Set during Regency-era England, Bridgerton is the kind of series most decide to watch because they’re fans of classic costume dramas such as Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Emma (2020).
Other reasons include the reputable production company behind it (Shondaland), the young and undeniably attractive cast, the romance-centric story, plus the show’s general look and feel; mainly the colourful costumes and cinematography. As for me, I tuned in to Bridgerton for most, if not all the above reasons.
Following the first episode, I realised quickly that I’d got myself into another period drama that’s very similar to the others. You know, the kind where the young adults from rich and powerful families are either excited or fretting about getting married off to an acceptably wealthy suitor.
Created by Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton is a tale of wealth, lust, and betrayal as seen through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family. It is a show I watched through to the very end because it gave me just enough to keep going. Even though so many of its themes I’ve seen many times before. The good news is that it is well-acted and the cinematography and costumes are a delightful feast for the eyes.
Some key ways Bridgerton is different compared to other costume dramas include the sex, there’s a lot of it. Not quite ‘Game of Thrones a lot,’ but close. There’s also the diverse casting and the way the show satisfyingly adapts modern music to fit the period.
Bridgerton and one of the most successful ‘costume dramas’ of all time, Downton Abbey also share some themes. Yet, even though I quit watching Downton after a certain character died in a fatal car crash, I’d say its a better-executed series than Bridgerton. Well, the seasons I watched anyway.
What frustrated me most about Bridgerton, besides knowing that it isn’t quite as good as the very best, is the way the young characters made mistakes that could have been easily solved with effective communication. Perhaps I’m simply too mature to find some of the antics of the young adult characters in Bridgerton more entertaining than annoying.
Luckily, there are highlights to enjoy. Particularly in regards to some camera work, cinematography, costume design and the soundtrack. Are all these so good that it’s worth dedicating the eight, hour-long episodes to watch it all? Perhaps not, especially if you’ve seen plenty of period dramas. But, as always, give it a chance if you’re very curious. It may be just what you need.
Happy Film Loving