Film & Television

‘Bridgerton,’ Season 2: I Have Fallen (And I Cannot Get Up)

I enjoy many benefits and freedoms that I would likely not have had access to in the early nineteenth century. I went to a university. I vote. Although married (30 years next month!), I’ve kept my maiden name. I own a boutique marketing agency. I go where I want, when I want, without a chaperone or a lady’s maid or my husband’s permission. I wear pants. And they have pockets.

These are not options or opportunities that I’d be willing to part with under normal circumstances. But these are not normal circumstances. 

Ten days ago, Netflix launched Bridgerton, Season 2. 

And, despite all of the advantages of my modern life, I have a confession to make. Like the rest of “the ton” (millions of women in 92 countries), I’m obsessed.

First, I prepared for the second season by rewatching the first one. Then, I binge-watched all eight new episodes over the course of two days, stopping only to walk the dog, get some work done for clients, and watch the Oscars. Midweek, I found myself with a couple of hours to kill and, regardless of a daunting stack of unread New Yorkers and literally hundreds of cable channels, I started again.

Is it any wonder my husband is rolling his eyes (and avoiding our family room completely)?

The costumes! The sets! The jewelry! The dancing! The pastel pastries piled high on tea trays!  Truly, I’ve fallen head over heels for this utterly silly, historically inaccurate, regency-era soap opera based on an impossibly popular series of racy romance novels. I’m sure my English literature professors are rolling in their graves. 

Unless they’re still alive. In that case, they’re probably bingeing Bridgerton too.

As with any addiction, the first step is acknowledging that you have a problem. So, in case any of you are concerned that you might also be suffering from Bridgertonhysteria, here are some of the tell-tale signs to look out for:

You can’t decide which Bridgerton boy is the best looking. Is it Anthony, Benedict, or Colin? The dashing viscount, suffering artistic soul, or kind-hearted world traveler? This question may well keep you up at night. All I can say is that it’s a good thing Gregory is still a child, or the contest would be even more competitive.

You no longer want a special someone to say, “I burn for you.” Now you want him (or her) to breathily declare, “You are the bane of my existence . . . and the object of all my desires.” (Did it suddenly get hot in here?) In a perfect world, these words should be uttered in front of a roaring fire in the library of an ancestral home, away from prying eyes, while a ball is going on elsewhere in the building.

You’re suddenly craving tea. Even though you’ve always preferred coffee.

You’re quite desperate to play pall-mall with your siblings. Particularly if, like Miss Sharma, you select the mallet of death. You’ll be ruthless, but you’ll also applaud the other player’s shots politely. And practically silently; you’ll have your lace gloves on, of course.

You start calling your morning walks “promenades.” And you make sure you wear your finest frock and feathers in your hair while you get in your ten thousand steps. (But you’re very careful to avoid bees.)

You ask your Zumba teacher to update her playlist. The new selection should include the Quadrille, the Allemande, the Cotillion, and a number of waltzes. 

You’ve been eyeing a used set of Julia Quinn’s paperbacks on eBay. Even though you once swore you would rather be caught dead than read a romance novel. You can always cover the books in plain brown paper if you plan to peruse them in public.

You’re going to name your children in alphabetical order. And there will be several of them — four boys and four girls, ideally.

You tell everyone you’re off to “the modiste.” When you’re actually driving to the local mall and planning to buy something off the rack at Macy’s.

You eschew local and national newspapers. But you devour with delight every issue of Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, especially those in which you or yours are mentioned — provided the mentions are appropriately favorable.

You stop using contractions altogether. You can practice with this: “I am sorry that I will have to miss the soirée Lady Danbury has planned and that you are attending. I would not have missed it for the world if it were not for my prior engagement with the Featheringtons.”

And finally, you cannot wait for Bridgerton, Season Three. Although you know full well that you will consume all the episodes within 48 hours and have to wait yet another year for the next one.

If, indeed, you are one of the world’s many women addicted to Bridgerton, there’s hope. You can watch Sanditon (no relation) on PBS. Or any of the other Jane Austen adaptations available via streaming services. The colors won’t be quite as bright or the scenes quite as sexy, but each is satisfying in its own right.

And, of course, you can always watch Bridgerton again.

Nearly 200 million hours were consumed in the first weekend of Bridgerton, Season 2, standing it in good stead to beat viewership records set by Season 1 and the more recent (and rather less refined) Squid Game.

So the point is this, gentle reader: If you have succumbed to the fever that is Bridgerton, you can rest assured that you are not alone.

Both seasons of  Bridgerton are currently available to binge . . .  er, I mean, watch — on Netflix.


Start the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.