‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 is back on track

It’s probably been a worrying couple of months for fans of Bridgerton if you follow gossip columns.

From alleged re-writes of the script to an outbreak of Covid-19 on the set, tittle-tattle writers as scurrilous as Lady Whistledown herself would have you believe that all is not well with the production.

Happily, we can tell you that this isn’t the case. Aside from the occasional problems that every major television production gets into occasionally, all is going well with filming – so much so that we have exciting new details to share with you.

Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton’s showrunner, has been speaking to Digital Spy recently to provide an update on the progress that he and the crew have made, and it all sounds promising. According to him, most of the necessarily filming work has already been completed. While there’s still some shooting going on for the later episodes in the season, the first two have already been recorded and are currently undergoing editing. He also feels that fans will be delighted with the finished product despite the absence of Rene-Jean Page, who set hearts on fire as Duke Simon Basset in the first season. Jonathan Bailey’s character of Anthony Bridgerton takes centre stage this time around, and Van Dusen feels that the chemistry between him and Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma is electrifying.

The same gossip writers who described the production as being “in chaos” also claim that there’s something untoward about Page’s departure from the show. The official line is that his character’s story had come to a natural end with the first season’s conclusion, and there was nothing new to explore. Given the enthusiasm with which audiences received the character, that seems a little hard to believe. An incredible eighty-three million people are believed to have watched the first season of Bridgerton, and their enjoyment of the Duke was one of the biggest reasons they fell in love with the show. Not giving them more of what they enjoyed is a strange decision.

There might be something to be said for the rumour that Page had on-set disagreements with members of the cast and crew and refused to come back even when offered $50,000 per episode, but there’s no proof of that. It certainly seems odd that while Phoebe Dynevor is back as Daphne Bridgerton, Page is absent as her husband. On the other hand, we now know how wide of the mark the suggestions that the show had suffered a major setback with filming restrictions were. Perhaps we should learn not to put too much stock in idle gossip.

Instead of focusing on what we don’t know about what’s going on behind the scenes, let’s focus on what we do know. This second season is based on Julia Quinn’s original novel “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” so if you’ve read the book already, you’ll probably feel like you know what to expect from the show. That might not necessarily be true. Van Dusen has promised “surprises,” so it’s likely that the TV show will deviate from the text at least a little. It will see Anthony Bridgerton attempting to cope with his new situation as the head of the Bridgerton household while mourning the fact that he and opera singer Siena will never get together. When the Sharma family moves into the neighbourhood, though, everything changes for him and, by extension, the rest of the Bridgerton clan.

We also know that the Featherington family will be back, having endured and recovered from scandals that rocked their household in the first season. They’re expected to take more of a background role this time around, although Penelope will presumably still be trying to keep the secret that she’s Lady Whistledown. The arrival of more stable times for the Featheringtons doesn’t mean that there won’t be scandal elsewhere, though. We’re told that the Sharma family comes with baggage and that Lady Mary Sharma, the daughter of a high profile Earl, will attract particular disdain from her snooty neighbours because of a scandal she embroiled her family in long ago. The mysterious (and apparently unattached) character of Jack, played by Rupert Young, is also expected to be a troublemaker.

We’re still waiting on a release date for the season, but we have no reason to believe it won’t follow the template created by season one, which was released to Netflix on Christmas Day 2020. With the editing process already underway and filming close to being wrapped up, five months is probably enough time to finish editing and mixing a show that doesn’t require much in the way of CGI or other special effects. Speaking of graphics, though, we’ve recently heard that Netflix is considering developing a video game based on Bridgerton. The story, which first appeared in the Hollywood Reporter, says that Netflix is starting a gaming division and intends to make money based on its most famous properties. Bridgerton is the most successful show in the history of the streaming service, so it would make sense for it to be first in line to get a video game adaptation. How such a game would work is unknown, but it’s thought that “Stranger Things: The Experience” has been used as a style guide and inspiration.

The idea of a video game based on Bridgerton might not be as strange as it seems on first hearing. A mobile game based on Downton Abbey turned out to be a surprise hit in 2015 and was followed by an online slots game that used the same concept. While period dramas were once thought to be of limited interest to anyone who’s not a fan of the genre, the success of Bridgerton has changed that idea. Millions of period drama fans watched it, but it wouldn’t have reached 83 million if it appealed only to period drama fans. With the right concept and a quality script, you can use your creation to sell video games, online slots, and just about anything else you can stamp your show’s label onto.

We expect the hype train for Bridgerton season two to go into overdrive within the next month or two, and we’ll be sure to bring you all the latest news as soon as we hear it.