Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of the first series of Bridgerton was the coupling up—followed by the very candid sexcapades—of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and her beau Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). The couple was so sexually obsessed with each other that they rarely even made it to the bedroom in time. Shagging on the stairs! In the library! Mid-rainstorm in a chapel!
So when we heard that Regé-Jean Page would not be making a return for Bridgerton series two, it’s fair to say we were gutted. Still, Phoebe Dynevor would be out and about to brighten up the show, which this time focuses on Daphne’s brother, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), in his quest to find a love match, right?
Well, not so much as it turns out. Dynevor seems to be criminally underused in the new episodes. From the first shoehorned-in mention of why her hubby would not be gracing us with his presence this season in the opening episode (“You do realise I left my husband and child at home for this?” Daphne says clunkily when gathered with the family to over-see sister Eloise’s debutante coming-out), she barely bothers the screen for the rest of the run in the Regency drama. In one episode, there’s a proper sick-note moment when it’s explained that Daphne is at home because Augie, her baby, has a cough. Daphne, it’s your family ball, not a P.E. class you’re trying to get out of!
Here's how much you'll be seeing Daphne Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 2.
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How much will Daphne be in season 2 of 'Bridgerton'?
So, exactly how much is Daphne in the second outing of Bridgerton? Using a highly scientific method (erm, we watched the entire series and counted), we can now reveal how much screen time Phoebe Dynevor had this season…and it’s 1,766 seconds—just 29 minutes in the almost eight-hour-long series.
Fans were also quick to pick this up online, taking to social media to voice their disappointment of lack of action for the debut season's diamond. One person said on Twitter: “Kinda weird seeing Daphne just be in the background now. She used to be the heart of Bridgerton…” while another said it was her and Simon (Rege-Jean) who people missed the most: “I miss Daphne and Simon together so much”:
Kinda weird seeing Daphne just be in the background now. She used to be the heart of Bridgerton…March 25, 2022
I miss Daphne and Simon together so much 😳 #bridgerton pic.twitter.com/8dTPIseE69March 25, 2022
Some, however, called it differently: “Daphne is so irrelevant this season,” said one viewer, while another posted, “Obviously we all know why, but it feels weird how Daphne keeps popping up and yet Simon is never there or even mentioned.” Another fan picked up on her “bland” costumes this season, adding: “They do Daphne so wrong on this show.”
Daphne is so irrelevant this season. #Bridgerton pic.twitter.com/atDm0yvNDlMarch 25, 2022
Obviously we all know why, but it feels weird how Daphne keeps popping up and yet Simon is never there or even mentioned. #Bridgerton #2X03March 25, 2022
They do Daphne so wrong on this show. Everyone’s dresses look beautiful and fit perfectly but hers are bland and look like they weren’t tailored😂#Bridgerton pic.twitter.com/8dm562cN1jMarch 25, 2022
It all begs the question: will Daphne (Phoebe) return for Bridgerton seasons 3 and 4, which have been confirmed to be happening—Bridgerton season 3 will focus on Benedict Bridgerton—or will she be phased out completely? We’ll just have to wait and see…
In the meantime, catch the new batch of Bridgerton season 2 episodes, currently streaming on Netflix from Friday, March 25.
Laura is a freelance entertainment and lifestyle journalist who writes for The Guardian, The i newspaper, Metro, BBC Culture and Grazia. She's happiest travelling the world and discovering new trends and, within reason, is willing to give most things a try. From feasting on rancid camel milk cheese in Morocco to jumping into the shimmering aquamarine cenotes of the Yucatan; it's all out there to be explored, then written about. A firm believer of Nora Ephron's mantra: "everything is copy".
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