Missing the mark. From The 100 to Riverdale, not every TV couple can stick the landing when it comes to selling a believable love story.
Fans of the iconic Archie Comics were in for a wild ride when The CW adapted the story into a teen drama. The series, which premiered in 2017, followed a group of friends who came together to uncover the dark secrets that exist within their town. Along the way, the core four characters ended up in various love triangles.
According to creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, he wanted to introduce a cohesive story that didn’t make the audience root for a divide in the friend group.
“It was much more important for me to have Betty and Veronica be real friends, not bitchy frenemies,” he explained to The Wrap in 2017. “The truth is, Archie, Betty and Veronica will all have romantic story lines that don’t lock us into the love triangle — not at all during season 1, at least.”
Aguirre-Sacasa noted that the original comics inspired major changes in his own storytelling. “There’s a reason the comic books have been around for 75 years,” he continued. “There’s a reason why even shows that aren’t Riverdale have love triangles. That will always be a little bit a part of it, but it’s not my bag. I don’t want Betty and Veronica to be fighting over Archie. The comic book has done that, there are fresher ways to tell that story.”
The showrunner added: “In the series finale, we’ll finally answer the question. If Betty and Veronica even care about Archie at that point — they will as friends, but they’re not waiting around for him to make his decision.”
Meanwhile, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series had its own set of issues with the relationship at the center of the show. Viewers were meant to fall in love with Ricky (Joshua Bassett) and Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) — until the duo got back together in the first season finale. Since rekindling their romance, Ricky and Nini couldn’t get to a place that felt right for them and ultimately parted ways.
Creator Tim Federle weighed in on the creative decision to pull the plug on Ricky and Nini as a couple.
“I was really glad that we got the opportunity to tell the story of a healthy breakup, before things got really bad, which is not something I had much of an example of in mass media growing up,” he told Decider in July 2021. “One of the fundamental truths of just being alive, but certainly being young, is that just when you get things exactly where you want them, something changes. We wanted to tell stories that showed how people cope with that as opposed to just have everything go the way they dreamed.”
During season 3, Nini made the move to California following Rodrigo’s offscreen success in her music career. Ricky, for his part, faced his feelings for Gina (Sofia Wylie) after several seasons of uncertainty.
“Ricky and Gina are so fun to write for, and these two characters understand the other one like nobody can. They both share a lot. They actually have a lot in common,” Federle detailed to Entertainment Tonight after the season 3 finale in September 2022 showed the twosome sharing a kiss. “Cliffhangers are fun, but sometimes you also have to breathe. I felt that, for what the fans have gone through over these last three seasons, at least for the Gina-Ricky fans, it was time to give the world a little bit of a win.”
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