Dearest Reader, if you just read the first words of this post in Julie Andrew’s voice, than you have likely been just as excited for the March 25th release of Bridgerton Season Two based off of Julia Quinn’s book The Viscount Who Loved Me as I have been. While adapting a book into an eight hour television series includes some rearrangements and additional plotlines, there is still stuff for fans of both mediums to enjoy. I will note that the main Anthony and Kate plotline had more dramatic adjustments than that of Daphne and Simon’s story which some people might have mixed feelings about. Now that I have properly binged the whole season, I want to highlight what I enjoyed most about it.
WARNING: Article contains spoilers for Season Two of Bridgerton and the book The Viscount Who Loved Me.
- The huge difference between Daphne and Eloise’s debuts: Both seasons kick off with a Bridgerton Family daughter making her debut. Daphne saw hers as the launch to the rest of her life that she had eagerly anticipated. Her flawless entrance and being declared the season’s incomparable drove a lot of her storyline and set up her mother’s hopeful expectations for the rest of her sisters. Eloise is so very different from her sister, and it made sense for her debut to not go down like Daphne’s. The lead up to her entrance left me on the edge of my seat wondering if she was going to pass out or attempt to flee. Much to Eloise’s relief, she was upstaged and interrupted by the return of the most infamous member of the ton: Lady Whistledown. Now there’s a member of the ton who knows how to make an entrance.
- Behind the curtain of Lady Whistledown: With Lady Whistledown being revealed at the end of Season 1, we now got a peek into how Penelope Featherington made Lady Whistledown happen and the complications she runs into trying to hide the secret from her best friend. Unfortunately, you can’t wear the crown of infamy without making a few enemies and a second round of attempts to uncover Lady Whistledown leads to Penelope having to do more and more dramatic things to hide her identity. Eventually keeping her secret means having to publish something unflattering about Eloise to convince the Queen that Eloise isn’t Lady Whistledown herself. When Eloise figures out who Lady Whistledown is, a nasty fight breaks out between the two friends and it’ll be next season before we learn if they’ll be able to reconcile it.
- The first meeting between Anthony and Kate: After a montage of Anthony starting to interview prospective brides and become increasingly horrified, his first encounter with Kate is absolutely electrifying. You can see in the very way that he looks at her that part of him is intrigued by a young woman so very different from those that had been paraded before him already. It sets a lovely tone for their season.
- The song covers: One of my favorite things about Bridgerton is the instrumental covers of very modern songs. Opening up a ball entrance with “Material Girl’ just makes sense and as a former teenager of the 90s, my ear quickly picked out the cover of “You Oughta Know” as it started up. You can find a list of the special song covers here.
- The flashbacks: In the books, Anthony was not present for his father’s death but the emotional impact of having him there along with the other flashbacks of those early months after his father’s death really do tell a compelling story about the sense of duty that got thrown at him so traumatically when he was just eighteen years old. Jonathan Bailey nails the caught in the headlights expressions of the servants asking him to make choices as the Viscount Bridgerton now, and the horrified panic of a doctor asking him to choose whether to save his mother or new sibling is wrenching. it also says a lot about how women were treated when Violet’s wishes were ignored until Anthony told the doctor to follow whatever choice his mother made. The real look at Violet still in the numb stages of depression even after Hyacinth is born is also so important to acknowledge. These scenes combined with the bee string Kate gets is huge for framing Anthony’s reaction even though the bee sting plays out differently than it does in the books.
- Pall Mall: Luckily between the angsty flashbacks we had Pall Mall to lighten the mood, or at least to bring in a few laughs as the Bridgerton siblings are viciously competitive when in comes to their Pall Mall. Watching how they interact with each other when they play makes it very easy to believe they all are related to each other and Edwina’s quiet horror at how intense this gets is probably a first sign that she will not make it as a Bridgerton wife. Kate on the other hand, truly shines in this moment and the way sahe and Anthony play off if each other is delightful.
- The schemes of Lady Featherington: Lady Featherington is shameless and ruthless about protecting the interests of herself and her daughters and she doesn’t much care for who gets hurt along the way (does this woman have a vendetta against Colin Bridgerton or something?). She’s fascinating to watch in that was the Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones, and we’d all wish for her downfall more if we didn’t want Penelope hurt in the cross-fire. I’m constantly wondering how far she can get away with things without crashing and burning.
- The echo scenes: Daphne and Anthony having a deep talk over glasses of milk was a nice echo from the first season. So was the way Benedict and Eloise had their chat out in the garden swing. These sweet moments and call backs were something I really appreciated.
- The set-ups: I really appreciate the little continuity set-ups that are laying out the groundwork for Colin and Eloise’s stories in particular. As siblings get paired off, I’m curious as to when the younger Bridgertons will start playing more prominent roles themselves.
- The family dance: When the Bridgertons realize they are truly on the outs and their ball is only being attended by Lady Danbury and the Sharmas, Anthony has a great moment of calling down his youngest sister to honor him with a dance and creating a moment for both families to bond and enjoy each other. That softer side of Anthony was very nice to see.
- The epilogue: Julia Quinn likes to include epilogues to sort of give a peek at the Happily Ever After endings she writes and I’m glad to see them continue here.