Dearest readers, have we fully recovered from the premiere of Bridgerton? And by recover I mean binged the entire season in one sitting, waited until the finale’s credits to use the restroom and/or send loved ones a proof of life since you were rightly so ignoring them, only to start it all over again. Yeah, you’re not alone.
We at The Cool Table simultaneously rang in the new year and celebrated the end of our #Bingerton watch the only way we knew how: by donning our best versions of regency garb, pouring a cocktail or two, chatting all about our love for Bridgerton, and putting it all on the internet for your edification. Watch for our Shondaland admiration; stay to witness Amy’s regency wig curl slowly unfurl.
While we gushed about the cast, moments we adored, and some additions we weren’t too thrilled about – I’m looking at you, Siena – our biggest question was what will be in store for Bridgerton’s second season.
If The Duke and I was the main focus of the first season, with other series’ moments -such as the finale’s monumental reveal – interspersed throughout the series, it’s safe to assume that next season’s main focus will be on Anthony’s story and the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me, and audiences will finally meet the woman who will forever challenge his last nerve and change his life: Kate Sheffield.
Also, this moment kinda gave it away. Prepare for season two’s central complication in 3…2…1…
I am smack dab in the middle of reading the books, and Viscount still holds the number one spot in my heart. If the first season of Bridgerton – adapted from a book that while we overall enjoyed, had a few parts that didn’t sit well – blew my mind and exceeded my expectations, I can only assume that the next season is going to leave me an emotional and physical wreck and slowly turn my Twitter into an Anthony Bridgerton stan account. I’m getting my Anthony avatar ready now.
While we wait for the inevitable announcement of Bridgerton’s second season, here’s just a few of my page-to-screen moments that I pray get the Shondaland treatment.
WARNING: If you haven’t read The Viscount Who Loved Me, purchase it here, read it, then watch our discussion where we get a surprise visitor in the chat that made me almost do a margarita spit take, and come back to see if your moments are on this list. Heed my warning now, dearest readers, because just like Anthony’s muttonchops, these spoilers are going to be strong.
The Office Confrontation
There’s nothing more delicious than a good enemies to friends to lovers storyline, and Anthony and Kate take that trope to a whole different level. Their passion for each other – whether it’s hatred, annoyance, horniness, and finally, love – is both visceral and palpable. In fact, we relish in their confrontations almost as much, if not more, than their lovemaking, and to watch a woman challenge Anthony Bridgerton and push him to the brink of breaking? Chef’s kiss.
No other moment did we see all those emotions crash and swirl in a beautiful symphony than in chapter 6 and 7’s (yes, it took Julia Quinn two fantastic chapters) office confrontation. There’s so much in this moment, where do you even begin? From Kate’s flummoxed and panicked hiding from the Viscount, to Anthony’s own annoyance that a certain dalliance with an Italian opera singer (It will probably be Siena, so ugh) was cut short due to an unexpected guest, to even their heated confrontation culminating in a passionate first kiss. It’s a scene dripping with so much sexual tension, that if you’re not a smoker, you take it up just to light a cigarette and take a long drag after the moment passes. It’s that good.
The Pall Mall Match
During the first season, we heard two brief mentions of the famous Bridgerton Pall Mall game. Alas, we never saw it come to screen. Let the second season change that.
Bring on the competition, the trash talking that is clearly innuendo and bedroom talk, and yes, the Mallet of Death. A mallet which any reader knows lands in Kate’s possession but is coveted by all, especially this precious viscount:
— Julie Nicole (@julep0405) January 1, 2021
In her column about Anthony Bridgerton, Lady Whistledown declares:
“…This Author has come to the conclusion that there are rakes, and there are Rakes.
Anthony Bridgerton is a Rake.”
At the beginning of the story, Anthony’s status as a Rake proves to be a bone of contention and frustration for Kate. She believes him to be ruthless, heartless, an apex predator leaving slews of broken and compromised women in his wake. What Kate doesn’t realize, and what we as the readers are privy to, are Anthony’s fears. Like Simon and his father, Anthony is haunted by Edmund Bridgerton. He lives in the shadows of the perfection and almost deity like existence of the man, and the fear that like his father, he will leave a great love broken hearted and alone. Rather than suffer that guilt and that pain, he builds a wall around himself, and masks himself in loveless connections and superficial relationships.
In the library scene from chapter 12, we not only see a different Anthony Bridgerton, we see those carefully constructed walls start to crumble. While comforting Kate, herself having experienced trauma, Anthony proves that he is every fiber and blood the son of Edmund Bridgerton. He is open, attentive, empathetic, and strong. While he may be a Rake to the rest of society, Anthony Bridgerton shows to both Kate and the readers a man who can be vulnerable, loving, and every bit the hero we need him to be.
The Wedding Day…and Night
I mean, is it any surprise that we need to see Anthony and Kate’s wedding and their wedding night? Or even when Anthony tries to reason with his panicked bride about having an actual wedding night? To hear this brief but heated exchange:
“Now you’re having fun with me,” she accused.
“No,” he said with what could only have been called a leer, “I’d like to have fun with you. There’s quite a difference.”
Of course we need to see all of this and more. Let’s give those intimacy coordinators their just due paychecks.
While we, okay some of us, are down for the sexy moments, it’s the times of family bonding and connection that draws us to the story. We cheer when Mary has the conversation with her step-daughter, a conversation that Lady Violet Bridgerton could not complete with her own betrothed daughter. We get front row seats when Hyacinth KO’d Gregory during the wedding ceremony. It’s these simple moments that make Bridgerton fans smile and feel connected to this family, without ostracizing non-readers.
During our post Bingerton hangout, one of the moments we all agreed upon as a highlight of the first season was Daphne’s monologue about love and choice to Simon. It was an entire MOOD that stirred emotions and reminded all of us about the power of a good love story. It was not awkward, inauthentic, or cringeworthy. Simply put, it was beautiful.
If we reacted that way during Daphne’s speech, I can only imagine the state of our emotions when Anthony finally opens up to his wife about his reasons behind his reluctance to fall in love.
Shondaland, we need this moment. We need Anthony’s vulnerability and his fear. To see him break down, only to be built back up by Kate. We need to see Kate’s empathy and concern, as well as her strength and faith in her love for this man. Kate’s bravery when reminding Anthony that while his fears and emotions are understandable, his logic is not, is what solidifies their bond. We need to see them come together in the knowledge that their love surpasses all fears, logical or otherwise, and to live each moment like it’s their last.
As perfectly encapsulated by Anthony:
“It means that love isn’t about being afraid that it will all be snatched away. Love’s about finding the one person who makes your heart complete, who makes you a better person than you ever dreamed you could be.”
These two definitely deserve a season filled with scandal, sexiness, romance, and gif-able tweets.
Which moments from The Viscount Who Loved Me are you hoping to see in Bridgerton? For all our Bridgerton coverage, click here!
Julie believes great books should be read more than once and prides herself on finding the "dirty part" in any romance novel under a minute. Loves red wine but loves it more when shared with friends. Has an (embarrassingly) extensive knowledge about all things Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl. Is currently curating the perfect playlists that ALWAYS include a song from one of the Twilight soundtracks.