The high society of the 19th century and the most passionate romantic period drama is back! Bridgerton season 2 is a little different than its first. New characters, bamboozling twists and a typical triangle love story paced up the series. Despite a compelling lead performance by Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey and a great Bollywood soundtrack, Bridgerton season 2 is never able to escape from the shadow cast by its conventional love triangle narrative and sequences that embellish some obvious plot elements. Also, the complete absence of Simon made it a little less intriguing.
This season, the series follows the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony aka Jonathan Bailey, as he seeks out to locate a decent marriage partner. He sets his eyes on Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran), a newcomer to London, but his efforts are thwarted by her elder sister Kate (Simone Ashley), an intriguing stranger with whom he gets involved in a heated verbal duel. The chemistry between Kate and Anthony is more like Pride and Prejudice, the constant bickering and then falling for each other resembles the former classic story.
This time, I ended up comparing the show with the novel. There are several themes and characters that they have developed or embellished that were truly enjoyed and believed to add to the overall tale. They didn’t, however, give the Kate and Antony storyline enough justice. Both the leads’ connection was evident, but we lost out on so many beautiful sequences between the characters that truly served to establish how they grew in love with each other, but in the show it was all about physical desire even though there was not much sexual intimacy shown in contrast to last season. The love triangle messed up a bit. Edwina and Kate were sisters who cherished and supported one another, yet they were transformed into rivals. Also, there was no mention of Kate’s backstory. The novel revealed why Kate dreaded storms, and it let the reader comprehend that Kate and Anthony were suited for one another, since both had struggles over the death of a parent.
The season’s plot was not just around the three love-birds, it also includes, Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) on a quest to discover the actual identity of the gossip girl, Lady Whistledown, and to expose her is one of the season’s most compelling elements. Her relationship with Penelope Featherington (Nicola Mary Coughlan) and their breakup are among the few sequences that are well-written enough to keep the viewers interested.
Bridgerton has shown two sisters’ strong bond as well. The moments with Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran are really touching. Kate is a devoted sister who wants nothing but the best for her younger sister Edwina. As a result, she seeks her sister’s acceptance for every move she must take.
However, what I love the most is that the Bridgerton writers represented Indian culture in the most beautiful way possible. Showcasing a Bollywood inspired orchestra and character’s relatability to South Asian culture was in the right direction and pays off in spades. Bridgerton is a world drenched in colors, using bright, soft yellows and reds alongside calming whites and blues that both build, and slowly fill in, the feelings of love between Kate and Anthony. Despite that, there were a few misdirection in the sequences. The moment between Anthony, Kate, and the bee feels very uncomfortable. The directing and editing of the moment feel amateurish, but this just adds to the uneasiness of the scenario.
Let’s keep it this way, the first season of Bridgerton was enjoyable to binge when you needed something light and relaxing. They intended to make Bridgerton season 2 a bit old school, but it quickly devolves into a boring monotony. Watch Bridgerton season 2, if you are a fan of flashy balls and gowns.