Today in Very Important Bridgerton News, the woman who is too good for Anthony Bridgerton has been cast. Sex Education’s Simone Ashley will star as Kate Sharma in season two. Kate! Is here! And she will NOT be taking ANY of Anthony’s bullsh-t, of which there is a GREAT DEAL, but she is having NONE OF IT. Kate is my favorite of the Bridgerton heroines, so I am very excited to see what Simone Ashley does with the character. I feel good about this news largely because the official Netflix account describes Kate as a “smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools—Anthony Bridgerton very much included.” Like if the social media manager gets it, then the showrunner and writers are probably keyed into Kate’s personality, too. She’s smart, she’s witty, she sincerely wants the best for her little sister and despite his title and his money, she knows Anthony Bridgerton is a walking disaster and is NOT the right man for her sister. (The next important bit of casting will be Edwina Sharma, the season’s new “diamond of the first water” and Kate’s little sister.)


In the books, Kate’s last name is Sheffield, but here it has been changed to Sharma, updated since Kate is now South Asian. Does this mean season two of Bridgerton will do a better job portraying its multicultural society than season one? All the talking points around season one were that Bridgerton is not a race-blind world, but one where racial prejudice has been set aside since King George married Queen Charlotte, a Black woman. But absolutely nothing about Bridgerton itself supports that; within the show the attitude is very much that this is just a race-blind world. There’s that one awkward exchange between Lady Danbury and Simon to acknowledge how “love elevated us”, but it goes nowhere and has no larger impact on any of the characters or story. Will season two do better? Are they even interested in doing better? Or will they just go forward as a race-blind show? Will that make things better or worse? Will having a South Asian main character force Bridgerton to reckon with British imperialism in a way that having a Black main character did not? I guess we’ll find out! 


Another important aspect of Kate is her dog, Newton. He is an esteemed and rotund corgi, though Anthony casts unfounded aspersions upon his breeding and pedigree. Season two will be based on The Viscount Who Loved Me, which has many typical elements of Regency rom-coms, such as an interfering dog and timely dunks in lakes. It will also take us out of London and to the Bridgerton country house, Aubrey Hall, which means we will get to see another fabulous historic home on screen. One of my favorite things about period pieces are the settings and production design of these old homes, and I can’t wait to see which house is chosen for Aubrey Hall, how they decorate it, and where they put the croquet course. We’re in for quite a wait, though. Season two of Bridgerton is supposed to start filming in the spring, so I doubt we see it until at least early 2022. Ugh! That’s so long!