Bridgerton Season 2 Is Less Sexy, but a Lot More Fun

Dept. of Sophomore Shines


We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but Season 2 of Bridgerton, which premieres this Friday, March 25, will be sans the Duke. That’s right. There will be no Regé-Jean Page this time around. Neither his smoldering eyes nor his naked ass will be making an appearance. We can, however, tell you that even without the dashing Simon Hastings, this season of Bridgerton is still incredibly good. In fact, it may even be better than the first.

But before we get into it, a quick recap of what happened in Season 1. Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the fourth of eight Bridgerton children, made her debut and was selected as Queen Charlotte’s diamond of the Ton. This made her a very attractive candidate to be wed, and after some courtship that included its fair share of drama, the aforementioned smoldering Duke of Hastings eventually wins her hand in marriage. Besides the Duke’s emotional baggage, Season 1 also featured a lot of sexy time, the Gossip Girl-esque Lady Whistledown putting everyone at the Ton on high alert with her tittle-tattle, family drama with the Featheringtons, a boxer, and a pregnant young lady trying to wed her problems away.

With the Duke and Duchess now married and living in familial bliss, the focus shifts towards Anthony, the Viscount of the Bridgerton family, and his quest towards finding himself a wife. Which is where we find ourselves at the start of this second season, with Anthony declaring himself now ready to marry, not for love mind you, but rather duty to his family.

Umapagan Ampikaipakan: There is a distinct difference between the two seasons of Bridgerton. Where the first felt very much like horny Jane Austen, this one feels a lot more like rom-com Jane Austen. Season 1 did such a great job in establishing the setting, the stakes, and the sex, that it allows Season 2 to begin with a real narrative confidence. It is very much a slow burn, but because we’re already so invested in the lives of these characters, we’re happy to be along for the ride.

Bahir Yeusuff: Yes, this second season is decidedly less sexy (sorry ladies), but it is a lot more fun. Maybe it was due to the pandemic, maybe it’s just because they decided to tone it down a little bit, but the series doesn’t feel quite as gratuitous. Now I’m not saying it that it isn’t steamy. Just that your gratification is a little delayed. Which, for me at least, felt like a much better way to tell this story.

I really enjoyed that they took their time with it. Especially given that we’re dealing with the classic rom-com trope of boy and girl meeting and intensely disliking each other before eventually falling in love. A two hour movie often takes too many shortcuts (not all of them believable) in that journey from hate to love, but here, we spend enough time with both characters that we understand the whys and hows of their respective hearts.



BY: One of the cleverest things they did at the end of Season 1 (spoilers!) was revealing the identity of Lady Whistledown. Her specter still hangs over the entire Ton, but the mystery of who she might be no longer weighs the series down. Yes, Eloise Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte are still on a mission to uncover the identity of the gossipmonger, but the show no longer feels consumed by it.

UA: It also means that we get to spend a lot more time with my favourite character, Penelope. The character has always been the audience surrogate. She is the black sheep. She is us, looking upon the Ton, judging its excesses, while at the same time enticed by everything that it is. Nicola Coughlan is an absolute delight in everything (see: Derry Girls), and I love that we get to witness how she’s running herself ragged in trying to maintain this dual life of hers. I enjoyed getting an inside look at how Lady Whistledown gets those newsletters secretly printed. It’s a small detail, but one that goes a long way to fleshing out Penelope’s cunning and guile.

The Duke or the Viscount


BY: The main thread this season is, of course, fully occupied with Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find himself a suitable wife. And I have to say that the Sharma sisters (as portrayed brilliantly by Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran) are great foils to his character. After the last season’s portrayal of Anthony Bridgerton as a rake about town, as this unfeeling cad, this season’s shifting of his personality to dutiful Viscount, and eventually someone who, despite his best efforts, falls in love, is a great character arc. Jonathan Bailey is fantastic and takes ownership of this season completely. So much so that I didn’t miss Regé-Jean Page one bit.

UA: Nor I. In fact, I’ll go one further and say that I think this season was better for not having him in it. I know. I know. Like the second book, the second season was always supposed be centered around Anthony’s love story, but given how popular the Duke and Regé was, the writers would have tried to find a way to give him a bigger part to play in the series. (If not for the fans, then just as an easy way to market the series. You put that man on a poster and you’ve got yourself some streams right there.) Which I think would have distracted from the phenomenal anchors you have in Jonathan Bailey, Simone Ashley, and Charithra Chandran and their characters.

But also, both Daphne and Simon got their happily ever after and it’s nice to know that they still have it. If you brought them back as active participants in this story, then you would need conflict and drama in order to keep things exciting, and I for one just want them to be happy.

BY: I was wondering how they were going to deal with his absence, but Daphne’s one throwaway line at the very beginning of this season seemed to have done the trick.

Forget the Sheffields, Meet the Sharmas


UA: The highlight of the season, however, remains the Sharma sisters. I wasn’t expecting to be as moved as I was watching something like Bridgerton, but seeing these two smart, beautiful, glamorous, dark skinned women be the romantic leads in a globally renowned show set in Regency era London, felt like a glorious slap in the face of every Indian aunty who has ever said something idiotic like, “you would be pretty if only you were fairer.”

What’s more, the both of them were such naturals. Their interactions with each other and the rest of the Ton were an absolute pleasure to watch. And their introduction wasn’t just a seamless addition to the world of Bridgerton, but also brought a layer of complexity to the story.

BY: I had an absolute blast watching these eight episodes. The main story arc in the new season didn’t feel as dour as the first. Hell, there were even moments where the series felt like one of those great early 90s romantic comedies. There are schemes and mistaken identities, misplaced attention and wonderful side glances galore. There is a horse chase between two unsuspecting lovers, a horse chase in the rain, a horse race where our two lovebirds are just spectators. There are lots of horses and I’m here for it.

It was just a whole lot of fun, despite it being a lot less horny. And I think that the show is better off for it.

You can read our review of the first season of Bridgerton here.

Bridgerton premieres on Netflix this Friday, March 25.

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