I Finished Bridgerton, Season 2

When Bridgerton season 1 aired, I blogged. When Bridgerton season 2 aired, I was traveling to a conference, attending a conference, traveling home, and then getting caught up on work (I mean, I have a job, y’all). I watched the entire season while doing this and could not muster up the time or energy to blog.

But that’s only partially an excuse. I didn’t blog episode by episode because I found myself not wanting to blog after each episode. I found myself wanting to sit with each episode, enjoy it, and move on to the next one. I didn’t feel that way about the first season.

So, let me tell you about my Bridgerton season 2 viewing experience, and you can tell me about yours. I also must say that I have not read the books and likely won’t ever read them because I am reading too many other things. I enjoy watching the show for what it is, not an adaptation of Quinn’s series.

OK, SPOILERS. Do not read this post if you haven’t finished the season. Do. not. Assuming you’ve finished season 2. La la la la!

I watched episode 1 of season 2 and honestly thought I might not watch the rest of the season. It felt unoriginal. It felt trite. It felt like I didn’t need it in my life. But I decided to watch episode 2, and with each episode in I started to feel like I wanted to watch the show. By episode 5 I was a born-again-Bridgertonian. I recall posting this about episode 5 on social media: “HOLY SHIT.”

I was not a fan of Anthony in season 1. I hated his character and plot line in almost every way. Then season 2 took aim at Anthony, and I loved it. I loved it when Miss Sharma, hereafter referred to as Kate, called him out on his BS. I was totally here for it. I fell in love with Kate Sharma. But I also started to warm up to Anthony. The dead-father-stung-by-a-bee thing didn’t do it for me. The save-the-mother’s-life wasn’t what did it for me.

The way that we saw Anthony conforming to pre-established, constrictive notions of his place in the world and how damn difficult it was to be himself (whatever that could have been) did it for me. The way he struggled around Kate did it for me. Jonathan Bailey’s breathing did it for me. The flex of a cheek did it for me. The stares into Simone Ashley’s eyes did it for me.

But all that wouldn’t be possible without Simone Ashley. I loved how she played this part (everyone actually acted with such expertise this season). The romance was believable, but the tension created by these actors provided viewers with a space to say, “I see you.” I see you fulfilling a duty, playing a role, being responsible, whatever. I also see you struggling to want something, someone so much that you are ready to burst.

I loved that about this season, and I didn’t feel that with season 1. Before y’all start yelling at me about that, just know that season 1 was a tour de force, and season 2 as well in many ways, but season 2 just felt different. There wasn’t as much humping, that’s for sure. Season 1’s humping was kind of ridiculous IMO. The almost sex scenes were so much sexier, again IMO. The actual sex scenes in season 2 were delicious.

While the second season could have handled some things better (i.e., colonialism, imperialism, racism, sexuality, dog breed, some of the clothing, etc.), it reminded me of Austen’s world more than season 1. Here’s why:

I was feeling Pride and Prejudice so much in Anthony and Kate. The ball where Kate overhears Anthony bragging. P&P. The way she called out Anthony for his assholery. P&P. The desire to be with someone society says you shouldn’t be with. P&P. The disaster of an ending episode where everything good was crammed into the last 10 minutes (a la happy ending for the lovers). P&P. This felt so Austenesque to me, and while a lot of fans were disappointed, I was sitting here smiling, thinking about how Austen would be like, yeah, that’s how you do that.

I don’t want this post to turn into something super long and analytical. I write merely to say that I expected to dislike season 2 (because it was focusing on Anthony), and I ended up loving it. I expected not to feel any connection to Austen (besides the Regency thing), but I did, and it made me happy.

I’d also like to say that I loved having more Danbury and Queen C time. Also, thanks for showing so much snuff.

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