IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
TV-MA | 1h 0min | Drama, Romance | TV Series
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94% Fresh (Critics) 89% Fresh (Audience Score)
Director: Chris Van Dusen
Writer: Chris Van Dusen, Sarah Dollard, Janet Lin
Stars: Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Florence Hunt
IMDb summary: Wealth, lust, and betrayal set in the backdrop of Regency era England, seen through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family.
we are not spoiler-free
Did somebody say “Bodice-ripping?” We thought this TV show was somehow related to Sanditon which was great. Perhaps it was the title or the era in which this TV show is set. If you haven’t seen Sanditon, you really should – we highly recommend it. But this little beauty couldn’t be farther from Sanditon’s shores and that’s both a good and not-so-good thing.
The Shondaland brand may not seem familiar but Shonda Rhimes should. She is the creator of none other than Grey’s Anatomy (yes, it’s still a thing) and Scandal – both shows experiencing breakthrough and continued success many seasons into their run. So it’s safe to say that with Shondaland behind the production of this TV show, you could and should expect a show of a very high standard with a compelling story-line, characters you can somehow relate to and copious amounts of heart-break and drama in equal measure.
Dramatically-speaking, this show’s cup is truly running over. Set in the Regency era of England (the same time Jane Austen released Pride and Prejudice), it follows the life of a young woman named Daphne Bridgerton who is experiencing her first time in society. It is every bit the “coming of age” story but it’s also a story of love received and love lost and that’s not only reserved for the two leads. Bridgerton is a delectable bevy of emotion mixed in with sex, sex and uh, more sex.
You know when you talk about a film or TV show having “too much violence” or violence that doesn’t add any value to the story? Think of Bridgerton as something similar except replace the violence with sex. Many of the scenes are tastefully shot so there’s nothing pornographic happening (although that depends entirely on your idea of what pornographic is). But we thought on this for quite some time before writing our review. Some of the sex scenes are very much required as part of the story progression. We just thought there was a tad too much of it. I mean did we really need to see the two leads engaging in cunnilingus on a stairwell in the middle of the house? Or perhaps this is a daring and welcome move.
Some may argue that too much sex is a good thing – afterall, just because it’s Regency England doesn’t mean people weren’t having sex. They may not have been talking about it but it was definitely happening. And yes, it is a story about a woman finding herself which includes experiencing sex for the first time and enjoying it. Nothing at all wrong with that. Was it important for the story to be told? Yes and no. And therein lies the problem.
The two lead characters played by Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page simply sizzled on-screen. There is no part of their screen time that isn’t believable and it works magic for this show.
The only other minor concern about this show is how similar it is to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before which explores the relationship between a young woman who pretends to “fake date” the most popular guy in school to make another guy jealous and ends up falling for the guy she is fake-dating. Bridgerton of course is set in a very different time which works wonders for the storytelling aspect of this show. But the similarities were a little too much to ignore for this romance fan.
Pride and Prejudice stand aside! Slow-burn romance be gone! Bridgerton gets to the nitty-gritty of love, sex and romance which can and will be intertwined in equally tantalizing amounts. There is no doubt in my mind this show will find its audience and those viewers will be more than entertained.