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Bridgerton Season 2 Review: The Duke of Hastings Is Absent – But The Movie Still Bangs!

I never really thought a day would come when I’d have to openly admit that the second season of the Netflix hit series did not disappoint me, or that I’ll pen down a Bridgerton season 2 review so long that I almost ran out of ink, but here we are!

Truth be told, when we all heard that our ravenous rake, the Duke of Hastings would not be returning to the second season, most of us were very well ready to boycott the movie.

The Duke will not be returning and so shall I…

I burn for only the Duke, now my fire is gone

I mean who wouldn’t? Rege-Jean Page certainly ate up that role. And this is not in any way to diminish the acting of all the other cast members. Phoebe Dynevor, the Duchess of Hastings brought her A-game, as did others.

So it was with mixed feelings that all of us who had been thoroughly thrilled by the first season awaited the next.

Would the absence of the Duke mean less steamy scenes and would Anthony, the second seasons’ lead be able to pull off a classic Hastings romance. The one that got Bridgerton to the all-time No 1 spot on Netflix for weeks numbering into months?

This author can proudly say a loud yes! The second season still bangs and I am glad for once that my fears were proven wrong. The seasons’ new lead Anthony Bridgerton and the Sharma sisters, precisely Kate Sharma gave me all the butterflies and tension much anticipated.

Based on Julia Quinn’s second book in the Bridgerton series, The Viscount who loved me, this season is set to rival the steamy romance of Daphne and the duke.

If you haven’t seen the movie, I daresay you know the drill, there might be spoilers along the way. But if this is you checking out if you should see the movie – darling, is that even a question? Bridgerton Season 2 is that movie you deserve to see.

Now let’s get on to some of my favorite things about this new season, my reviews, and well, a little criticism too nonetheless. After all, this is my safe space for the unbiased expression of thoughts.

Bridgerton season 2:Anthony and Kate

 

Enemies to Lovers-The Bridgerton MO

If you like a good enemy to lovers’ kind of movie – then go grab some popcorn because the tension in this movie is the IT. Everything from the aura, the expressions, the speech, and the gestures were completely eaten up by Anthony and Kate, both played by Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley.

I’ve got to give it up for Simone, Girl what was that? Her iconic eye rolls, their heated exchanges, and her stubborn personality against Anthony who was also a stubborn mule himself made for the perfect combo of chaos.

Kate’s overprotective wings were determined to guard Edwina her sister who was named the diamond of the season, yet Anthony was as equally determined to slip through to charm away Edwina. Not for love as he made sure to state very clearly, but for the duty of family and the nobility of marrying the Queen’s diamond – a notion that thoroughly angered Kate.

You vex me!

This was Kate’s reply to Anthony’s question “why do you hate me so much?” The poor man was frustrated over the fact that he had begun to find her stubbornness attractive and was now worrying about his decision to marry the younger Sharma sister – Edwina. But how long can you keep the cat away from the mice? It didn’t take too long for Kate to begin to feel something too for our beloved mule-headed Viscount of Bridgerton and in the midst of this – Edwina was preparing for a proposal! How in the sweet lord did we get there?

I cannot count how many times I threw my hands up in dismay each time both Anthony and Kate tried to deny their growing attraction. For Anthony – who clearly wanted nothing to do with love, this was a frustrating cycle and I sympathized with him even though I found his outbursts funny. He certainly did not sign up for this! All he wanted was a noble bride to fulfill his family duty and Edwina fit the role perfectly. But why was he desiring the stubborn, independent and I want love older sister?

I guess in the end, it might be a Bridgerton thing, after all, seeing as Daphne had turned down a cool level-headed suitor to a more challenging yet burning with passion union with the Duke of Hastings! Alexa, play me Fire by BTS.

 

Storylines and Themes

Now, this is the part where I get more serious. I think this is something I have always loved about the Bridgerton movie. The inclusion of issues and themes albeit sensitive in the storylines and character development. And this second season if not anything gets a five star in this department.

First, we see the stigma attached to unmarried women past the so-called ‘’ripe’’ age of marriage. In the ton, as in the first season, it is almost a death sentence to end the ton’s seasonal balls and festivals without a suitor. The ladies piled against each other, scheming, plotting with their mamas, all for a suitor. The newest arrivals to the ton – the Sharma sisters, Kate and Edwina were not left out of the scuffle as Edwina must find a suitor before the season ends. But not Kate.

 

She was different and wasn’t interested in the scheming, the parties, or even the men. Well, that was until Anthony showed up, but that is not the point anyway. Kate was seemingly given less attention as some deemed her out of the market. Stupid take in my opinion.

Given her uninterested attitude and her desire for independence, it certainly scared anyone intending to approach. But as the movie proved, a woman’s true qualities are not in how docile or submissive she is nor does her entire world revolve around marriage. She had the ultimate right and ability to only settle for the best as the men would!

Sister moments

Another really sensitive theme genuinely portrayed in the movie was Anthony’s struggle with trauma and loss. The stereotype that a man should remain unbreakable, pull off a macho front, and endure absolutely anything turned Anthony into the traumatized man he became. The one afraid to love for fear of loss. His struggles with grief after losing his father and his obsession with fulfilling his role as firstborn to the point of denying himself happiness are familiar themes society can relate to.

Kate’s overprotectiveness which at first thoroughly annoyed me also became more explainable as the movie progressed. She was used to sheltering others – being the bulletproof vest so to say. But like everyone else, she too was broken and needed to heal rather than fix all the time.

Even fixers can be broken, I guess.

But what I did not see coming, was the Queen of England’s depiction of what it meant to deal with someone suffering from a mental health breakdown or a disorder. The beloved King of England was seen running out of his chambers ready to cause a scene whilst Lady Danbury, the Sharma family, and the Queen looked on too shocked to speak. While nothing specific was given about the King’s illness, he was suffering seeing his incoherent speeches and his referral to the strong love he and his queen shared in the past.

No, this scene had me in tears as I watched a monarch submit to the hold of an illness and his queen’s reaction as he broke down.

Mental illness is a terrible ordeal and can affect anyone regardless of age, status, or anything. Thankfully Edwina saved the day by joining the King to reminisce about the beautiful memories he could remember while lovingly guiding him back to the guards from whom he had escaped.

This is a lesson that even those suffering from mental illness deserve to be treated with all the love and kindness in the world. It is not a stigma to have an illness.

It was here that Edwina finally won me over. Her gentle and experienced way of handling things when the queen was too stunned to speak bespoke more of her gentleness and charisma. Her kindness and ability to be empathetic are something we can all be better at.

 

As for the development of other characters in the Bridgerton family such as Benedict, Colin, and Eloise – meh. I wasn’t really feeling it. Perhaps, Eloise and her printer boy love might have a greater appeal seeing that she has had a strong character since the first season and is more likely to have a chaotic relationship as her love interest is way below her social status.

I mean, it’s the Bridgertons after all and we all know that if there is anything they love the most, it is passion sprinkled with chaos. But who’s to know?

Bridgerton season 2 first scene

I think Edwina might also have more roles in the next season, seeing as Kate greatly overshadowed her even though she was named the season’s diamond. We can all agree Daphne made a better diamond with all the drama, attention, and fuss, but let’s hope for the better I guess.

Wait, did I forget to talk about Lady Whistledown? Ah…I see. Perhaps, I am simply bored of her, having been not so thrilled to discover Penelope was Lady Whistledown all along. I mean, the thrill of Whistledown for me was her mysterious identity. Having stripped that off, I had no more feelings for her and I am sure a lot of other viewers would agree.

 

Recommendation

All in all, Bridgerton Season 2 is an amazingly delightful movie to watch. Great themes were incorporated, a much slower-paced storyline development, the comedy was top-notch, new characters were introduced, and also great steamy scenes to compensate us, I guess.

A waste of time? A bore?

Absolutely not! This is a loud recommendation. You should definitely see the new season of Bridgerton.

And when you do, don’t forget to let this author know what you think of it too.

If you have already seen it, aloha my darling! Come, let’s chit-chat!

WRITTEN BY JB FAVOUR

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