Will ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 ACTUALLY Deliver Gay Content?

Images via Netflix

Bridgerton is officially coming back for a second season.

Netflix announced on Tuesday that Shondaland’s Regency-era period drama series, created and run by Chris Van Dusen, has been renewed for a second season. The special announcement – which was delivered by the narrator Lady Whsitledown, who’s voiced by Julie Andrews – shared that “the incomparable cast of Bridgerton will return to production in Spring 2021.”

This upcoming second season will cover the second novel in Julia Quinn’s original Bridgerton novel series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. The story will follow Anthony Bridgerton, played by out actor Jonathan Bailey, and his dramatic romance. Casting for the new season is currently underway. This includes the search for Antony’s romantic lead, Kate Sheffield.

The series’ first season was widely described as a mix between of Pride & Prejudice or Downton Abbey with Gossip Girl. While several noble families swirl around the pairing of young gentlemen and young ladies, a mysterious writer named Lady Whistledown exposes the secret goings-on of London’s elite in a gossip pamphlet.

Some of the leading men in Netflix’s Bridgerton. / Images via Instagram @jbayleaf, @regejean, @lukenewtonuk, @martin_imhangbe_

Warning: Spoilers for Netflix’s Bridgerton below.

For the most part, the show was praised and hotly watched. In fact, it made the record for most views on Netflix during the month of December. That said, the show did also find itself in the midst of multiple controversies.

When it came to LGBTQ viewers, Bridgerton was accused of queerbaiting audiences. Part of that is due to the show being produced by Shonda Rhimes, a Hollywood creative/executive who is known for her LGBTQ representation in shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal, and more. Many believed they’d be getting similar content. Though, in actuality, Shonda Rhimes is producing the film and not writing or acting as the showrunner. Again, that was up to Chris Van Dusen.

In addition, the show’s teaser trailer included a shot of two men embracing. Many, including this writer (in full honesty), believed this would mean that Bridgerton would include a gay romance storyline. Unfortunately, that was not the case as that one shot was the only gay-inclusion within the first season. Though, it left the door open for the exploration of one character, Benedict Bridgerton, being a closeted gay/bisexual man. That’s despite the fact that the source material, the third book An Offer From A Gentleman, has him ending up with a woman.

On top of that, Bridgerton received backlash for including a rape scene between season one’s main couple Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset. (Which, ironically, happened in the same episode). Many editorials and social media posts condemned the show for romanticizing the scene and excusing it as Daphne being too innocent to know better. Some have even questioned the racial undertones and consequences of such a scene (in a show that aimed to reimagine a world without racism).

Despite these controversies, Bridgerton is returning for a season two. Will the writing staff have learned from the sexual assault controversy? And will the show dare to explore Benedict’s sexuality now that it has opened the possibility? Or, will Benedict have, literally, closed the door on that idea? We’ll find out whenever season two releases.

What do you think?