Friends, I did it again. I told myself I’d watch just one (1) episode of Netflix’s new series Bridgerton, and I ended up watching the entire thing in one go. I just couldn’t help it! I am an absolute slut for historical dramas, and Bridgerton is just that. Watch it, if you haven’t already. It’s pure escapism.
Bridgerton is basically Gossip Girl, but it’s set in Regency London. The series, based on Julia Quinn‘s bestselling romance novels, comes from Shondaland (Shonda Rhimes) and series creator Chris Van Dusen.
It focuses on Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s very competitive marriage market (gross). And if that wasn’t stressful enough, everybody pours over this high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown, who somehow knows everything. She is voiced by Dame Julie Andrews, but her real identity is kept a secret until the season finale. More on Andrews later.
Bridgerton is so decadent (and horny as hell). It’s not perfect – there are a couple of questionable moments in there and I expect the series will spark bigger conversations about representation on screen, but if we’re talking about it on a surface level then it’s mostly fun viewing.
The series stars the very handsome Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, who is a very eligible bachelor and Daphne’s love interest. He is also Twitter’s new boyfriend.
It costars Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, Nicola Coughlan (!!!) as Penelope, Golda Rosheuvel as the magnificent Queen Charlotte, and Claudia Jessie as Eloise. Am I just listing my favourite characters? Yes.
To be honest, the entire cast is quite impressive, but they’re my favourites.
Second to them is Julie Andrews’ narration.
I mean, c’mon.
I never thought I’d hear Julie Andrews say “bitches” on TV, but here I am. And I am so grateful.
Thank you, Chris.
Bridgerton. BRIDGERTON. Sexy and silly and if nothing else, tune in to hear Julie Andrews say “bitches” with obvious and absolute relish— ???? Shayla ???? (@shayla_who) December 26, 2020
started watching bridgerton and i’m fully losing my mind?? enemies to lovers fake dating historical romance??? with a diverse cast???? whilst orchestral versions of modern pop songs play in the background????? JULIE ANDREWS NARRATES IT?????? sign me the fuck up pic.twitter.com/SZj5KRx20A— dover street don dada???? (@fuego_bigavalle) December 27, 2020
oh bitch this is JULIE ANDREWS
— Fran Tirado (@fransquishco) December 27, 2020
The series also uses some truly excellent string covers of pop songs, like ‘thank u, next’ by Ariana Grande, ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Taylor Swift, and ‘bad guy’ by Billie Eilish.
A number of these covers are by the Vitamin String Quartet, who I’ve had on loop for the past day now.
Bridgerton is streaming now on Netflix. It’s eight (one-hour) episodes long.
You can knock it out in a day.
As an aside, the only time I saw people of colour in main roles in British society period dramas before Bridgerton was in Refinery29’s Mr. Malcolm’s List. The short film is a love story set in the 1800s, and it made my heart swell.