Ah, dear readers, turns out I couldn’t get enough of the scandal, the sex and secrets of a Netflix series….who knew? I greet period, costume dramas with apprehension but – like a lot of people- I fell heads over heels for Bridgerton when I watched it earlier this month (although, like many, I think binge-watched is more accurate).
The series (based on the series of books of the same name) centres around the Bridgerton family and the Featheringtons, as debutantes are presented at court.
From the offset, the series explores complex family relationships as Daphne (who is being presented at court) clashes with her brother Anthony (who is extremely meddlesome in who his sister should and should not pursue) and Penelope (who is pushed aside by her mother) becomes increasingly jealous of her cousin Marina Thompson. The relationships, both familial and otherwise, are complicated further by the release of a column by the well-informed, and unknown, Lady Whistledown.
I was initially worried about this one. As I mentioned, I’m not the biggest fan of period or costume dramas. Not only this, but the fact that I hadn’t read the books – or watched Gossip Girl (the show critics and non-critics alike kept drawing comparison to) – had me worried. Luckily, I needn’t worry as the show was incredibly easy to watch (and even easier to binge watch!). I was sucked in by the stunning scenery, the gorgeous costumes and I couldn’t get enough of the decision to include classical versions of modern songs (Ariana Grande’s thank you, next for example).
I have to say the acting was great. Aside from one or two of the stars, I haven’t seen many of the cast in anything else so it was interesting to see new – very attractive – faces on screen. There was denying when the show called for chemistry, it was there and it was sizzling hot – particularly where Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé-Jean Page) were concerned. Everyone has the two love interests names on their lips but – for me – the standout performances came from Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington) and Ruby Barker (Marina Thompson). Though the romance did have my heart aflutter, the drama surrounding Coughlan’s Penelope and Barker’s Marina had me hooked.
The show is informative of the era in which it is set, without bogging down the audience with too much history, but there are modern touches here and there – from the diverse cast to the modern soundtrack. It has the elegance of a classic novel, without the hard-to-get-your-head-around language.
One thing I wasn’t too keen on – and a lot of others agree – is one particular scene. I won’t go into specifics (because #nospoilers and, let’s face it, most people have seen it already) but I just think the scene could’ve been changed to reflect the ways society has changed.
Regardless, Bridgerton is a sexy, scandalous show that is the escapism we need right now. I can’t wait to see where the story goes when the second season arrives…
What have you been watching recently? Let’s chat in the comments 😊.
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