Runtime: 8 episodes
From arguably the best television producer in the game, Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”), “Bridgerton” is the new Netflix series that everyone, and I mean everyone, is talking about. The series follows the powerful Bridgerton family during the Regency era of England, as they navigate their way through gender norms while looking for love. The main protagonist of the show is Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), who is expected to marry a prince, but instead falls for the one Duke she hates the most: Simon Basset (Regè-Jean Page). What follows is an enemies-to-overs period piece that is both elegant and scandalous at the same time.
Although the series unquestionably fits into the period piece genre, what sets “Bridgerton” apart from the other period piece dramas, and even some films in the genre, is the contemporary aesthetic it gives off despite its period. Many audience members have come to this same conclusion due to the classical, instrumental renditions of 21st-century pop music, including songs originally sang by Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande, for example. Seeing it in writing seems weird, I know. Who wants a brilliant period piece to be ruined by the mainstream shallowness of today’s pop culture? But trust me on this: it makes the show that much more powerful and even familiar to our world today.
Although the show stars all new fresh faces or actors you maybe haven’t seen in anything before, the acting is splendid — especially the performances from the two leads, Regè-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor. Page and Dynevor have amazing chemistry throughout the show that even shows through their hatred for each other towards the beginning of the show. The enemies-to-lovers narrative is always an enticing one, especially in a series of this genre. But, to pull off this common trope, the actors must have chemistry, or else the audience won’t believe a word of it and lose interest quickly, or even worse: not show interest at all. However, this is not the case for “Bridgerton,” for, the chemistry carries the show on its back and propels it to the finish line. Without it or this narrative, we would have a vapid, slow-moving show with little to no context.
If you like gossipy, romantic period pieces, this will be a quick Netflix binge for you. The show is light-hearted and fun, with unlikely scandals and relationships to keep you interested from the first episode to the last.
It can easily be compared to “Pride and Prejudice” (2005) and even a Regency-era version of “Gossip Girl,” as I have heard many compare it to.
If any of this appeals to you, there is no reason why you should not start this show right this second. If anything, watch it to see what the hype is about and enjoy the eye-candy along the way.
I give it an 8 out of 10.