Spoilers ahead for the first season of PBS’ Sanditon.
Sanditon promised to bring Jane Austen to the small screen in a brand new way as an adaptation and continuation of Austen’s unfinished novel of the same name. The eight-part series premiered in 2019 in the U.K. before making its U.S. debut in early 2020. Going into Sanditon with no news of a second season, I had every expectation that the beginning, middle, and end of Charlotte Heywood’s story would be told within eight episodes. Now, after how the first season ended, I think that Amazon absolutely needs to renew Sanditon, but only for one more season.
First things first: there is finally actual hope for Sanditon to return despite months of no news of a possible Season 2, and it’s all courtesy of Amazon. Take a look:
Viewers who have spent months hoping that Sanditon could return may be in luck, if the tweet from Amazon Prime Video UK is anything to go by. It does suggest that fans may not get more episodes courtesy of ITV in the U.K. or PBS on the American side of the pond, but there is at least reason to hope for more of Charlotte (Rose Williams), Sidney (Theo James in a very different role than usual), Georgiana (Crystal Clarke), Esther (Charlotte Spencer), Stringer (Leo Suter), and the rest.
If you ask me, Sanditon definitely deserves a second season courtesy of Amazon, but it definitely should stop there. What can I say? I was burned by the Season 1 finale.
Sanditon was hyped as an adaption and continuation of Jane Austen’s final unfinished novel, and some of the more risqué elements made it clear that the show was taking some liberties with what was acceptable in the early 1800s. That said, what Jane Austen adaptation hasn’t crossed some lines of what would have been proper in the time period? Admittedly, Sanditon delivered a lot more than just dancing without gloves, but it was all well and good.
But when I sign on for a Jane Austen adaptation, I expect an interesting female protagonist, a love interest who may or may not be brooding, a misunderstanding, and eventually a happily-ever-after. I’ve read the books and have thoughts about the TV adaptations vs. the movie adaptations. Maybe it’s not fair of me to hold Sanditon to Jane Austen standards, but I would at least expect the heroine to end in a better place than she started!
Instead, Sanditon ended with a heartbroken Charlotte heading home after Sidney made a devastating decision. It was as if Pride and Prejudice (the version without zombies) ended after Darcy’s first proposal, when Elizabeth was angry and confused and Darcy seemed like the bad guy. I was so sure that Sanditon had to end on a positive note that I held on until the last moment, believing that something was going to happen to fix what had gone wrong because no Season 2 had been ordered. But it just ended sadly.
Congratulations on subverting my expectations, Sanditon, but does anybody really go into a Jane Austen adaptation hoping for a twist ending with everybody miserable? A second season could give Charlotte the ending she deserves, attempt to redeem Sidney, force Tom (Kris Marshall) to face some consequences, let Georgiana be happy, and more. Basically, a second season could turn the unsatisfying Sanditon into something closer to what I can only imagine Jane Austen would have written. And that should be it.
Let Sanditon finish what it started in Season 1 without starting a whole bunch of new stories that might go unresolved. If it can’t be a one-hit wonder with one season, let it end well after two. Season 1 was great up until the finale didn’t actually wrap any of the plots, and I’d be happy to watch the cast come together for another eight episodes of period costumes, 19th century scandals, and romance as long as the story is finished.
Of course, there is no guarantee at this point that Amazon’s interest in Sanditon Season 2 will go any further than a tweet. Still, I’m hoping that Amazon gives the order for more episodes that tie off the loose ends. You can watch or rewatch the first (and currently only) season of Sanditon streaming with the PBS MASTERPIECE Prime Video Channel. For more viewing options, be sure to check out our 2020 summer TV premiere schedule!
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).