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Stray Observations of Pop Culture Favorites

Reading my Archie Digest (Betty and Veronica, No. 120, 2004) on Sunday morning (yep, you read that correctly), I discovered something very interesting. Something that will change entire viewpoints on a beloved television show from the late 90's/early 00's. Something that might make your head spin or might make you say "I already knew that."  Here it is: Characters from That '70s Show were based off characters from the Archie Comics.

Here's how it began: The premise in this story was that Veronica, deciding it was time to test Archie's loyalty, went ahead and blackened a few of her teeth, thus creating the illusion that she was toothless.  She was testing Archie to see if he still loved her even if her beauty was gone. A classic storytelling point if there ever was one.

This got me thinking and I realized I'd just seen this on an episode of That '70s Show.  Jackie (Mila Kunis) was testing Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) to see how deep his love for her went. Classic Jackie.

Classic Jackie. Classic Veronica. Wait a minute. Both of these women can be superficial, rich, and perhaps stuck up. Both are constantly vying for affections of a certain boy. Both think they are better than the friends they hang out with.

Kelso can't be Archie,you say? Well, you're correct. Kelso is more of a Reggie Mantle. Handsome, vain, and the slightest bit doofy.  Both think they are the best at everything and both always end up in trouble because of their love affair with chasing girls. Practical jokes are another thing these two have in common. Both are not above having a little fun at the expense of...

Forman (Topher Grace). Or Archie, in Reggie's case. Both Forman and Archie are skinny and kind of on the nerdy side. Both are prone to accidents (or being a little clumsy in life). Despite their shortcomings, both seem to always luck out in the end. Both have girlfriend(s) that are a bit out of their league.

Which leads us to Donna (Laura Prepon). Or Betty, as I like to call her. Both are smart and sweet. Donna started out with red hair, but eventually she went blonde, just like Betty. Both are strong willed, self-sustaining women. Though Donna doesn't have to compete for Forman's love with another woman, their relationship still has its battles, much like Betty has her battles in trying to be with Archie.

Is this just a big coincidence? Maybe. Did the creators of That '70s Show blatantly base for their major characters on characters from Archie Comics? Who knows. Are characters on That '70s Show just variations on characters that have been portrayed/written for hundreds of years? Most likely.

There is one thing I know for sure: Archie and his gang still got it. That Jughead is a riot...

*I am in no way accusing the creators of "That '70s Show" of stealing. I enjoy the show. 
** "That '70s show" is a production of the Carsey-Werner Company and 20th Century Fox
*** Archie Digest is brought to us by Archie Comics Publications, Inc.

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