BRIDGERTON (2020) – My rating: 10/10

Bridgerton is a period drama created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes. It is based on Julia Quinn’s novels set in the competitive world of Regency London high society’s “ie bon ton” during the season when debutantes are presented at court.  Bridgerton is quite unique because of the way diversity is approached albeit brilliantly presented in scandal-like fashion under the direction of Shondaland Productions, it continues to lure you in. This series is certainly worth watching.

Bridgerton takes place in 1813.  Most households among the rich and the who’s who in society, are preparing for the seasonal showcase of available girls up for grab by the richest men in the pecking order. The series focuses on Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) who is the oldest daughter of the Bridgerton clan, favored by Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvet) to whom all debutants must be presented.  Circulating around London by a mysterious writer calling herself Lady Whistledown (voice: Julie Andrews) is a scandal sheet or newsletter, which seems to foretell everyone’s darkest secrets.  There are bets among the young ladies as to who the writer is.

Among the eligible bachelors (but not a suitor) is Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), the Duke of Hastings.  He is introduced at one of many receptions by his sharp-tongued mentor, Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) who also raised him.  She holds the title of Dayenne of London Society.  She also has insight into Simon’s every thought.  Flashbacks show Simon’s tragic childhood, his incredibly cruel father (Richard Pepple — also Duke of Hastings until his death), and why he has not committed to any woman.  By episode 2 we learn Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker), who is a cousin of the baroness, Portia Featherington (Polly Walker) has a devastating secret that only a few know about. In the meanwhile, there is talk of Simon and Daphne’s relationship, which is the biggest deceit of all, as the two plan a fake courtship to divert gossip and family members from trying to match them, but are they only fooling themselves? We soon find 0ut when the Queen’s handsome nephew, Prince Friedrich of Prussia (Freddie Stroma) pursues Daphne as a potential wife.

Dowager Viscountess: Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) is a widower with eight children, four young women, and four young men: Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Francesca (Ruby Stokes, Hyacinth (Florence Hunt), Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), Benedict (Luke Thompson), Colin (Luke Newton), and Gregory (Will Tilson), each with their own story.

Also featured are the Featheringtons: The Baroness; Lady Portia (Polly Walker), her husband The Baron; Archibald (Ben Miller)  and their three daughters, Philipa (Harriet Cains), Prudence (Bessie Carter), and Penelope (Nicole Coughlan).

I have never seen the likes of Bridgerton.  I don’t want to give away anything so I’m not going to divulge what’s so unique about it but I will say the series is delightful with some of the steamiest love scenes I’ve seen to date — it gave me warm fuzzies all over.  There are many seasoned actors in this mostly British cast that have performed brilliantly.  There are also many twists and many more characters in the story but is still somewhat predictable but is binge-watching worthy.  The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 92% based on 78 reviews, with an average rating of 7.94/10. The website’s critics’ consensus reads, “Sumptuous design, soapy drama, and a sterling cast make Bridgerton a delightful treat.”  I am partial to period pieces and am loving Shondaland.  Bridgerton airs on Netflix and is only 8 episodes.  On January 4, 2021, Netflix announced that the series was projected to be watched by 63 million households within 28 days of its debut, which would make it the fifth most-watched Netflix original series launch of all time. I highly recommend the series (not really for children) — Check It Out!


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