Movies & TV

Bridgerton Season Two Could Shift the Focus to a Different Family Member

Creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen is eager to explore the romantic lives of other characters.
IMAGE ELAINE CHUNG
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At the bitter end of this abysmal year, Netflix’s frothy, flirtatious Bridgerton arrived on Christmas Day like manna from heaven, sliding into our queues right when we needed it most. The Shondaland series skyrocketed to instant popularity, trending on Twitter and vaulting into Netflix’s coveted most-watched spot within just two days of its debut. Based on a series of globally bestselling historical romance novels by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton centers on Daphne Bridgerton, the sheltered but spirited eldest daughter of a powerful Regency-era family, whose tumultuous journey through the cutthroat London marriage market sends her into the arms of an improbable love match. Fans of the series are clamoring for a second season, but as for now, mum’s the word from Netflix. If you’re worried about the fate of the series hanging in the balance, don’t despair just yet—in fact, one key detail in the season one finale suggests that there’s much more romance ahead for the people of the ton.

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Has Bridgerton Been Renewed For a Season Two?

The short answer: not yet, but all signs point to yes. The instant popularity of Bridgerton suggests a speedy renewal, as does the outsize wattage of Netflix’s eye-popping $150 million development deal with Shonda Rhimes. Stranger cancellations have happened (rest in peace, Away), but we have a hard time picturing Netflix pulling the plug on this popular first outing in its much-talked-about deal with Rhimes.

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In further promising news, a production listing from Production Weekly showed that Bridgerton is set to begin filming in Uxbridge, England in March 2021. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt film and television production, it’s entirely possible that Netflix’s best-laid filming plans will go awry, but their apparent commitment to filming in 2021 offers hope for a second season.

It’s also worth noting that the cast is fully on board to return, with stars Phoebe Dynevor (who plays Daphne Bridgerton) and Regé-Jean Page (who plays Simon Basset) confirming that they’re eager to reprise their roles. Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, told Variety, “We all really hope [it will be renewed]. It’s a real joy to make and the response has been beyond our wildest dreams. But until the Netflix gods come down and bless us, we don’t know.”

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In an upcoming interview with Esquire, creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen was tight-lipped about the prospect of a second season, saying, "I can't tell you much is what I can tell you." However, there seems to be reason to hope, as Van Dusen is eager to continue adapting the Bridgerton novels, Netflix-willing.

"Obviously we're focused on Daphne and Simon's story in Season One, but we do know there are eight Bridgerton books and eight Bridgerton siblings," Van Dusen said. "In success, I would love to be able to explore stories and romances for all of them."

What Would Season Two Be About?

Lucky for fans of the television series, Quinn’s novels offer an insightful blueprint for where Netflix’s Bridgerton might head next. The first season loosely follows the events of The Duke and I, the first novel in the Bridgerton series, suggesting that a second season would likely adapt the second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me. Each of the eight novels focuses on the life and romance of a different Bridgerton child, all eight of whom are helpfully named in alphabetical order. With a cast of characters this large and a canon of source material so expansive, Netflix could continue adapting Bridgerton for decades.

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The Viscount Who Loved Me shifts the focus to Anthony, the eldest of the eight Bridgerton children. When last we see Anthony in the season one finale, fresh off the heartbreaking conclusion of his on-again, off-again romance with opera singer Siena, he declares his intentions to find a viscountess, informing Simon and Daphne of his commitment to marrying for duty rather than love. “I’ve finally determined the difficulty: love itself,” Anthony says. “Removing it from all romantic relations shall make me all the better for it. No more distractions from responsibility or being waylaid from the sensible path.”

It will come as no surprise to lovers of the romance genre that life has other plans for Anthony. In The Viscount Who Loved Me, elusive bachelor Anthony becomes affianced to a sensible match, but soon falls for his intended’s protective elder sister. The rest is history, but for eagle-eyed viewers, Anthony’s long and winding path to true love is foreshadowed in the final frame of the season one finale.

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What’s the Deal With That Bee?

In the final seconds of the season one finale, the camera panned to a single bee buzzing on the windowsill of Daphne and Simon’s bedroom. Fans of Quinn’s novels surely recognized the bee as a powerful motif, particularly in The Viscount Who Loved Me, where the prologue reveals that the patriarch of the Bridgerton family, Edmund Bridgerton, was killed at age 38 by a fatal bee sting. Anthony, who was eighteen at the time of his father’s death, developed a powerful phobia of bees as a result, and remains convinced that he too will die young. We won’t spoil the twists and turns of The Viscount Who Loved Me for you, but rest assured that bees are instrumental in bringing Anthony together with his one true love. While the shot may seem innocuous, the masterminds behind Bridgerton couldn’t have sent a more powerful easter egg when it comes to a second season.

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Watch this space for updates as we continue to learn more—if Lady Whistledown delivers the good word on season two, we’ll make sure you’re among the first to hear about it.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Adrienne Westenfeld
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