We’ve talked about season one of the phenomena that became Netflix’s romantic hit of 2020, and we also reviewed the first four books of the series, the second of which this new season is based upon. We’ve got our issues with the source material, but we are all about more romances portrayed on-screen.
So how does season two of Bridgerton, featuring the love story of first-borns-and-extremely-repressed Kate and Anthony hold up? I…have thoughts. But I also want to hear your thoughts! Let’s promenade to the comments to gossip behind our lemonades!
My general non-spoilery thoughts:
- The sumptuous, colorful sets and costuming are a feast for the eyes, and it’s the thing I think this show does best. Kate looked powerful and AMAZING in a never-ending parade of jewel-toned dresses, and Edwina ethereal and delicate in varying tones of blush and cream. The flower-covered entrances of the Bridgerton’s city home and ancestral seat–I can see why it brought an unexpected smile to Kate’s face.
- They used the right amount of Daphne and she was much less annoying in this season. While I missed Regé-Jean Page’s beautiful face, I didn’t miss Simon at all.
- Speaking of beautiful faces, say what you will about Anthony as a character but many thanks to whomever decided to cut off Jonathan Bailey’s fake sideburns before this season because he was definitely not this cute in the last one. Charithra Chandran was also, like, incandescently gorgeous, and Simone Ashley just has something that makes it impossible to take your eyes off her when she’s on screen. Thank you for all the eye-candy, Netflix.
- Ashley and Bailey had crazy-good chemistry as Kate and Anthony the entire way through, and it was a travesty that they didn’t give us more of their actual interactions since this was, you know, THEIR LOVE STORY. My favorite part of romance is the yearning, and if you’re looking for hand clenching and “closing your eyes and savoring the scent of her hair as she walks by” acting then these two nailed it. *fans self*
- The second-best parts were all the light-hearted Bridgerton family moments. The entire Pall-mall scene was super amusing, as as the family dance near the end. Every time they were lounging around the parlor taking pot-shots at each other was my fave.
- Colin and Penelope still continue to be the worst potential couple, and ugh I don’t know how they will salvage how shitty Penelope is as a person (she was much easier to like in the books). The entire Lady Whistledown plot thread was unnecessary except to give us the pointless Eloise/Pen drama at the end. Colin was one of the worst book brothers and he’s really living down to that here too.
- I have zero clue what they’re doing with Benedict, AKA the second-worst book brother, and while he’s more amusing on the show (especially all drugged up), his rich-boy-wants-to-be-an-artist subplot is about as fun as watching his paintings dry. I thought maybe they were working towards revealing he was gay back in season one, but now not so much after season two?
- I did not care at all about the Featheringtons’ woes–or, really, any of the side plots–except I was kinda digging the unexpected attraction between you-know-who and Lady Portia, right!?
- Kate’s orange dress at the last ball was SO PRETTY, and “Wrecking Ball” actually sounds pretty epically romantic as an instrumental cover, no?? (Also LOL that this is Anthony and Kate’s theme song.)
My most spoiler-y thoughts (scroll past if you want to avoid!):
- So I didn’t read The Viscount that Loved Me, but it seems general consensus is that was the best book of the series. I’ve already seen book readers up-in-arms that the show altered the fact that Edwina never really cared about Anthony in the book. I think I’d be annoyed too, because it made the show’s love triangle SO MESSY. Despite the excellent smolder, I was feeling icky with Edwina over here infatuated with the idea of Anthony as he made googly eyes at her sister across the room. And it’s hard to feel bad for Anthony when the entire situation is literally HIS FAULT. He pursued a woman he did not care for and just kept doubling-down, even when he knew he was obsessed with her sister and despite his family trying to gently point out the emergency exit along the way. Kate also loses brownie points when she won’t woman-up and tell her sister flat-out either a) Anthony is using her and doesn’t actually love Edwina, so if her goal is a love match she’s SOL with the Bridgertons or b) that Kate has feelings for Anthony too and it’s gonna be messy. I didn’t even care for Edwina’s outburst once she realizes the truth because I felt like she was mad at Kate for the wrong reasons, and also: you knew why you all went to England. You WERE husband-hunting, and even if you didn’t explicitly know it was for money, you were actively looking only at rich, titled men. The fact that everyone let it go all the way up to literally standing at the alter meant, for me, there was no way to salvage everyone’s poor choices. Yes, everyone was manipulated into their “happy endings” by the last episode, but they’d all lost my respect in the end.
So what did you think? What couple will they focus on in season three? What were your favorite and least favorite parts? Your favorite instrumental pop cover?
52 thoughts on “The Official FYA Bridgerton Season 2: Open Discussion”
– Side plots are very whatever. I’ve been skipping over almost all of them.
– Absolutely not here for Edwina catching feelings. I also liked that Book Edwina was a lot more aware of her burden to wed, too
– I found Book Anthony’s “I won’t love my wife” behavior more off putting.
– The pall mall scene could have been more aggressive. They were positively nasty in the book.
Omg, just finished bingeing this and I loved it. All of their shitty behavior aside, Kate and Anthony’s enemistry was just 🔥. I saw some reviews complain abt lack of sex this season and I was like, r u kidding me? Those looks, those almost kisses, all of that heat–the chemistry between the main characters/actors best last season imo. Agreed tht J. Bailey was much hotter this season than last & I think it was the sideburns and also the fact that we didnt have the gorgeous RJP’s beauty outshining every other male on screen. I’ve now convinced myself that this is why they didn’t bring RJP back. Simone Ashley might be the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen. To see a brown woman cast as the lead was so wonderful for me, personally, as a South Asian woman. The resplendent set, the costumes, the music. I just loved all of it. ❤❤❤
And then last season people complained there was TOO much sex. 🙄 I’m always here for the UST anyway, so the amount worked for me! Simone Ashley is SO pretty and I hope we keep seeing her in more and more things!
LOL I’m one of the few who miss the mutton chops. Agreed, he is hotter without them according to our contemporary tastes, but they were hot for back then. Also I love a bit of funky facial hair, but I guess we’d have to wait a few more decades for that.
I want to see more aspects South Asian culture depicted in forthcoming seasons, and since the Sharma family is slated to return, I expect that we will, which is super exciting.
Also, Colin is THE worst. Lady Portia besting Lord Featherting at the end was v satisfying–I go between being annoyed the heck out of her and rooting for her. Really resisted the urge to fast forward thru Benedict’s story.
– Right, it’s like she’s normally very abhorrent, but I was fine with her getting the upper-hand on him, especially because while he might’ve liked her he definitely didn’t care about her daughters, and while she’s mostly horrible to them, she DOES love them in her twisted way. It’s also amusing that you might look at them at think, oh she raised two petty, annoying daughters and a good one, but, nope, Penelope has PLENTY of her mom in her!
– Colin is SUCH a dope! Like, what, you were going to show up at Marina’s house and whisk her and her baby away to…your mom’s house? And then she clearly telling you Penelope is into you, and I still don’t think he got it. “Oh right, yes, my best gal pal, Pen, she is ALSO there.” He doesn’t have to feel the same way, but dang, dude, did you have to be so emphatic when you’re like, NO, I’d NEVER sleep with HER, haha! (And we’ll probably find out that’s “not what he meant” but he has no benefits of a doubt.) I also just really, really hated Book Colin… lol.
– We should’ve fast-forwarded through Benedict’s story. It was pointless.
I was just glad there was actual drama. Looking at you, Gilded Age.
I haven’t watched GA, but with that underwhelming endorsement… 😜
Me again! This might be an unpopular opinion but I’m also kinda over Eloise. She is just a little too self-centered and annoyed the heck out of me this season. Or maybe that was because i couldnt deal w/ all of the storylines that took away from the central swoon?
Not unpopular with me, I am also over her! I feel like they’re doing that TV thing where every season a character’s quirks get more and more pronounced until they’re basically a caricature of themselves. Her side plot itself also wasn’t very interesting because it’s something we’ve seen time and again–a) looking for lady whistledown AGAIN and b) rich girl goes slumming it and realizes she likes a working class guy and going to feminist lectures–and while that in itself is FINE, they also did it all the most stereotypically boring ways possible. And since so much else was going on it, was brushed with such broad strokes so there was zero nuance or details. She’s also so vocal about being “not like other girls” that she becomes THAT girl. (Instead of what we got, I would’ve loved her side-plot to be like, about how last season she and Penelope didn’t know how babies were made so she makes it her mission to learn more about sex and then starts telling all the other ladies of the ton in their first season what to expect. Create her own little radical rebellion!) (But also yes, I was extra annoyed with any plot that took us away from the K&A action. Every time we cut to the Queen to I was like, I DON’T CARE WHAT SHE WANTS. lol)
Eloisa was awful. I skipped most of her storyline. I skipped over most of the side stories. They just don’t do anything for me. Portia’s arc was the only one I thought added anything. I would have rather seen the other side characters have better/more scenes with the mains.
Really enjoyed the romance between Kate and Anthony. Their chemistry was palpable (and I read the actors screen tested together on Zoom, which is wild). I think all the other plot lines hurt the pacing of the romance though. I know they need to move other stories along (Benedict, Penelope, and Colin come to mind), but the missed the mark balancing this with Kate and Anthony. They should have cut some Queen scenes or something. I found myself wanting to fast forward some scenes…
LOVED the representation in this season So powerful. Every time Edwina said “Didi!”
Curious who they will follow next in the series. It seemed like they were maybe setting it up for Benedict? I did enjoy him more this season (the tea scene). I know the producers have said they are not necessarily going in order of the books, but Colin would be a pretty unlikeable main character right now. Any news on when they start taping the new season?
Screen tested on ZOOM? Whoa.
Yes! I loved that they included the scene of Mary and Kate doing the Haldi ceremony with Edwina before her wedding, and I could’ve used more background on what life was like for Kate and Edwina growing up.
From what I’ve seen there’s a confirmed third and fourth season (under a new showrunner which…I am not mad about, lol. Hopefully they can iron out some of these extraneous storylines we all seem to be in agreement were unnecessary.) but it doesn’t sound like the new season has begun filming or had any casting rumors. I’d expect they’d probably want to aim for a 2023 release (hopefully COVID caused more of a delay between the first two), but I bet it’d be in like summer versus same time next year.
It sounds like the current showrunner wanted to skip around and do Colin/Penelope instead of Benedict’s story next, and I feel like they were given more focus/set-up this time than anything Benedict had going for him. Colin will need a MAJOR glow-up for me to root for him.
Maybe this was better explained or differently written in the book, but how the heck did Kate get back to Lady Danbury’s unnoticed after the evening with Anthony in *his* garden?
The Anthony/Kate garden hookup was not in the book. The whole storyline unfolds very differently in the show. I’m not sure anything after they leave the house party at Aubrey Hall was in the book beyond the fact they end up together.
It seems like liberties were taken!! But c’mon, it’s not like she got an Uber after. 🤔🤔🤔🤣🤣🤣
Right! The entire time they’re getting it on in the garden I’m like ANYONE CAN SEE YOU. Those poor evening gardeners. And yes, to get so much time able to be alone and sneak off when it seems like in every other aspect of their lives they’re surrounded by two other people at minimum.
So I watched this season with my mom, who treated the whole thing like an action thriller. If I had a nickel for every “OH NO SOMEONE WILL SEE YOU NOOO” she exclaimed in those 8 episodes, especially during the garden scene. I didn’t even know you could watch a romance series like the Mission: Impossible franchise.
😂🤣😂 That is adorable! But seriously I would’ve been right there with her. Apparently Regency romance novels have trained us well!
Petition for a servants spin-off that’s just like them awkwardly doing their job while their bosses are fucking within proximity. (Like outside the library in S1.)
LOL that just makes me think of that skit someone did after season 1 where it was from the perspective of all the servants who had to go clean up all the rooms after they had sex in them.
Also, this is an especially funny observation because
They get busted in a garden doing much less scandalous stuff and are forced to wed. I imagine the showrunners felt that was too close to last seasons plot.
How do writers of adapted screenplays keep track of everything? Spreadsheet? Mind map? Minions? I’m stressed out just thinking about it.
It’s nice to know that there are enough differences in the books that I can enjoy the show and the book without feeling one has completely taken the wind out of the other’s sails. Thank you for that!
Yeah! I had only read the first one before watching the show. It is far from my favorite regency romance series, but I am a sucker for the big, close family dynamics. They certainly aren’t so well executed and dear that I am sad changes were made, even if some of them weren’t for the better.
Yes! Book Colin ends up being a real dud in his own story, but overall his character is clever and charming. TV Colin gives off less than zero clever vibes and is super lacking in charm, too. I’m not saying the show and book have to match perfectly, but his personality took a huge downgrade.
If the show is going to fabricate a horticultural rendezvous, it might as well give Colin an enchanted souvenir from his travels to spice things up a bit.
“horticultural rendezvous” 😂😂 Love it! He needs to go on another trip and come back with a personality transplant!
“Horticultural rendezvous ” 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
I am friggin dead. If they were hoping to put him in the lead next season they missed the mark so hard. I am way more interested to see if they can improve on Benedict’s story. They are already just taking broad strokes from the books, and his was THE WORST.
Yes, they really need to invent him a whole new story where he isn’t a raging sexual predator because he comes off horribly in just about every single aspect of his book.
Possibly unpopular opinion, but I loved this season a lot, even more than season 1. I was very stressed out by how long the love triangle went on, and I do wish that Edwina hadn’t started to actually like Anthony, but I did appreciate that he kept trying to break up with her and Kate talked him out of it. What a dumb thing to do, Kate! But I liked that it showed that he was going through with it for her (also dumb). I was very emotionally affected by the flashback scene when the doctor is asking Anthony who he should save when the mom is giving birth, and also the scene when he breaks down and cries when he finds out Kate is OK. I would have liked more scenes of Anthony and Kate being happy together, and if at least 1 episode of next season is just about that, I will not be mad.
I also liked Eloise, which i know is an unpopular opinion (Theo the printer was v. cute), but every time it showed Benedict painting I had to roll my eyes. Ugh, what a boring storyline.
I was already pretty over Penelope last season after she wrote about Marina, and I was glad that Eloise called her out on that when they had their big fight. Really no idea how they will make her or that dork Colin good as the main characters. Also not convinced they have any onscreen chemistry.
No judgment if you enjoyed it!! There were definitely things to like as much as we like to complain. 🙂 I also liked the flashback scenes too; they were used well. I think my favorite was, in addition to the birth scene, when Lady Bridgerton explained just how emotionally messed up she was and how she was trying her best but she basically wanted to die too. The actress did so well there and I definitely got verklempt and shed a few tears.
I like the *idea* of Eloise and the actress herself is great in the role, and Theo was really cute; I was kinda annoyed that they wasted him now knowing that he probably wouldn’t be her end-game (though who knows!).
While I didn’t need Eloise to find out about Penelope in this way and have a blow-out, I think she’s totally justified in being like, THIS was the best solution you can come up with? Smear me and use your gossip rag to actively harm your cousin’s prospects because you’re jealous?? I guess maybe this will be the impetus Penelope needs to change for the better in her season, because though she was supposedly “torn up” “having” to write about Eloise, her mother has taught her well and she has taken zero accountability for her actions. But I am concerned with how they ended the season with her looking all triumphant and ready to write again…
For all my lamenting, I really enjoy the show and agree this season was even better. And, I think I cried during every single flashback.
My unpopular opinion is Eloise and Theo looked too much alike for me to enjoy any flirtation between them.
LOL, now that you mention it, I can totally see him as a long lost Bridgerton sibling! He has a lot of facial similarities with the dad.
Count me in on this fan theory. THEY HAD THE SAME NOSE!!
Yes!! I was sitting there thinking these two could be cast as twins!
Yes!! I was sitting there thinking these two could be cast as twins!
– Loved the Kate/Anthony and the Sharmas! I’m in the ‘not enough sex’ camp lol, but in the sense that it’s almost night and day from Season 1, like those were expectations that the show established for itself: it’s a spicy Regency! BUT it did also occur to me that proper ladies are not supposed to lay premaritally, so there won’t be a lot of sex until there’s a wedding.
– I also totally thought there was sparkage between Lady Featherington and Cousin Jack! (lol at “Stop calling him that” to Prudence, who’s trying to seduce him) But I also thought it could be just his con man charms and insincere.
– OK GOOD, glad I’m not the only one who was like UHHHH PENELOPE IS AWFUL?? It may have helped if she had better motivation for maintaining the Whistledown ruse? She was making money, but for what reason? She wasn’t spending it, she wasn’t trying to help her family, so she was just hoarding it under the floorboards? She was also obviously seeking Eloise’s approval, but why did she start Whistledown, you know? Just because no one’s courting her? (As I lay it all out, maybe there’s enough subtext after all, but it feels more like things I’m piecing together rather than actually being shown.)
– I saw somewhere the plan might be to combine some of the books/romances into the same season? Which might be a blessing, since I’ve been like UGH at the thought of the pairings in the future seasons (mostly Colin/Penelope, since I have no idea what’s in the books), and combining might be helpful if a single couple isn’t strong enough to carry an entire season.
– I thought that S1 was hinting at Benedict being attracted to men, too! I don’t know if it necessarily was dropped, but there really didn’t seem to be anything in the romance department for him in S2. (Maybe a little bit of YAY BEWBS during the art class, but he was also mostly just YAY ART.)
I spent almost the whole season yelling “Kiss!!!” at the screen. I didn’t necessarily wish for more sex, but I definitely wished for them to actually get together a whole lot sooner. “Kiss!!!”
YES!!! And there were so many near misses, like GAHHH Y’ALL COULD HAVE KISSED SO MANY TIMES.
– I agree there could’ve been a happy medium between one sex scene and too too many. I’m often searching for that balance in my romance novels too, lol. That’s one instance where having them marry earlier would’ve helped.
– Yes, I don’t think Cousin Jack really “loved” Portia because he’s too selfish for that, but I think he did actually appreciate finding a kindred, conniving spirit once she revealed that she was more calculating than flighty. I’m sure it wouldn’t’ve lasted even if they stayed together. Like what would she do, break off her daughter’s engagement and announce she’ll marry him? Screw him on the side?? This was definitely the best outcome! lol.
– Yes, what WAS she doing with the money??? They are doing Penelope so dirty in the show. Like even just hinting that she has plans to fuck off and leave her family who obviously don’t care about her would be helpful. I understand not wanting to give it to her mom to fritter away on frivolous things, but we have no insight to her inner thoughts. (Shallow side-note: they are also doing the actress dirty with this hairstyle they put her in, because she is lovely but she has a very tall forehead and I’d even settle for Daphne’s baby bangs for her at this point, lol. I hope in Penelope’s season she gets to put on a different color besides yellow!)
– I wouldn’t mind two couples at once if they gave them both the focus instead of cramming in other side stories. It feels like they want to say the show is a romance yet they don’t think that will actually go over well with viewers, so instead they actually give us Bridgerton: Gossip Girl. I don’t need the extraneous “drama”–let your romance flag fly!
– It’s true, they COULD still go there for Benedict. Though…at this point I’m not sure I’d even trust them to do a gay relationship/storyline without botching it to all hell. 😬
– OMG YES, PENELOPE’S FIVEHEAD. (Not that having one is a bad thing, but I’m referring to the styling which can actually be controlled.) I can’t remember what her hair looked like in S1, but it was definitely terrible this time around.
– Even though the Whistledown/Gossip Girl hook worked in S1, I think seeing Penelope’s machinations definitely diminished the fun on that front. In S1, Whistledown was only a narrator, but having entire subplots devoted to her with the queen AND Eloise was just too much. Best in small doses and all, plus also writing themselves in a corner with having to rebuild Penelope’s character and relationships.
– At least from what I remember, Shondaland gay romances were at least decent on the representation front. BUT given how both main romances so far have had glaring issues, yeahhh who knows what that bodes for the future.
– … I guess if they’re REALLY stuck with what to do with characters, they could always age up and recast Francesca/Gregory/Hyacinth for more Regency Gossip Girl vibes.
I had stopped watching Grey’s Anatomy for years, but the Levi/Nico storyline pulled me back in for half a season. If they can do Benedict justice with something along those lines, all this queerbaiting can be quickly forgiven, I think.
I didn’t love their relationship in GA (I finally QUIT GA this past season after sticking it out for so long, lol). I mean, in general I couldn’t stand Levi with or without a relationship, but I didn’t love how Nico treated him. But it’ll be a totally different showrunner even though it’s all “Shondaland” so who knows! It seems like the cast is excited about the new showrunner (I saw Simone Ashley gushing about them and also it’s confirmed she and Jonathan Bailey will be back with it seems like with a decent-sized role!).
I’ve been out of Shondaland for so long (until Bridgerton) that my only queer Grey’s reference is Callie/Arizona from a million years ago. I was actually thinking of Connor/Oliver on How to Get Away with Murder, which I think was mostly OK? (Idk how they ended up, though, but at least in the beginning, it was decent.) I think Scandal only (or most prominently) had Cyrus and his husband James (?), but Cyrus was like… an extremely messy character and probably not the best example for this swoon comparison lol.
No one on the Internet appears to agree, but I’m not afraid to admit among FYA family that I miss Anthony’s mutton chops. They had a certain joie de vivre! Netflix said that removing them was an indication that he was ready to put down the rake and put on the ring, but maybe producers just didn’t like the look of them anymore. Typically, my two big gripes for period films are incorrect accents/inflection for the period and anachronistic hair/makeup. That being said, I know that Bridgerton is one of a spate of new period shows that have a little anachronism sprinkled for effect or ease of comprehension (e.g., Dickinson), but I always wish these shows would indulge more in some of the hair and makeup trends that seem very odd now but not the least bit out of place back then. Maybe producers thought that being too period accurate would alienate audiences, but we love a bit of authenticity too! Besides, there’s no way that I could possibly relate to an era when women didn’t wear underwear and there wasn’t modern dental care or antibiotics, so go long or go home!
I am team JESTT (Just Enough Sex This Time). I’m a big fan of yearning in literature, and S2 was a 10 on the HBS (Heaving Bosom Scale). All that pent up desire made for an illustrious finishing number, if you get my drift. It was a good payoff for the characters and the audience; our wait was worth the while.
I gotta go with the internet here but let your mutton-chop loving flag fly! I WILL agree he looks super modern in this season compared to season one, so it’s definitely a more anachronistic look. Yeah, it certainly feels like they skirt the line between winking at modern trends and then going traditional in other aspects and it’s not giving the best effect.
I agree that the payoff always seems better to me when it comes after the 50% or later mark in a book. I honestly get less excited about romance novels where people start banging in the first few chapters; it’s rare that there’s still decent yearning after they’ve had sex so quickly (well, I guess I would say it’s rare that they provide a good enough reason for there to be yearning that doesn’t make the story too melodramatic).
Colin’s visit to Marina and the time spent with Sir Phillip has me worried about upcoming seasons. I started listening to the audiobook of To Sir Phillip, With Love, but couldn’t finish it (for a few reasons). I really don’t want them to follow that book very closely because…
SPOILERS FOR BOOK 5
I found it super shitty that they continually acted as though Marina’s depression and suicide were inconvenient and selfish, and acted as though they made her a terrible mother. It seemed like SUCH an insensitive portrayal of mental health, and made me HATE Sir Phillip (among other reasons that I mostly forget. Memories of the book are fading, but I remember FEELING rage and hatred). The TV show has introduced Marina and actually made her a character, who is flawed but imo, mostly sympathetic. If they kill her off to advance a romance I will not be impressed.
Yikes. Nothing I’ve heard about the Sir Phillip plotline sounds like my jam. I hope they give Eloise a whole new story!
Friends, did u c announcement abt season 3 being prequel abt young Charlotte’s romance w/ King George??? So here for this, ESP since none of the other Bridgertons–and their potential paramores (looking at you Colin and Penelope) are compelling/likable enough to carry a season imo.
Yes! I did hear about the queen prequel but I’m pretty sure that it is a whole separate spin-off and not the focus of season 3!
From my understanding, it’s a limited prequel series (I assume with potential for more if it does well, but limited as it currently stands) that’ll also include the current actors for Queen Charlotte, Lady Danbury, and Lady Bridgerton.
I kind of hope Lady Featherington is in the mix because you can never have enough Polly Walker, but story-wise, that might be A LOT.