“Bridgerton” reveals the scandalous and romantic lives of 19th century London’s high society with a modern twist. And we’re all OBSESSED.
Since its release on Christmas Day, “Bridgerton” has dominated Netflix’s Top 10 chart. The historical drama has reclaimed the number 1 spot not once but twice, making Netflix history!
This binge-worthy show is Pride and Prejudice with a “Gossip Girl” twist. Definitely a change of pace from the usual shows we go to when we need to break from Zoom University, “Bridgerton” is a perfectly scandalous, romantic, and contemporary take on 19th century London’s high society.
As a fan of both “Gossip Girl” and Jane Austen, it didn’t take long for me to become hooked on this show! (May or may not have watched the entire season in one day). Though some have deemed Shonda Rhimes’ casting choices as historically inaccurate, I think it retells tales of the past, with faces most reflective of the culturally diverse society that has always existed but is rarely conveyed in film and literature.
Based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series Bridgerton, the Netflix series follows the intriguing social lives of London’s most elite families during Spring, “the social season.” This competitive time for young, beautiful debutantes seeking prosperous, well-respected gentlemen to marry, stirs up plenty of drama. The anonymously famous, Lady Whistledown (narrated by Julie Andrews), spills the tea on every secret and scandal in her weekly society papers - similar to “Gossip Girl.”
Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) is London’s Serena van der Woodsen, but with a corset. Daphne’s desire is to find the perfect love match, while her younger sister Eloise (Claudia Jessie), can’t bear the thought of dancing with a man, let alone marrying one. As the social season continues, Eloise can’t help but scoff at the gender inequality of her society, bringing a modern air to tradition.
Eloise rejects the debutant lifestyle, while Daphne thrives and captures the attention of several eligible bachelors –Enter Regency Era London’s Sexiest Man Alive, Simon, Duke of Hastings.
Initially, the two fake a relationship, so Daphne can attract other suitors, while Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) can deter crazy mothers and overly eager daughters. Inevitably, they both catch feelings, but what is it about this show that according to Forbes, has 63 million people viewing it in just the first four weeks of its release?
Aside from the amazingly talented cast and scenes set to classical covers of modern pop songs by artists like Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, and Ariana Grande, what makes the show so appealing?
Perhaps it has something to do with the dating app generation’s longing for authentic relationships and face-to-face meetings brought about by responses to the OG form of “shooting your shot:” calling cards. Promenades in the park, stolen glances, and banter between people less than six feet apart and so right for each other fills the void left by endless Tinder swiping and social distancing. We are drawn to the authentic companionship and intimacy that a world of online dating does not inspire.
The dating game has evolved since Daphne Bridgerton’s time, but the show has proven though corsets and chauvinism have gone out of style, our appetite for scandal, romance, and companionship is as insatiable as it is timeless.