Bridgerton is inarguably one of the most anticipated shows returning to Netflix in 2022. The runaway hit based on Julia Quinn's Regency-era set romances featuring the aristocratic Bridgerton family in 1810s London has become the streaming service's most-watched series ever. (At least, according to its own reporting.) So far, each season looks to cover one book of the nine-installment book series, with a different Bridgerton sibling taking center stage for their romantic happily-ever-afters. Season 1 was Daphne, now Season 2 rounds back to the beginning of the alphabetically ordered kids to eldest brother Anthony.
Anthony Bridgerton was an antagonist in Season 1, built up into a fearsomely over-productive brother who was incompetent at relationships to boot. Season 2 needs to back peddle a bit on that front in making him the romantic hero for the new season, but it seems they've found a thoughtful way to do it: give him a love interest who has no time for his idiot nonsense. That follows the books, where his opposite, Kate, is as overprotective of her younger sister when Anthony comes courting. But from the first clip, fans can see the show is upping the ante.
One significant difference for the series is that Kate's family are not longtime London players, with Kate having ten years of being a wallflower under her belt. Instead, they are newcomers from India, in keeping with the show's inclusive themes and casting. Both actresses who play Sharma sisters Kate and Edwina, Simone Ashley (Sex Education) and Charithra Chandran (Alex Rider), were on hand to introduce the clip where Kate and Anthony confront each other during the ton's endless ball season.
As part of the "Tudum" virtual event where Netflix presented the first Bridgerton clip, Ashley and Chandran talked to fellow actors Jonathan Bailey and Nicola Coughlan, who play Anthony and Penelope Featherington, respectively. Both admitted it was a dream come true to find themselves on a show of this magnitude. Chandran noted that she grew up a fan of the Jane Austen books, a love passed down to her from her mother, and that period piece TV series, like the ones shown on Masterpiece and PBS, were some of her favorite shows of all time. As a South Asian actress, she never thought she would get cast to star in one, and she relished the opportunity to be part of the series.
The group also noted that Anthony's story is a fan favorite, and "Kanthony" is a deeply loved couple for book readers, who count Kate as one of Quinn's best heroines of the entire series. Hopefully, Season 2 will live up to that hype. So far, the clip looks promising, and the sharp banter between the two feels like this season could be an instant classic of the Regency romance genre in the making.
ETA: Here's the full panel, which Netflix released on Monday, Sept. 27.
The series expects to bring back most of the cast for Season 2, save Regé-Jean Page, who exits the series after successfully wooing and winning Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) as Daphne. Most of the other Bridgertons are expected to return, including Luke Thompson, Luke Newton Claudia Jessie, Ruby Stokes, Florence Hunt, and Ruth Gemmell. The Featheringtons will also be back, led by Polly Walker's Lady Portia and Penelope's sisters Prudence (Bessie Carter) and Phillipa (Harriet Cains). Julie Andrews will continue as the voice of Lady Whistledown, and both Adjoa Andoh and Golda Rosheuvel will be back as Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte.
Bridgerton Season 2 does not have a release date, though Netflix confirmed it will arrive in 2022. Fans expect that will probably be in late 2022, much like Season 1, coming during the December holidays. Bridgerton Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.