Bridgerton – Serial Review

How Bridgerton is poised to revolutionize romance on television |

“In a town filled with ambitious mamas and fortune hunting gentlemen, marrying above one’s station, is an art form indeed”. In the American TV period drama series Bridgerton, streaming on Netflix and created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes, this art form has been raised to perfection. Based on Julia Quinn‘s novels set in the competitive world of Regency London high society‘s wedding season, when debutantes are presented at the court, the viewers have an opportunity to confront their perspectives on both race and gender, albeit in different ways. 

The drama centers on the Bridgerton family with Lady Bridgerton and her four sons and her four daughters. Also featured are the Featheringtons, with Lady & Lord Featherington and their three daughters and their guest Ms. Thompson. During the season’s balls when all the darling debutants of London are on display, “titled, chased and innocent”, their one job is to spark interest among good suitors and snag a proposal, “thereby avoiding the label of a spinster”.

While the rebellious among them find “affection and attachment trite and frivolous” or some prefer a diary to a dashing dude, others up the odds wondering “why settle on a duke, when one can have a prince”. And lest you imagine that all the investment of energy is among the parties to wed, it is in fact the society that is heavily invested and interested in speculations about who will wed whom, considering that weddings may splinter or consolidate power structures. In all the hoopla, this wedding season is creating a special stir on account of London high society’s secret writer Whistledown, who regularly writes a column detailing the most scandalous gossip from this coming out season. 

As if all this excitement is not enough, then there’s the issue of race and gender. Let’s tackle gender. Many are delicate issues pertaining to women’s honor where “a wayward touch or heaven forbid a kiss would banish any young lady from a society in a trail of ruin”. And yet these issues are translated into men’s affairs and it then becomes men’s duty to solve these issues and women are expected to leave the weighty issues to their fathers, brothers or husbands. 

But race……. Ahh that’s a whole different issue. Despite the mention of some prior history of a society divided by race, this society is a colorblind society. After their white king married a black queen, this society has managed to achieve true racial equality, as Lady Danbury explains simply, “love conquers all”.  This racial parity indeed brings an absolute breadth of fresh air and leaves you with a feeling of hope and possibility for our future.

Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, Rosheuvel as the Queen and Ruby Barker as Marina Thompson are fabulous along with vastly different Bridgerton sisters, Phoebe Dynevor and Claudia Jesse and their young friend Nicola Coughlan.  

bridgerton trailer

I love this television drama series and will look forward to its continuation. There is so much sarcastic humor and wit, yet it is classy and chic. Yes, it is raunchy too. All the subjects that can’t be mentioned, all the young girls who marry without nary a clue of what is to take place on the wedding night; all that can’t be mentioned is on actual display on screen. For all trapped in loveless marriages, there are others trapped in triangles and yet others enjoying abundance of romance and passion.  Portrayal of race and gender issues gives viewers an opportunity to imagine sharp contrast between a society that remains stuck in status quo versus one that may advance to embrace diversity and inclusiveness, in a year when these issues have risen to the surface.

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