Bridgerton season 2 reviews are in – and while they say the new installment is slower paced with a less raunchy romance than season 1’s, it’s still an engaging slow-burn love story in its own right.
The second season of the period romp focuses on Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), who is searching for a wife that can meet his high standards. Though he ends up setting his sights on Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran), it’s with her sister Kate (Simone Ashley) that the real sparks fly.
We’ve rounded up a selection of reviews below to give you an idea of what the critics are saying ahead of Bridgerton season 2’s premiere. So far, the response has been generally positive, even if there is talk of Kate and Anthony having a comparatively less steamy romance that’s big on longing and… heavy breathing?
Check out the critical response below.
The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) – Angie Han
“But whatever its stumbles in other areas, Bridgerton continues to nail it in the one arena that counts most – its central romance. Kate and Anthony may not have the burning carnal connection of Daphne and Simon in season one, but their story scratches a different, almost equally satisfying itch. Time will tell how many more love matches Netflix executives have the patience for; although [Julia] Quinn’s source material spans eight books, one for each Bridgerton, there’s no guarantee [creator Chris] Van Dusen will follow the same blueprint. In the meantime, season two backs up the reputation season one earned for delivering fine, frothy romance.”
Variety (opens in new tab) – Caroline Framke
“So, no, Kate and Anthony’s Bridgerton arc isn’t as outright sensual as the one that preceded it. But in the precious moments that find them entangled despite all their better instincts, they’re seductive all the same. Even when it’s excruciating to watch Kate and Anthony deny their feelings over and over again, the moments in which they fail can be just as thrilling. It’s just a shame, then, that it takes the show as long as its characters to realize it.”
Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab) – A – – Kristen Baldwin
“What season two lacks in sex montages it makes up for in emotional resonance. Anthony is forced to face how his father’s death – and the immediate, crushing responsibility it placed on him as the eldest son – drove him to develop a tyrannical focus on duty, leaving him all but estranged from his own siblings. Bailey easily captures his character’s personal growth, as Anthony’s deep love for his family begins to break down his icily stern demeanor.”
Collider (opens in new tab) – B+ – Carly Lane
“If that already sounds like a lot to squeeze in over the course of eight episodes, that’s because it is. Naturally, one of the benefits of having a big ensemble cast in any series is the seemingly limitless number of plots that can be tackled, but the downside to the same comes when storylines that should be afforded even more emotional weight aren’t given a sufficient length of screen time to work themselves out. Next to Daphne and Simon’s journey to their happily-ever-after last season, season 2’s love story plays out much differently by comparison – and the resulting slow burn contributes to a completely distinct pace related to how Kate and Anthony find their way to a HEA. While that aspect, specifically, isn’t a negative in and of itself, this season does fall prey to a similar issue as its predecessor, with some resolutions feeling more rushed through or added in purely as an afterthought to tie up any loose ends remaining.”
AV Club (opens in new tab)– B – Gwen Ihnat
“Yet as he and Kate continue to swirl around each other over the course of several episodes, it’s clear that love has other plans for Lord Bridgerton. It’s to the show’s credit that the numerous scenes featuring extreme close-ups of the pair breathing heavily and millimeters away from actually kissing are in their way as steamy as Simon and Daphne’s clinches last season. Ten episodes may seem like a long time to stretch out a entangled love triangle, but the romantic complication rings true: Kate may long for Anthony, but her true loyalty lies with her sister, and she can’t ever be with him without hurting Edwina irrevocably. It’s an effective plot hurdle with no easy out.”
Digital Spy (opens in new tab) – Janet A. Leigh – 3.5/5
“What does that equate to? A lot less steaminess initially and certainly more… edging, shall we say, as both the Viscount and Miss Sharma try to bury their affections for one another. Expect a lot of heavy panting – imagine a Bernese Mountain Dog at the peak of summer.”
IndieWire (opens in new tab) – Kristen Lopez – C+
“Bridgerton season 2 tries hard to please everyone, but ends up feeling watered down. Gone is the sexiness in favor of a more chaste series that almost everyone can watch together. Simone Ashley is a gem this season, but there’s never enough chemistry between her and Bailey to get a fire started.”
Bridgerton season 2 hits Netflix this March 25. In the meantime, check out our roundup of the best Netflix shows streaming now to fill out your watchlist.