Review by Tatiana Miranda
Two years after the premiere of the Netflix original series Bridgerton comes the second season. Following the first season's popularity, the new season takes a twist from what fans have become familiar with and sets a precedent for what the rest of the series may look like. Based on the second novel of the Bridgerton book series by Julia Quinn, season two follows the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony, as he attempts to find a wife during the courting season.
While a majority of the cast from the first season reprise their well-loved roles, several characters, such as Rege-Jean Page's Simon Basset and Sabrina Bartlett's Sienna Rosso, are only mentioned in passing. The star of the first season, Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne Bridgerton, appears in a portion of some of the episodes, but it is clear that she is no longer the focus of the show. Season two features several new characters, such as Kate and Edwina Sharma, who both play love interests to Anthony.
For fans of the book series, while the show does stay true to many plot points, it does utilize moments from other books or creates new, original scenarios to benefit specific plot points, such as the case with the development with Lady Whistledown's story. Compared to the first season, the second one features significantly fewer sex scenes but still has a fascinating love story that the series is known for. Beyond the romance plots and steamy scenes, the underlying mystery of Lady Whistledown and her motives persist in this season, even after the revelation of her identity. Now that Whistledown's true identity is known, we see her as she makes enemies and allies.
While the secondary plot regarding Lady Whistledown can be intriguing at times, the reveal from the first season no longer makes it as interesting and often hinders the series and overshadows key moments in the show. Because of this, it becomes even more apparent in this season that romance is what the series is best at, not mystery or betrayal.
Among the many balls and events, the most memorable scenes this season are when most of the Bridgerton family are together. For instance, the third episode showcases a game of pall-mall between the Bridgertons and the Sharmas. The episode is full of cute moments that also aid character and relationship development. Compared to the first season, this one relies on the relationships between all of the Bridgertons even more, and it gives backstory to what life was like for them growing up.
Along with Anthony's romantic storyline progression, the audience also gets a peek at other members of the Bridgerton family as they find romance and develop in their passions, setting the plot for future seasons. If the series continues in its path following the book series, fans of the show will likely get a third season about Benedict's love life next. While the new season showcases several convoluted secondary plot points and drastic character changes between seasons, its fascinating romance storyline distracts from any minute flaws the series may have.
Bridgerton season 2 streams on Netflix March 25th. All eight episodes reviewed.