TV REVIEW: Bridgerton – Season 1

Set in Regency era London, Bridgerton follows the lives of the eight Bridgerton siblings as they navigate the challenges of upper class society in the Ton.

The first season focuses on eldest daughter, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) as she is presented as a debutante before Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel). The aim is to find a husband amongst the eligible society bachelors before the season comes to an end.

Initially Daphne plays a blinder by being declared the seasons “Incomparable” by the Queen but older brother, Anthony’s (Jonathan Bailey) dismissal of all sensible suitors soon turns things sour. And this is only exacerbated when it comes to the attention of mysterious society commentator, Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews). At the same time Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) has returned to London from his travels to wind up his late father’s estate. He has no intention of ever marrying but is reluctantly convinced to join the season by his mentor, Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh).

It’s not long before Daphne and Simon hatch a plan. They will pretend to be courting which will reinstate Daphne’s eligibility while simultaneously keeping the mothers and daughters of the Ton off Simon’s back. But what will happen if Daphne and Simon start to fancy each other? What (or who) have the older Bridgeton brothers been doing while no one was looking? Why is Simon so vehemently opposed to marriage? What is Colin Bridgerton’s (Luke Newton) potential love interest, Marina (Ruby Barker) hiding? And most importantly, who is Lady Whistledown?

Lots of people seem to be hailing Bridgerton as the best thing Netflix has ever made… and I get it. It’s sexy, intriguing and very well acted. There are lots of concurrent storylines but they’re not too overwhelming and much effort is put into character development, which makes you warm to the characters. It also looks absolutely beautiful and it made me quite nostalgic for my days of reading Jane Austen. All of that said, it is pure froth and I at least half the time I was raging about just how ridiculous the etiquette of the time was and how women were valued in Regency society and how silly everyone in the Ton’s worries actually were. I found myself most identifying with second sister, Eloise (Claudia Jessie) who just wants to escape all the expectations.

As an escape from the chaotic and often depressing times we are currently living in Bridgerton is great and I would certainly watch another season but I’m not sure it quite lives up to the crazy hype.

3.5/5

7 Comments

  1. I have made the same comment on a few blogs about this series. It is not a popular point of view, but it is my point of view. Historical drama/romance/whatever should reflect history, and the period in which it is set. The use of ‘colourblind casting’ in this series, and in the remake of David Copperfield, is not accurate. It gives a politically-correct and skewed vision of history, and to my mind it is sending the wrong message totally.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I mean it’s fiction so I am not sure it matters. I don’t think it supposed to be taken as an actual accurate reflection of the time period but you are entitled to your opinion.

      1. My problem is that many people will take it as an accurate reflection.

  2. I think I need to watch this for the costumes alone!

    1. The costumes are incredible. The whole thing just looks stunning!

  3. Yeah I quite enjoyed Bridgerton. There is an overwhelming amount of hype, I agree, but it is a fun watch. I totally raged about the way women were treated, so Eloise going against the grain as much as she could made her my favourite character to watch. She was funny and outright had strong views about wanting more. Bridgerton did look really good, too.

    1. Eloise is an absolute legend. I think they are talking about making 8 seasons, each focused on a different Bridgerton sibling so hopefully she’ll get her own season!

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