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Bridgerton season 2 has already broken a Netflix record

Bridgerton season 2 has already broken a Netflix record

To nobody’s surprise, Bridgerton season 2 has posted record-breaking Netflix viewership numbers in its first week of release. 

As per the streamer’s weekly popularity data, the sophomore outing of the period drama amassed 193 million hours of viewing time worldwide between March 25 and March 27 – marking the best-ever opening weekend of any English-language Netflix series.

What’s more, only part one of Money Heist’s fifth season accrued more viewing hours in its first three days, suggesting Bridgerton season 2 is on track to join its predecessor among the top 10 most successful Netflix shows of all-time. 

Following the departure of Bridgerton season 1 star Regé-Jean Page, the series’ latest instalment places the spotlight on the eldest Bridgerton brother, Lord Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as he embarks on a quest to find a bride. Sex Education’s Simone Ashley joins the show’s cast as a potential match, Kate, who finds herself in one corner of Lord Anthony’s messy love triangle. Standard Bridgerton shenanigans, then. 

Judging by the initial performance of the series’ second season, it’s almost a formality that Bridgerton season 2 will soon rank among the ten biggest-ever English-language series on Netflix – the streamer makes that judgement after the first 28 days of a show’s release. 

Bridgerton season 1 currently tops that list, having accrued 625.49 million viewing hours in its opening month back in January 2021. It’s closely followed by Stranger Things season 3, The Witcher’s debut season and another Shonda Rhimes production, Inventing Anna.

Jonathan Bailey cosies up to Simone Ashley in Bridgerton’s second season (Image credit: Netflix)

The question of whether Bridgerton season 2 makes the list of Netflix’s biggest-ever shows (in all languages) is altogether larger – but its early numbers bode very well.  

Unsurprisingly, Squid Game reigns supreme on that front, having scored an almighty 1.6 billion viewing hours in its opening month of release. Money Heist season 4 and Korean drama All of Us Are Dead also feature alongside Squid Game and those aforementioned English-speaking shows on the list, so Bridgerton season 2 will have to rake in around 300 million more viewing hours in the next month to break into Netflix’s all-time top ten. 

By our estimations, though, it’ll manage the feat in just a couple of weeks. When it does, Grey’s Anatomy super-producer Shonda Rhimes will have three titles in the streamer’s list of most successful series – which goes some way to justifying her $100 million Netflix payday.  

Analysis: No sex? No problem 

Early reactions to Bridgerton season 2’s first few episodes suggested the series might struggle to replicate the success of its debut outing – mainly due to a noticeable reduction in steamy sex scenes. 

Bridgerton without the sex? I can hardly bear it read one headline on the weekend of Bridgerton season 2’s release, while Marie Claire said the show’s new episodes “betray its romance roots by barely acknowledging or indulging women’s sexual desires that the [period] genre is celebrated for.”

The criticism, though, hasn’t seemed to affect the series’ performance – and the pro-sex sentiment has since turned to admiration for Bridgerton season 2’s more reserved approach. Digital Spy’s Janet A Leigh recently published a piece claiming “Bridgerton season 2’s lack of sex is actually a good thing,” while Twitter users have likewise voiced their support for the show’s re-tooled focus on sexual tension. 

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Perhaps, then, abstinence is the key to a successful Netflix series in 2022.  

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