There will be spoilers. You have been warned.
Cast and Characters.
- Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton. I didn’t go into him as much in the S1 review because I think he’s way more important in S2. He’s the Viscount and at the end of S1 he decides that he doesn’t want to marry for love after Sienna leaves. He decides that he doesn’t want what happened with his mom after his father died, to happen again and he’ll only marry the perfect woman who can be the perfect viscountess. Okay, dumb, but I get it. His catchphrase is also “I’m a gentleman” lol. Anthony wasn’t very likable in the first season but I loved him here. He’s stubborn and refuses to understand that if he marries Edwina that he would be condemning her to a marriage that wouldn’t be what she wants, because she wants to be loved. He’s too busy thinking of “perfection”. But I love watching him long and yearn for Kate as the show goes on. Jonathan Bailey is so good in this season. I think he’s good looking but the way he plays Anthony is what makes him so attractive to me. Anthony is angry, stubborn, trying so hard to be contained and you can see it all in his body language and in his face. You can SEE that he’s trying so hard. He’s so good. I’m also so glad he looks so much better in this season.
- Simone Ashley as Kathani “Kate” Sharma. We first meet Kate on horseback and they immediately have a flirting but witty back and forth. Kate’s entire plan is for her sister to marry a wonderful man, someone she’ll love but who is also well off so Edwina and their mother could live happily and she’d return to India and become a Governess. She doesn’t care about finding love herself because she lives her life for Edwina. That’s clear in everything she does, in every face she makes, literally everything. She has a few secrets which come to a head in the show and she still tries to do everything she can for her sister. I even love that she makes it no secret that she despises English tea but she taught her sister so she could fit in. So intuitive. Love her. She’s so headstrong and stubborn to a fault, similar to Anthony but she knows those things just like she knows she’s probably one of the smartest people in the room lol. Simone Ashley first of all, is so gorgeous and I cannot stand it. I would stare at her, especially when her hair was down and be like “Why is she so gorgeous???” but she’s so good. The longing she is able to do with her face and her eyes, clutches my heart. She is engaging and goes toe to toe with Jonathan Bailey’s erratic energy as Anthony. So good, I cannot wait to see more of her.
Other Characters. I won’t retread some of the ones I mentioned in the last review unless necessary. Adjoa Andoh returns as Lady Danbury and she’s still great. Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne, Duchess of Hastings, is back and I liked her way more this season.
- Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma. First of all, she’s beautiful. But I really like Edwina. She’s young, innocent and sweet and in a lot of ways a shell. She has a lot of great qualities but the problem with her is that she doesn’t know what she wants because she’s been taught by Kate and told what she wants. It’s so bad that she can’t even see the obvious passion and yearning between Kate and Anthony that sometimes happens RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER. I love after she finds out, she can’t not notice it anymore lol. She’s really likable and I wouldn’t be surprised if people really root for her to get with Anthony because while she may not love him technically, she cares for him. I loved that while she and Kate are half-sisters, she treats Kate no differently. Except when she got mad during the wedding episode. That was her best episode because she goes through so many emotions past her “I’m beautiful and I’m smiling at everything”. When Edwina becomes an actual character, she really comes to life. I think Charithra Chandran is extremely likable in the role and she’s so cute and innocent that you can’t dislike her.
- Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton. I mentioned her in the S1 review but I feel like she has way more going on in this season. Eloise is out in society but she is so nervous that anytime they go anywhere, she immediately freaks out and wants to leave, sometimes she manages to do so. She feels compared to Daphne from everyone including her mother. They even have a great scene where Violet tells her she doesn’t need to try and be perfect to please her. She remains headstrong and curious and because she’s still on the hunt for Lady Whistledown, which gets her into a lot of trouble. She ends up meeting Theo, a boy who works at the printers and a big reader, and she pretty much falls for him. She consistently goes to the lower class ward because of him and it causes such problems. I didn’t have a problem with her meeting this boy and liking him and working with him to discover LW’s identity, but I feel like she was being way too stupid. But she’s still one of my favorite characters. Claudia Jessie is still great in this role and I love her emotional scenes but she’s also masterful with comedy.
- Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington. In this season, Pen is fully into her LW job but it’s getting a bit taxing on her because Eloise is attached to her hip whenever there’s an event going on. She’s beginning to get frustrated, especially when Eloise cockblocks her whenever she’s trying to talk to Colin. While Pen is content to share gossip, even about her own family, she doesn’t like that her family gets involved with scandals, she’s always visibly angry about it. She also is annoyed with Eloise for her incessantly talking about LW but also at the fact that she keeps running off to the lower class ward for various reasons. Pen is really going through it in this season and sometimes it feels almost villainous but that could be with how Nicola plays Pen’s reactions to things. Almost feels unhinged. But that last scene with her and Eloise was so good and I felt so bad for both of them.
- Ruth Gemmell as Violet, Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton. She is the mother of the Bridgerton children. I didn’t talk about her at all last time but I felt like it was important to do so here. We learn about the death of the previous Lord Bridgerton and we learn why she may hold on too tight with her children. We also learn why she is such a proponent for her kids in finding love. I like Violet a lot. I especially like it when she’s working with Lady Danbury. I love her scenes with Anthony and I can’t wait for more seasons when she gets to have more intense scenes with her other kids.
Costumes Glowup! Thank goodness there was an upgrade. Daphne’s hair is so much better, married life looks great on her. Penelope’s hair is much better though I can still tell it’s a wig and I think it makes her look super pale. Eloise’s hair is better. Kate and Edwina look so beautiful the entire show. Queen Charlotte looks great always, I think she wears even more iconic wigs in this season. Good job costumer!
Storylines. I love that this season felt wittier and smarter than the first season. Kate is a strong willed woman and is extremely smart and observant and Anthony can be those things as well, when he’s not being super stressed out and obtuse. I loved that they met first but because he wants to marry the “Incomparable/Diamond” he puts away his interest in her but it’s hard. I love slow burn romances because if done well and if the actors have chemistry, it can be so sensual and I like that more than excessive sex scenes. I love that Kate and Anthony were playing chess with each other and constantly one upping the other but falling even more in love. I loved that Edwina was the reason why Kate breathed because I can relate in ways and I loved that Edwina found her voice in the end. I loved that their entire family basically had to learn their lessons, the Sharmas went through it. I loved Anthony’s arc in the show. Jonathan Bailey is so good. Once again Eloise is obsessed with finding out who Lady Whistledown is and Penelope’s story is her dealing with her secret while trying to keep Eloise off her scent. But the Queen is also closing in on Lady Whistledown and Eloise is her prime suspect. It’s all stressful. It just felt like there were more stakes this season even if no one was in any real danger.
Character Chemistry/Romance/Friendships. I have to give Kanthony their own point but ugh, their chemistry and romance is amazing. But I thought while there wasn’t romantic chemistry, Anthony and Edwina were great together. He was kind to her and she probably fell a little bit in love with him, they were cute. Lady Danbury and Lady Bridgerton still have an iconic friendship, it gets a little rocky in the middle but they get over it. Eloise and Penelope are still going strong in this season but it gets stressful. We’ll talk about this more later. Edwina has a great scene with the King, it’s short but it’s emotional and shows a lot about her character. The Sharma women are all great with each other and I love that Mary Sharma loves Kate as if she were her own daughter even if Kate feels separated because of the loss of her father. I liked that Anthony and Daphne seemed to understand each other so much more and that she was the only person who knew what was up. I didn’t mind the friendship and budding romance between Eloise and Theo but it was also whatever to me.
- The Pall Mall Scene. This was such a good scene because it really allows the viewer to spend more time with the Bridgertons but to also understand Kate and Edwina more. Kate really fits right in with the Bridgertons which if you didn’t think she and Anthony were meant for each other before, you should now. Edwina was awkward and couldn’t quite play the game well and was clearly feeling out of place. I loved that it showed that while she was still putting on this air of perfection, she was rattled whereas Kate is just having fun like the rest of them. We also got to see Daphne be way more fun with her siblings. This is one of the best scenes of the show. Especially when Kate and Anthony have to go and retrieve their balls.
Anthony and Kate. Attached to the point above but I had to give them their own point. OH. MY. GOSH! I love them. First of all, I love slow burn romances and I kind of knew where this was going when my friend alluded to wanting to make a Hamilton joke, which made me decide to watch the show anyway. I knew immediately once we met Edwina and Kate that this would be a “Satisfied” situation. Love it. Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey have so much chemistry from the first moment they met and maintain it the entire show. I saw a lot of people complain that there wasn’t enough sex in this season compared to the rampant and awkward sex scenes between Daphne and Simon in the first season. I don’t care about the physical sex when Anthony and Kate are looking at each other from across the room, their eyes meeting, yearning for each other. Or when they both end up in the library during a thunder storm and they’re starting at each other while it’s raining outside. OR when she gets stung by a bee and they have a moment while she calms him down while he has a panic attack. OR the way she looked at him when he climbed out of the lake after falling in. OR them watching each other during ball scenes. OR when she thought he wanted to talk to her and she was longing for him. OR when tells her that her leaving for India isn’t far enough! That she is the bane of his existence and the object of all his desires. SIMON AND DAPHNE COULD NEVER! My goodness. Different strokes for different folks but people are DELUSIONAL if they think that Simon and Daphne had more chemistry and passion than Anthony and Kate. I know the reason but we won’t get into that right now lol. The times they kiss. UGH. The way Anthony looked at her during that dinner scene. When he tells Daphne that Kate is annoying. The way Kate continuously tries to act like she hates him when there is a thin line between love and hate. GOD. Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey understood the assignment and ended all. Honestly, I cannot imagine anyone topping that. I know the next seasons will follow the books in that each of the Bridgerton kids find their true loves but can Colin and Penelope top them? Probably not! Unless Sophia is AMAZING and they give Benedict more to do, can they? What about Eloise and Phillip? Or Francesca, Hyacinth and Gregory?? WE SHALL SEE. But I rewatched the show just so I could rewatch Kanthony. When this man said her entire name “Kathani Sharma”, ugh! I’m waiting for someone to argue with me passionately and tell me that I’m the bane of his existence and the object of ALL his desires. I saw people say they wished that Anthony and Kate got married sooner so we could see them married but I disagree. I was okay with the last episode ending with them being married because their ending was not either of their goals, whereas Daphne’s goal was to marry and be a mother, which happened by the end. Kate and Anthony were so stubborn that he refused to marry for love and she didn’t want to worry about herself until her sister and mother were taken care of. The fact that they married for love and ended up together despite trying so hard to resist, that’s their ending. I’m sure they’ll conquer season 3 being married. Ugh, I can’t wait.
Eloise and Penelope. I don’t hate what’s going on here but it’s really frustrating. One on hand I totally understand Penelope in that she wants to be a writer, she’s made a living out of being a gossip, which isn’t great but it’s a job. She realizes that her bff is extremely headstrong and isn’t thinking properly and tries to cut her off at every turn, only to also try to save her bff by hurting her. I actually understand why she did this even though it’s pretty bad. I also understand why Eloise was so upset with Pen because she’d been lying and being manipulative and of course all the bad things she’s said in her papers. I just feel like this could have come to a head earlier than it did? I don’t know, there’s something about this plot that I don’t like but it is sad how it ends. I think it’s because of Eloise being so irresponsible with what she’s doing. Pen isn’t innocent but it’s frustrating.
Colin and Benedict. So it sucks that the younger Bridgertons don’t get a ton to do but if the show continues, they’ll grow up and we’ll get more of them. But Colin and Benedict are pretty boring to me. I think Benedict is more interesting than Colin, who I just don’t like that much. Benedict is funny and I like his interactions with Anthony and Eloise in particular so he has that going for him. However, him getting mad that Anthony made a donation to his art school was stupid to me lol. I thought it was a nice gesture and was shocked that he was so upset about it. Colin falling for a Featherington plot again just baffles me. He comes through in the end but still; I’m also mad that he said what he said about Penelope even if he was just saying it to the guys. Boy shut up. At least she’s more interesting than you!
Bad Communication! Stupid Decisions! I understand that everyone has their own agendas but no one ever shares what’s going on because so many things could have been avoided if people sat down and had conversations. I’m sure people would still be upset because that’s normal but ya know, drama. I feel like so much of the Featherington plot could have been fixed with proper communication. Lady Danbury and Kate should have been more forthcoming about their opinions with each other (not the opinion that Kate hates Lord Bridgerton lol) and I wish that Kate could have been upfront about her plans but then we wouldn’t have had that epic dinner scene and then the following scene! “You are the bane of my existence and the object of my desires!” “I did not ask for this!” “I am leaving for India!” “It is NOT FAR ENOUGH!” lol sorry. But you see what I mean. Also, I know Lady Danbury was trying to keep her promise to Kate but I feel like she could have said something to Lady Bridgerton because she was UPset after that dinner scene. Great drama but also feels like so much could have been avoided.
The Entire Featherington Plot. I did not care about any of this lol. I was actually annoyed anytime we would cut back to this. One again, no one is communicating with anyone. If Cousin Jack would have just told Lady Featherington that he was trying to marry Cressida for her money because he was actually BROKE, she wouldn’t have interfered by trying to make him marry Prudence. He then would flirt with her because she was pretty ruthless when it came to her daughters and I still haven’t decided if I thought he was being for real or if he was trying to snow her too. I didn’t care about him and Prudence having a “scandal” and being engaged. I didn’t care about his fake mines in America or that Colin seemed to be stupid enough to believe it… I didn’t care about any of it.
Overall, this season was soooo good and far more superior to season 1. My second watch of S1 was better but it cannot compare to S2. Kate and Anthony blow Simon and Daphne out of the water. Jonathan Bailey just commands the screen in a way that Rege-Jean Page just could not. I stand by that. Kate was so much more interesting and engaging than Daphne (who is so much better in S2). The chemistry with all the characters is better, the romances are handled better and there’s not as much sex which I appreciate. The costumes were upgraded which is noticeable and so much better. The friendships between characters in this show is handled pretty well and I generally enjoy a lot of them. I also think the storylines in this season have more stakes and are way more interesting. I don’t have a ton of problems and honestly I feel like I’m nitpicking…but I can’t give it a perfect score because it’s not perfect. But I don’t care about the Featherington plot at all, I also feel like something with Eloise and Penelope could have been handled better. It sucks that Colin and Benedict are just not interesting right now and they keep showing them in these plot lines. Also, a lot of stuff could have been fixed with conversations lol. But overall, great season, loved it. I’m glad I watched it. I honestly could rewatch it but just skip S1 to get to the superior S2.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. But Kanthony gets 5 out of 5 stars. My goodness.
Have you seen Bridgerton season 2? What are your thoughts? Which season is better? 1 or 2? Who is your favorite character going forward? What are you looking forward to seeing?
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