic interest is different.

It was kind of nice to find this out. I’ve been reading Archie for several years now (mostly because my siblings would buy the books and then leave them lying around the house. I would get curious and read them). But in the comics, Jughead is what everyone (including himself) calls a “woman hater”, even though he never actually hates the woman around him. He’s actually a great friend towards the ones he knows. So “hater” might not be the right word. He’s just not interested in dating them and would rather spend the evening at Uncle Pop’s Ice Cream Parlor or with his dog, Hotdog.

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So yeah, just the other day I found out about Riverdale. I mean, I sort of already knew the show existed, but then I found out that it’s Riverdale as in from the Archie comics. (What? Like you never missed connecting some really obvious dots.) Anyway, I was super excited, not only because I actually had some information about the characters ahead of time for once, but because I knew Jughead, Archie’s best friend, wasn’t interested in girls (or guys, or anyone else in that way either). And so when I went to watch the first episode I could (episode six), I was great with this:

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Wait.

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What are you doing? This better not be–

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WHAT DID I JUST SAY.

 

JUGHEAD, YOU LIKE FOOD. BETTY, YOU LIKE ARCHIE. STOP MESSING WITH WHAT HAPPENS IN EVERY ARCHIE COMIC IN THE LAST 75 YEARS.

 

So yeah. Just like that, my hopes were crushed.

 

(I got to admit though, I love Jughead’s hat. It even looks like the one he wears in the comics! I kind of want it…)

Now, I’m not saying romance is bad and should be abolished. Far from it! But let’s face it, almost every teen book in our library has at least one of the main characters falling in love– or out of love– or their plot essentially follows around their unrequited love (or maybe they are the unrequited love– for now).

It’s just– it would be nice if occasionally someone would not fall in love and know they won’t and not mind and have that be a part of the plot, you know? We need to see that not having a romance all the time (or at all) is okay too.

Because the only other person I could think of who clearly wasn’t interested in dating was Jennifer Barkley (actress Kathryn Hahn) from Parks and Recreation. She’s a minor character who popped up occasionally to help (or compete against) Leslie or Ben when it came to campaigning. And I might even be remembering her wrong here. Maybe she had an ex-husband and I just don’t remember. What I DO remember is that she spent the whole series being single, she wasn’t too found of children (mostly because they were messy and loud), and she was perfectly fine with spending all the money she made on herself. And that was kind of awesome to see.

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Anyway, rant over. Enjoy your summer everyone!

 

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