By Lily Nussbaum | Guest Contributor
The show that took tons of people by storm is back for a second season, and we are all the better for it.
Warning: The following will contain spoilers, so go binge season two before continuing.
“Bridgerton” is a Shondaland Netflix original adapted from the popular “Bridgerton” book series written by Julia Quinn. The show follows the lives of the Bridgerton matriarch and her children as they navigate finding love during the season, or courting time in English society.
The first season focused on Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter of the Bridgerton clan, and her fake relationship which turned into real love with Simon, the Duke of Hastings. The second season then flips to focus on Daphne’s eldest brother, the Bridgerton heir Anthony, on his quest for love or lack there of.
I enjoyed the storyline of season two far more than season one. For example, the enemies-to-lovers trope is way better than fake dating. With fake dating, at least in the case of Simon and Daphne in season one, there seems to be no real risk involved. Sure, they could both fail to benefit from the mutual pairing, but they are too in love for that to be considered a possibility.
With enemies to lovers, some moments have you thinking Kate and Anthony may truly never get together. As a viewer, it makes you sit in the uncertainty the characters themselves are experiencing. Additionally, the constant back and forth makes the moment they finally get together more satisfying.
Another aspect of the season I enjoyed immensely was the chemistry between Anthony and Kate. Props to the amazing actors playing the characters, Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley. Moments of banter, longing looks, bickering and quick touches felt much more palpable than last season.
Additionally, Hollywood Reporter points out there was less physical interaction between Anthony and Kate than between Simon and Daphne. As a viewer and a romance film lover, any excellent period piece that builds lust within restraint rather than action is so much more enticing to me.
Ashley’s character Kate is a sure standout this season. While she may be Anthony’s love interest, it’s clear she does not need that title to define her. A Tudum article points out the complexity of Kate. While she may be the protective older sister with impenetrable walls, she still displays sensitivity and working through emotional trauma. Her complexities make her more relatable than the season one female lead.
Additionally, Bailey as a lead role is unmatched. With exceptional facial expressions and line deliveries, Bailey’s true acting chops shine this season. Further, maybe the shaving of his physical chops allowed for this.
In season two, Anthony’s mutton chops are gone. While some fans may think it causes him to lose some of his regency-era appeal, let’s just say I relish in their absence. In addition to providing a more attractive and modern take on regency style, it also symbolizes an essential change in the viscount’s character. Anthony’s mutton chops were his way of overcompensating for his lack of experience and trying to fit in with society in the first season. The shave shows he finally realizes what he needs to do to get his affairs in order.
If you haven’t watched “Bridgerton,” sprint to Netflix immediately. This show will allow you to escape to the grandiose of ball gowns, instrumental twists on current music and Lady Whistledown’s constant meddling. With the improvement from season one to season two, I cannot wait to see what the confirmed seasons three and four will hold.