Hear Me Out, Bridgerton Season 2 Was Hotter Than Season 1
The first season of Bridgerton came during the first winter of lockdown. Back then — we're talking 2020 — there was no telling what was going on with COVID-19 and suddenly, Netflix offered up a cotton-candy-colored escape into a lavish, over-the-top world of Regency London that didn't look like anything else on TV at the time. It wasn't just the costumes and wildly attractive cast — ahem, Regé-Jean Page — it was a fun romp that had diverse casting, alluring accents, and sex. Lots of sex.
And while season 2 came with fanfare, critics and fans alike were quick to call the show's sophomore effort a let-down because there wasn't enough of the sensuality and intimacy that became a calling card of Regé and Co. But, maybe that's not what season 2 is about and everyone's missing the point. Allow me to explain: If the show's debut was a showcase of white-hot passion and the push and pull that comes with not-quite love at first sight, the second season was a master class in the art of the slow burn.
Fans of The Notebook are familiar with the trope: Boy meets girl (Hey, Shonda Rhimes, can we get some queer love on season 2?), they fall in love, but they don't generally get hot and heavy right away. While Bridgerton's first season may have had expectations high when it comes to the bodice-ripping — and the stairwell sex, the rainy outdoor sex, so much sex — season 2's climax didn't come until episode 7. That's one episode from the season finale.
Yes, there were intimate moments with Viscount Anthony Bridgerton 20 minutes in, but between that and the penultimate episode, there was a drought of sex that was filled with lots of almost-kissing and intense staring. Arguably, that made the big moment even better. Add the beloved enemies-to-lovers trope on top of sexual tension and the complexity that comes with Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton (Family obligations! Societal expectations! N'er-do-well brothers and that nosy busybody Lady Whistledown!) gives everyone a more satisfying and nuanced story than anything involving a pretend romance that turns into something real. (Been there, done that: The Proposal was a masterpiece that had the added bonus of Betty White). "I burn for you?" I don't know her. Also this.
Naysayers will point out the somewhat-annoying chastity of it all — Anthony was initially betrothed to Kate's little sister, people. But after the initial head-scratching that comes with a lack of bare-assed Bridgerton boys, fans will probably come around to seeing that season 2 offered up more development than its predecessor. Try and point out how Daphe grew, other than figuring out exactly where babies come from. With Netflix already confirming the show's third and fourth seasons (not to mention a prequel series), there will undoubtedly be plenty more opportunities for steamy scenes. Benedict has already shown that he's not shy about stripping down, after all.
With the enemies-to-lovers slow burn perfected and Daphne and Simon checking fake-romance-turned-real off the list, what's next? Can we hope for a She's the Man-style love triangle or maybe some best friends realize they're more than that (Ahem, Colin and Penelope)? Whichever way Shonda and her team take the series, something tells me that there won't be enough sex to make everyone happy, so we should maybe just take comfort in the pretty dresses and go enjoy the ride.