Fans have been anticipating another season of Netflix’s highly popular show, “Bridgerton,” since its successful first season in December 2020. The release of the second season on March 25 has reignited audiences’ discussion of the binge-worthy show. The series, based on the novel series of the same title by Julia Quinn, follows the Bridgerton family on each of their love stories.
The series follows each of the eight Bridgerton siblings: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth. While the first season focuses on Daphne’s love story (Phoebe Dynevor), the second season follows Anthony’s story. After the unfortunate death of the father, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) took over as Viscount and head of the Bridgerton family. In this season, he is looking for a wife that would be suitable for the role of Viscountess, choosing to keep emotions and love out of the picture.
Although fans were disappointed to see the Duke (Regé-Jean Page), Daphne’s love interest in season one leave, season two made up for it with new characters. Season two introduces the Sharmas: Kate and her half-sister Edwina Sharma (Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran) along with their mother, Mary Sharma (Shelley Conn). With Edwina as the diamond of the season, Anthony has his sights set on her. However, he has to get the approval of Kate first, who learns of the Viscount’s reputation as a rake. With Kate wanting the best for her sister, Anthony and Kate butt heads as she tries to stop his advances towards Edwina. The two’s banter sets up the enemies-to-lovers trope that fans of the book were eager to see play out on the streaming platform.
While the romantic dynamic between Anthony and Kate may have dragged for some, it helped to create the slow-burn romance that their love story is. The gradual romance they have helps to carry the tension between the two leads as they slowly come to terms with their feelings. It sets up anticipation for the couple as their relationship develops and they get through their own obstacles.
Bailey and Ashley’s portrayal of Anthony and Kate, respectively, aids in the evident chemistry between the characters. With Anthony and Kate’s intense, yet amusing bickering, the chemistry between them is clear for audiences to see. The tension between the two gives audiences an exciting season that is sure to keep them at the edge of their seats. Their acting is truly commendable, as it gives audiences scenes that stand out from the rest. While scenes with the two contain plenty of chemistry, their overall acting in the season deserves praise. Bailey’s performance shows how heavy the burden of taking on the role of the family’s patriarch has on him. Despite the arrogance and stubbornness of Anthony, audiences find themselves rooting for the male lead. From the first appearance of Ashley’s character, it was obvious that she would fit well into the show. Her delivery of lines and expressions on her face is what makes her performance as Kate so outstanding. While Bailey and Ashley take on the main roles of this season, side characters’ performances help to bolster the show and give an entertaining season.
Since the first season, fans have appreciated the representation of POC characters in the show. Although there was a theory that Queen Charlotte had African ancestry, historians do not have accurate proof to confirm this. However, the show casted Queen Charlotte and a few other characters with African descent despite being set in London’s Regency period. While this may not be historically accurate, it is a fictional show that has reimagined people of color during this era. Season two gave South Asians representation with the Sharma family. Fans on social media noted how appreciative and represented they felt to see the Sharma family practicing their South Asian culture. Examples of this include Kate putting oil in Edwina’s hair, Edwina doing the haldi ceremony before her wedding, and both sisters using traditional Indian terms of endearment with their family.
Despite the many highlights of the season, critics argue the overwhelming amount of side stories that distract from the main story. However, some side stories, especially of the other Bridgerton siblings, help to establish the characters before their own storylines come out. While a few other side stories did steer away from the main story, they help to set up future seasons and provide more plot rather than just the main one. For example, the side plot of Lady Whistledown is important, as the gossip writer influences the main story as well as the scandals that occur during high society’s social season.
Verdict: Season two gives audiences another season filled with drama, fun family dynamics, gossip and plenty of scandal. It is an engaging season that carries on the success from its predecessor and continues the excitement for future seasons.