Betty Cooper, who was primarily defined in the Archie comics by her crush on Archie Andrews, is often seen as a the “girl next door.” Everything from her blonde ponytail down to her love of automotive repair made Betty a prototype for wholesome Americana as it was defined when the comics debuted in the 1940s.
But the ‘40s have long since passed, and as we all know, looks can sometimes be deceiving. Often, the “girl next door” has a lot of secrets of her own, and while it’s easy to hide behind a smile, her outward appearance doesn’t tell the whole story.
When Riverdale premieres tonight on the CW, it will give Betty that reboot that she deserves, showing audiences that there’s a multi-layered and complex girl underneath that bouncy hair and jean jacket.
For Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty, that three-dimensional transformation of these characters was extremely important. In the comics, Betty is tangled within a love triangle consisting of herself, Archie, and Veronica that, despite Betty’s friendship with Veronica, serves as a huge plot for a lot of the comics. Pitting women against each other? We’re so not here for that.