Portrait of past social norms on fire?
“Bridgerton” Season 2, which lands on Netflix March 25, apparently aims to harness the power of the “female gaze,” according to new lead Jonathan Bailey. While Bailey appeared in a supporting role during the first season as the main confidante of the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), the eldest Bridgerton sibling takes center stage in the second installment as he looks for his own wife.
“There’s so many people who will go, ‘Oh yeah, Bonkerton,'” Bailey said to Entertainment Weekly. “But the female gaze is so important because there are many ways people communicate by sex, and what sex means, and what your body means to someone else. It’s important that there’s an inversion of sexuality and how people are exploited in the storytelling of sex.”
So which “Bridgerton” characters will be burning for each other soon?
Breakout star Nicola Coughlan, who portrays Penelope-slash-Lady Whistledown, detailed the goal of “Bridgerton” in retroactively talking about sex in the 19th century.
“It’s going back in time and saying, ‘What were their wants and desires?'” Coughlan said. “They weren’t these one-dimensional people who just did needlework. They had real lives and wants and needs and feelings.”
And gossip was one of the few modes in which women had “agency,” according to Coughlan. “This was all they were deemed to be good for,” she added, “so why be ashamed to participate in it?”
New cast member Charithra Chandran echoed that the “negative perception of gossip is a misogynistic feature to prevent women from communicating and sharing knowledge.”
Series creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen previously told IndieWire that Bailey and co-star Simone Ashley’s onscreen chemistry is a tentpole reason to tune in to the second season. “Anthony and his new love interest Kate Sharma are such a force to be reckoned with: magnetic, you cannot take your eyes off them when they’re together,” Van Dusen said. “We had some of the most amazing fun times coming up with thirsty moments. We thought about how to make it relevant today, and how this glamorous lavish escapist world was a running modern commentary on the last 20 years. Everything has changed and nothing has changed for women and men.”
“Bridgerton” returns to Netflix March 25.
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