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Netflix’s Bridgerton Season 2 Reviews Are In, But Is It As Steamy As Season 1? Here’s What The Critics Think

Anthony Bridgerton
(Image credit: Netflix)

Lady Whistledown is back after more than a year for Season 2 of Netflix's hit Bridgerton, with the sexy saga focusing this time around on the love story between Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma. Season 1 saw Jonathan Bailey's Anthony involved in a sexy up-against-a-tree affair with opera singer Siena Rosso. When that didn’t work out, Anthony swore off love, but the Season 2 trailer seemed to indicate that vow won't last too long. Critics had the opportunity to preview Bridgerton Season 2 ahead of its release on Netflix, so fans can now figure out if we can expect the sophomore season to live up to the highly-binged Season 1. 

Bridgerton’s second season will see Anthony pursuing Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran) for practical purposes rather than love. However, no one gets to Edwina except through her sister Kate (Simone Ashley), who apparently has immediate chemistry with Anthony. How will Anthony navigate those tricky waters? How does Season 2 hold up without Rege-Jean Page’s Duke of Hastings? Will we get any of our Season 1 questions answered? Most importantly, is it as steamy as the first go-round? Let’s see what the reviews are saying about Bridgerton Season 2. 

Proma Khosla of Mashable says Season 1 was just foreplay compared to what’s in store for audiences in Season 2. The central relationship is handled with more maturity and nuance, despite not as much actual sex:

Bridgerton Season 2 has barely any sex, but do not make the mistake of dismissing the joys of this season. What it has instead is heaping, smoldering helpings of sexual tension, with Ashley and Bailey setting rooms on fire with just a look. Their chemistry is nothing short of explosive, communicated through intense stares, brushing hands, and distressed, heavy breathing. Worry not: It is horny as hell.

Caroline Framke of Variety, however, feels Bridgerton took too long to get to the “good stuff” with its second batch of episodes. And yeah, she’s talking about the sex scenes. But the actors are very, very good, according to the critic, especially Jonathan Bailey for his development of Anthony from Season 1:

No, Kate and Anthony’s ‘Bridgerton’ arc isn’t as outright sensual as the one that preceded it. But in the precious moments that find them entangled despite all their better instincts, they’re seductive all the same. Even when it’s excruciating to watch Kate and Anthony deny their feelings over and over again, the moments in which they fail can be just as thrilling. It’s just a shame, then, that it takes the show as long as its characters to realize it.

Angie Han of THR calls Season 2 “less sexy but almost as sweet,” listing among its more impressive accomplishments the fact that it makes Anthony into a worthy romantic lead. 

Bailey and Ashley’s chemistry feels on the whole more evenly matched than their predecessors’ did. Theirs is not an instant physical connection but a meeting of minds, played out over quick-witted arguments outside ballrooms and vicious competition during a friendly family game of pall mall. Bridgerton being Bridgerton, this does eventually translate into intense sexual tension. The pair get so good at almost-but-not-quite kissing that when they final did lock lips, I briefly mistook it for a fantasy sequence. But the downside of a connection built on more than overwhelming mutual lust is that Bridgerton season two loses much of the (there’s no other way to say it) rampant horniness that made season one such a pleasure to watch.

Meghan O'Keefe of Decider claims that Season 2 is less intoxicating than Season 1 and tends to forget what drew fans to it in the first place. Despite all that, though, the upcoming season of Bridgerton is still worth the watch: 

Quinn’s novel lets the Anthony/Kate/Edwina love triangle play out like a Hepburn/Tracy comedy. The tension has nothing to do with which sister Anthony will choose, but whether or not Anthony can learn to finally be vulnerable enough to admit his feelings. Bridgerton Season 2 is more interested in prolonging this tension, turning Quinn’s blithe rom-com into a tormented love triangle that becomes more uncomfortable to watch the further the characters get in over their heads. Because of this, we don’t get the euphoric honeymoon sequences that helped make Bridgerton Season 1 a hit. This is a shame not only because Bridgerton‘s brand is supposed to be shameless sensuality, but also because two of the season’s leads have palpable chemistry with each other.

Alex Stedman of IGN says she was concerned Bridgerton wouldn’t be able to replicate Season 1’s sizzling romance without Rege-Jean Page, but thinks it does that and more, saying the series has a lot left in its tank. She grades the sophomore season a “Great” 8 out of 10:

With its second season, Bridgerton proves it’s got a lot more in the tank. Jonathan Bailey gives a gripping performance as the Bridgerton whose romance takes center stage this time around, and his chemistry with Simone Ashley’s Kate is just as electric as you could hope. It may falter a little in one of its subplots, but the developments within the Bridgerton family, the central romance, and the saga of Lady Whistledown ensure that this follow-up is far from a disappointment.

It sounds like viewers are in for a huge buildup of tension between the two leading characters — possibly to a frustrating level — but even despite less sex than Season 1, the critics all seemed to enjoy the story Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley tell through their characters. The upcoming season is sitting pretty strongly on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing, as it's 84% Fresh with just under 20 reviews accounted for.

Season 2 of Bridgerton will be available for streaming on Friday, March 25, with a Netflix subscription. Check out these other series available on Netflix, as well as our 2022 TV Schedule to see when all of the new and returning shows are premiering.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.