Netflix released the new series Bridgerton on Christmas day. Produced by Shonda Rhimes, Bridgerton is a raunchy and refreshingly inclusive new take on the historical romance genre set within the English upper class.
Created by Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton is the story of a powerful Regency era family in London called Bridgerton. The eight-episode series follows Daphne Bridgerton (played by Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the Bridgerton family, as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Daphne hopes that she will be as lucky as her parents and find true love. Luck does seem to be on her side initially as she receives the favors of the Queen. However, as her older brother Anthony (played by Jonathan Bailey) starts to meddle with her potential suitors, all of Daphne’s initial unrivaled prospects seem now ruined. Things look even worse for Daphne after the high society scandal sheet written by a mysterious Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) casts aspersions on Daphne. But all is not doom and gloom, as she soon meets the highly desirable and rebellious Duke of Hastings (played by Regé-Jean Page), a committed bachelor and the catch of the season for the debutantes’ mamas.
There are lavishly beautiful gowns, comically unsuitable suitors, handsome dukes, ballroom dancing, love intrigues, and plenty of gossip. If you love Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and all of the Jane Austen novels adaptations, but wish they were all a little bit raunchier, then Bridgerton is the period drama for you.
Bridgerton is told through the narrating voice of the mysterious Lady Whistledown, whose identity remains a mystery throughout the series. Julie Andrews’ voice thus first introduces us to two families living across from each other on Grosvenor Square in London: the Featheringtons, three sisters with a fondness for bright colored dresses that jar with the pastel colored society they are in; and the Bridgertons, a powerful family of eight siblings, consisting of four sisters and four brothers, all properly attired in pastel blues and whites.