As “Bridgerton” fans eagerly await the show’s second season on Netflix, it is easy to forget what a massive phenomenon the first one was. Expectations were high for the first show produced under Shonda Rhimes’ lucrative Netflix deal, but “Bridgerton” still found a way to exceed them. The period piece quickly became a staple of pandemic pop culture, with fans raving over everything from the diverse casting to the unique takes on contemporary music, to the extremely handsome duke.
Creator Chris Van Dusen, who adapted the series of novels by Julia Quinn, has been working diligently to make sure the second season lives up to the sky high hype. But while running one of the hottest shows on television is far from the worst job in the world, he says that the massive success of Season 1 has placed a unique burden on his creative process.
“I had a very clear vision for Season 1 and I was given the freedom to follow through on it,” he said in an interview with EW. “Then the show came out and started to take hold of the world. It was all so surreal. Staying true to my original vision [for Season 2] became much more challenging, but it made me drill down even more.”
While it is always difficult to repeat a massive success, Van Dusen does not seem to be letting fan pressure affect his creative process. “Bridgerton” fans were shocked when it was announced that Regé-Jean Page would not be returning as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, in Season 2. The actor is departing after serving as the show’s romantic lead in Season 1, but the series’ team insists it will still be the same “Bridgerton” fans have come to love. And they believe that the show’s strong ensemble cast is more than capable of picking up the slack and making an equally compelling second season. Van Dusen is certainly not worried about the loss of Page, noting that the plan was always to follow the ensemble structure of Quinn’s novels. “It was always my intention to follow a different ‘Bridgerton’ sibling for every season,” he said.
“Bridgerton” season 2 will premiere on March 25 on Netflix.