Bridgerton Season 2 Introduces South Asian Representation To Regency Romance, And The Internet Is Loving It

Kate and Edwina Sharma in Bridgerton Season 2
(Image credit: Netflix )

After Bridgerton became not only the talk of the town in late 2020, but the most successful original Netflix show ever, the second season is finally here. And instead of the Regency Era series focusing on Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page’s Daphne and Duke, this new batch of episodes focuses on a new love story involving Jonathan Bailey’s Viscount Bridgerton and a member of the Sharma family. And as fans binge the series this weekend, audiences are really stoked about the great South Asian characters taking the lead this time around. 

Bridgerton Season 2 follows Ashley Simone and Charithra Chandran as the Sharma sisters, who shake up England’s social season just as Viscount Bridgerton looks for the perfect wife. The season makes for a great enemies to lovers storyline not unlike Pride and Prejudice. While watching the series, Twitter user @avantika_panda shared her thoughts on the new prominent additions to the show. In her words: 

Being a South Asian woman and a literature student it feels surreal to see Brown female characters represented in Regency era literature in mainstream media. Now that imagination has culminated into reality with a Bollywood touch. How beautiful is the representation.

The period romance genre is typically (overwhelmingly) white due to the region in which many of the productions take place. However, Bridgerton continues to show that representation can even exist in spaces such as the Regency Era. The first season broke ground when it chose to cast a number of Black actors in prominent roles as evidenced by Golda Rosheuvel’s Queen Charlotte and breakout star, Regé-Jean Page’s Duke. 

Not only do the Sharma sisters bring South Asian women into the fold for the steamy series (that admittedly doesn’t have as much sex this season), fans are applauding the show for including elements to the characters that are true to the culture they hail from. As @glossdied writes: 

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Sure, the series could have cast South Asian women as its main characters and threw out the details of the culture out the window in order to focus on the spicy other details, but thankfully it doesn’t. The Netflix series makes the Sharma sisters' culture an important part of their lives and includes a number of specific references viewers can appreciate. As @karmeeleon pointed out: 

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This past year, Marvel Studios introduced its first South Asian superhero in Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo, who even brought a huge Bollywood dance sequence to the big screen. While there are certainly more people of this descent on TV and movies than ever before, for these characters to be in massively popular productions like Bridgerton and Marvel Cinematic Universe is huge for representation in Hollywood. So let's keep it coming! Here’s one more reaction: 

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Knowing the Internet, it's likely that not everyone is happy about it, but it's great to see so many audiences really connecting with it. Check out what you need to remember about Bridgerton Season 1 before you jump into this one with a Netflix subscription

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.