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The new Bridgerton is beautiful to watch but a drag to endure

Respectfully, season 1 had way more masala


For starters, no one can say ‘Sharma’ properly in the show. If I didn’t know about the Indian characters or if I was living under a rock and didn’t have subtitles on, I would have watched the entire show thinking it was the Shaamaa family from nearby Mayfair. That insufferable rant aside, almost every episode of the show reminds me of an 80s Bollywood film. A man and a woman come close, almost kiss, but don’t and then go off about their family's honour. It was very frustrating because I really watch Bridgerton for the steamy scenes. A girl has needs, okay?


But it's slow in pace, repetitive in plot and boring in dialogue.


The cinematography remains as beautiful as it was in the first season. The gardens are extra, so are the palaces, and I am here for it. You see, TV better look as painfully gorgeous as possible so I can have the escape I need from this world. Bridgerton does that. 


Millions of South Asians around the world have been waiting for the Sharma family, and I am pleased to announce, I enjoyed their presence in the show. Although, I can’t really place them in their Indian identity. The Sharma sisters can speak Marathi and Hindustani but call their parents Appa & Amma and each other Didi and Bon, the latter being a Bangla word for little sister. It is a bit jarring and also weird that a show as big as this couldn’t get linguistic nuances right. That said, it’s not your typical conservative brown family that I am tired of watching in western shows.

 

It's a family of three strong-headed women who have each other’s backs. Miss Kate Sharma, the show’s lead actress, played by the stunning Simone Ashley, along with Miss Edwina Sharma, played wonderfully by Charithra Chandran and their mother, Lady Mary, the silent but fiery Shelley Conn, make for a tight-knit bond.


In one of the dinner scenes, when Mother Sharma is belittled for running off and marrying “some clerk in India”, - she fights back. She declares how she is proud of raising daughters who would choose love over titles on her own, and despite losing the only family she ever knew, she wouldn’t change a thing about her decision. In an industry where we often see Indian women being shamed for choosing love, the scene was a breath of fresh air. I gasped—the good kind.

 

I wish my feelings were elevated as much throughout Bridgerton as they were during this particular scene. 

 


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I did, however, admire Kate Sharma’s character sketch. Even though she is doomed to be married off - no matter how much she might resist - Kate is an independent woman who knows what she wants and isn’t shy of asking for it. 

Burdened by family responsibilities and societal expectations, she has developed a sharp wit and is not a push-over. As much as Kate’s character gave me joy, it eventually felt underwhelming because of the show’s generally slow vibe.


Lady Whistledown had a lot more masala in the previous season. Now that her identity has been revealed to us, we mostly see her trying to hide it from others. She is less spicy and more concerned about why her friend Eloise isn’t as interested in her writing as she previously was. If I had the Queen of England wrapped around my little finger for my gossip mag, honey, friends can take a hike!


Despite a few glitches, it was incredible to see dark-skinned South Asian women on one of the world’s biggest shows. I adored the dance that Kate and Edwina do together. How often do we see brown sisters not care about what anyone has to say and boogie it out?


I hope to see more of them. The ending does hint at exploring Edwina Sharma’s relationship with the Queen’s nephew. And if that’s the case, I’ve got my schedule free already. 


But, unfortunately, Bridgerton season 2 was too slow a burn for me. Just light the fire already. 

About the author

Dilpreet is the founder of South Asian Today. More about her can be found here.

 

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