Bridgerton Season Two vs. “The Viscount Who Loved Me”

Netflix released season two of Bridgerton, the adaptation of Julia Quinn’s “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” a steamy romance set in the regency era. How’d they do?

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Bridgerton season two hit your Netflix account on March 25th, adapting Julia Quinn’s book, “The Viscount Who Loved Me.” How do we think Netflix did their adaptation? Spoliers imminent!

The second my roommate and I found out that Bridgerton was renewed for a second season, we squealed at a pitch only dogs can hear. To be clear, regency era romance is, in the words of Anthony (sexy stare) Bridgerton “the bane of my existence and the object of all of my desires.”

With that being said, how true to the original was the Netflix version? My roommate and I are here to keep you up-to-date with the happenings of the Ton.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 2.04 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

First off, the heat, the tension, and the slow burn of Julia Quinn’s “The Viscount Who Loved Me?” is all there. Kate and Anthony have our hearts. They burn for each other, and that’s easy to see.

What impresses me about the Netflix rendition of Bridgerton is the inclusivity. This isn’t a factor that is explicity mentioned in the books, but to see this kind of representation in a period piece is refreshing.

But if you’re going to have a genre that’s all about love and happy endings, then let everybody see themselves in the story. Part of the reason [the Netflix series] is so popular is because so many different kinds of people could see themselves in the story.

Julia Quinn, author of “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” in conversation with Jolie A. Doggett for Netflix
Cr. Liam Daniel, Netflix

A subplot that we noticed that differed from the books involved Kate and Edwina’s grandparents, Lord and Lady Sheffield. Their stipulations for Edwina’s marriage added another layer to Kate’s character in Netlfix’s version, however we didn’t get that in the book.

Kate always cared more for her sister’s happiness than her own and championed for it in both versions. In the same breath though, we have to note how much we weren’t a fan of Edwina’s character in the show.

Edwina never held any interest for Anthony in Julia Quinn’s books– well beside that of a brother– so her outrage in the later episodes was frustrating to say the least.

Cr: Liam Daniel, Netflix

Speaking of siblings, how about those Bridgerton’s?

The back and forth between the brothers. The little quips from Eloise. And even the little heartfelt scenes between George and Hyacinth with big bro, Anthony. This season allowed us a different angle of the Bridgerton family.

Quinn structures the “Bridgerton” book series as dual POV, a format that is to die for. Knowing what the two main characters are thinking is the best way to heighten a slow burn. Romance is obviously a key factor for this show, and they were playing it up to the max.

Cr. Liam Daniel, Netflix

Even though the first season with Simon and Daphne was really sexy, I think that this [second] season felt steamier. Really though what did it for me was the push and pull of Kate and Anthony’s relationship.

My roommate at four o’clock in the morning after finishing the entire second season in one sitting.
Bridgerton. (L to R) Ruby Stokes as Francesca Bridgerton, Phoebe Dyvenor as Daphne Basset, Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton, Florence Emilia Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton, Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 2.01 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

There’s a level of intensity between Kate and Anthony explored that isn’t appreciated enough. It takes a certain kind of relationship to make breathing heavily seem hot.

However, it is hard to deny that there were some parts of the book that felt downplayed the Netflix version. For example, the bee scene. If you’ve read the books or watched the show, you know that the Anthony’s fear goes back to his father’s death.

Even though it was a pivotal scene in the book, it felt somewhat dampened in the show.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 2.01 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Same goes for Kate’s fear of thunderstorms. In the books, she’s petrified of them. Going so far to hide under Anthony’s desk in the library during one. Another turning point for our two main characters because it allowed them to be vulnerable without admitting that they were weak.

I will honestly say though, both Quinn’s book and Netflix’s adaptation were able to show the difficulties of being the oldest child without explicitly saying it.

Kate and Anthony have the weight of the world on their shoulders, but they are able to balance it because they have each other. And eventually, they realize that they don’t need to take so much on.

Bridgerton. Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 2.01 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Romance novels are all about the happy ending. And the truth is that’s what we all want in life. Isn’t the human quest the happy ending?

Julia Quinn, author of “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” in conversation with Jolie A. Doggett for Netflix.

The creative liberties taken for the Netflix adaptation made the show more interesting for a wider audience. The different subplots involving Penelope and Eloise, the Queen (a character not originally in the books), and the scene of Benedict high at Aubrey Hall in the country, all add to our viewing pleasure.

If you’re wanting more Bridgerton, check out their official podcast on iHeart Radio.

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