TV Review: Bridgerton

Netflix’s Christmas day release provided a festive viewing for all with the new romantic drama Bridgerton, a series some people are calling the new answer to Downton Abbey.

The eight-part series tells the story of the Regency lifestyle in 1813 London. The focus – the Bridgerton family – sees eldest daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) making her debut into the world of courting. Every family with daughters is due to present them to Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) – whom is a fan of Daphne.

In competition is another lordly family – the Featheringtons – with the fiery Lady Featherington (Polly Walker) and her daughters Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), Prudence (Bessie Carter) and Philippa (Harriet Cains).

As Daphne sets out to look for a companion in love – just like her mother – the lookout for this is her oldest brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey). Suddenly, the entrance of the Duke of Hastings Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) changes everything for Daphne.

Whilst all this goes on, in the background lays the mysterious Lady Whistledown – narrated by the great Julie Andrews. Lady W reports all of the ins and outs of this Regency society, providing a Georgian alternative to Gossip Girl.

All I can say for Bridgerton is masterpiece. It’s not only the drama that is gripping, but the scandal, the secrets and most of all the romance. The turbulent love journey between the Duke and Daphne is a highlight. The chemistry between the two actors is undeniable, making it a more authentic viewing. When those steamy scenes come on screen, it makes it hard to not feel the heat and lust these two have for each other.

Regé-Jean Page in the role of the Duke makes him a standout character. His voice, his outfits and his romantic speeches makes him desirable to all who see him. Although he is a troubled character, it is the love we see between him and Daphne that changes him for the better. It’s this element of the plot that stands out as great viewing of the already loved series – no wonder he has already became a heartthrob.

Phoebe Dynevor in her role as Daphne is equally as strong. Her portrayal of an innocent girl who lives in a dream world of finding love just like her mother did, to the strong young women who learns the trials and tribulation of what love and marriage is really like – but still keeps her head held high – makes her a favourite of mine.

Now, if we were to go on about how each character cannot be faulted and how they play an important role within the plot, we would be here all day. However, a character that is perhaps overlooked is Lady Violet Bridgerton – played by Ruth Gemmell.

When I began to watch this, I constantly compared it to the 1995 series of Pride and Prejudice. This series bears similarities in terms of daughters of that time looking to marry. However, the difference I noticed was the relationship between the mother and daughter. In Bridgerton, Lady Violet keeps a close and caring relationship with not only Daphne, but all of her children. Some of the more emotional scenes in the series are between Daphne and Violet – such as when Daphne discover she is not pregnant. Therefore, Gemmell stands out as a under looked character.

Netflix Bridgerton Ending Explained: Who Is Lady Whistledown?
Daphne and Lady Violet
Image credit: IGN Africa

The brilliant modern twist within the series is the inclusion of orchestrated version of modern music. Viewers hear the likes of Shawn Mendes, Maroon 5, Billie Eilish, Celeste and Ariana Grande. However, a standout track of the series to fans is the cover of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”. The scene sees Daphne and the Duke on their honeymoon and let’s just say they experience their wildest dreams – anytime and anywhere…

It is impossible to fault this series, as every element goes hand in hand to make it outstanding viewing. The characters, the plot, the costumes, the music, the drama and the romance. Perhaps the only thing to criticise is the character Berbrooke – who wishes to marry Daphne in the earlier episodes. He is an annoying and hateful character, luckily, he is not in many episodes.

Bridgerton is simply the new series you must watch, not only for the outstanding cast – including the remarkable Julie Andrews – but the drama and most of all, the romance.

By Katie Green

Feature image: Netflix

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