*Bridgerton season 2 spoilers ahead*
Dearest gentle readers, it has probably come to your attention that Bridgerton season 2 hit Netflix last Friday. Perhaps you’re drawing the eight episodes out, watching only one a night. But not this writer. I had watched the entire series by Saturday afternoon. And there is only one question on my mind: where was all of the sex?
Last season we saw ingenue Daphne Bridgerton and her Duke husband at it like rabbits – on the stairs, on a marble mausoleum, on a library ladder (which was a pretty impressive sex position) and it was everything that we never knew we wanted: fucking in fancy frocks. It was an instant hit, making it Netflix’s most successful series ever (until Squid Game stole the top spot under a year later) reaching a total of 82 million households worldwide within its first month on the streaming site.
So the second series was always going to be hotly anticipated. And that’s precisely what I felt as I sat down to watch the first episode last Friday: hot anticipation. By Saturday, I was deeply disappointed. This season focuses on Daphne’s older brother and his quest to find a wife. Deciding not to factor love into the occasion, he methodically works his way through the women of the Ton in search of a suitable future Viscountess and mother to his children. On the way, he meets Kate Sharma, a beautiful unattached woman who arrives in London with her mother and sister in tow. They soon realise that they have a lot in common, but Kate is not after a love match, she only wants to help her sister partner up. But alas they struggle to stay away from one another, there are stolen glances and brief touches aplenty. And that’s pretty much it.
Am I boring you? I’m boring myself. Because up to this point, we’ve not seen as much as a passionate snog. In fact, you have to wait until episode six for a full-on pash and episode seven (of eight let me remind you!) before you finally get to see some action. Granted the romp is a good one – a good time is had by all parties, but that’s all it is. We then have to wait until the final scenes of the series of the period drama for a follow-up shag.
When asked about the lack of sex in season 2, creator Chris Van Dusen said this during a press conference, ‘We never do a sex scene for the sake of doing a sex scene, all of our intimate scenes really serve a much larger purpose and it’s always part of a much greater, bigger narrative. This season we’re with new characters, we’re following Anthony Bridgerton, and his love interest, Kate Sharma, and what we’re telling is this incredibly fraught and charged sexy enemies-to-lovers love story. For me, the steamy moments are just as sexy and scandalous as season one, as far as the longing looks across the room and the near finger grazes and the hand touches. I think all of that really adds to the sexual tension that you feel this season.’
Whilst I can completely understand that this love story was very different from last season’s and therefore required a different approach, I wanted more. The thing is, it needn’t have been Anthony and Kate doing it. I would have been happy to watch any of the other characters go at it. There was a brief, and I really do mean brief, moment when Anthony’s younger brother Benedict beds a life drawing model. We see them kissing, we see them disrobe, we see them start to get it on. And then the camera pans off screen. I would just like to point out here that I am not sex-starved and in need of some visual aid. I just think that we can all admit that the sex scenes from season one were part of the reason that made this period drama so exciting and great.
We’ve been told that each season will focus on a new member of the Bridgerton family and their own personal search for a love match. And according to Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington (a.k.a. Lady Whistledown), ‘next year it’ll be a totally different love story again, but I do have a feeling, from what I know, it is going to be extremely racy.’ There’s hope ahead for this frustrated viewer. Bring on season 3.