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Dearest Reader: a Summary and Review of Bridgerton Seasons 1 & 2

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

*DISCLAIMER: this article contains Bridgerton spoilers from both seasons one and two. If you have not seen it and are wanting to, this may not be the article for you! I suggest you check out other articles, (whether they are by me or other Her Campus authors)*

It appears a new season is upon us and many await to see who the Queen will name her new diamond. Yes, I am of course referring to Season Two of Bridgerton: the Netflix period piece set during the Regency Era. To give a quick summary of the show for those of you who have not seen it, Bridgerton first aired on Netflix at the end of 2020. It is in association with Shondaland, created by Shonda Rhimes, who serves as the executive producer. If that name sounds familiar, she has also worked on Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder. The show follows the Bridgerton Family, a family of influence in England during the Regency Era. In total, there are eight children and their mother, Lady Bridgerton, who oversees the home. The story follows the children as they navigate their way through high society and find love. The first season mainly followed Daphne Bridgerton (played by Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter and fourth-born child. She is named the diamond of the season (which is basically just the most eligible bachelorette) and wants to find love.

She ends up meeting Simon, the Duke of Hastings (played by Rege-Jean Page), where they start a fake courtship to give her more matches and to keep people from asking him when he plans to marry. However, they of course fall in love for real and get married after Anthony (the oldest Bridgerton, the Viscount, played by Jonathan Bailey) catches them kissing in the garden. In that time, that was seen as dishonorable, so the duke and Daphne get married. They experience some troubles because the Duke refuses to have children due to treatment from his father. However, Daphne loves children and wants so badly to become a mother. This causes a strain in their marriage but Daphne and others help the Duke see that he is not his father and that he would make an excellent one. The first season ends with them having their firstborn child, a son. Besides Daphne’s adventures, we also learn a bit about all of the older Bridgerton children (Anthony, Benedict, Colin, and Elouise) along with following the Featherington family, who are close friends with the Bridgertons. All the while, gossip columnist Lady Whistledown serves all the tea regarding the season. At the very end of season one, we learn that Lady Whistledown is Penelope Featherington, Eloise’s best friend who also secretly has a crush on her brother Colin.

Season two has many similarities, but this time it follows Viscount Anthony, who took over as Viscount after the death of their father, Lord Edmund Bridgerton. In this time, it was traditional that if the father passed, the next oldest male in the family took over the estate and title. Last season, Anthony was still viscount who made sure to take care of the family, all while chasing an opera singer. Because she was not part of high society, their affair was made to be kept a secret. She however got sick of this and wanted to move on without Anthony. Because Anthony is 29 years old, it was becoming urgent that he find someone to marry and take over as Viscountess. He met with many women of affluence but did not meet anyone of interest. That is until he ran into Kate Sharma (played by Simone Ashley, who you may have seen on Sex Education which is also on Netflix). She is very stubborn and thus starts an angsty romance between the two. Kate is there with her step-mom Mary Sheffield Sharma and half-sister Edwina, who are looking to marry someone of affluence. The Sharmas are being sponsored by Lady Danbury, who also worked closely with the Duke of Hastings last season. We later find out Mary was part of the Sheffield Family, who are affluent in England at this time. During her season, she married a common man who was a widower with another child. At this time, that was seen as extremely dishonorable and her parents threatened to cut her out of the family if she married him. She knew her heart belonged to Mr. Sharma and left her family to be with him. Kate found this out when Mr. Sharma passed and wrote to the Sheffields asking them if they would provide the dowry for Edwina. They agreed, but only if she married someone of affluence in England. Kate then took it upon herself to teach Edwina the ways of high society, swearing off men for herself. She even said once Edwina was married, she would not stay in England and would return back home to India.

When the Sharmas arrive, the Queen of England names Edwina Sharma the diamond of the season. Anthony is merely looking for a wife; someone to bear his children and run the household as the new Viscountess. Outside at a ball, Kate Sharma overhears him talking crudely about this and knows her sister wants to marry for love. She confronts the viscount about it. They get into an argument and their disdain for each other grows. Kate tries to warn Edwina about him and to stay away from him, but she insists that he is good. The season follows Anthony courting Edwina but the tension between him and Kate only grows. We also find out Edmund Bridgerton died ten years earlier of a bee sting (thank goodness for technology and modern medicine!). We see how much stress he was put under being name Viscount so young, at just age nineteen. He was almost forced to choose whether doctors should save his mother or his sister Hyacinth during birth (luckily, they both lived).

With Lord Bridgerton evading the question of marriage, Edwina is sure he is no longer interested. However, he finally asks her to marry him and she accepts. We as the audience can tell Kate Sharma is hurt. Later, the Sheffields finally visit the Sharmas, Anthony, Lady Bridgerton, and Lady Danbury at her home. Lady Sheffield and Lord Sheffield are only interested in speaking with Edwina and constantly make rude remarks to Mary, the late Mr. Sharma, Kate, and Kate’s late mother. The night ends with the Sheffields revealing Kate’s plan to acquire the dowry. Anthony kicks them from dinner and uninvites them to the wedding, to which they pull funding for the dowry. However, seeing Anthony defend her and her family makes Edwina fall for him even more and they continue with the wedding without a dowry and actually move it up.

The wedding finally comes and tension between Anthony and Kate keeps building. They are caught very close to one another in the library by Daphne and she warns the viscount about the honor at hand. At the wedding, he cannot stop staring at Kate and imagines that he is marrying her, not Edwina. Kate is seen fiddling with her bangles and drops one, to which she picks it up and Anthony also bends down to grab it. They touch hands and look at each other for a while. Edwina finally sees what is going on and realizes they have feelings for each other and runs out of the church. She confronts Kate and Kate is left in distress. She and Anthony finally kiss when no one else is in the chapel. The families must decide what to do because calling off the wedding can cause each family to be seen as less desirable. Edwina calls Kate and Anthony into the church and says she cannot marry Anthony because he is in love with Kate. Thus, the “ton” (the affluent families) are sent home. The families do everything they can to make sure they are not seen as less desirable and Lady Danbury works hard to try and find Edwina a match this season. They host a ball to show everyone that there are no hard feelings between the families, but there is certainly tension between Kate and Anthony even more, now that he is single again.

Chatters of the families’ honor die down and everyone sees there are no hard feelings between the Sharmas and the Bridgertons. The tension has built up enough that Kate and Anthony finally hook up (and it is steamy!) but Kate runs off in the morning. He finds her in the forest on her horse ride and she still does not want to stay in England and is set to go back to India. Kate then is kicked off of her horse and hits her head, comatose for a week. She is still set to go back to India when she wakes up but she and Anthony finally get together and she becomes the viscountess and the season ends.

Outside of the viscount, we see Benedict, the second oldest Bridgerton, get accepted into a prestigious art school. Colin Bridgerton, the third oldest, comes back from Greece and briefly visits Marina Thompson, his love interest from last season, who is now married to someone else. Eloise is in this season looking for a husband (against her wishes). She is still on a mission to find Lady Whistledown when she meets Theo, a common man who works at the print shop (I am hoping for them to further their love story in season 3). As for the Featheringtons, their father passed away and they have to find a new Lord Featherington, who owns ruby mines, to take over. They find Jack Featherington, a distant cousin. Lady Featherington arranges for him to marry her daughter Prudence to try and keep the wealth in the family. However, his ruby mines are empty and the gems he sells are counterfeit. The season ends with Lady Featherington kicking him out for trying to get people to invest in fake ruby mines. The Queen accuses Eloise of being Lady Whistledown. Eloise tells Penelope of her plan to out herself as Lady Whistledown even though she isn’t and Pen writes a story about how Eloise has been running off with a common man. Later, Eloise and Penelope are at a ball and she hears how Pen talks about another woman (in a gossipy manner). She sneaks off to tear Pen’s room apart and figures out that she is Lady Whistledown.

Overall, I thought this season was pretty good, although I thought season one was better. I like that they introduce Kate and Edwina. I have seen Simone Ashley in Sex Education and thought she was a strong character. In that show, Simone’s character didn’t get that much screen time, so it was nice to see her have a bigger role. I look forward to seeing her in the next season. I also hope to see more of Kate and Anthony because it felt like their story was pretty rushed. We didn’t even get to see their wedding, which I was pretty disappointed about. I know Rege-Jean Page said he was exiting the show, but it would be great to see him in one or two episodes as a guest star in the next season. It felt weird not seeing him at all in season two. I predict that in season three, everyone will find out that Penelope is Lady Whistledown. I also hope the Featherington family can get out of debt. Bridgerton has become one of my favorite shows and season three can’t come soon enough!

Kassidy Hoyt

Bowling Green '22

I am a student at Bowling Green State University. My major is Political Science and my minor is Sociology. After graduation I want to get my Masters in Public Administration and work for a Non-Profit Organization. I love hanging out with my friends, coloring, and playing my Nintendo Switch. I have a cat and I love all animals. She/her they/them.
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