By Giovanna Brasolin
In December 2020, Netflix launched a new series on its platform that surprised its viewers with a British Regency era drama centered around eight young siblings struggling to find love. The tv series was based on a book series of the same name by Julia Quinn and produced by Shonda Rhimes.
The first season followed the hate-to-love story between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). Its second installment shifted the focus from the Duke and Duchess of Hastings to Daphne’s younger brother Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and his love triangle with the Sharma sisters: Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) and Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran). Two other tropes present in this current season are hate-to-late and slow-burn romance.
According to an article by TV Line, season two of the drama beat an opening weekend record as it got over 193 million hours viewed within the first three days of release and topped Netflix’s Top 10 chart in 92 countries. On the same weekend, Bridgerton’s first season reached 32 million hours viewed.
Menjie Thomas, junior music performance major at UT, thinks that the show’s popularity is due to it being different. She likes how the producers present the story, dress the characters, and the overall aesthetics. Thomas adds that two things that make the tv show appealing are the writer who knows everyone’s secrets and shares them in a daily newspaper, and the queen – which was not common at that time.
“I like season two better than season one because it was so unpredictable,” says Thomas. “I also liked the fact that they put two different characters that never agreed on anything to work together.”
According to Thomas, since Regé-Jean Page parted ways with the show and the producers barely gave Phoebe Dynevor lines this season, her role doesn’t make sense. Therefore, she believes that if they couldn’t create a meaningful appearance for her, there shouldn’t have been one at all, especially because her storyline with the duke is already over.
Ashley Obando, senior environmental science major at UT, pulled an all-nighter to binge-watch the eight-episode long season from Friday to Saturday. She comments that season one made her uncomfortable at times due to its sex scenes, so she liked season two better. Obando also adds that she enjoyed seeing the character development and the behind-the-scenes of Lady Whistledown.
“From what we’ve seen in movies like Pride & Prejudice, ethnicity is one. In Bridgerton there’s more diversity, so I think people like to be represented,” says Obando. “Like with Edwina and Kate, they see themselves in those characters, so that’s why they like it so much.”
From what she’s seen on TikTok, one of the reasons people like Bridgerton is because it’s different from the current dating era. Obando believes that the men in the show seem to take more time to get to know the women, and they end up treating them better. She relates to Eloise a lot and thinks her mouth would’ve gotten her in serious trouble if she lived in England during the Regency era.
In a recent Marie Claire article titled ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3: Everything We Know, we are reminded that the tv show was renewed for two more seasons in April 2021. The article includes a reel release on March 8 on Women’s Wear Daily’s Instagram where Lady Whistledown (Nicola Coughlan) alludes to a possible summer filming schedule and the author of the article Quinci LeGardye, presumes that “following that schedule, we could be getting new episodes as soon as spring or summer 2023.”
Thomas can’t wait for season three and is glad that now the fans know that each season will follow a different couple like the book series that inspired it. If Shonda Rhimes keeps following the story in book order, the next sibling to get the spotlight will be Benedict Bridgerton. However, Obando said that Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington’s story is long overdue as people want to know how they end up together. She also wants to see more of the love story between the queen and the king.