Arriving on our screens at the end 2020, Netfilx’s lavish eight-part period drama Bridgerton proved to be the perfect tonic to these troubled times.
What is Bridgerton about?
Set within the proper world of 19th century high society in Regency London, it’s easy to think that Bridgerton will be another buttoned-up Sunday night tea time treat, or at best a try-hard replacement for Downtown Abbey. However this notion is quickly dispelled with the welcome appearance within the first 5 minutes of the Viscount Bridgerton’s bare buttocks (handsomely played by Jonathan Bailey) as he gets rhythmically-acquainted with his lover against a tree. From this moment on you know that, unlike the parade of young ladies making their debut into society, this show is going to be anything but chaste.
Based on the bestselling romance novels of American author Julia Quinn, the show focuses on the love story of her first book, The Duke and I, and the will-they-won’t-they relationship between Daphne Bridgerton and the very eligible Duke of Hasting.
Their courtship takes place in the annual season, when the wealthy elite decamped from the country to their London mansions for several months and mingled at lavish social events such as glamorous balls, picnics and dinner parties. It is here that the young ladies of age, having been prepared and trained to be the ideal wife, are introduced by their ambitious mothers with the aim of finding them an eligible husband, preferably with a title and with plenty of money.
The Series also features the dramas, loves and scandals of the rest of the Bridgerton family and that of the neighbouring (and less tasteful) Featherington family. Who knew that there were so many scandals in Regency London, from unchaperoned walks in the garden and out-of-wedlock pregnancies, to gambling and murder to name but a few.
Pontificating over the social to-ing and fro-ing and exposing scandals of the day is the anonymous “Lady Whistledown”, voiced by Dame Julie Andrews no less. Such is the accuracy of the gossip Lady Whisteledown writes in her eagerly-anticipated Regency version of Heat magazine, Queen Charlotte tasks the second eldest Bridgerton daughter Eloise to unmask her. Her efforts are frequently frustrated and it’s a dramatic thread that will you keep you guessing the identity of the scandal sheet writer to the very last frame of the first series.
Who's in it?
There are a few familiar faces in Bridgerton and also the introduction to a wider audience for others. Hover over the images for more info!
Why watch Bridgerton?
From the start, Bridgerton delivers all that you expect from a period drama and is a visual delight with glorious bright costumes and lavish grand sets-pieces.
What sets this apart is the successful blending of historical detail with engaging, witty storytelling. It is presented very much as a 21st-century period drama, or some might say a Regency soap, with diverse casting and characters who, even though are set firmly within the social restraints of the period, are played with a modern sensibility, as if Regency London were happening around us today.
There’s plenty of sex too, more than you expect in a typical period drama, or any drama these days, and some homoerotic boxing thrown in for good measure. Adding to the overall contemporary feel are the modern songs which are played by the musicians at the social events.
Joyous news dear reader, Netflix have confirmed a second series of Bridgerton and it was a letter from Lady Whistledown which broke the news, as always!
No release date has been confirmed as yet, however excitement is already mounting here at The Recs.
Bridgerton Series 1
Available to Watch now on Netflix