Season Two Review of Bridgerton
Warning, some spoilers ahead for season one of Bridgerton.
The Marriage Market is back in session (pretend I said that in my best interpretation of Julie Andrews)! That is to say, Netflix’s powerhouse hit of 2020, Bridgerton, is finally back for season 2. Adapted from the romance novels of Julia Quinn, Bridgerton is a delicious Regency era production that I will gladly take in an IV right to my vein. I’ll be honest, I live for well-done adaptations of this kind, and Netflix’s Bridgerton more than delivers in the first season, as well as the second.
Season two adapts my favorite of Julia Quinn’s novels, The Viscount Who Loved Me. By the way, have you caught any of the fantastic reprints of the book being sold at the moment? Some very nice hardcovers if you’re in the market, but I digress. The plot of the book is a simple affair; oldest son Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), Viscount Bridgerton, has finally decided to marry. He sets his eye on the season’s diamond, but unfortunately can’t get the diamond’s older sister out of his head. When adapting this story, Netflix and the team at Shondaland have given Julia Quinn’s books more diversity for the modern age, and I think they succeed in making something both engaging and refreshing to newcomers and book readers alike.
Season two opens with Anthony’s younger sister, Eloise (Claudia Jessie), on her way to introductions with the Queen of England (Golda Rasheuvel) upon the opening of the season (i.e. she can be married off now). Eloise was a favorite of mine last season, so it’s lovely to see her awkwardly bookish personality front-and-center. While Eloise isn’t ready to meet her match, older brother Anthony certainly is. Anthony has his eye on all the young ladies making their debut, and unfortunately measures them up against a somewhat impossible list of wants and needs in his future missus. Enter Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran) and her older sister, Kate (Simone Ashley). Edwina catches the eye of the Queen as the season’s diamond, but a chance meeting between Kate and Anthony has made them damn near enemies. And everyone knows a suitor for polished Edwina’s hand needs the goodwill of her sister to approve the match. Will Anthony be able to win over Kate to secure a marriage with her perfect younger sister? Or will cupid, a pesky bee, and a rambunctious corgi have something else in mind?
As a reader of the books, I’m always so blown away by the manner that they’ve chosen to adapt this series. The Bridgerton family, the heart of the show, are a whole host of characters that could seem daunting to introduce in a way that makes any real impact when they’re not the focus of the season, like Anthony is for this season or Daphne was for season one. However, they’ve managed to give enough time to many peripheral characters that set up their future seasons in a way that has me very excited *cough* looking at you Benedict *cough*.
Season one closed with a staggering reveal, the unmasking of Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) as dear Lady Whistledown, the anonymous gossip columnist reporting on the ton (Britain’s high society). Lady Whistledown and Penelope have an important part to play in season two, and in just episode one of the first season we become privy to the risks Penelope takes to moonlight as the infamous columnist. It will be interesting to see if Penelope can keep juggling all her secrets as the episodes progress.
So Dear Netflix Subscriber,
I hope you’ll join me in binging the second season of Bridgerton, where we’re sure to enjoy more string quartet versions of modern hits, lingering looks through ballrooms, gowns, gloves, courting potential matches in the park, and, you know, really hot sex scenes.
LADY GATECRASHER SOCIETY PAPERS
25 March 2022