“Bridgerton” Season 2: Majorly Outperforms Season 1

Julia D’Amato, Contributing Writer

Rating: 4/5 Falcons

If you have a thing for men who will search for you on horseback in bad weather, you should either seek help or watch Bridgertons second season. The long-awaited sequel to the raunchy regency romance is a slow burn that will leave you in awe. Set in 19th-century London, the show follows Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) and Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) as they meet and transition from enemies to lovers. 

Viscount Anthony Bridgerton is introduced as the overprotective older brother to Daphne, the first season’s lead. The involuntary head of his household after his father’s death, Anthony is an insatiable bachelor whose commitment to his mistress interferes with his familial duties. He enters season two as a changed and clean-shaven family man, obliging his mother’s wish for him to find a wife. Meanwhile, newcomers Lady Mary and her daughters Kate and Edwina—known as the Sharma family—arrive in London. 

The storyline is more nuanced than that of the first season.

The plot thickens when Edwina is announced to be the “diamond” of the season by the Queen of England, meaning she is the woman all suitors should pursue. Anthony courts Edwina, while Kate pretends to her sister that she personally despises him: she claims to consider Anthony rude and entitled. However, as Jason Derulo so eloquently sings in Talk With Your Body, “it’s a thin line between love and hate.” Throughout the season, Anthony and Kate deny their obvious feelings for each other, though undeclared lust is repeatedly conveyed through eye contact; deliberate and impactful editing cuts between shots of the two as they stare longingly at each other. The effect on the viewer is immense frustration about all that is left unsaid. Another outstanding aspect of this season is the acting. The chemistry between Anthony and Kate is undeniably perfect, with passion expressed by facial movements as tiny as the arch of an eyebrow. Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley are such masters of their craft, the show will have you googling to discover whether the actors are married in real life, only to shock you with the fact that Bailey is gay. He’s just that good at acting.

The storyline is more nuanced than that of the first season. Side characters get more screen time, as with the identity of the society’s gossip writer—Lady Bridgerton—being hunted down by members of the city. Anthony’s character deepens with backstory about his late father and the grief that rocked the Bridgerton family. Furthermore, Kate emerges as a complex heroine who finally gets satisfaction.

In conclusion, it is no secret why viewers tuned in to Bridgerton’s first season (hint: it wasn’t for the plot). Those who watched last season for such a lewd purpose may be initially disappointed by Season 2. However, before you click out of Netflix, reconsider! Intimate eye contact may replace bodily contact in Season 2, but the romantic connection between the protagonists is worthy of a rating of 4/5 Falcons.

This piece also appears in our April 2022 print edition.