Season 2 of ‘Bridgerton’ is regal, ravishing romance

Illustration of the three main characters from Netflix's 'Bridgerton'.
Aishwarya Jayadeep/Senior Staff

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Grade: 4.0/5.0

Before watching season two of “Bridgerton,” viewers should prepare for thrilling romances and scandals galore. Shimmering dresses and elaborate hairstyles will leave audiences in a trance as they gaze upon this diamond of a season. 

The second season of the dazzling period piece captivates audiences from start to finish. Complex drama augments the show’s already-cacophonous mayhem with the introduction of the Sharma family, who were previously exiled from high society by the queen. 

Without falling into repetition, season two of “Bridgerton” introduces new adventures and conflict. The show tactfully balances the search by Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) for his diamond wife and the conflicts faced by other characters. Without undermining the value of the ensemble cast, the series prudently utilizes each scene — even the seemingly minute interactions between Portia Featherington (Polly Walker) and Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen) — to add depth to the majestic universe it crafts. 

The elaborate costumes, jewelry and hairdos strategically accentuate the unique traits of each character, while leaving viewers in awe of the ornate looks. For instance, Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran) often dons light pink and peach tones, suggesting her youth and femininity while symbolizing her internal desire to find success through love. In stark contrast, Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) is often seen wearing simplistic Indian jewelry reflective of her roots. Furthermore, her dark-toned and stiff dresses reflect her stubborn personality and rigid views of her leading role within her family. 

Apart from its grand fashion, the most striking aspect of the second season of “Bridgerton” is the electrifying chemistry between Anthony and Kate. From the moment they meet in the forest, viewers are left on the edge of their seats wondering how the trite “will they or won’t they” trope complete with longing stares and challenging interactions will play out. Small moments define this burning, fiery romance; tasks such as choosing a mallet for pall-ball or traipsing through the mud captivate and enchant audiences. 

While it is common for a male character to be burdened by a sense of duty in period dramas, it is rare for women to be represented with these same responsibilities. Ashley excels in her portrayal of Kate Sharma, adding depth to the character with intricate, subtle actions such as a furrowed brow and a hardened face — external reminders of her own sense of duty.

With their eyes serving as doors to their souls, Anthony and Kate’s longing glances emphasize their romantic pursuits and their similar understanding of duty. “Bridgerton” constructs a great metaphysical distance between its characters, exploiting the mirrored lives of its characters who are pulled between love and duty as the heads of their households. 

The adoration between the Sharma sisters clashes with the affection of the Viscount and Miss Sharma, placing platonic and romantic connection on equal ground. By signifying that the strong emotions fueled by love are shared not just between two lovers, but by friends and family, season two of “Bridgerton” reevaluates what forms of affection are most significant, creating a realistic, relatable world for audiences to connect with. 

Although “Bridgerton” excels in many aspects, the score leaves much to be desired. While the show’s fashion and characters successfully aid its romantic historical setting, the score causes a jarring shock. The use of classical versions of popular songs detracts from the show’s world, as audiences are reminded of their own lives. While pairing a climactic moment with Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” fits the storyline, it takes away from the impact of the moment, as viewers are forced to confront this unrealistic accompaniment. 

“Bridgerton” succeeds in creating a romantic universe full of comedy and exuberance that promises jaw-dropping moments that will leave viewers enamored. With a novel take on a Regency-era drama, only Lady Whistledown knows what may come in the forthcoming season.

Contact Sejal Krishnan at [email protected].