Bridgerton Season 2 Is Already Facing Bad News

When "Bridgerton" dropped back in 2020, the world had reached peak pandemic and people were desperate for something to watch. For those who already binged "The Tiger King," Shondaland's raunchy new period comedy-drama came at exactly the right time. "Bridgerton," which is based on a series of novels of the same name, follows the Bridgerton family's exploits in Regency-era London. Rhimes' concept dictates that each season should focus on a different member of the family. The first season focused on Daphne (played by Phoebe Dynevor) and the very handsome Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) as they conned their way into high society, accidentally falling in love along the way.

The Taylor Swift-inspired soundtrack and steamy sex scenes were the perfect distraction from an unprecedented health crisis. Up until 2021's "Squid Games," "Bridgerton" was the most-watched show in Netflix history, per the Financial Times. Since the first season dropped, fans have been eager for more, and finally, their prayers have been answered. The second season will premier on March 25, but the news isn't all good. Fans have been concerned that Season 2 might not live up to the hype ever since Page announced he wouldn't be returning — and according to early reviews, it looks like they might have been right.

Bridgerton Season 2 might not live up to the hype

If you renewed your Netflix subscription hoping that Season 2 of "Bridgerton" would be just as sexy as the first, you might want your money back. Critics who received an early look at the season's first two episodes were quick to point out the lack of sex and general chemistry between the characters. Season 2 will focus on Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma's (newcomer Simone Ashley) courtship, which the Daily Mail called a "slow build" when compared to Daphne and the duke's fling the previous season.

Then there's the missing Duke of Hastings. Regé-Jean Page originally intended to only stay for one season, as the producers didn't plan to focus on his character much after that. However, due to the success and cult-like status he garnered as the duke during the premier season, producers were desperate for him to reprise the role, per The Hollywood Reporter. They reportedly offered Page a whopping $50,000 per episode for five episodes in the second season, but he declined. According to sources who spoke to the outlet, Page isn't interested in any more television work; he'd rather focus on his promising film career.

Despite the absent duke and the disappointing sex scenes, the news for "Bridgerton" isn't all bad. "It may never reach the status of high art," Dan Einav wrote in the Financial Times, "but as high camp and escapist entertainment, it's pretty irreproachable." Enough said.