As you well may know, a new Season full of suspense and scandal has concluded in the Ton. Now that this author has had the chance to devour every second of the soirée, brew yourself a cup of your finest blend of tea and settle in for a special edition of Path2Pub where I shall review both Daphne’s and Anthony’s Social Seasons in great detail. Please do note that spoilers are abound from this point of the Society Papers onward. Proceed with caution if you are yet to view the delightful festivities.
Before I review the exciting new season of Bridgerton, let me give you my thoughts about Season 1. Personally, I was never a huge historical fiction or historical romance lover. It’s not that I disliked it, I just never quite became interested in it. When everyone went through their Downton Abbey phase, I wasn’t even intrigued in the premise. Then last year during the holiday season, I was scrolling through Netflix and a trailer for Bridgerton automatically started playing. I was immediately hooked onto the Gossip Girl-esque plot point and the fake dating trope. So, as The Duke would say, I formed an attachment and fell madly in love…with the series and binge-watched Season 1 in only a day.
The main trope in Bridgerton Season 1 was the fake dating trope. I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for this trope. I love the fake dating trope in every iteration that I’ve read and watched it in. But, I didn’t love it as much as I hoped I would in Bridgerton.
Bridgerton sets up its fake dating trope early on in Season 1 when Simon offers to help Daphne find a suitable husband by making her look like a more eligible prospect for a wife, but it also abandons the trope quite quickly as Daphne and Simon’s relationship turns real. We’re then put into the more interesting part of Daphne and Simon’s story.
The best part wasn’t the fake dating trope itself, but the push and pull Daphne and Simon had in their relationship. Daphne was very sure of what she wanted from Simon from the beginning and Simon was very slow to realize his feelings, but eventually catches up to what Daphne knew all along, they were meant to be. It was very satisfying as a viewer to see the journey these characters took to finally come together. In other words, the writing of the fake dating trope itself wasn’t wonderful, but the character development and the development of their romantic relationship was perfect.
I’ll be honest, in Season 1, I wasn’t very drawn to all the other Bridgerton siblings although by the end of the season it was clear that Season 2 was going to be all about Anthony. The other side characters also didn’t appeal much to me during Season 1. I was so enthralled by Daphne and Simon’s story that I didn’t care for many of the side plots. The identity of Lady Whistledown of course was the exception. I thought Penelope was a fabulous choice for the identity of Lady Whistledown. I thought Penelope’s crush on Colin during Season 1 was a bit too one-sided to enjoy it, but by Season 2, I grew to love them!
Memorable Musical Moments
One of my favorite things about Bridgerton are the classical covers of pop songs. I’ll admit when I realized what some of these songs were while watching, I was shocked and delighted. Here are my top three favorite covers that were included during Season 1:
“thank u next” by Ariana Grande during the very first ballroom scene as Daphne searches for potential suitors.
“In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes when Simon and Daphne’s Fake Dating charade is kick-started.
“Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift when Simon and Daphne are enjoying their wedding night.
I was much slower in my watch of Season 2 because I’m working on getting my newest novel query ready. But also wasn’t as excited to watch it because before watching Season 2 of Bridgerton, I already knew that I wasn’t in love with one of the tropes of the season from the trailer, which was the love triangle between Anthony and the Sharma sisters. I usually enjoy love triangles, but pitting sisters against each other in a love triangle feels very wrong.
After watching Season 2, the love triangle between Anthony and the Sharma sisters not only feels wrong, but it also feels very unnecessary because it took a backseat to the slow burn enemies to lovers trope with Anthony and Kate. Which is why the only thing I’m going to say about the love triangle is that it was an obvious plot device to prolong the slow burn of the more interesting enemies to lovers plot.
I’ll be honest, I was rooting for Anthony and Kate from the beginning and I knew they were going to end up together because although I haven’t read the books, I’ve been curious and watched a lot of BookTok reviews on the books. I was absolutely blown away by how well the slow burn enemies to lovers trope was handled!
I’m going to start off by saying that the amount of sex in Season 1 is extensive, which makes sense because Daphne’s season was very much focused on the female gaze and pleasure. However, as a romance writer, I personally prefer Season 2’s less-sex heavy, more romance and tension heavy approach to telling the love story. I found myself absolutely swooning at the way Anthony and Kate conveyed their feelings for each other by simple physicality just from a small touch or a look. From their body language around each other, I’m very surprised that nobody but Daphne figured out these two were in love earlier in the season. The build up of all those small moments leading up to them finally having sex was far more satisfying as a viewer than Season 1 was when Daphne and Simon finally had sex. Although that classical cover of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” still haunts my dreams and my TikTok For You page.
When they were enemies, I could feel the hatred on Kate’s part strongly and I loved that she was unafraid to put him in his place. But I have a special place in my heart for when the ice begins to thaw between the two of them and they start to fall in love. I would love to say that every scene where Anthony and Kate shared a moment was my favorite and it would be true, but two scenes do stand out to me, when Anthony has a panic attack over Kate being stung by a bee because that’s how his father died and when he tells Kate that “(she is) the bane of (his) existence and the object of (his) desires.” Overall, Bridgerton Season 2 has one of the best slow burn enemies to lovers storylines that I’ve ever seen in a TV show.
I loved Kate and Anthony, obviously. Kate is so strong-willed and opinionated which makes her very powerful and badass. But she’s also a soft human who gave her sister’s happiness more importance than her own at first, despite her growing feelings for Anthony. Anthony had my heart from the moment he admitted to his mother that he wasn’t going to marry for love because he doesn’t want to be the future cause of pain for his spouse. It’s a very tender moment where I finally started to understand that Anthony was so traumatized by his father’s death that he gave up on love, not that he’s so blinded by duty that he’ll take someone he doesn’t love as a wife.
Other characters that I fell in love with during Season 2 were Penelope, Colin, and Benedict. I’m obsessed with Penelope and Colin as a slow burn friends to lovers couple. I quite literally felt her heartbreak when he said he would never dream of being with her and I wanted to slap him in the face or push him in that lake Anthony fell into for that. And I loved Benedict because he was wonderful comic relief.
Memorable Musical Moments
Here are my top three favorite classical covers of pop songs that were included during Season 2:
“Material Girl” by Madonna during the very first ballroom scene of the season as the Sharma sisters enter the ball.
“Sign Of The Times” by Harry Styles during Anthony and Edwina’s doomed wedding scene.
“Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus when Kate agrees to one last dance with Anthony.
I’ll admit that I was curious about the books, so I’ve watched a lot of BookTok videos on them. Here’s what I’ll say after watching those videos, I don’t want to read them. I love the Bridgerton brothers in the series. However, I know I’ll despise them if I read the books. I was curious and I bought the Duke and I, so I’ll read that book. But I don’t think that I’ll read the full series because every review I’ve seen on BookTok has said that the brothers are written to be toxic and abusive in the books. I appreciate that the show decided not to keep these characters the same as their book counterparts. I also love that the show decided to add diversity despite the books not being diverse. To me the world of the Bridgerton books and the world of the Bridgerton show are two completely different worlds and they will stay that way.
Future Seasons Of The Show
I would love for Season 3 to be about Penelope and Colin’s love story, but I actually think we’re either going to get Benedict’s love story or Eloise’s love story next. Here’s where things get interesting, Shonda Rhimes has said that Season 3 will be a departure from the order of the books. Benedict’s love story would be next in the book order. Benedict’s love story is a Cinderella-type story in the books, but I think the show is going to do a reversal of this and give Eloise and Theo a gender-swapped Cinderella Story romance. I don’t know what this would mean for Benedict’s love story, but I’ve seen the theories that he’s bisexual and I would love to see that happen. This still leaves the possibility that Benedict’s or Eloise’s story is next. I think they’re saving Penelope and Colin’s story for Season 4 because of book order, but they seem to be a popular pairing, so if the show were to do fan service, they could be a surprise Season 3 storyline.
Have you watched Bridgerton or read the books? I want to hear all your Bridgerton opinions.
Reem is a young adult contemporary/romantic comedy author from the Maldives. She has lived in various corners of the world, including New York, Tokyo, California, and Kuala Lumpur throughout her life. She loves writing heartfelt stories filled with love and friendship. She is a 2021 graduate from the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at The New School.