Why The Bridge Season 2 is the Best Competitive Reality Show on TV


From the shores of UNESCO World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay, HBO Max’s second season The bridge exerts an enormous physical and psychological toll on its competitors. Tasked with building a bridge over 300 meters of water in just twelve days, two teams must navigate between alliances, vendettas, sabotage and nature to meet the challenge.

This series first aired as a single-team competition in which contestants worked together to build an 800-foot bridge to a remote island. The team encountered myriad problems while building the bridge, including infighting, leadership doubts, and sabotage. Once they successfully navigated the 800-foot waterway, the team then had to choose someone who could decide whether to keep the money or share it. The second season of The bridge retains the same layout but ups the ante in many ways, making the adventure more daring and dangerous.

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Produced by a British company, the first season of this reality show was set in the idyllic Welsh countryside. However, starting with its second season, the location shifted further to the more exotic Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. This location change proved to be more than a facelift as competitors faced new challenges originating in the Southeast Asian environment. Among these challenges were the native life (macaques and snakes in the lead), the cliffs, the climate and, of course, the ocean.

The Vietnamese locale also offered a place further away from any sign of what attendees would be used to. It adds another psychological component to the show as the contestants are thrust into a stressful situation thousands of miles away from life as they know it. The show also ups the ante in the second season by making physical tasks more difficult.

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Unlike the first season, which featured contestants making their way to the island with ease, this season throws the contestants right into the action by having them swim 200 yards to shore with their belongings. Once they arrive at Ha Long Bay, competitors are hit with guidelines that regulate how the bridge should be built and prohibit them from building at night. These extra guidelines, absent from Season 1, make building a bridge during the hot and humid Vietnamese days a far more grueling task than it had been in Wales.

While the first season was psychologically draining, the psychological toll endured by the contestants during the second season also increased. In addition to sabotage and alliance building, the second season (due to the addition of the second team) featured moles from the opposing team who attempted to derail the bridge for a share of the prize. in silver. The addition of the second team itself caused much consternation as teams now had to race against time and each other to claim the £200,000 prize.

The second season of The Bridge is available to stream on HBO Max.


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