When we didn’t think anything could top Bridgerton season 1 and Regé-Jean Page, also known as the (gorgeous) duke of Hastings, Netflix and Shondaland released Bridgerton season 2, leaving us all breathless.
Just like season 1, season 2 offers drama, suspense and a great love story, but above all that it offers recognition and representation in the most natural way to south asians. From the bangles on Kate Sharmas wrists to Kate oiling her sisters hair, not to mention seeing the Sharmas haldi ceremony while a classical version of Kabhie Khushie Kabhie Gham plays in the background.
When asked about the conscious choice to make the cast multicultural and why it was important for the show, executive producer Shonda Rhimes responds:
– I’m not sure that it’s just important to the show’s identity as it is important to television and shows in general. The idea that we don’t create worlds that look like the world that we live in, and that we create false societies where everybody looks a certain kind of way or is a certain kind of colour or whatever, feels disingenuous to me. It also feels like erasure. We’re just not interested in erasing anybody from the story, ever. In Shondaland, that is how we do; that’s just how we tell stories. While it’s important for Bridgerton, it’s important for every story being told. When you’re watching television, you should get to see people who look like you.
But it isn’t just on screen that Shondaland has made sure that representation is being reflected, it was equally important that diversity was honored behind the cameras as well.
– In Shondaland, we make sure that the crew and the people behind the scenes are as multicultural as the people you see in front of the camera. We make sure that they are different in age; we make sure that they have different abilities; we like to make sure that our casts and our crews and our writers represent the real world. I think it makes for better storytelling, it makes for more authentic storytelling, and it makes for more complex storytelling. You want directors who reflect the world. You want people who have a view of the world that doesn’t come from simply one point of view. There’s nothing wrong with a white male point of view, but there are certainly many things right about the point of view of women of colour, directors of colour, artists of colour, writers of colour. That feels important to us to include in our world, Shonda Rhimes says.
If you have read the Bridgerton books, you know that Kates and Edwinas last names are in fact Sheffield and not Sharma. Most South Asian representation consists of light skinned people to the point that it can be difficult to understand that the majority of South Asian people are in fact rather dark skinned. The choice to make the Sharma sisters from India was a conscious choice by the production team behind Bridgerton.
– Making the Sharmas of South Asian descent was actually a very simple choice. I wanted to feel like the world we were living in was as three-dimensional as possible, and I wanted to feel like the representation was as three-dimensional as possible, too. Finding South Asian women with darker skin and making sure that they were represented on screen authentically and truthfully feels like something that we haven’t seen nearly enough of. I felt like it was time for us to make sure that we were seeing as much as possible, Shonda Rhimes says.
Bridgerton season 3 is already in the making and we can’t wait to see what the creative mind of Shonda Rhimes is going to serve us with next. If it is even half as good as Bridgerton has been so far, you know we’ll binge watch season 3 in a day, no doubt.