In about the past month, Netflix has seen the return of two of its most-viewed series ever, Money Heist and The Witcher, and before that, Squid Game broke every record it ever had by a mile. But now a new powerhouse is returning soon, Bridgerton, which besides Squid Game, was Netflix’s most-watched series by last count.
Bridgerton season 2 is on the way, continuing its adaptation of the original books, and now we have an official release date for it. That will be: March 25, 2022, a Friday release for a weekend binge.
Because of the way the Bridgerton books are formatted, it’s going to be a somewhat non-traditional season 2, given its shift and focus. That will no longer be on Simon and Daphne, but instead season 2 will mainly focus on Lord Anthony’s quest for a “suitable” wife. This season, Kate Sharma and her sister Edwina show up from India, and they become the main focus alongside Anthony.
When I say Phoebe and Simon are not the focus, I really mean it. Rege-Jean Page, who plays Simon, is not in season 2 at all, allegedly, and if he shows up, it shouldn’t be more than as a cameo, I imagine. Shona Rhimes, Bridgerton executive producer, hopes that we’ll care as much about the new central couple as we did the old one (via Variety):
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“I think there’s a powerful, interesting, romantic couple at the heart of it. They’re an incredibly interesting and exciting pair. I like to watch them. Our goal, if we do our job correctly, is you are going to be as invested and excited by that couple as you were by the couple of Season 1.”
Bridgerton has to walk a rather tricky tightrope, given that it can’t stray too far from the source material, and yet that same source material dictates these dramatic shifts in focus, the kind we don’t often see in shows like this. It would be like if the Witcher season 2 only starred Triss, and Geralt was nowhere to be found for a season. It’s kind of a big risk, though hopefully one that pays off.
Bridgerton would have to totally crash to “fail” however, which is hard to see happening. Here’s the top 10 list, pre-Squid Game, of Netflix’s most-watched shows, where Bridgerton sat atop it at #1:
1. Bridgerton Season 1 – 82 million viewers
2. Lupin: Part 1 – 76 million
3. The Witcher Season 1 – 76 million
4. Sex/Life Season 1 – 67 million
5. Stranger Things Season 3 – 67 million
6. Money Heist Season 4 – 65 million
7. Tiger King Season 1 – 64 million
8. The Queen’s Gambit – 62 million
9. Sweet Tooth Season 1 – 60 million
10. Emily in Paris Season 1 – 58 million
These days, Netflix reports things in hours viewed. The Witcher, season 1 and 2 combined, produced about 200 million hours viewed last week. We’ll see if Bridgerton passes that up when it returns for season 2 in March, but it’s still three full months until it arrives, so plenty of time for a rewatch of season 1.