Gentle reader, the social season is upon us once again and I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed.
“Bridgerton” season two has returned to Netflix accounts across the land, this time telling the story of the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and his slow-burn romance with Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley).
Those like myself, who simply couldn’t wait to find out what came next in the “Bridgerton” saga and read all eight books ahead, are aware that “The Viscount Who Loved Me” is certainly a contender for the best romance story out of the eight siblings, who each have their own book — and hopefully their own season of the show in the future.
Looking for a dutiful yet intelligent wife to bare the next generation of Bridgerton nobility, Anthony assures himself he will not marry for love. When the Sharmas come to town, Anthony takes notice of the younger sister and season diamond Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran), who matches each of his standards for the perfect future viscountess.
However, her quick-witted and over-protective older sister Kate, who has already reduced herself to a spinster at a mere 26 years old, must approve. After she overhears Anthony’s ill-willed intentions to find a wife with his head rather than his heart, he learns he has many obstacles to overcome with Kate before he can marry Edwina. Of course, the banter between them is anything but hatred, and the two end up falling in love, spiraling into a love triangle to behold.
It is no secret the book is always better than the screen adaptation, and though the show does an exceptional job of telling a long-winded love story between the two, there were some things I wish they replicated a bit more from Julia Quinn’s original story.
In the book, Anthony and Kate are caught in a compromising position as Anthony attempts to remove bee venom from Kate, thus forcing them into a marriage, which puts Edwina, who never really cared for the viscount, on the back burner. Though the bee scene is present in the series and is one of the first hot and heavy interactions between the two, he makes it all the way to the altar before a heartbroken Edwina realizes he is in love with Kate.
It takes way too long for Anthony and Kate to actually share their first kiss, let alone get together. The series left out many important scenes vital to their romantic development. I looked forward to seeing more of their romance as a couple but was deprived of that until the last couple of episodes.
Though, it must be noted that while it felt like forever for the two to admit their love for one another, the sexual tension and burning chemistry between their prolonged glances and almost kisses is enough to leave you breathless, which makes it all the more beautiful when they finally do get together.
The show also cuts out much of Kate’s backstory. In the book, she has panic attacks during thunderstorms due to seeing her mother pass away during one; this created a mutual bonding between the two as Anthony himself is deathly afraid of bees after witnessing his father die from a sting. I could see how cramming this background into a short eight episodes could prove difficult, but cutting out Lady Featherington’s unnecessary storyline could have freed up some time for that.
On the contrary, a Featherington subplot I can get behind is Penelope’s (Nicola Coughlan), or should I say Lady Whistledown. After season one’s big reveal, we get to see just how Penelope pulls off being the infamous gossip columnist. Coughlan does an amazing job playing the obedient daughter in yellow while simultaneously portraying the sharp-tongued writer in her spare time.
While the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) is certainly missed, the chaos that is the Bridgerton family lives on, making anyone wish they had seven other siblings to lean on. From the iconic Pall Mall scene, which is one of the early signs of flirtations between Anthony and Kate, to episode seven’s dancing scene with the Bridgertons, Lady Danbury and the Sharmas, the high-energy moments between all the characters are some of the best.
The music in “Bridgerton” continues to be a wow factor. Similar to the first season, almost all the music is an orchestral rendition of a modern pop song. From Madonna’s “Material Girl” to Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” the mesmerizing sound of the songs we know and love in the form of a string quartet adds undeniable flair to each scene in which they are played.
I couldn’t help but find myself excited when they dropped Easter eggs from future Bridgerton sibling love stories, which executive producer Shonda Rhimes said we will see all eight of, though it may not be in the exact order as the book series.
We officially meet the leading man from “To Sir Phillip, With Love,” which tells Eloise’s romance story. We also begin to see the hopeless romantic side of Benedict, something we can see more of in the book “An Offer From A Gentleman,” and hopefully next season. And for those who can’t wait, Penelope’s heartbreaking dismissal from Colin is further explored in the book “Romancing Mister Bridgerton.”
While “Bridgerton” season two differs vastly from its predecessor in terms of steaminess and haste to marry, it certainly tells just as beautiful of a love story. For those of us who binged it in one day, we can now look forward to season three. Until the next social season, gentle reader.