Plus, showrunner Chris Van Dusen teases season 2 and talks Emmy noms.
'Bridgerton' creator Chris Van Dusen speaks to EW's 'Awardist.'

Never has cutlery caused such a fuss...

When Bridgerton premiered last Christmas, it captured the hearts and minds of more than 83 million viewers (the most ever for a Netflix original series). And it inspired a host of memes and general lust across the internet for its gorgeous cast, most particularly one Regé-Jean Page as Simon, the Duke of Hastings.

There were plenty of steamy moments to swoon over, but it was a simple, not-so-innocent spoon lick that made the internet collectively lose their minds. Now, while discussing the show's 12 Emmy nominations with EW's Awardist, showrunner Chris Van Dusen reveals that moment was actually scripted.

"The spoon lick was scripted and those were some of the best days in the writers' room that I can remember," he tells EW. "We challenged ourselves to come up with these, we called them 'thirsty' moments, and the spoon was one of them. We had such fun in the room pitching on those ideas and there were so many. There's so many more to come in the series as well."

Bridgerton spoon lick
Simon (Rege-Jean Page) savors his dessert in the thirstiest way possible.
| Credit: Netflix

The show is up for a dozen Emmys, including Original Drama Series and Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Drama for Page. Van Dusen calls the nominations "humbling," adding he hopes the recognition will pave the way for more romance series to be made and respected. "There's a misconception out there all romance novels are either trashy or disposable, and they can't be smartly written, and I don't think that's true," he adds.

But as to why he thinks Bridgerton broke through where other romance-adjacent properties, such as Outlander, have not garnered this level of awards love, well, it's a matter of timing and the cast. "Considering the incredibly difficult times we're all living in, people were able to find a bit of a respite in this show," he says. "Bridgerton is this beautiful, escapist world that you get to enter, and it's a show about romance and love, and those are some very universal things that people have responded to and embraced. I also think it has to do with the world of the show being multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-hued — this beautiful world is saying anyone is welcome here, anyone can find things like love and joy and triumph at the end."

Van Dusen says beyond the nominations, he's been blown away by the response to the show, from the memes to the Bridgerton TikTok musical.

The cast and production team are now hard at work on a second season, and Van Dusen reveals he's been in the edit bay for the first two episodes recently. "It's really getting me so excited for what audiences are going to see," he gushes. "We're going to be back with an even greater escape to 19th-century London. It's still just as scandalous and just as escapist as the first season."

Season 2 will pivot to focus on eldest Bridgerton, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as he seeks to find a wife and fulfill his duties to his family. "We left Anthony at a bit of a crossroads at the end of season 1. He had just been through this relationship, if you want to even call it that, with his mistress Sienna, and he enters this season knowing he has to find a wife," teases Van Dusen. "Duty and honor are the two themes that we're really digging into this for next season. [He's been] carrying the weight of his family on his shoulders ever since his dad died. It's been a real struggle for him."

"We first met him up against a tree with his mistress and over the course of the season,  we saw him make mistakes, and we came to understand why he was making those mistakes, which I think has just set him up so perfectly for season 2," he adds. "We're taking Anthony to some really fantastic and complicated places. We fully broke him at the end of season 1, and now, we get to put him back together in a way that I think makes him all the better for it."

Tune into the Emmys Sept. 19 on CBS to see if Bridgerton takes home gold, and watch the video above for more.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring Emmys analysis, exclusive interviews, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's TV shows and performances.

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