“Bridgerton” has become the most-watched show series on Netflix.
The series takes place in 19th Century London and centers on the aristocratic Bridgerton family. Violet Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton is a widowed mother with eight children. Her sons are Anthony, Benedict, Colin and Gregory, and her four daughters Daphne, Eloise, Francesca and Hyacinth.
Also featured in the series are their neighbors, the Featheringtons. Portia, known as Lady Featherington, and her husband Archibald, known as the Baron, and their daughters, Phillipa, Prudence and Penelope. Also living with them is their mysterious cousin Marina Thompson.
Anthony Bridgerton, who is the eldest son and heir to the family title and estate, has a responsibility of taking care of the family since their father’s passing. It is also his job to find suitable spouses for his sisters.
Daphne Bridgerton, the fourth child and eldest daughter, makes her societal debut and catches the eye of Queen Charlotte, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, who tells her that she has a lot of potential. Daphne’s purpose is to attend many social events and meet potential suitors. It is during one of those social events that she meets Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings.
Bassett is one of London’s most eligible bachelors who refuses to marry because of his tough childhood with his father. That all changes when he meets Daphne and falls in love with her. Bassett is also best friends with Anthony Bridgerton.
In the series, each episode is narrated by actress Julie Andrews, who voices the anonymous, scandalous newsletter columnist known as Lady Whistledown. Queen Charlotte and Eloise Bridgerton, the fifth Bridgerton child and second daughter, becomes obsessed with finding Lady Whistledown’s true identity.
“Bridgerton” is a cross between “Pride and Prejudice” and “Gossip Girl.” The show is a fine British period drama in which Black characters can thrive within the storylines. In Vanity Fair, they describe that the reason “Bridgerton” became such a big hit is because of the pandemic, saying, “Perhaps the success can be attributed partially to the extraordinary times we live in.”
The show did get some backlash because of its racially diverse characters. The creator of the series, Chris Van Dusen, wanted to make the show a reimagined world in the 19th Century. The show is about marrying history and fantasy and one approach that they took from this was the approach to race.
Shonda Rhimes, who is known for her other works like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder,” is not a stranger to success.
Usually, period costume dramas have always cast Caucasian actors. In Forbes Magazine, they describe Rhimes as someone who wants to change that.
“Rhimes’s decision to go boldly go where no drama period has gone before, creating the most diverse period drama ever produced, is key to what makes it so distinctive,” the article said. “And is likely the primary reason for its massive success both in the U.S. and in other 83 territories world, where ‘Bridgerton’ occupies the top spot in the streaming universe, by a mile.”
Dusen, a screenwriter on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” has now found success with “Bridgerton.” Van Dusen and Rhimes can now add another hit show on their list. Van Dusen said that he would love to see the show run eight seasons.
In an interview with Collider, he said, “I feel like the first season was primarily about Daphne and her love story with Simon. But, this being a family of eight children and there being eight books, I would love to be able to focus and really tell stories for all the Bridgerton siblings.”