|Does not happen now.|
Part of my 10% uniqueness is a terror of mathematics, so don't quote me on those percentages.
I don't want to guess at how much the 90% of Human Female Mind is identical to that of 90% of Human Male Mind. Obviously there are similarities, but there are clearly differences. Interestingly, although men abuse drugs more than women do, apparently, women get addicted to them faster.
But I am not a scientist, so I will abandon any pretence at clinical-trial type objectivity and go with my gut. In short, I think the success of "Riverdale" is tied to its idealisation of the teenage years. It's not just the rapid pace, emotional zig-zags, palpitation-inducing blasts of Imagine Dragons' "Believer," and Archie's chest. I admit I think those things have a lot to do with the dopamine surges I've been experiencing. Well, not Archie's chest, which should have its own zip code. Tooooo alarming. But, really, it's the glorious chance to rewrite in our heads the ghastly experience of being teenagers.
First of all, very few of us were that good-looking as teenagers. Not only did we not look like Betty, Veronica and Cheryl, the boys did not look like Archie or Jughead. What we looked like, and what the boys who actually "liked" us looked like, was a source of great pain. Therefore, it comes as a great relief to identify with godlings from Mount Olympus (or wherever Hollywood found them).
Second, very few of us were that clever. Well, few of us were as clever as Jughead, Betty and Cheryl Blossom, who, though criminally insane, is rocking a 4.0.
One of the iconic moments of the show (and not just for me, I have discovered) is when TV-Jughead (who is 10% Original Jughead and 90% smouldering coal) appears at Betty's bedroom window at the top of a ladder and says, "Hey, Juliet. Nurse off-duty?
Okay, TV-Jughead is 15-going-on-16 when he delivers those immortal lines. In real life, 15-year-old-boys do not say things like that. We wish they did, but they didn't and don't. At least, not in my experience. Although I was at an all-girls' school, I arranged to be around teenage boys when I could, and no, they were not making clever allusions to Shakespeare.
Incidentally, Beloved is Betty's favourite book ever, and while I was so sick on Tuesday I wondered if never having read Beloved meant that I was a Bad Person.
Jughead, age 15/16, is writing a novel, and his model is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, which I haven't read either. When I was 15, I wasn't attempting to write a novel. I was writing Star Trek fan fiction. On the other hand, I also wrote an extra scene for Romeo and Juliet as an English class project, and a dialogue between Elizabeth Barrett Browning on the suitability of Raymond Souster's poetry for study in my Catholic school. My enthusiasm for literature was tempered by a deep, frowny suspicion for anything overtly erotic.
Jughead also makes allusions to Jean-Paul Sartre, which makes me wonder if we are supposed to believe that he (15/16) has actually read Jean-Paul Sartre.
In the interests of separating delicious lies about teenage life from the plodding truth, I now invite readers to tell me what you were reading and writing by choice when you were teenagers, specifically between the ages of 15 and 17, if you remember in that much detail. I did read Sylvia Path at about 13, I suddenly recall. It's not out of the realm of the possible.
Oh, and also: did you ever ride a motorcycle, as either driver or passenger, as a teen? Your humble correspondent did not, although she came close at the age of 27 when she got lost on Capri and a 20-something mechanic gave her a ride back to civilisation on the back of his Vespa.
|Did not happen then.|
I have a theory that the writers of "Riverdale", being writers, identify with TV-Jughead because he IS a writer, and therefore have made him, not Archie, the real star of the show. That they have given him a tattoo, a motorcycle, and the crazy blonde is surely evidence of this theory.