Bridgerton season two exceeds expectations


Photo courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Poster for Bridgerton season two.

Anna Malik, Assistant Editor

Dearest Readers,


The ton (which includes all of England’s Regency Era high society) has been abuzz with talk of the return of the Netflix Original series Bridgerton. The show is based off of the Regency Era-based Bridgerton book series, by author Julia Quinn. All eyes were on Lord Anthony Bridgerton as sparks flew between him and one of the newest members of the ton Miss Kate Sharma. But this author is sure that this budding romance between the two will prove to be a challenge for both parties.

Each season is intended to follow one of the books in Quinn’s series, though there are rumors that some storylines will be combined in later seasons. The first season is based off The Duke and I, the series opener, and follows the eldest sister Daphne Bridgerton’s (Phoebe Dynevor) navigation through romance and expectations of women in the Regency Era. After the first season received an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.4/10 on IMDb, it is safe to say that fans were anxious for the return of the beloved series.

The second season is based off the next book, The Viscount Who Loved Me, and follows eldest brother Anthony Bridgerton’s (Jonathan Bailey) as he navigates a love triangle romance, his self-expectations, and his daddy issues. This season touches a lot more on Anthony’s relationship with his late father as the eldest son, and the cause of his death. It also dives into the conflict that Anthony faces between what he believes to be his duty as the viscount (self-expectations) and finding “a true love match” (romance).

Throughout the season, watchers observe as he struggles to choose between the newly-debuted Sharma sisters. Miss Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran), is the season’s diamond, the most eligible bachelorette of that year – selected by Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) herself. Edwina represents Anthony’s self-perceived duty as the viscount, as she embodies who he should pick. Miss Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) is a free-spirited, 26-year-old bachelorette (considered old for the time). She represents the opposing side of the struggle, finding a “true love match”. She represents who he shouldn’t pick and what he shouldn’t do by social expectation of his viscount status, but it is obvious to the audience from the first episode that it is she who he is truly attached to.

Anthony must make this choice in front of the scrutinizing eyes of the “ton”, and at the mercy of the wicked woman with the pen – Lady Whistledown. Whistledown is notorious for anonymously publishing all of the ton’s secrets, and Anthony is no exception to her criticism with the quill.

This show in general and this season would be particularly appealing to those already familiar with period dramas, but romance enthusiasts would probably also have difficulty preventing oneself from binging it. The main storyline of Anthony, Kate and Edwina, though a bit cliche as yet another love triangle, is different and more intriguing than other works that follow the same setup because of the show’s set time period. It allows the women to find their voice about what they want for themselves, something that women were not typically allowed to take part of in the Regency Era.

The side characters also made a positive impact on this season. Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie), displays what it is like for an opinionated, independent woman to find her place in Regency Era society. Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson), reveals how society treats people with radical dreams in the Regency Era through his fantasies of becoming an artist. Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), highlights how Regency Era society treats women who do not fit the beauty standard.

However, my criticism is that I believe the Featherington family storyline received considerably more screen time than it needed. The Featherington’s are struggling with the massive debt they have acquired in the midst of high society, but their storyline was truly far too dragged out and drained the audience’s attention span. It felt as though almost a third of the season was taken by this unimpressive storyline, and almost all of the Featheringtons are nothing to take notice of. The family was just far less interesting than the other side characters, but I suppose it is important to showcase how traitorous high society would be to a family who lost their wealth.

Overall, I would highly recommend season two of Bridgerton, especially for fans of period dramas and coming of age stories. There are enough strong side characters that anyone can find a character they relate to and can connect with. Especially for people fond of strong female characters. The romance is truly enticing and will have you on the edge of your seat rooting for the pair. Though the Featherington storyline is not particularly strong, the rest of the show entirely makes up for that fault.

Yours Truly,

Lady Malik