Riverdale season 3 will give more screen time to two of season 2's newest faces. Charles Melton, who took over the role of Reggie Mantle for season 2, and Vanessa Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz, have both promoted to series regulars for the third season of Riverdale.
Toni and Reggie have been featured throughout Riverdale season 2, particularly the former, but they were only in recurring roles. Riverdale has recently delved back into its Black Hood serial killer mystery. With the killer back on the loose, no character has seemed truly safe. Yet this promotion seems to promise that both Toni and Reggie will survive season 2, unscathed. Season 3 will see a lot more of Riverdale High's bad boy and (newest) bad girl.
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TV Insider broke the news of Morgan and Melton's promotions. The news came with some very high praise from Riverdale showrunner, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Aguirre-Sacasa singled out Morgan and Toni as a fan-favorite, promising much more of her to come in Riverdale season 3. However, his greatest praise was for Melton as Archie's ultimate frenemy, Reggie. Of the news, Aguirre-Sacasa said:
Charles stepped into the iconic role of Reggie this season and completely made it his own. [He's] sexy and funny as hell. He’s a terrific addition to the gang and in Season 3, we’ll be seeing A LOT more of him. All hail Mantle the Magnificent!
Vanessa Morgan joined Riverdale at the start of season 2. A Southside Serpent, Toni became Jughead Jones' first real friend and semi-love interest as he transferred to Southside High. Yet when Jughead, Toni and the rest of Southside High were assumed into Riverdale High, the bisexual Toni struck up a romance with Cheryl Blossom. Melton, meanwhile, is a new actor for Riverdale but he isn't playing a new character. Melton replaced the original Reggie Mantle, Ross Butler, as the actor was contracted to Netflix's 13 Reasons Why.
The news of Morgan's promotion isn't very shocking at all. In fact, it's more surprising that she wasn't already a series regular. Toni has been so prominent in Riverdale season 2 that she's eclipsed the screen time of other series regulars like Casey Cott, who plays Kevin Keller. A lot of this has to do with Toni's romantic life, first with Jughead but especially with Cheryl. The burgeoning relationship of Cheryl and Toni, including Cheryl coming out, has been one of the few bright spots in a pretty dour Riverdale season 2. Given this fact, most fans will welcome the news of Toni's bigger inclusion into season 3 with open arms.
On the other hand, Melton has appeared as Reggie more in Riverdale season than Ross Butler did in season 1. Yet that can mainly be attributed to Riverdale season 2 having a higher episode count than the first season. Melton has appeared in more episodes but it's about the same percentage as Butler had as Reggie in the first season. With a serial killer on the loose, organized crime moving to the forefront and everything else going on in Riverdale, the show understandably hasn't had much time for Archie and Reggie's (typically) silly school boy rivalry.
Perhaps the news of Morgan and Melton's promotions signals Riverdale slowing down a bit for season 3 and focusing more on the high school dynamics of the soap. All things considered Toni and Reggie have been two of the more grounded characters. Although Riverdale could easily find a way to sweep Toni and Reggie up into the more outlandish side that consists of the series' maple syrup blood feuds, murderous renditions of Carrie the Musical! and secret student/teacher love affairs.
Riverdale season 2 continues Wednesday, May 2 with "Chapter Thirty-Three: Shadow of a Doubt" at 8pm on The CW.
Source: TV Insider