Friday, June 21, 2024

Reviewing season two of Netflix's new hit period piece: 'Bridgerton'

April 29, 2022

This article contains SPOILERS for Bridgerton season two. Read at your own risk (or reward).

As Anthony said about Kate, I say about “Bridgerton”: It is the bane of my existence and the object of all my desires. Night and day I dream of it — what it would be like to live in the Regency era of 1813 London, promenading through the park in an extravagant silk gown, my mama in tow, looking to attract a suitor like the Duke or the Viscount to hopefully settle down with.

I’ve seen many people online who particularly feel the same way.

The series, as most other beloved ones often start out, came from the pen of Julie Pottinger, better known by her pen name Julia Quinn. The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author published the first book titled “The Duke and I” in 2000 before blossoming the series into the form of eight full-length novels, one for each of the eight Bridgerton children. She eventually wrote a ninth, seven years after the series had been thought to have wrapped in 2006. This exclusive epilogue edition focuses on Violet’s story and the happily ever after romance fans dream of. It hit bookstore shelves in 2013.

The second season of this spine-tingling period piece turned from page to screen is just as opulent and ravishing to watch as its debutante season that hit Netflix in January 2021 and followed the messy romance of Violet Bridgerton’s fourth child, Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and the Duke of Hastings Simon Basset, played Regé-Jean Page.

The second season, having now been out for a full month, follows the even messier romance of “old maid at six and 20” Kate Sharma, played by Simone Ashley, and the Viscount, Violet’s first child, Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey.

Yeah, I said even. Messier.

Everybody knew how the story would end after the streaming giant announced the next leading lady slash love interest in February 2021, only a month after the debutante season topped the charts and sucked in the population of hopeless romantics.

However, if you didn’t read the books, as I did not, it was a shock to see how it all unraveled.

The second season is set to be a visual rendition of book two in the series, “The Viscount Who Loved Me.” After watching his eldest sister Daphne be anointed the diamond of the season and wed his old friend from Oxford, the Viscount has become, in a way, hell-bent on being the next in his lineage to, as Beyonce said, put a ring on it. As the leading man of the household following his father’s untimely passing when he was but a mere young man, it’s his duty to marry one lucky lady, one that would become his Viscountess and replace his mother in the seat at the table.

That lucky lady, however, is thought to be Edwina Sharma, the younger half-sister of Kate and Queen Charlotte’s new diamond of the marriage season, played by Charithra Chandran.

Over the first seven episodes, Edwina is courted by Anthony, a well-known rake or f—boy in modern terms, and their 14-year age gap is seen as normal in the year 1814. Kate, who is considered unmarriable at the ripe age of 26, is very particular about who Edwina is to marry, due to circumstances of a hefty dowry coming their way from Edwina’s unmentionable grandparents, and tries her damnedest to drive off Anthony after she hears him saying in the first episode that it is not love he is looking for, but simply a filler for a role.

However, in the midst of it all, Kate and Anthony, better known by the ship name of Kanthony, find themselves falling in a heated and hated love, leaving the younger clueless until she’s standing face-to-face with her supposed groom at the altar and realizes it for herself. The eighth and final episode is when s— hits the fan and, yep, you guessed it:

All 71 minutes are deliciously juicy and drama-packed.

My overall review: 9/10

I am capital-O obsessed with this show. Season one was breathtaking in all of its new and sparkly glory, but season two? That was heart-stopping.

I haven’t felt this attached to something since I was in middle school when I discovered Harry Potter and other dystopian stories that were key to my development for the first time.

While I could give this a 10/10, a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, I have to dock one point. For two reasons: they didn’t give us a Kanthony wedding and the time jump left us starving for any morsel of detail about the lovebird’s six-month honeymoon.

So very disappointing, Miss Shonda Rhimes. I need more.

Thankfully, because the book series is so lengthy and the television adaptation has gracefully captivated the globe twice now, breaking the record for the most-viewed show in a week among Netflix's English TV series and hitting 251.74 million hours viewed in its opening week of March 28 - April 3, per an article by Variety, the streaming giant has blessed us poor beggars; We will be getting that “more” we eagerly request. Two seasons of it, in fact.

Netflix actually renewed "Bridgerton" for a third and fourth season back in April 2021, per an article by Elle. While there’s no word on when the installments will land, looking at the history between seasons one and two, we could be finding ourselves with a spring 2023 debut date about either, chronologically, Benedict’s story, or, if the creators want to stir the pot and scramble the dramatic timeline, Colin’s story – though, it’s all speculation and whispers between fans for now.

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