Its A Bridgerton Affair
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Oooh Bridgerton! Is it Fantasy? Is it Afro-futurism? Is it just the mushy love story that we all need amid the krudum-dum-dum of the wheels and the ka-boom of the walls of the patriarchy? Or is Bridgerton just Shonda’s formidable brain once again showing us her brilliance in all genres? Can you even tell when the story is set? In case you can, keep it to yourself, I will reveal it at the end of this article.

It's A Bridgerton Affair
Its A Bridgerton Affair

In true Bridgerton style, the blossomed flowers shall be introduced to society and the eligible bees shall each try their luck to pollinate and produce some honey. Urggh… Sounded better in my head but shall we dance?

Bridgerton is back!

And with it, the debut of a new social season. We see Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) join the season’s marriageable lords and ladies. Although both are completely repulsed by the rules of engagement, Anthony takes it up as a duty he must fulfill as viscount, while Eloise sees it as nonsense and tries her best to steer clear of it all.

It's A Bridgerton Affair
It’s A Bridgerton Affair

Noticeably, season 2 starts out centering what the men want in a wife. Anthony Bridgerton even had a list! He wanted a woman that is tolerable, dutiful, has suitable enough hips for childbearing and at least half a brain. How romantic! However, as the show progresses we see a refocus on what the women want, both in a husband and in a marriage.

I love that shift in perspective because it was symbolic of how women’s agency is usually overlooked, even trivialized, yet this is something that continues to be what makes-or-breaks a relationship. And true to that, Edwina Sharma turns out to be the determinant of how far Anthony can get with his ridiculous plan to stay dutiful to his role as viscount at the expense of his heart’s desires.

With season 1, we got the marriage (Daphne’s and Simon’s) somewhere in episode 5, then swam in their honeymoon phase the rest of the season. I don’t know why I expected the same in season 2. We got almost no coitus, and we didn’t even witness any wedding ceremony. At least not a full wedding. As far as romance goes, out of a whole day of binge-watching the show, I only got like 2 minutes of lovey dovey stuff between Kate and Anthony. As a hopeless romantic,I feel I’ve been hoodwinked, I feel I’ve been bamboozled!

Now let’s talk representation.

We see a dark-skinned woman as the romantic lead. The second season centers around Miss Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley), who arrives in London with her mother, Lady Mary Sharma (Shelley Conn), and younger half-sister, Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran). They stay with Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) as her guests. The two sisters grew up in India, where Lady Mary absconded after falling in love with a common worker (a clerk).

I also really appreciate how aspects of their heritage were incorporated into the show. Small details such as Kate adding cardamom and clove spices to create every Tamilian’s signature chai, and the haldi ceremony that Kate and Mary did for Edwina before her wedding.

Its A Bridgerton Affair

In addition to that, through Kate, we have the antithesis to the western media trope of depicting Indian women as nerdy and/or non-sexual. We also get to see a dark-skinned Indian woman, Edwina, as the most ‘desirable’ match of the season after the queen declares her as the Diamond. I think this is a great way of celebrating non-eurocentric beauty standards and I’m here for it.

The overt sexism in the ton’s culture.

It’s in how the women need to be chaperoned pretty much everywhere they go. We see it in young Anthony being asked to choose between his mother and undelivered baby Hyacinth despite the fact that he has no idea what the doctor is talking about. The doctor literally ignores Violet Bridgerton’s (Ruth Gemmell) insistence that she should be the one to be consulted on this. Only when Anthony tells him to do whatever she (Violet) wants, does the doctor take into account her wishes.

We see the sexism in how the women have to behave a certain way and look a certain way to be accorded partnership to men by men, and yet it is these women who are paying the dowry. It’s in the way the Featheringtons were desperately waiting on cousin Jack to come and save them from their woes. There’s so many other examples but you get the gist.

It’s A Bridgerton Affair

Then there’s the character development

This was beautifully executed. Kate and Anthony transform from standoffish & uptight to soft and gentle. Even hair and makeup slid this theme into how they styled Kate’s hair

We also see both Kate and Anthony overworking themselves to ensure the well-being of their loved ones, and doing much less for themselves as a result. They come to realize that they cannot control or navigate the lives of others to their liking, and the season ends with them letting others be. In addition, they also start to prioritize their own desires.

Last season, and as this season starts, Anthony was and still is a capital r Rake. l was genuinely surprised every time he described himself as a gentleman. We literally witnessed his Thotiana phase. But his wife-search interviews and the fact that he stopped messing around as the second season progresses gave me the impression that he was quite serious with this husband-me business. 

On the other hand, Edwina went from naive and docile to assertive and sure. She starts off as very sheltered, and we see her grow into someone much more candid and headstrong

And the Unrequited Love

Penelope still has a crush on Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton), but her love for him stays unrequited. I hate this for her 😭 Like, why can’t she have the successful business and a lit love life too! She’s smart, she’s loyal, she’s polite, she’s pretty. I’m sure some man had all this on their list. Actually, now that I think about it, she crosses all the requirements on Anthony’s list. Tolerable ✅ Dutiful ✅ Suitable enough hips for childbearing ✅ And she’s witty. Our girl deserves so much more. And Colin can go to hell 🤷🏾‍♀️ 

Final Thoughts

I’m definitely looking forward to the next season because more Kanthony (Kate and Anthony).

Also, I can’t get enough of the Queen’s wigs.

And the tension between Kate and Anthony was soooo drawn out that it left me feeling frustrated 😂😂

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the classic enemies to lovers trope.

There’s news of a Queen Charlotte spin-off, and Bridgerton has been renewed for season 3 and 4. I hope to see more BIPOC in the cast, more women empowerment and even more steamy sex scenes. And I need them to please bring back the Duke of Hastings 🤤 That said, I didn’t enjoy the second season as much as I did the first, but I plan on rewatching it because Kanthony.

 Since you’ve been patient… Bridgerton is set between 18… Go look where Anthony Bridgerton visits his father’s grave and you will see when he died.

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