It’s official—Netflix renewed ‘Bridgerton’ for season 2! In an interview on the TODAY show, Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen announced the steamy Shondaland drama will be back for a second season. Van Dusen said they are all “so excited” and that season two will be “as sweeping and moving” as the first. The Regency-era show will also have “a bunch of new characters” in season two according to Van Dusen.
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Season one of Bridgerton follows Daphne (played by Phoebe Dynevor)—the eldest Bridgerton daughter. She makes her debut in society and is dubbed “the diamond of the season” by the queen. Daphne’s love story with the handsome, emotionally-complex Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) is the focus of season one. But season two will follow another Bridgerton sibling—Daphne’s brother, Anthony.
“Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season,” reads a letter posted by Shondaland announcing season two. The cheeky press release is written in the voice of the show’s anonymous gossip writer, Lady Whistledown, voiced by the great Julie Andrews. Whistledown promises to spill “any and all” of the tea on Anthony’s love life, but writes she cannot comment on any other “particulars” at this time.
Keep reading to find out what we know so far about season two of Bridgerton.
— shondaland tv (@shondaland) January 21, 2021
Season 2 Will Focus on Anthony Bridgerton
In season one, Anthony struggles to balance his duties as head of the Bridgerton household. He is responsible for the futures of his seven siblings—especially the marriage of his sister Daphne. While his mother wants him to settle down, Anthony has a not-so-secret relationship with an opera singer, Sienna.
Their different positions in society and Anthony’s inability to choose between the two ultimately cause Sienna to end things with the viscount. With his sister Daphne happily married to the Duke of Hastings at the end of season one, Anthony declares that he is finally ready to settle down. “I finally determined the difficulty – love itself. Removing it from all romantic relations shall make me all the better for it,” he says.
“We left him at the end of the first season at a bit of a crossroads, so I’m looking forward to jumping and discovering how he fares on the marriage market,” Van Dusen says of Anthony’s arc in the upcoming season.
Although Anthony claims he is done looking for love, fate (and Van Dusen) have other plans for the viscount. “Anthony is going to have a love interest next season,” Van Dusen said in his TODAY interview. According to Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels that the show is based off of, Anthony’s love interest is a woman named Kate Sheffield. Neither Netflix nor Shondaland have confirmed who will play the part.
In a new episode of The Netflix Afterparty, Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony, said he is “really hopeful” for his character’s future. “He wasn’t smiling that much [in season one]…. it can only get better,” he told Afterparty co-host London Hughes.
Bridgerton’s Royal Success
Set during the Regency-era in high society London, season one of Bridgerton received a royal welcome on Netflix. The show reached over 63 million viewers in its first four weeks; one of the platform’s biggest original series debuts to date. Bridgerton also won its first award on Monday from the American Film Institute. The AFI Awards included the show on their ‘TV Programs Of The Year’ list. Netflix’s Queen’s Gambit, and The Crown also made the list.
Produced by primetime television queen Shonda Rhimes, Bridgerton is the first series to launch under Rhimes’ deal with Netflix. In true Shonda fashion, Bridgerton features strong female leads, diverse casting, and of course—plenty of sex. The show even worked with an intimacy coordinator to pull off all those steamy Regency-era sex scenes that have fans swooning.
Bridgerton & Race
The show’s reimagined view of early 19th century England through racially diverse casting received both praise and critique. The show casted Black actors to play characters that were imagined as white in the novels. Simon, the Duke of Hastings, is white in Julia Quinn’s books. The Netflix show has Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) with her magnificent wigs and squad of Pomeranians, while the novels do not. Some historians claim the real-life Queen Charlotte was mixed-race. Van Dusen used this theory to explore whether the queen could have “used her power to elevate people of color.”
Along with the praise, people called out Bridgerton for colorism. Many are critiquing the show’s choice to cast lighter-skinned Black actors as the leads, and darker-skinned actors in minor roles. Others accuse Bridgerton of painting too rosy a picture and oversimplifying race. “It’s a very reductive analysis of race in history and the intertwining of those two,” said African American studies professor Adilifu Nama in an interview with USA Today.
Now that Netflix renewed Bridgerton for season 2, maybe the show will address some of these issues in the upcoming season. Bridgerton will begin filming its second season later this spring in London.
For viewers who fell in love with Simon and Daphne’s dazzling chemistry in season one, don’t worry. Van Dusen says the Duke and Duchess “will always be a part of the show,” though the scope of their roles is unclear at this time.