I’m usually not one to dive into period pieces, as I typically find them slow-moving and boring, but when I watched the new Netflix series Bridgerton? I was hooked. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
The fashion, the scandals, the passion, and the intertwining stories of different families seeking to marry off their daughters in hopes of securing them quality husbands and futures was delightful and unexpectedly entertaining. The series is smart, sexy, and progressive, as it centers on a young woman named Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and her quest to find love and a suitable companion. On her journey, she crosses paths with a very handsome duke, Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), and as each episode continues, we’re not only able to watch her story unfold but additionally afforded the opportunity to see how her actions impact the lives of those around her, including her love interest, her mother, her siblings, and others in her story, who are individually and collectively seeking happiness in their own ways and sometimes on their own terms.
What’s especially moving and unique about the show is its focus and reimagining with different takes on class, race, relationships, and betrayals. I’ve never seen or known about many period pieces that portrayed such a diverse cast and had a confident and strategic approach to inclusiveness. Though the show takes place during a dated period, some of the themes and characters are very reflective of the world we live in today. And that’s something worth celebrating. One of the first things I noticed on sight was the introduction of Queen Charlotte, who is Black, fierce, and all kinds of bold as she confidently and unapologetically lets her place on the throne be known. Also, those wigs and dresses she pulled off? Oh so clutch. There was no question about who was in charge every time she made an appearance.
Another exciting surprise from the series came in the form of a narrator named Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews), a Gossip Girl-esque character who spills all the tea on everything happening throughout the society and in many of the characters lives. Bridgerton is a period piece worth pulling up for. It’s an exciting and eye-opening treat that’s certain to make its mark on the culture and open the door to new and imaginative worlds and storytelling in ways we can only hope to see continue.