A series that allows viewers to dive into the drama of the Bridgerton family, having the chance to escape the reality of an ongoing pandemic.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
Netflix’s Bridgerton has taken over the throne and is the most viewed series on the streaming platform. Filled with drama and romance the show was able to overthrow previous placeholder, The Witcher, with over 82 million views since its release on Christmas Day according to Deadline. After months of sheltering in place, Bridgerton could not have been released at a better time. With many Americans gaining fatigue from COVID restrictions and working from home, this show provided a whimsical escape into the lives of the Bridgerton family and townspeople of London.
Set in 1813, the show follows the lives of the Bridgertons, a wealthier and more traditional family of eight children and their widowed mother. Wedding season has just begun and the eldest daughter, Daphne played by Phoebe Dynevor, is the first of the family to be participating in the marriage market. They hold a reputation of being very prim and proper, and are known to be the most perfect family in the town. Their excitement for this special occasion causes them to bring out their best dresses and jewelry to uphold their family name during this season. But Eloise, the second eldest daughter, has far more interest in the inequalities she experiences by being a woman in their society. Her best friend, Penelope Featherington, shares those same values.
Penelope comes from a rather unique family. Her mother also enters all three of her daughters into the running to find a husband. But their chances to wed become much slimmer when their distant cousin, Marina Thompson, arrives to stay in their home during this time. Not only is she the new girl in town and must adjust to this new lifestyle, but she is forced to deal with her own drama that has followed from her past. Her attempt to have a fresh start in this new place has failed miserably, dragging the Featheringtons into her story.
Now this recap may seem like the whole show might have just been spoiled, but we are only scratching the surface. The Duke of Hastings, played by Rege-Jean Page, is another key character who swoons the hearts of all the women in the town. His unfortunate status of being single makes him the primary candidate in the marriage market. Viewers also explore the happenings in the lives of the Bridgerton men, who each begin to dip into the idea of love and what it means or feels like. How could a show with only eight episodes keep track of this amount of drama? Lady Whistledown, voiced by none other than Julie Andrews, publishes all of the town’s juicy gossip for everyone to read in a daily paper. Her identity is anonymous, bringing in that much more suspense to the townspeople and viewers at home.
Bridgerton is based on a book series written by Julia Quinn, who is the #1 New York Times Bestselling Romance author. Her romantic novels appealed to producer Shonda Rhimes, who is well known as the woman behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. These shows have demonstrated Rhimes’s ability to execute a story in ways that keeps viewers wanting more. For instance, Grey’s Anatomy first aired in 2005 and is still filming today, fifteen years later. Rhimes’s successful resume would only suggest that this new series should be one to keep on your radar.
The show has been renewed for a second season and is set to begin filming in the UK this spring. This series is a great pick me up for people who enjoy light hearted love stories and plots based on never ending drama and gossip. It is recommended for mature audiences and can be uncomfortable for people watching with other family members, so play this in the living room at your own risk. But in the end, each episode is significant and has an ability to keep viewers wanting more. Its structure reflects the way a book is set up, where episodes feel like a chapter and pressing the “next episode” button is like quickly turning the page to find out what’s next. I finished the series within a day, unapologetically staying up until 3 A.M. to do so. I am part of the millions of others who recommend this witty show and hope it gains a larger audience before season two is released in the future.
Melanie Moyer '22,