Choni, the glorious combination of Cheryl Blossom and Toni Topaz on The CW’s Riverdale, gives me a sweet respite from the usually dark haired/blonde wlw combinations that have invaded pop culture—and a WOC character actually played by a WOC actress (sorry Supergirl you will never live that down, especially not after casting Odette Annable in the next season).
In the above video courtesy of Riverdale‘s new DVD, we have a collection of cute scenes between Cheryl Blossom and Toni Topaz that were cut, because instead of showing these two women being sweet and supportive of each other, we had to watch something Archie was doing with the “mafia.” In just under 4 minutes, we see Toni and Cheryl being kind and caring about each other, and it’s just a nice reminder that all the couples on this show don’t have to be exhausting.
Season two of Riverdale has been a mess with its Black Hood plot, Archie Andrews going all fascist, The Lodges being true Mafia family and Jughead’s seasonlong audition to be on FX’s Mayans. Still, because it’s Riverdale, and it has been, overall, a fun mess, with one of the highlights being Madelaine Petsch playing Cheryl Blossom.
I fully admit during the first season I didn’t “get” the way they were writing Cheryl in the show. I had the Archie Comics version of the femme fatale in my head, but watching the season two premiere I understood that Cheryl Blossom is a gothic heroine and I haven’t looked back. Then with the introduction of Vanessa Morgan as Antoinette “Toni” Topaz, a character who was also bisexual in the comics (and for a hot second was treated like a roadblock for Jughead and Betty), it gave Riverdale room for the dynamic between Toni and Cheryl.
Cheryl came out as being attracted to women in a Love, Simon ad of an episode while talking to Toni about her feelings for a childhood friend, only to have her homophobic mother tear them apart. Their relationship on the series is cute and is actually healthy, which considering Cheryl was harassing/stalking the last person she had a crush on (Josie), I’m glad she’s grown.
Riverdale has not always lived up to the diversity that it touted itself to have. Josie and Kevin have been underwritten constantly, Reggie is hardly ever around, Moose’s bisexuality is only ever brought up if he and Kevin manage to have screen time at the same time, and even though KJ Apa is not white, they make him the whitest white kid on Earth. Toni and The Lodges have been solid, and Choni is the only well done romance on the show, which is why I’m extra salty that so many cute scenes between them got cut.
We had to watch Betty pole dance to impress Jughead and the Serpents, but we couldn’t see Cheryl bring her girlfriend a flower? Ugh. My hope is that season three will actually give some good storylines to Kevin and Josie, and that Cheryl will continue to be the queer anti-heroine we deserve.
(image: The CW)
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