“Bridgerton” Season 2: A Romantic Fantasy Worth Watching

This article contains some spoilers for “Bridgerton” season 2.

A little over a year ago, I wrote a relatively scathing article explaining how much I disliked the book ‘The Viscount Who Loved Me’, the book that inspired the second season of the hit Netflix series ‘Bridgerton’. And now I’m here to review that same season.

For anyone too sane to watch the show (applause), Viscount Anthony Bridgerton has decided this is the season he’s going to find a wife. He soon plans to marry new arrival Edwina Sharma. However, he finds himself constantly pushed away by Edwina’s older sister, Kate, who wants to make sure her sister finds true love. Soon, Anthony and Kate find themselves drawn together. Can they resist their deepest desires in favor of their better senses?

And now this is the part where I shock you: I liked it! Yes, I repeat, I liked season two of “Bridgerton”. That is, with a few stipulations.

In terms of plot and character, this season fixed many of the complaints I had with the book as well as the first season of the show. Anthony Bridgerton, the season’s hero, wasn’t dripping with misogyny like he was in the book and even like he was in the first season. We had some amazing moments where he handed over the agency to the women in his life, whether it was Kate, Edwina or his mother. I thought Jonathan Bailey did a great job with Anthony’s portrayal, ultimately making me love his character.

On the other hand, while I loved the character of Kate and thought Simone Ashley was wonderful in the role, the show would have benefited from more screen time and a Kate-centric story. She just didn’t get the same attention and nuance that Anthony did.

Another issue I had with the books and the first season was that the romance focused too much on sexual tension and not enough on good old lust. Luckily, I felt that was improving as well, aided by an expansion of the “will-won’t-they” storyline for the entire season. Besides the main romance, most of the subplots were well done. We could see secondary characters like Queen Charlotte, Lady Bridgerton, and Lady Danbury become more layered and developed, and they tied together some loose plots from the first season. Ultimately, what really improved this season was, to paraphrase Karolina Zebrowska, the showmakers leaning on the fantastic aspect of the show. They threw in some semblance of historical accuracy and really toyed with the fun and scintillating parts of the show, both literally and figuratively.

In a take so cold she lives in Antarctica, episode six was by far the worst episode. The writers let the prank between Anthony and Edwina go too far, then made Edwina have the audacity to be mad at Kate. The whole situation was melodramatic and unnecessary. Did the rational person in the room go on vacation the day they wrote it?

However, the last episode made up for it in my mind. Maybe it’s because I’m a romantic, but I loved watching it all fall into place and seeing the conclusion of the romance. In what is definitely a hot take, the best scene of the entire season was the final fight between Eloise and Penelope. The scene mostly works because they were both wrong, and as such, the hugely emotional argument between them just worked. It was more painful and emotionally tumultuous than any of the fights between romantic couples that have appeared on the show, and it’s a testament to both actresses.

My final consensus is that “Bridgerton” is a mixed bag. There are good and bad things to say about it, and I don’t think anyone is right or wrong about their opinion of the show. Ultimately, it’s fun and as long as it continues to be candy on TV, I’ll watch it.

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