Bridgerton premieres December 25 on Netflix.
By Ariba Bhuvad
What do you get when you bring the drama of Gossip Girl into the Regency Era of England? Shondaland’s Bridgerton, that’s what! To say that I adored this series would be putting it lightly because I absolutely LOVED it. I’m a huge fan of period dramas but this one has something extremely enticing and magical about it.
It marks Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix Original series, and I’d like to be one of the many to say she did a stand-up job right out the gate. Of course, that doesn’t come as a surprise given the success she’s had with various shows over the years, but Bridgerton is a stark difference from what she’s dabbled in before.
Bridgerton dives deep into the social scene of the early 1800s and explores the pressures of marriage, having a family, and coming out top in a world that favors “the perfect life”. But Rhimes’ take on this time period is unique and commendable as she has people of color playing people in positions of power and high royal status. It’s not exactly how history truly played out, but Rhimes chooses to balance and normalize this, and I absolutely appreciated it.
What makes Bridgerton so much fun and exciting to watch is the nature of how the show plays out with Julie Andrews taking on the role of narrator, aka Lady Whistledown. She voices the “Gossip Girl” of the series, and just like the series, the identity of this character remains unknown and up to interpretation. It makes the series a thrilling watch and keeps you guessing until the very end.
However, Bridgerton tugged at my heartstrings because of the love story at the center of it. Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) and Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) share a passionate, complicated romance that captivates you as the viewer and pulls you in through their ups and downs. I simply could not get enough of Page and Dynevor every time they graced the screen as Simon and Daphne. They brought a life into this couple that surpasses any fictional romantic relationship I’ve seen in a very long time. Seriously, I think folks are going to love their love, and I can’t wait to see the reactions that come out of watching this series.
While Simon and Daphne carry the first season of Bridgerton, I’d be remiss not to mention that all the supporting characters and their individual stories truly make the series what it is as well. There is plenty of drama to go around for days, and Bridgerton does one hell of a job keeping you invested in everyone’s story. Trust me when I say, you will love it from start to finish.
Plus, Julie freaking Andrews narrates the entire thing. Do we need anything else?
I give Bridgerton an A-.