Spoiler Alerts – please do not read any further if you would like a surprise. You have been warned….
How true is Bridgerton Season 2 to the book? Some of the characters names are the same, I’ll give them that… Otherwise the rest of the storylines appear to be entirely made up by the production team. Not that I am upset by this turn of events you need to understand. It is actually quite refreshing in a perverse way; allow me to explain myself.
Does anyone remember when the second Breaking Dawn film came out? During the grand finale the producers suddenly veered away from the book into an unexpected fight scene, and all of the Twilight fans in the room (forgive me, I was young…) sat bolt upright in their seats and screamed ‘what?!’ in absolute unison, eyes glued to the screen, holding their combined breath in shock. It all later turned out to be a vision which never happened at all, but they got our undivided attention, so it worked.
Then I will remind you of The Hobbit. I remember this lovely chap telling me all about how The Hobbit was going to be split out into three films. “Impossible” I declared, “The Hobbit is a tiny book”. Well I was proven wrong, and though I cannot boast of having read the Silmarillion myself, I understand that the majority of the extra content for the films came from that book.
Again, I am not complaining; despite being an avid admirer of ‘The Hobbit’ in its book form, I have also rewatched each of The Hobbit films enough that my Other Half refuses to watch them with me any more. Something about not pre-empting all of the punchlines? I will say no more on The Hobbit films in the interest of familial harmony – my sister-in-law has strong opinions on the matter.
So when I say that little more than the characters names are carried forward into Season 2 of Brigerton, I really am not complaining. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and was so far from what was actually written that I really can’t complain that they didn’t reliably represent the book, because it’s clear that they never even tried.
Is this genius? Or a scandal worthy of Lady Whistledown herself? Personally I am erring on the side of genius, since it is a truth universally acknowledged that a producer trying to turn a book into a film is doomed to fail. Unless they take the lead of the BBC Pride and Prejudice in 1980 and turn that book into a lengthly series which religiously quotes the books, in which case loyal readers will adore them forever.
So, would it really have been so hard for Bridgerton Season 2 (given that it is in fact an entire 8 episodes) to have reliably quoted the book word for word and done a true representation of Julia Quinns work? No, I suspect it would actually have been a lot easier to do that, and a lot less fun.
So, which bits in the book and the series actually happened the same way?
- There is a dog called Newton in both. He is given shamefully little screen time, and should have been on view at all times. Except during the naked stuff.
- Edwina is not half so invested in the Viscount in the book, so it’s really not that big of a deal to her when her sister marries him instead.
- As above, Edwina never actually got engaged to Anthony in the book – that was pure, producer-made drama and I nearly fell off my bed when they pulled that little stunt. That is not to say that I wasn’t glued to the screen for the entire train crash that was their wedding day, but still. There are limits.
- Or so I thought, but then right at the end Kate nearly dies, and nobody can be mad at her any more. Again, absolutely did not happen in the book.
- The bee sting scene, that did happen. But it was far more dramatic than they played in on-screen, and they ended up getting engaged out of the back of it.
- Newton actually did cause some people to end up in the lake, but it was actually much funnier in the book. And it was Edwina, not the two chaps. But I think that people in general would have been in an uproar if they had shot Edwina coming out of the lake in see-through clothes like they did to Anthony (which is a debate for another day).
- Pall Mall really was that funny in the book.
- You can safely guarentee that any storyline that wasn’t strictly between Kate and Anthony didn’t actually happen in the book. The rest of it is again producer made soap opera (and I loved it!)
So there we have it. Hate it or love it, it is marvelously made and absolutely worthy of a binge watch. I consider myself well-informed on that particular matter, since I binge-watched the lot today and loved every moment.
Now, when does Season 3 come out? No idea as yet, though there are fairly confident speculations on Season 4, so watch this space.