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"The Buccaneers" Is "Bridgerton" But Fun

Kristine Froseth stars in this new show pitched as Girls in the 1800s.

Kristine Froseth from Apple TV's "The Bucaneers" laying on a sofa.
Photo: Apple TV+

When Netflix released Bridgerton, I have to admit I binged-watch the show in one night. The Gossip Girl-esque concept along with the classical approach to Harry Styles' music made me a fan. Then the second season came along, and it was even better. I mean, Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley? Whoever casted them is a genius. But I realized that Bridgerton was one of those shows I could easily shed after finishing the last episode.

Enter The Buccaneers, Apple TV's latest series which stars Kristine Froseth (Looking for Alaska), Alisha Boe ("Thirteen Reasons Why), and Josie Totah (Saved by the Bell). I wasn't planning on renewing my Apple TV subscription, but after watching the trailer on TikTok (which features an actual Olivia Rodrigo song, not just a classical take on it), I was hooked.

Now, it is true that if you liked Bridgerton, you'll like The Buccaneers. Set in the 1800s, the series centers around a group of girls from New York who travel to London for debutante season. Nan St. George (Kristine Froseth) is not their leader, but she is certainly the center of their friendship. She's who every girl who's not like other girls has plastered all over their Pinterest board.

What The Buccaneers holds over Bridgerton is the ability to be romantic and accurate while still being fun. Beautiful girls deemed as "new money" falling in love with white men who are rather ugly, but have money and a title. I love the parallels of how the Americans arrive to every castle in England, rowdy as hell, in the same way that the Jersey Shore cast returned home after a night out. But it's the 1800s, so a wild night out for these people is like Snooki's "I think I'm gonna stay home."

In fact, there are so many parallels between The Buccaneers and other aspects of pop culture, which make it clear that the series is meant for Gen-Z. All the boyfriends being ugly-hot is the first one. It's the Timothee Chalamet's and the Jeremy Allen White's ruling the world over in England, and just like in 2023, they are adored by the masses. The one thing I wished they'd done is show their equals in New York society. Maybe they would be a little average, yes, but way more fun.

But all that being said, The Buccaneers is both refreshing and fun. Feels like YA, but doesn't dumb down the experiences of young people in that time. It redefines the 1800s as we know it. The language is formal, yet feels genuinely young and accurate. After all, the characters were raised in Manhattan. Nan and Conchita walked, so Lena Dunham and the rest of the Girls cast could take the L train to Bushwick parties. It is this sentiment that separates it from Bridgerton, and makes it a show that I could easily watch over one night, and talk about forever.


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