Love triangles, betrayal and gossip: ‘Bridgerton’ is back for season two

“Dearest Gentle Reader, did you miss me?”

The long-awaited season two of “Bridgerton” arrived on Netflix on March 25 after a year and a half of waiting. Taking place a few short months after the close of season one, “Bridgerton” season two is set in early 19th century London. The plot revolves around high society’s courting season, where young men and women attend lavish events in search of a marital match. Season two focuses on the eldest child of the Bridgerton family, Anthony, played by Jonathon Bailey, and his pursuit of a wife amongst the ladies of the town.

With each of the eight 45-minute episodes, we watch Anthony struggle between pursuing love or preserving his reputation. From the very beginning, Anthony declares his intentions to marry Miss Edwina Sharma, played by Charithra Chandran. However, Edwina’s older sister Kate, portrayed by Simone Ashley, is steadfast in her disapproval of the pairing. As the season progresses, Anthony and Kate develop feelings for each other, hoping to suppress them to avoid scandal in the eyes of society. All the while, Anthony has proposed to Edwina, with wedding plans being overseen by the Queen of England herself, played by Golda Rosheuvel. As the wedding grows closer and the season comes to an end, Anthony confronts his feelings for Kate and Edwina calls off the marriage.

While Anthony’s nuptial drama occurs, Bridgerton’s sibling, Eloise, played by Claudia Jessie, attempts to hunt down anonymous gossip writer Lady Whistledown, whose identity was revealed to viewers at the end of season one. Eloise soon learns that the search for Whistledown is a dangerous game, leaving her family’s reputation in shambles. It is only at the close of season two that Eloise realizes Whistledown is actually her best friend, Penelope Featherington, played by Nicola Coughlan. Season two comes to a close with a happy marriage between Kate and Anthony and the ruined friendship of Eloise and Penelope. With numerous plot lines and twists, season two definitely lives up to the adoration given season one by the show’s fans.

Season two of “Bridgerton” certainly draws out the romance of Kate and Anthony, getting the viewer to root for their happy ending despite the conflict with Anthony and Edwina’s engagement. I found myself torn between which match I preferred, feeling connected to the struggle of the characters. Additionally, the music, costumes, drama and elegance were deeply engaging, leaving me on the edge of my seat after each episode.

Although “Bridgerton” is a period piece, the cast is diverse and this gives the series an inclusive 21st Century aspect, making it easier to love the show. It was bittersweet to finish another season of a phenomenal series, but a third is expected to come out sometime around the spring or summer of 2023, and a fourth after that.

Season one was exceptional in its mystery, drama and romance, but season two may be even better.

Rated TV-MA, viewer discretion is advised for both seasons one and two.

Grade: A