Christmas 2020 saw a feature film battle royale, with Soul on Disney+ facing off against Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max. But Netflix remained the TV series champ, as the eight-episode Bridgerton Season 1 took streaming by storm. According to Netflix, the series is on track to hit 63 million views in the first month alone, making it the fifth-most-watched show in the streamer's history. With that kind of debut, a Bridgerton Season 2 renewal was practically assured, even before Netflix formally announced a second installment is on its way.
Bridgerton is the second title to arrive from Shonda Rhimes' Netflix division after November's hit documentary, Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. Considering Rhimes' contract with Netflix still has several more years on it, renewing Bridgerton for a second (and maybe even third, fourth, etc.) season was probably always in the cards, even if the show hadn't been the smash hit it turned out to be.
Most series have to wait a full 30 days before Netflix makes the call to renew or cancel. Netflix stuck close to that model in renewing Bridgerton, with the announcement coming 27 days after Season 1 arrived on Christmas Day.
Here's what we know about the second season so far:
Warning: Spoilers for Bridgerton Season 1 follow.
'Bridgerton' Season 2 Renewal
Oh yes, there will be more Bridgerton. On Jan. 21, 2021, Netflix announced Bridgerton Season 2 is officially a go. The news came in the form of a missive from Lady Whistledown herself (naturally), revealing the "incomparable cast" will return to production in the spring of 2021.
The cast is raring to go, too. Even though the series hasn't totally spelled out what the second season will cover, Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne, already dropped hints. Speaking to Elle, she said her character is ready for revenge on Anthony for meddling in her love life in Season 1.
"I want to see Daphne get involved in Anthony's love life a bit, as he sort of meddled with hers quite a lot," she said. "I think that will be fun."
'Bridgerton' Season 2 Cast
As for who will return in Season 2, fans assume the full Bridgerton family will be back, including Francesca, who spent nearly all of Season 1 offscreen. The Featheringtons (minus their late father) are also poised to come back; after all, Portia still has three daughters to marry off.
But the big news is Anthony's new love interest now that Siena seems to have shown him the door. On Feb. 15, 2021, Netflix revealed Season 2's leading love interest for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Kate, will be played by Simone Ashley. Ashley is best known on this side of the pond for Netflix's Sex Education, on which she plays Olivia, one of the school's "Untouchables." According to Deadline, her character, Kate Sharma, will be "newly arrived" in London starting in Season 2.
A few characters may not be back for Season 2 to make room for Kate and her family. For instance, the queen's nephew, Prince Friedrich, will probably stay in Prussia, since he didn't marry Daphne. As for Colin, could he be next season's Francesca, spending almost the whole season abroad?
'Bridgerton' Season 2 Plot
Season 1's romance was a reasonably faithful adaptation of Daphne's story from the book The Duke & I. Fans might assume Season 2 would naturally follow Anthony's romance from its sequel, The Viscount Who Loved Me.
But although Season 1 stuck to the novel, there are already changes popping up when it comes to Season 2. The second book opens one year later, in 1814, at the start of the new social season. Anthony has decided he's marrying and picked his target: The newly-debuted Sheffield daughter, Edwina, the year's "diamond of the first water." There's just one problem: her overprotective sister, Kate, who at 28 is a confirmed spinster and determined not to see her baby sister married to a jerk who sleeps around.
For Netflix's Bridgerton Season 2, the 1814 timeline and the focal switch from Daphne to Anthony seem to be happening. But Kate's backstory is already being altered, as the show has changed the character to be of Indian descent, with the surname of Sharma instead of Sheffield. Instead of being an old hand to the ballroom scene, ignored for years by the men of the ton, this Kate is newly moved to London.
That changes the dynamics between Kate and Anthony for the better. The novel glosses over how Kate has spent a decade getting passed over for marriage while Anthony ignored the marriage mart until it was convenient. But Anthony's high-handedness in Season 1 made him a rather unpopular figure with viewers. Removing that angle will make his sudden "discovery" of Kate, who has been sitting there the whole time, less problematic.
It's not clear with this casting announcement if Kate has a sister. On the one hand, removing Edwina would lose how much Kate and Anthony are alike in protecting their younger siblings (pas the point of effectiveness). But the storyline switch-up would open up new avenues for the Netflix series to follow.
One character the show probably will keep, though, is Kate's corgi pup Newton. Lady Whistledown might call the dog a "mutt of indeterminate breeding," but book readers are quite attached to the animal, almost as much as he is attached to his mistress.
'Bridgerton' Season 2 Theories
But what of the rest of the cast? One of the highlights of Bridgerton Season 1 was the show's ability to turn Daphne's romance into a rollicking ensemble, with multiple side plots pulled from the backstories of novels that come later in the Bridgerton book series. Fans are hoping the same will be said for Season 2.
Speaking to TV Guide, Regé-Jean Page, who plays Simon Basset, suggested Daphne and Simon would not disappear into wedded bliss in future seasons: “I think that love is an evolving thing ... They get married very young. They still have a lot of growing to do."
Other questions still remain for a second season to address: How much of Lady Whistledown will be in Season 2? Will Eloise continue her sleuthing? How will the queen react to Eloise spoiling her Whistledown trap?
One also assumes there will be more focus on Benedict, whose own romance is the subject of Book 3, maning he could be the protagonist of potential Season 3 of the Netflix show. How his affair with Mme. Delacroix proceeds will be one to watch.
'Bridgerton' Season 2 Premiere Date
There's no premiere date as of yet for Bridgerton Season 2. But with no installment of The Crown planned for 2021, wouldn't a new season of Bridgerton be perfect for the coming holiday season?
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