‘Bridgerton’ Season 2: A Sweet, Successful Slow Burn

Bridgerton Season 2: A Sweet, Successful Slow Burn

Alyssa Chierchia, TV Reviewer

The record-breaking Regency-era Netflix show “Bridgerton,” created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes, is back with its sophomore season, premiering on the streaming service on March 25 with much anticipation.

The show has already been renewed for seasons three and four following its rise in late 2020/early 2021 and is planning to follow the romantic endeavors of each specific Bridgerton sibling. This is similar to the format of the novels by Julia Quinn on which the series is based.

The debut season introduced audiences to the “diamond of the first water” Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and her compelling love story. This season focuses on the eldest child Anthony, (Jonathan Bailey) who is determined to find his “perfect” viscountess but is devoid of any notions of true love.

Although things soon become complicated when sisters Edwina (Charithra Chandran) and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) arrive in London. Edwina is looking to find love, but any potential marriage suitors will have to get protective Kate’s approval first.

Fans of the popular romantic trope enemies-to-lovers and the pacing style often coined as “slow-burn” will adore this season and the dynamic between its two romantic leads. The chemistry between the two actors is truly off the charts and is what makes this season fantastic. For those who have not yet watched, be prepared for all of the yearning, which includes but is not limited to witty banter, lingering glances, and willing invasions of personal space that lead to many almost-kisses.

This season also features aspects of its predecessor that many enjoyed, such as the voiceover work of Julie Andrews and its use of modern music transformed into period-appropriate orchestral pieces. I, in fact, feel as if this season did a better job at choosing songs that really related to the current storyline, especially in one telling scene that includes “Dancing on My Own” by Robyn.

The performances of this season are a standout. Simone Ashley shines in her portrayal of the intelligent and strong-willed Kate. She was extremely easy to love and gave audiences no choice other than to root for her, despite being put in some tough situations. She has to be one of my favorites out of the show so far. Among them, we cannot ignore Chandran’s endearing Edwina, whose impact is substantial along with her interesting character arc.

This season also sees lots of character development for Anthony, who some audiences, especially myself, were on the fence about in season 1. But Bailey excels in his performance as the flawed viscount. He has the heart and charm that have audiences swooning but wiping away tears at the same time. I felt way more connected to him, as I began to not only understand his motivations, but I wanted him to be happy and admit what he truly wants.

I very much enjoyed this season, and it made me way more of a fan compared to my more casual-watcher status after season 1. The first season, while intriguing in its own right, lacks that pinnacle of tension that kept me wanting more. My emotional investment was completely amped up this time around.

I also think this season stayed clear of some problematic and non-favorable aspects that were present in its first eight episodes, especially regarding issues around consent. And I enjoyed how they progressed. Season 1 had a strange shift about halfway through which took the plot in a different direction, but I felt more consistency and more of a rewarding payoff toward the end of its sophomore run.

Although many fans are divided in their opinions. Some are loyal followers of its source material, “The Viscount Who Loved Me” and were upset at many of the changes. Another widespread opinion regards the subplots this season. I was fine with the progression of Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan)’s characters as well as the features of the other Bridgerton siblings such as Colin (Luke Newton) and Benedict (Luke Thompson).

But one subplot regarding the rest of the Featherington family, specifically the new Lord Jack Featherington (Rupert Young) and his monetary involvements seemed to be a bit of a drag. There was even a weird dynamic between him and another character that although presented as comical at times, felt strange in the long run. This is especially true considering that it didn’t have much of a purpose once the season finishes, maybe besides one line from a character that could lead to future development.

I felt like we could have gotten less of that and more of the main couple! My investment was all on them, and many people feel the same.

I also am not the biggest fan of love triangles and was apprehensive going into the season. Many were too, especially since there’s a certain dynamic between two out of the three involved that I didn’t want to be damaged. But I think it did a good job of balancing it and making it a rather soft love triangle. From the moment the two main leads meet, it’s obvious, and the show does a good job at not leading its own audience on.

“Bridgerton” season 2 heightens what it’s all about: pure romantic escapism. Despite the stakes and drama, there were many heartfelt scenes that were just so comforting. It’s the type of show where you can completely throw yourself into the fantasy. If the future seasons are anything like this one, I can guarantee that myself and many others will not hesitate to fall in love even more, just like the characters!