Name a more interesting hook for a TV series than "a very feminist, very steamy take on the strict social mores of early 19th century London, all narrated by an unseen gossip hound voiced by Julie Andrews"—I dare you. That's Bridgerton, Shonda Rhimes' first project under her massive Netflix deal, which premiered Dec. 25 and basically combines all the best parts of Pride & Prejudice and Gossip Girl.
Some people (certainly not me, but surely someone with less obsessive tendencies and more varied taste in TV) might think that eight and a half hours of longing glances, illicit affairs, empire-waist dresses, and queenly proclamations would be more than enough to satisfy any lover of period dramas. To those people, I say: I've got a Regency-era-dramedy-induced fever, and the only prescription is more Bridgerton. Fortunately for us all, it seems increasingly likely that a second season of the Shondaland masterpiece will soon be on the way. Here's all the evidence we've found so far to support that theory.
Has Bridgerton been renewed for a second season?
Technically, no. But all the way back in February, the sleuths at What's on Netflix discovered a production listing noting that season two of Bridgerton would begin filming in July 2020. As is its wont, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted these plans, and filming on the second season was reportedly pushed back to start in March 2021. Since the original listing estimated that filming would span almost a year, the second season now likely won't be completed until early 2022, meaning we're probably still quite a ways away from reconnecting with our favorite lords and ladies. Good thing distance only makes the heart grow fonder!
What would Bridgerton season two be about?
Fortunately for the masterminds at Shondaland and viewers at home, there's plenty more intel about the Bridgerton family to be mined from Julia Quinn's series of romance novels on which the show is based. At the core of the book series are eight novels, each focusing on one of the Bridgerton offspring, who, by the way, were very helpfully named in alphabetical order, from A to H. Beyond those eight stories, Quinn has also published two extra collections of gossip columnist Lady Whistledown's writings and a series of short novellas that serve as "second epilogues" for each of the books; on top of all of that, Quinn recently revealed that she's currently working on a prequel for the series that would follow the Bridgertons as children, because she clearly understands that there's no such thing as too much Bridgerton.
The first season loosely follows the events of the first book in Quinn's series, The Duke & I, which centers on the eldest Bridgerton daughter Daphne's entrance into society and search for a husband who offers both passion and high status; she does so by way of a scheme involving a fake betrothal that quickly becomes all too real. Logically, then, a second season would take its inspiration from the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me. That story follows the eldest Bridgerton, Anthony, on his own quest for love. The classic rom-com trope this time around sees Anthony's fiancée's disapproving and very protective older sister reluctantly warming up to the "consummate rake"—perhaps a little too much so.
Did season one include any hints about future episodes?
Several moments of Bridgerton's first season all but confirm that the next installment will revolve around Anthony. Those familiar with Quinn's series know that bees play a significant role throughout the books: In the second, The Viscount Who Loved Me, we learn that patriarch Edmund Bridgerton, whose death was only rarely mentioned in the show's first season, died of a bee sting at the age of 38. As a result, his two eldest sons are understandably very wary of bees, with Anthony especially terrified of the insects, a fear that continually arises throughout his search for a bride.
Nods to Anthony's greatest fear were hidden throughout season one of Bridgerton. Barely a minute into the first episode, a bumblebee is shown crawling on the Bridgerton estate's door knocker; as a sort of bookend, the final episode closes on a close-up shot of a bee buzzing along the windowsill of Daphne's room. Plus, in the seventh episode, as Insider discovered, Benedict wears a bee-shaped pin on his collar, which feels like a strange power move to direct at the cause of a major family tragedy.
Would Daphne and Simon's love story continue in season two?
We can only hope so. Though Anthony's search for a suitable wife is expected to take center stage in a second season of Bridgerton, it seems likely that the rest of his family and their fellow members of London's high society would still get plenty of screen time, following in the multitasking tradition of season one.
That said, despite the happy ending that Daphne and Simon received at the end of the first season, it might not be all sunshine and daisies for the duke and duchess in ensuing seasons. As Regé-Jean Page, the Duke of Hastings himself, recently mused to TV Guide, "They get married very young. They still have a lot of growing to do. They have a lot to do, and I think it'll always be fun to watch them do that together."
Page explained, "I'm not sure I believe in paradise. I know that the romance genre generally does—part of the deal is that you get a happy ending—but as far as continuing to explore characters, I think that love is an evolving thing. It's a living, breathing thing that needs tending, that needs looking after, that needs mending when it gets worn or torn."
How does the cast and crew feel about a second season?
It's safe to assume they'd be thrilled to return to their beloved London "ton." Nicola Coughlan, who plays the delightfully refreshing Penelope Featherington in the series, recently said as much. "I feel like we've established this big world, so I'd love to explore more of it," she told Radio Times, adding that she'd be particularly excited to explore more of Penelope's world. "I'd love to go on that journey with her, to see how she's changed," Coughlan said. "I'd really love to come back, because I feel like we've just scratched the surface. And because there's such a huge cast in this show, there's so much more of all the characters."
Page also confirmed that he'd jump at the chance to dive headfirst back into the drama of Regency London. "I think there are a lot of good stories to be told in this world," he told Oprah Mag. "There's a plethora of characters and each of those characters has cousins, uncles, and dogs, and I think people enjoy exploring all of those depths and nooks and crannies."
The Duchess of Hastings, too, declared that she would willingly pass the baton to her brother Anthony and assist him in his search for the perfect partner in a second season. "I love that [Daphne's] story ends really nicely; it's all tied up at the end. Now, I have a feeling that she's going to have to get involved with Anthony's love life, since it's his turn next," Phoebe Dynevor told T&C. "I'm a hopeless romantic, so I'm all for the happily-ever-after ending."
And finally, if showrunner Chris Van Dusen has anything to say about it, we'll get not just a second season of Bridgerton, but seven more installments: one to cover each of the Bridgerton children's stories. When asked by Collider whether he'd like to adapt all eight of Quinn's novels for the screen, Van Dusen said, "I would love that. In success, I would love that."
He explained, "I feel like the first season was primarily about Daphne and her love story with Simon. But, this being a family of eight children and there being eight books, I would love to be able to focus and really tell stories and love stories for all the Bridgerton siblings. For each character, for sure."
From his lips to Netflix's ears.
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