Bridgerton Season 2: A Slow Burn is Hot Enough For Me

I’ve been seeing a lot of positive responses to season 2 of Bridgerton, the global phenomenon television series on Netflix. I’m obsessed!


But also, almost across the board, I’m reading the critique that Bridgerton season 2 is far more subdued and heavier than last season. As one friend of mine put it, season 2 was “way less horny” than season 1.

But was it? Did we watch the same show?

I personally thought Bridgerton season 2 was far more erotic. Those smoldering glances. Their forbidden feelings. The classic enemies to lovers romance novel trope. The payoff was HOT and felt worth the wait!


GIF of Bridgerton season 2 characters dancing and staring at each other There’s no denying the show is visually and audibly stunning: beautiful cast, beautiful sets, beautiful costumes, beautiful music, beautiful and regal British accents.
Now, I’ll admit, after watching season 1 and loving that world, I decided to read all eight of the charming and well-written Bridgerton romance novels by Julia Quinn. I enjoyed reliving the show during its hiatus with the very first novel, The Duke and I.
Through reading the books, it became obvious that the show feels no strong pull to be completely true to the plot of the novels. And that’s totally fine with me! There are interesting new storylines in the Netflix version and of course the incredible diversity of casting that we’ve come to love and expect from Shondaland. I love watching it come to life in new and unexpected ways! The books and the show are complements that can stand alone or together.
But it was when I read The Viscount Who Loved Me, the second novel on which Bridgerton season 2 is based, that  I really fell in love with this family and the love stories of the Bridgerton siblings.

Kate is, in my opinion, the greatest heroine of the eight novels. She is strong, cool, gorgeous, and courageous and I think she was depicted perfectly by the beautiful and talented Simone Ashley. It’s not that I didn’t like Daphne, the heroine of season one, but I relate far better to a woman who knows duty, responsibility, and the ways of the world like Kate.


GIF of man and woman giving non verbal communication
While we’re on the subject of Daphne, can I also say how pleasantly surprised I was by her character evolution this season! She was grown and far more opinionated and astute. As a woman in my late thirties, in a ten-year marriage, with two children, it was difficult for me to identify with Daphne of season 1: wide-eyed, naive, and virginal.
I think most of us are forgetting that season 1 was also a bit of a slow burn. Most of the sex happened after Daphne and Simon, the Duke of Hastings, were married, but only early on in their honeymoon days. Yes, it’s seared in my memory too!


GIF of man taking off his shirt
But their communication issues strained their steaminess quickly and while we did get a beautiful resolution, I’d argue we got the same this season.
I’m blaming Rege-Jean Page’s decision to leave the show on the lack of sex scenes this season. Yeah, I would have enjoyed watching Daphne and Simon happily romp in the sheets once or twice {or more} in the early episodes of season 2 to keep the sexy pace moving along, but I was also completely enthralled {not to mention hot and bothered} watching Kate and Anthony draw to each other like magnets. The panting. The breathing. The not-quite kisses. Lines like “Do you even know all the ways a lady can be seduced? The things I could teach you…” FIRE.
I loved the deep dive into the Bridgerton family tragedy. Anthony and his relationship with his mother, Violet, was depicted with tenderness, nuance, and depth. Violet impressed me so much this season as well! The more we get to know the family, the better and more authentic each scene feels.

And of course, the Capital R Rake Anthony Bridgerton himself: the brooding, moody, and emotionally tormented Viscount.

Maybe it was his callous treatment of the soprano he was having an affair with; maybe it was his sideburns. Either way, I barely noticed him in season 1 but I couldn’t take my eyes off of him in Bridgerton season 2. Jonathan Bailey specializes in smoldering looks, apparently, and his chemistry with costar Ashley was off the charts!

GIF of man saying "How Wonderful"I also want to recognize how cool and how much of a big deal it is for an out, gay actor to play the sex-symbol, romantic lead in a straight romance. This matters in the best way! It’s silly, really, because acting is about portraying a character, often completely outside of oneself, and there is no reason for gifted {and let’s be real, smoking hot} actors like Bailey to be left out of these roles. It’s simply not that common in big budget film or TV in the USA, and I hope this paves the way for more. Yay for diversity and inclusion!
I truly loved the storyline of S2 and it left me eager for more. That’s not to say there weren’t some parts that dragged this season. I could have used a lot less Featherington subplot (other than Penelope) and I didn’t need the Colin/Marina moments either.
Romance and sex can and do go hand in hand, and I think there are reasons to emphasize either when telling a story. Bridgerton season 2 was an incredibly emotionally satisfying, visually stunning slow burn in my opinion.
I look forward to watching Kanthony grow in love in season 3! In the meantime, I’ll be reliving some of the more swoon-worthy moments with a rewatch.
Is it March of 2023 yet?

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Mary B. is a lifelong creative, dreamer, and joy seeker. Born and raised in northern Illinois, Mary attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, receiving her B.F.A. in acting, then worked as a sometimes actress/model, sometimes waitress. Mary and her husband got married in Sept 2012, welcomed a son in 2014, moved to Texas from Chicago in 2016, and welcomed a daughter in 2017, completing their family. She self-publishes her musings on marriage, motherhood, and life on her blog, Accidentally Texan,. In her free time {free time--ha!} Mary loves to read, cook {and eat ;)}, work out, swim, travel, and spend time with her family. Mary believes emotional connection is the root of humanity and our collective purpose in life.


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