Netflix period drama, Bridgerton is on the tip of everyone’s’ tongues. But what makes this Netflix original such a must-watch right now? This eight-part drama is more than just your average boy-meets-girl love story. The latest creation by the much-loved Shonda Rhimes is enjoying binge-worthy status and admiration by fans as she continues to give fans everything they expected and more.
The awarding-winning producer is known for creating series such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal that speaks to the importance of feminism, women empowerment and the representation of black actors and actresses. This new series is no expectation as Rhimes, takes inspiration from the novel-based series and turns it into one of the most-watched shows on Netflix in 2020/21.
But, for those who think this is just another boring period drama, the series offers so much more than gorgeous dresses, mansions and handsome lords and dukes. The narrative, cast, cinematography and historical nineteenth-century London setting, make it a marathon-able show of note.
Bridgerton follows the well-to-do Bridgerton family — a widow and her eight, alphabetically named children — as they navigate Regency-era English society, where gossip and secrets abound.
In the opening scene, a rush of Gossip Girl nostalgia sets in as Julie Andrew’s voiceover sets the tone for the drama that is about to unfold. As the opening scene begins our eyes are set onto the exquisite English mansion of Queen Charlotte. It is here when we first lay our eyes on the protagonist, Daphne Bridgerton, (Phoebe Dynevor) dressed to the nines in a lavish gown as she enters the room to seek approval from the queen.
The first few scenes in this first episode set the tone of the series. Here we get introduced to everyone who matters. We meet Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey); Daphne’s highly opinionated sister, Eloise; the Featherington family; and the much talked about, Simon, Duke of Hastings played by Rege-Jean Page.
A modern royal love story
Over the course of the series, we witness a pretend love affair between Lady Daphne and the Duke of Hasting turn into a Harry and Meghan-style modern royal love story. Daphne’s intelligence, outspoken nature and determination echo Meghan Markle’s spirit. The Duke of Hastings, on the other hand, like Prince Harry, enjoyed his freedom as a single bachelor before meeting his match in his bride.
But, the series is so much more than a love story. We see friendships blossom, sexual autonomies explored, as well as the diversity of race, gender and sexual experiences explored from the perspective of a woman. The refreshing narrative bolding explores female sexuality and pleasure, breaking stuffy traditional ideals of female promiscuity and desire.
We see young women speaking out, empowering themselves and the show doesn’t shy away from often taboo subjects like female self-pleasure, feminism, or heteronormative ideas.
I love that this series evokes the important and relevant issues that exist within mainstream media today. Bridgeton is a series that challenges societial norms, encouraging sexuality and empowerment while still offering viewers a generous dollop of guilty pleasure-style enjoyment that only a romantic drama can provide.
After the success of the first season, Netflix recently announced the renewal of the series for a second season, which will likely start filming later in the year.
Zahirah holds a Bachelor's degree in Social Science and is an aspiring young journalist. She is passionate about human rights, inclusive spaces, and female empowerment. In her free time, she can be found writing, meditating, and kickboxing.