Bridgerton Season 2 Review: Jonathan Bailey & Simone Ashley 'yearn' for each other in this forbidden romance

Bridgerton's second season is a heartwarming slow burner romance. Read Pinkvilla's review of the series below.

Updated on Mar 28, 2022   |  05:42 AM IST  |  460.2K
Bridgerton Season 2
Bridgerton Season 2 released its eight episodes on March 25.

Bridgerton Season 2

Bridgerton Season 2 Cast: Jonathan Bailey, Simone Ashley, Phoebe Dynevor

Bridgerton Season 2 Creator: Chris Van Dusen

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Bridgerton Season 2 Stars: 3/5 

In Bridgerton's first season, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Bassett (Rege-Jean Page) were drawn to each other with a burning passion that brought them together despite their opposite expectations and wants from life and relationships. It captured Daphne's fearless and explorative nature towards embracing love in a perfectly attractive romantic tale, combined with palpable chemistry between Dynevor and Page. For its second season though, showrunner Chris Van Dusen takes a different route as he tries to make the show rise above its raunchy tag from the previous one. 

With the focus of the new season moving on to the eldest sibling of the Brdigerton household, Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), the Regency-era drama trades all its passionate moments to make way for a show that explores suppressed desire, the weight of carrying legacies and a love triangle. The eight-episode series with its sixty-minute episodes turns out to be a slow burner when it comes to capturing Anthony's dilemma of choosing duty over love. The other Bridgerton children also get their own storylines, with Eloise (Claudia Jessie), particularly getting an interesting one at that as she continues to question societal norms and their unkind ways towards women. 

The second season kicks off with Anthony Bridgeton (Jonathan Bailey) declaring himself to be the bachelor of the season as he agrees to find a suitable match to "fulfil his duty" and find himself a Viscountess. The Viscount has no interest in finding a love match but is rather set that he needs to find himself a Lady who would be a fit for the role of a Viscountess and his eyes are soon set on the 'Diamond of the season', Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran). Although, Anthony further learns that in order to court Miss Edwina Sharma, he must first impress her older sibling Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley), a forthright young woman who early on takes to dislike Anthony. As the Viscount adamantly continues to convince Kate as well as the rest of the family that his intentions to marry Edwina are serious, Anthony continues to neglect the obvious signs that his desire in fact lies somewhere else. 

For the other Brdigertons, while Daphne (Dynevor) makes an appearance with her baby boy at some key moments, especially to make her brother see how he may be making a hasty decision when it comes to marrying Edwina, the other siblings are caught up in their own mess. Continuing on with her juicy gossips from season one is Lady Whistledown/Penelope Bridgerton (Nicola Coughlan), who finds herself becoming more ambitious and finding stealthier ways to run her business.


Bridgerton released its first season in December 2020, a time when the world was still reeling under the pressure and panic of the pandemic. It seemed like the perfect kind of distraction we needed from all the self-isolation and quarantine talks. At a time when people were scattered and isolated in their own COVID-19 bubbles, Daphne and Simon's intimacy left everyone at home sweating and blushing as they vicariously enjoyed the risque romance. At a much more settled time though as the second season makes its way, the expectations set by its predecessor seem to hold back everything that the new season has to offer. It's a less raunchy season but I don't wish to complain about that. What does bother me though is the fact that there's not adequate material here for eight episodes and hence the season does spread itself thin in trying to pack a lot of additional things.

In the case of Bridgerton's new season, it seems a writer's room discussion led them to believe that there's much more they could offer to a Regency-era romance and hence the effort to make it woke and relatable for the generation today seems apparent and it's not just from the changed identity of its lead Kate Sharma who in Julia Quinn's books, the source material of the show. While on the embracing diversity front, the show does win points for the well-portrayed Sharma, it's the extreme liberties taken with the storyline when compared to the book it's adapted from, The Viscount Who Loved Me that probably seem underwhelming. For those who loved Edwina's character in the books, the show does seem to do injustice to it. While diversifying its cast, the show does exceedingly well when it comes to the portrayal of the Sharmas by including sweet moments such as the Haldi ceremony scene with the Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham music and other elements that give a nod to the Indian culture. 

Among the things that I do appreciate about the show this time though is how it captures Anthony (Bailey) and Kate's (Simone Ashley) roles as being the dutiful older siblings who put their families above themselves. The meaning of love for both these characters is similar as they take pride in being selfless when it comes to wanting it for themselves but often blindly smother their younger siblings under the garb of looking out for them. What neither Kate nor Anthony realises is that love has no regard for self-control and duties and hence it's one thing that one can't do calculated and responsibly. If Daphne and Simon's romance thrived in the excitement of exploring the very core of each other, Anthony and Kate's forbidden romance is hidden behind strong feelings of denial and hate for each other as neither of them wishes to set aside their dutiful selves to allow themselves to feel the sting of love until a  bee does it for them (quite literally in one scene). This slow burner romance feels like reading a Mills & Boon novel. 


In terms of capturing the Regency era with all its frills, showrunner Chris Van Dusen and his team once again successfully draw us with the perfectly manicured gardens, the stunning gowns and the exquisite decor that each ballroom scene presents. After The Vitamin String Quartet left us beyond mesmerised last season with the inclusion of cover versions to songs such as Taylor Swift's Wildest Dreams and more, this season the score includes other gems such as Harry Styles' Sign of The Times, Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball among others. There are scenes that give a nod to epic romances such as that of Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.

ALSO READ: Bridgerton Season 2 Early Review: Jonathan Bailey & Simone Ashley keep the Regency romance alive and burning

Jonathan Bailey does his best to convey Anthony Bridgerton's anguish, the sheer weight of duty that holds him down from ever expressing his true feelings. Bailey's charming screen presence also makes us move on from our previous Regency era crush on Rege-Jean Page's Duke f Hastings. Bailey saying "You are the bane of my existence" is definitely something that is going to stay with me from this season. Matching Bailey's energy and at times even topping it is Simone Ashley who seems in great form as Kate Sharma on the show. Ashley is the diamond of this season for me. Among other performances that leave us impressed also include Claudia Jessie who has a particularly brilliant scene with Nicola Coughlan. 


Basically, the second season of Bridgerton may not be as exciting as the first one but it still hooks you in with its forbidden love storyline and Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley's undeniably charming chemistry. The new season offers a peek at love in all its stages from bickering, to longing to yearning and to finally embracing it with all its might. 

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