A first look at Netflix’s second season of fan-favorite "Bridgerton" includes images of a lavish Indian family, front and center. The band of new characters includes Simone Ashley, of "Sex Education," playing lead Kate Sharma, Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma and Shelley Conn as Mary Sharma.
The official sneak peek premiered at Netflix’s three-hour Tudum streaming event over the weekend, where the streaming giant announced updates on nearly 100 projects. During the "Bridgerton" teaser, Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, and Kate Sharma, who is set to become Anthony's love interest in the new season, are seen exchanging some heated words.
Based on Julia Quinn’s novels, the "Bridgerton" TV adaptation is known for its diverse cast and vibrant ballroom scenes. In the novel, Ashley’s character was originally named Kate Sheffield. However, the character was renamed for the show. Adding the Sharma family to the extravagance will likely stir up the plot, but it will also add some historical accuracy to the hit series.
During the Regency era that "Bridgerton" is set in, between 1811 and 1820, British officials involved with the East India Company often raised families with Indian women and sometimes brought their children back to England to be immersed in English culture, historian and Cornell University professor Durba Ghosh told NBC Asian America previously.
“They very much feel like outsiders,” said Chandran, who plays Kate’s younger step-sister in the series, of the Sharma family during a cast panel at the Tudum streaming event. “The Bridgertons and Featheringtons are the core ton. And the Sharmas, they feel like, almost like if the audience who watched season one were kind of put in. They are new. They don’t really know what’s happening. They have their ideas.”
“So I feel like the Sharmas kind of represent the audience in a way."
When describing the Sharmas at the same event, Ashley said the family dynamic felt like a "sisterhood," adding that Kate, her step-sister Edwina and her step-mother Mary, are really close and manage to stand out among the other families in the show.
"They're a little bit different from the Featheringtons and the Bridgertons in the sense they've come to London. It's a different culture, different vibe, different rules. And they've had to adapt a lot, I think, but they never lose their true selves."
The "Bridgerton" series follows eight siblings of the Bridgerton family as they attempt to find happiness and meet their match during London’s courting season, according to Netflix. Since its premiere in December, Bridgerton has become one of Netflix’s biggest shows, with nearly 82 million views.
The show was created and produced by Chris Van Dusen, alongside producer Shonda Rhimes. According to Lady Whistledown herself, the show has been renewed for third and fourth seasons. However, "Bridgerton" fans will have to wait until the second season premiere in 2022 to find out exactly how the Sharma family arrives in London.
“It is about time to show the world that Indians, in particular, are more than IT experts, doctors and all the stereotypical roles,” Indian Malaysian comedian Prakash Daniel told NBC Asian America in March. “As for the viewers, it also gives a diversified outlook to society, especially in the context of a historical drama.”