This article contains spoilers!!!
The drama, the Duke, the daring plots and ploys, Netflix’s newest show, Bridgerton, is taking the world by storm. An extravagant and decadent twist on a period drama, Bridgerton offers an alternative history to the traditional Regency era period drama. Gone are Jane and Lizzie Bennett’s (mostly) demure and obedient character arcs, and in their place is scandal, sex and scheming to die for.
We follow the eldest girl in the Bridgerton household, Daphne, as she makes her well-to-do way into London society’s marriage market and initially take sit by storm. But as her luck begins to change and the scandal-loving Lady Whistledown’s gossip pamphlet begins to interfere with her life, Daphne must take control back – by any means necessary.
Now if that doesn’t get you hooked – how could it not – we have a list of our favourite show moments and characters, because we just can’t stop talking about it, and that twist ending!
The incredible costumes
Emmy Award-winning costume designer Ellen Mirojnick stuck with the traditional outline of the Regency style; the curved neckline, the empire line cut and puffed sleeves. But that’s where a lot of similarities end. Whereas real Regency era clothing would have been in pale and neutral colours, Bridgerton’s colour palette is vivid, modern and lush.
The aesthetic almost comes across whimsical and dreamy, especially with the Bridgerton’s colour palette of blues, purples and creams. But the real standouts are the costumes for the Featheringtons, the Queen and of course, Cressida Cowper. Loud, gaudy and couture-esque, the costumes really allow the artistic direction of the show to come across.
The feminist slant
This series had the capacity to become another simpering excuse to display women of the past as suppressed, weak and lacking in agency, while the male characters with power dominate and decide the plot’s direction. However, Bridgerton was different from traditional period dramas in this and many other senses. Through Daphne, Violet, Lady Danbury and many other female characters, we see women taking control of their lives. The tools of chastity, honour and shame are all still in place to attempt to control the women, but in many ways and at many times, they manage to wrest back agency through their wits, determination and self-belief. I don’t think any of us will get over Daphne punching Nigel in the face any time soon!
The Lady Whistledown mystery
The show has LAYERS to it. There really is something for everyone, between the romance, the history, the scandal and the ever-evolving mystery of who exactly Lady Whistledown is. We follow Eloise Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington as they try their best to uncover the gossip writer’s identity before the season is out and found ourselves scrutinizing every scene and interaction to figure out who on earth could have access to all this information. Keeping you guessing right up to the end, the surprise reveal will knock your socks off.
I mean, need we say more? A compelling new take on the traditional ‘uncommunicative bad boy’ trope, made the Duke and Daphne’s classic ‘let’s pretend to be together’ ploy fresh and interesting to watch. Though I think most of us saw the romance coming, his dark past and deceptions bring another dimension to the relationship that leaves us on unsure footing the whole way through.
The modern instrumental songs
Whoever was head of the music department for this production needs to take a bow. From the first moment that Daphne steps into the ballroom and a violin takes the main melody of Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank You, Next’, I think we all knew we were in for a wild ride with this series. A bold and artistic choice, this production knew its audience and they played to it, with modern and aesthetic interruptions to the traditional Regency world. With renditions of ‘Wildest Dreams’, Billie Eilish's 'Bad guy', Maroon 5's 'Girls Like You', and Shawn Mendes's 'In My Blood', we can only applaud the Los-Angeles based music group Vitamin String Quartet for almost seamlessly incorporating the 21st century into the 19th.
Cressida Cowper’s insane hairstyles
Just…. how? We have no idea how these incredible works of art were rendered, never mind how Jessica Madsen was able to wear them for hours at a time. Pure creations, these hairstyles deserve their own series.
The chilliest and nicest man to ever exist! Even when Daphne rejects him, he is so perfectly lovely about it, not wanting to get in the way of true love! And why does he seem so familiar? Freddie Stroma has been in lots of our faves, including ‘Game of Thrones’, Cormac McLaggen in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies and Luke, the hot DJ in ‘Pitch Perfect’!
Eloise being perfect
A non-conformist to her core, Eloise Bridgerton played by Claudia Jessie, stole all our hearts this season with her quest to a) avoid the marriage market and b) discover Lady Whistledown’s identity. The complete opposite to perfect and untouchable Daphne, Eloise is both comic relief and a compelling character in her own right. The series is rumoured to follow a different Bridgerton sibling each season, so we can only cross our fingers and hope it’s Eloise next season!
Will you watch Bridgerton, or have you already finished? What are you hoping for from season two? Let us know in the comments!