Adapting a beloved series of books into a television show is no small task (as Game of Thrones knows all too well). There’s the risk of veering from the source material too much and butchering the author’s original intent (as George R.R. Martin knows all too well). However, when it comes to Netflix’s adaptation of the Regency-era Bridgerton books, author Julia Quinn was firm about at least one major scene that needed to make the cut in Season 2 of the hit show.
The new season is based (for the most part) on the next sibling and next book in the queue: The Viscount Who Loved Me. To borrow a line from the character Anthony, the show has "taken liberties" in terms of the adaptation, but it’s been holding court in the top 10 on Netflix nonetheless since its release on March 25. In an interview with Town & Country, Julia Quinn shared that there was only one scene she really felt the need to put her foot down on, and that was the first pall mall scene. In it, the Bridgertons and the “Sharmas” (although that’s not their surname in the books) play a rousing game in the countryside. Quinn said:
The author added that the scene didn’t necessarily need to be word-for-word from the page, but ultimately, just had to maintain “the spirit of it needed to be there.” Looking back now, she thinks how it was handled was “perfect,” including the call-back to it during the finale. (Although, again, the ending of the book is much farther along in the timeline in comparison to how Season 2 ended things.) Creator/executive producer Chris Van Dusen echoed Julia Quinn’s thoughts, saying to the outlet:
Still, there is a key difference to the pall mall scene in the second season of the show versus the text. Specifically, the Duke of Hastings isn’t seen playing the game along with the group – and we all know why now. The actor behind the character, Regé-Jean Page, exited the hit drama after the first season and reportedly refused Netflix’s $50,000 per episode offer to appear in the new one.
A few other noteworthy tweaks were made as well in Bridgerton’s return. For example, Eloise Bridgerton’s comrade-in-arms/slight love interest in Theo Sharpe (played by Calam Lynch) doesn’t exist in the books, but he was seemingly added to help bolster Eloise’s quest to find out Lady Whistledown’s identity. Lynch, as a matter of fact, wanted an idea of his own to be added into the Season 2 mix: shirtless Theo scenes. It didn’t end up happening. Yet, to be honest, the sight would’ve probably been welcome, given how much the fanbase lamented the lack of sex scenes this go-around.
Regardless, Season 2 got plenty of other quintessential Kate and Anthony moments down pact. (But that whole torn-between-sisters storyline wasn’t quite the case in the books – shhhh!) The next in Julia Quinn’s series is An Offer From a Gentleman, which focuses on Benedict Bridgerton’s love life. But don’t be vexed dear reader – Kanthony (or is it Antate?) is returning for Season 3, so maybe we’ll see that wedding scene after all… Check out the other titles still to come on Netflix’s 2022 TV schedule in the meantime!
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