Romance Roundtable #43: Bridgerton (Season 2, Episodes 1-2)

Welcome back to Romance Roundtable: Bridgerton Edition. The first season of Bridgerton, aka Regency Gossip Girl, was a great boon both romance-wise and crone-wise, and so we’ve returned in hopes of more! Join us for tasteful string quartet covers of modern bops and tasteless (in a fun way) takes on beautiful people making bad decisions. And of course, be warned: spoilers for the first two episodes of Bridgerton Season 2 lie ahead!


Jenny: may i just say
WELCOME BACK EVERYONE

A shot of a fancy fountain, the closed captions read, "[classical rendition of 'Material Girl' playing]"

Ashley: FUCK YEAAAAHHHHHHH WOOOOOO

Jenny: back to bridgerton world and also back to our bullshit

Rachel: LOL i cackled out loud when this happened

Jenny: lol very same very same
i re-read all of our old roundtables (https://pome-mag.com/romance-roundtable-29-bridgerton-episodes-1-2/) last week to get myself hyped
and we’re, like, very funny
and also this show is so fun

Ashley: ** snort **

CC: so like, if last season was for all of us but also due to fake dating, v much for you Jenny
may i just say
so happy 4 u rachel

Rachel: LOL

Jenny: yes!! enemies to lovers!!

CC: passing this screenshot around in a circle for as long as the show continues

The famous panel from a Junji Ito comic, where a man yells "TH-THIS IS MY HOLE! IT WAS MADE FOR ME!"

Jenny: lololol

Rachel: LOL i just went to google to find that
Bless

Ashley: hehehe

CC: fingers crossed for wife guy / friends to lovers in season 3

Ashley: wife guy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rachel: OH Y’ALL JUST WAIT
i’m excited to get to benedict’s arc
mostly because i’m so so so curious how they’re going to do everything

Jenny: ooooh
i mean, i still have my hopes up for bi benny

CC: i love that this show is like, here you go, extra special hot mess just for each of you
two scoops of hot mess in every trope
baskin robins of regency bullshit
i approve

Ashley: YES SAME i think the anachronism was even more pronounced in this season and it really worked for me

Jenny: it’s fun!!

CC: 1940s gowns and charles dickens’s literal actual illustrator

Ashley: XD

At the new gentlemen's club, the proprietor says to Benedict, "You must meet Mr. Cruikshank."

Jenny: LOL

CC: a real man! thanks, victorian studies program!

Rachel: oh i was like
hello harry potter man

Ashley: lmaooooo

Jenny: lol same
i am but an uncultured youth

CC: look yall i’m just glad my degree finally came in handy for something
literally for the first time i can remember in so so long, god bless

Jenny: relatable

Rachel: ok so, there are some things i wanna say as we start this season
because i think (???) i am the only one of us who has slogged through the books??

CC: bless u btw

Jenny: resident text expert

Rachel: i mean, it was not really a hardship
i love trash
i love to consume garbage
ok so here’s the deal
and i am so so curious how they are going to pull this off
or if they are going to abandon it all together
and i think i mentioned it last season but
the big reason Anthony is such an asshole in the first books is because he is convinced he will die by age 29
or whatever age it is
because that’s how old his dad was when he died
so Anthony’s whole deal is that he can’t imagine living longer than his dad did, so he doesn’t WANT to find love because he doesn’t want to break someone’s heart

Jenny: oh woof

CC: oh yeah didn’t you say last season it had something to do with….bees? am i imagining that?
also he definitely is like LADY DANBURY THANKS FOR KNOWING ME FOR ALL MY 29 YEARS

Rachel: OH YEAH AND BEES

Ashley: right… like he’s afraid he’s also allergic to bees although i guess they don’t know what an allergy is?

Rachel: so his dad died because he was stung by a bee
so he hates bees
which like, makes sense

CC: so naturally he is afraid of bees and of being 29

Rachel: also, so
i think episode 3 is called
“A Bee in His Bonnet”
or something
SO WE’LL SEE

CC: LMAO
WOW

Ashley: YEP IT SURE IS

Jenny: ooh ho ho
tune in next week pals!

Ashley: BEE MOVIE BUT MAKE IT REGENCY

Rachel: lol omg i just almost spit out my drink

Ashley: hahahahahahaha

CC: i bet u could get a lil cravat on the bee movie bee

Ashley: yeah like my prediction? the real enemies to lovers is the bees we banged along the way

Rachel: LMAAAA

CC: every episode title a bee pun
bee-n there done that
i’ll bee seeing you

Rachel: noooo my drink!!!

Ashley: hahahahahahahhahahahaha

Jenny: LOL

CC: bee-nd and snap

Rachel: CC
!~!!!!!

Ashley: it’s sort of like a bee-themed bridgerton drinking game except we’re all trying to make rachel spit out her drink

CC: beedgerton

Rachel: hahahahahahahaha goddaMMIT

CC: lmao ok ok i’ll
buzz off
;D

Rachel: NOOOO
LOL

Ashley: absolutely sbeechless

Rachel: AHAHAHAHA

CC: LMAO
i love this show

Rachel: ok ok ok
so, from a books perspective
so far we are right on track
and that leads me to my favorite part of this show so far
Kate
stone cold crone at age seven and twenty

Kate Sharma, looking cool as hell

Jenny: a walking corpse

Ashley: oh my GOD
i would literally die for her to give her my life essence

CC: oh wait i think they age her down to six and twenty in the show
which also L M A O

Jenny: oh yeah 26 still bangable 27 too old

Kate tells us her age, "Six and twenty, ma'am."

Rachel: this is such good casting imo!! this lady’s face can go from absolute resting bitch face statue to lunatic yelling at horses in .3 seconds
and it’s great

Ashley: she is incredible

Jenny: she’s a lot of fun — and also she’s in Sex Education (also on netflix), a show i highly recommend

Ashley: i remember saying last season that anthony’s love interest would have to have enough charisma for both of them AND SHE DOES

Jenny: it’s true!!

Kate drags Anthony — "Your character is as deficient as your horsemanship."

Rachel: god, the slams

Jenny: really validating to see a love interest for anthony who finds him as irritating as i do

Ashley: YES
honestly it really made the whole thing work! i was shocked!

Rachel: honestly there is something about an irritating and hot man being sexually frustrated by a hot shrew
i love it

CC: i love that she gets to have a great mic drop that makes him make this face:

Anthony looking hot and bothered after getting dunked on by Kate.

Rachel: LOL

Ashley: HAHAHAHA yes! i thought their chemistry was exceptional and spicier than daphne & simon!
like it really make anthony work for me as a love interest even though i hate him
because she hates him too lmaooo

Rachel: yes, all he does is suffer in this and it’s the best

Jenny: yes! and she constantly bests him

Ashley: SO satisfying jenny

CC: you can’t have a rake redemption story without a rake to redeem
much more satisfying here than in literally any of the stuff we read in my 18th century lit survey class tho
(once again, thanks, my degree)

Ashley: lolol
yeah, def part of the anachronism is everyone taking strident feminism… in stride… rather than like, sending them to the rest cure

Jenny: lol maybe that’ll be the twist at the end of eloise’s season — it was all an hallucination and she’s actually in bedlam

Ashley: omfg

CC: LOL
not actually hanging out with hot newsies that print and distribute feminist pamphlets

Jenny: i hate it
but i did type it so
and so it will never come to pass

Ashley: that’s NOT SEXY

Jenny: not sexy enough

Ashley: thank god

Jenny: honestly the hot newsie though

The hot newsie, to Eloise — "You never asked me a question."

Jenny: i feel like these showrunners REALLY know their audience — just as eloise is the baby goth hot topic teen stand in, this is exactly what i would’ve been into at that stage of my life

Rachel: oh yeah i have PREDICTIONS

Ashley: go off daddy in training

CC: look i did not see the 1990-something film newsies so young christian bale did not imprint upon me
but seeing this, i get it

CC: he says do the reading

Rachel: i didn’t either but i did see commercials for peaky blinders
that was enough

CC: look at his lil hat
it’s cute! i get it
if anybody was gonna run off with a newsie it was this one

Ashley: he’s not dirty enough imo but oh well
they need to geralt him up

CC: for this gal, it was either this [hot newsie] or be regency gay and i don’t know that this show has the bandwidth imo

Jenny: i mean, i can hope

Ashley: sadly…………… yeah i doubt it
i do hold out hope for at least some bisexuality but yeah

Eloise to Pen: "I have you to run off with. We shall never have to be alone."

Rachel: ugh i wish this was a thing
but the books lead me otherwise

Jenny: maybe these showrunners will get bored after 7 seasons! throw in a little something for the gays
never say never is all i mean
the possibilities
endless

Lady Danbury to Lady Bridgerton: "We'll show them how the game ought to be played."

Ashley: i love them

CC: OMG OK
OK
OK
OK but also
she has chemistry with every single person

Lady Danbury to the queen: "You relish this frivolity nearly as much as I do."

Jenny: oh I KNOW

Ashley: god yes

Lady Danbury to Kate: "You are not me."

Jenny: i think about this a lot 😭

Ashley: big mommi energy

Jenny: it’s true it’s true

CC: she was like “you’re a virgin who can’t drive” and kate was just kinda like 😭

Ashley: HAHAHAHAHSJDHALKUSDHRTOUP;AH;GJBN;

Rachel: lollll
being a crone is EARNED

Jenny: YESSSS

Ashley: OKAY Y’ALL can i show you a pic of my ep 1 notes? because i think you will like them and also there’s a lot going on

CC: pls, pls

Ashley: i can’t take screenshots so i just have written reacts

Ashley's notes read:
- Self-referential lore
- Love the queen's opening look, lace & epaulettes
- LOVE Nicola in Brown (Penelope)
- ANTHONY. SUCKS. FUCK YOUR HIPS!!
- I'm tired of the diamond thing
- How on earth did Penelope get that sick distribution deal?
- Solidarity Whistledown lol
- The strength of the family chemistry carries the opening
- Anthony speed dating scrub... but fine
- How much time is passing??
- GOOSE!! Don't hurt them you monster!!
- Wow she's gorgeous wow wow wow
- Repetition of the solo matriarchal portrait – Danbury!!
- Newton is real and he is my friend
- Pen and Eloise look so cute together in gold and lavender
- MoooOOOOooooo
- A common worker!!
- A BEE
- Anthony forever a dick
- Miss Kate Sharma STEP ON ME, QUEEN!!
- Penelope is earning a dowry, or a living?
- I hate him!!

Ashley: please note the line under GOOSE, it’s kate’s first appearance

Rachel: LOL

Jenny: NEWTON IS REAL AND HE IS MY FREIND!!

Ashley: yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jenny: this does make me think — should we do an actual summary?

CC: LOL

Rachel: oh
yes lol

CC: MAYBE

Ashley: oh this wasn’t clear enough??? lol

Jenny: i mean, we’ve kind of already touched on:

Lady Bridgerton announcing to a whole ballroom full of debutantes and their moms: "After all, this is the season the VISCOUNT INTENDS TO FIND A WIFE."

Jenny: this is the anthony season
and he does still suck
but there’s a lot going on besides
eloise is debuting
the featheringtons are in a state
(cheese lad needs to collect that dowry; dad featherington died last season and now they’re waiting for some distant male heir to show up and fuck them over)

Ashley: whistledown is more popular than ever, she raised prices and is giving the increase to the newsies

Jenny: yeah that was so nice!

Pen, undercover and in an Irish accent: "What my mistress wants, she gets."

Ashley: SO CHARMING

Rachel: love her getting to let that irish accent fly!
shout out to Derry Girls

Jenny: season 3 just got announced and i’m hyped

CC: (also Kate and Edwina arrive on the scene)

Jenny: yes!
Kate and Edwina arrive — they’re being hosted for the season by Lady Danbury
and they’ve got a cute little secret!

CC: which is why lady danbury gets to roast kate as much as she wants lmao
also yes!!!

Ashley: lol

Kate confesses the scheme to Lady Danbury: "Edwina must marry an Englishman of nobility."

Ashley: yep,  Kate is big sistering it up trying to get Edwina an inheritance AND true love at the same time

Jenny: there are conditions on Edwina’s dowry — her shitty grandparents have to approve of the match

CC: and the queen ends up naming edwina the diamond of the season which may help things along a little bit

Jenny: a lot of waffling from our queen

Ashley: it took 2 eps tho!!!!
spurred on by some whistledown negs

The queen and Lady Danbury discuss: "This season is different."

CC: so like, one thing i think is interesting is the line out the door of suitors once Edwina gets named like, the babe of the hour
i feel like our girl from season 1 had the same deal
which just makes me think that there are dudes in the line just vibing

Jenny: men were more scared off by anthony than they were by kate
sexism, amirightladies

CC: all i’m saying is in these modern times the guys at the back of the line are souls bros now

Ashley: HAHAHAHA

CC: it’s all about the grind

Ashley: it’s true, there are def some dudes who are like, oh well i guess i’ll just focus on flirting and canapes

Jenny: sign me up for that tbh
(being a rich man)

CC: waiting in a line all day with your boys to hang out with a cute girl for like 13 minutes or something

Ashley: i will say – in ep 1, i thought the self-referentiality of “the diamond” was a bit tedious. but by episode 2, i actually flipped and enjoyed it because that status created a really interesting dynamic
where the men had to compete to prove their worth, instead of the other way around

Jenny: YES!!
the fucking talent show!!

All of the women look in awe at the men as they conduct their talent show: "At least it is the men who are making fools of themselves this time."

CC: LOL rachel
was the talent show in the book

Ashley: I WAS IN STITCHES

Rachel: LOL no it was not
at least, not that i remember

Jenny: this close up magic dipshit!!

Some nerd does close-up magic to impress the ladies.

CC: there’s always one!!!

Rachel: this is why we will eat the rich

Ashley: hahahahahahaha

CC: bone apple tea!!!
I took my screenshot like one second later than yours jenny and like
this girl on the far left in the red dress
is all of us

Jenny: love to see men embarass themselves tbh
but i will say that as much as this was a fun scene
it was also the most heartbreaking for me personally
COLIN is back from his travels and he has a horrible little face fuzz

Ashley: omfg
revolting

Jenny: he finally gets a chance to hang out w our girl pen, who was the only person who responded to his letters while he was abroad
and we get the CLASSIC

When Colin says he has sworn off women and Pen says, "But I am a woman." and then he says RIGHT TO HER FACE, "You do not count."

Ashley: SIIIIIIIIIGH

CC: saved for just this moment

Big oof meme

Ashley: LMAO

Rachel: this pained me

Jenny: pen, your letters were so kind and encouraging — i love so much the way that you see me that i decided to really FIND MYSELF, y’know
thanks for that friend/pal who does not count as a woman

Ashley: this literal child

CC: rachel is there a season coming up where penelope gets a talent show in her honor that is twice as large bc i am demanding it at this point

Jenny: lololol
she DESERVES IT

Ashley: truly

CC: which book in the series is that bc after making us drink in this pain it is the least this series can offer

Rachel: ahhh i haven’t gotten to pen’s book yet!

CC: BUT THERE IS ONE

Ashley: DAMN

Rachel: honestly it’s the next one so
i’m probably gonna just do it

Ashley: !!!

CC: hell yeah

Ashley: OKAY…. talent show/colin dumbassery palate cleanser y’all

Ashley's notes — Choose your fighter, talent show edition:
- Bad flute
- Rose magic
Riverdance
- Bald guy with rope
- Hoop twirler
- Byron liker

Jenny: oh bald guy with rope for sure

CC: hoop twirler

Rachel: probably bad flute

Ashley: I was rooting for / am Byron liker

Anthony attempts and fails at reading Byron. "'There is a rapture on the lon--' How does one make that sound good?"

Jenny: ashley
no

Ashley: SAHKJSLFGAUSEDTUIAEBWFJLKASDF;ADSHGUAWP;

Rachel: LOL
i do love the Benedict was like, FUCK BYRON

Jenny: yeah felt good

Ashley: LISTEN
I AGREE BUT ALSO
i am WELL KNOWN to have a taste for the absolute most toxic motherfuckers alive or dead

Jenny: i did like that benny was like, fuck byron, but also some people think my poetry is better than his nbd

Rachel: LOL ashley
and YES
benedict here with the humble brag
this mother fuckin art school kid

Jenny: my boy benny is having a time this season
he’s not in the first two eps much but basically
he gets dumped by the modiste and sulks around
making life harder for anthony, which i respect

Benny, being a brat to Anthony: "Apparently not. Have you found a wife yet?"

Ashley: i love their dynamic
you’re gonna be the martyr, anthony? okay well i have no choice but to be the brat!!!

Jenny: and he does it so well!

Ashley: with panache

Benny to Colin: "This strange, fuzzy growth on your chin is some kind of disease."

Jenny: also when colin got home benny was the only one talking sense

Ashley: someone had to and i think eloise had already left the room lolololol

Rachel: lol the chemistry within this family does wonders for this show imo

Ashley: YES

Jenny: truly!
and speaking of eloise
she gets some nice friendship moments w pen

When bullies are mean to Pen and offer to let Eloise hang out with them instead, she says "I would rather die." and Pen fully spits out her drink.

Jenny:  plus some emotional depth

Eloise opens up to Pen about her anxieties of not being good enough, and the two lay together in field of flowers.

Ashley: oh eloise, i felt that

Jenny: i have a hard time remembering that eloise is younger than daphne (because she looks like a person and daphne looks like a teen)
but this was such a tender moment

CC: also pen engineering her big reveal to get eloise out of the hot seat at the very beginning of the season

Jenny: sharing insecurities with your gal pal in the moonlight
lol yes! pen is a good friend!

Ashley: i agree
this may become a charged position later on

Jenny: yes fair, but for now i’m sticking with it!

Ashley: same!!

Jenny: at least my love for milf bridgerton will always be above reproach
she was great, as always

Lady Bridgerton dragging her son to his face: "There is a lesson here for you somewhere, Anthony."

Rachel: truly!!!!

Ashley: just… chef kiss mom rep

CC: i feel like she is always a breath away from a good old “i brought you into this world and i can take u out” LOL
when anthony starts up his bullshit

Ashley: HAHAHAHAHAHA you know she wants to but she’s too sweet to actually say it!!!!
also like
she never makes a threat she can’t keep
very deliberate

CC: that’s true!

Rachel: hahaha well with that, do y’all wanna do final thoughts?
i can start

Jenny: oh before we wrap up!
i just want to briefly touch on the horse racing scene
kate arranges for edwina to be escorted to the races by byron-enjoyer
but anthony shows up to ruin it all!
he asks an old friend of his to distract kate so he can spend time w edwina
but inevitably it means having to also spend time with kate, just in a group (edited) 
and like 1) i love to see her tell him off

Kate calls out Anthony in the best way: "You simply chose the horse everyone else has chosen."

Jenny: you made a lazy and uninspired choice lord bridgerton
and 2) i love to see him admire her against his will

Kate is swept up in the competition, whistling loudly with her fingers in her mouth, and Anthony looks on in disbelief (and awe???)

Jenny: but most importantly 3)
i think this was the first time i actually liked him

Anthony acts like a little brat and squishes his way onto the bench between the sisters.

Jenny: when he makes this dumb self-satisfied little goblin smirk

CC: LMAO

Ashley: LOLOLOL

Jenny: wedging himself onto the bleachers like it’s a highschool football game

Rachel: LOL and her face here
UGH I LOVE ENEMIES TO LOVERS
TWO PEOPLE WHO WANNA FIGHT BUT ALSO WANNA KISS
GOD

CC: wow this really is a high school story but in a regency setting
talent show
the big game

Ashley: yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

CC: now we just need the big dance
which, like, is guaranteed

Jenny: too many big dances to count

CC: yeah but
the BIG dance

Jenny: you’re right you’re right
ok i’m ready for final thoughts now if you want to take it away rachel

Rachel: hhaahaha ok so
here’s my thought
everybody say hello
to cheese lad jr

A poor nerd stutters his way through introductions.

CC: LOL

Jenny: those little babybell snacking cheese wheels

Ashley: CACKLE

Jenny: i mean, cheese lad sr is off the market now!
a new cheese must take his place
the prophesy fortold

The original cheese lad gets married!! Good for him!

Rachel: yes, what happens to one cheese lad when the cheese lad jr is grown????
anyway that’s it, that’s the tweet

Jenny: i have way too many leftover screenshots for the ko-fi
but for my final thought i’ll just say

One of Pen's sisters exclaims at her, "Why, you little devil-doll!"

Jenny: old timey insults were wild!!
you little devil-doll!
what is that and how do i become one?
seal my soul inside of a doll?
is that what annabelle is??

Ashley: yeah, i’m fully on board
LOL
my final thought is simply:
Do not talk to me or my sister ever again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
an actual real line from this show

Rachel: LOL

Jenny: things sure would’ve been a lot simpler if he’d actually listened!!

Ashley: simpler… but less fun!

Jenny: and probably not as sexy

CC: agreed
my final thought is also not very sexy
BUT
i love smirking coachman and i want to see more of him and also as much as i love this show, i would be making this face constantly if i worked for any of these people

Eloise's chauffeur gives a little smirk as she argues with the newsie.

Jenny: lol that moment was so cute!
i honestly thought that he was going to be her love interest before the newsie showed up

Rachel: ok when he and newsie showed up i was like
oh
it’s the polycule that was foretold

Ashley: HMMMM

Jenny: LOLOLOL
because he was in last season too — they had a little back and forth (where she bribes him to take her out places)
and this time, he’s like — for your safety, i will give your bribe money back! this really isn’t a good place for you!
he cares

Ashley: 🥺

Rachel: so cute!!!

Jenny: but he has to wear that stupid wig all the time so i guess he could never be a real love interest
oh but what if she accidentally sees him without the wig??
and oh no he’s hot??

Ashley: HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Jenny: anyway! tune in next time to find out (maybe)!

CC: WAIT
WAAAAAIT
I have one more final thought
rushed
but hot off the presses
we’ll bee back with more bridgerton next week!!!!

CC has done the devil's work and photoshopped the Bee Movie bee's head onto Anthony Bridgerton's body!!

Jenny: OMG

Rachel: AHHHHHHH
CURSED
AAGHGHGHGHGHGHGHHGHGHGHG

Ashley: I TRULY CAN’T WAIT
CC YOU MAD GENIUS

CC: LOL
beelieve it
;D


Join us next time for even more love story shouting in our next Romance Roundtable! In the meantime, Monthly Ko-Fi members: head on over to Ko-Fi for just a few bonus goofs that didn’t make it into today’s roundtable, as a treat.

Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.
Ashley Gallagher

Ashley Gallagher

Ashley writes comics and emails from zir burrow in the Pacific Northwest. Ze is a sentient subtropical swamp fern whose favorite food is old words.
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