Binging on Bridgerton - a review

Updated: Jan 23

If you are a fan of Jane Austen, like me, then Bridgerton is your cup of tea and with just the right dash of Gossip Girl. The creator of award-winning shows such as Grey’s anatomy, How to get away with murder, and Scandal, Shonda Rhimes, is back with yet another masterpiece. Another one of Shondaland’s productions, the show is based on the Bridgerton series of novels written by Julia Quinn.


The story revolves around the Bridgerton clan, a family that is the envy of the Ton and their recurring feud with the Featherington family vying for the position of being the ‘lordliest’ family in London’s high society. Both the family’s daughters, along with the other debutantes, are trying their best to snag the right man before the social season ends. But Lady Whistledown, the regency era Gossip Girl, threatens to disrupt the careful balance of the Ton with her revealing column.


The Bridgerton family consists of Violet, Dowager Lady Bridgerton; her four sons, Anthony, Benedict, Colin and Gregory and her four daughters, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca and Hyacinth. The Bridgerton siblings are a good looking and lively bunch and Daphne is considered as the belle of the ball due to her beauty and grace while the handsome Anthony Bridgerton becomes the head of the household after his father’s death and feels responsible for the wellbeing of his siblings. However, things take a turn for the romantic when Simon, the dashing Duke of Hastings, who is also Anthony’s friend enters the picture.


A unique and controversial feature about the show is the use of Black characters in a story set in the Regency era of England when Black people did not hold any titles or property. What’s more surprising is that the show boldly portrays the Queen as being Black, which it does address by explaining that King George III fell in love with a Black woman and married her (indicating that story is set in an alternate universe).


Many critics consider this move as a deliberate attempt by the head honchos of the production house to meet corporate and viewer demands to include more diversity on screen. However, for many this seems to be a step in the right direction in the conversation about race and for viewers who like seeing more people who look like them on screen.


The show consists of 8 episodes which are around 1 hour each, so before you decide to dedicate 8 hours of your life to the series let’s take a look at the pros and cons list.




Pros:


- Bridgeton is a historical version of Gossip Girl and Lady Whistledown’s column will leave you as surprised as the characters themselves.


- The show employs most of the romantic drama tropes, which we all secretly love. And our favorite, the overly used ‘hate first then falling head over heels in love’ cliché between the male and female lead. However, the difference here is that Daphne and Simon experience this while being married to each other which makes for an interesting watch.

- Eloise Bridgerton’s hate for balls and matchmaking are entertaining (and on some level relatable).


- You will be transported back to 19th century England with ballrooms, ball gowns, tiaras and more as the story is set in early 1800’s during the Regency era.


- Bridgerton has everything from a whirlwind romance, friendship, suspense, family rivalries and most importantly drama, loads of drama.


- The costumes and sets, though not completely historically accurate, are gorgeous and a delight for the eyes.




Cons:

- The dialogue, though very witty on some occasions, falls flat most of the time. Take away the English accent and you are left with some run of the mill teen-drama one liners.


- The concept of the ‘marriage market,’ where young ladies compete for a ‘suitable’ husband, might make you cringe.


- The inconsistent pacing of the plot makes the early episodes seem like a drag and the latter ones seem too rushed.


- You will have to wait a whole year before the next season comes out.


Owing to the popularity of the show Netflix recently announced that Bridgerton, which has been viewed by 64 million of its users, will be renewed for a 2nd season. The pros and cons aside, Bridgerton is absolutely an escape without any deep messages which makes it a great binge watch and might leave you wanting for more.



Photo credits: IMDB



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