Netflix scored a huge coup back in mid-2017 when it concluded a multi-year exclusivity deal (rumoured to be worth $100 million) that would see producer Shonda Rhimes – creator of such shows as the much-beloved Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder – move from her long-time home at over ABC to create new Netflix Original series for the streaming giant. Since that bombshell announcement it’s been fairly quiet. We heard two years ago that she’d teamed up with Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) to create a sci-fi show called Recursion, but precious little else about what she’s been working on, just that there were a bunch of irons in the fire.
So if you’re a fan of her work and have been waiting impatiently to see what she produces under Netflix’s less restrictive banner, say hello to our first look at her Regency era period-piece drama, Bridgerton, coming to Netflix this Christmas. It’s based on the best-selling historical romance/drama series of novels by Julia Quinn, of which eight were published between 2000 and 2006.
The official plot synopsis is as follows:
Bridgerton follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Hoping to follow in her parent’s footsteps and find a match sparked by true love, Daphne’s prospects initially seem to be unrivaled. But as her older brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown casts aspersions on Daphne.
Enter the highly desirable and rebellious Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), committed bachelor and the catch of the season for the debutantes’ mamas. Despite proclaiming that they want nothing the other has to offer, their attraction is undeniable and sparks fly as they find themselves engaged in an increasing battle of wits while navigating society’s expectations for their future.
Bridgerton is a romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted series that celebrates the timelessness of enduring friendships, families finding their way, and the search for a love that conquers all.
In case you were wondering, the Regency era refers to the period in England between 1795 and 1837, and began when King George III was declared unfit to rule due to illness and his son, Prince George IV, ruled in his stead as regent. Entertaining and informative! Anyway, let’s take a look:
It’s pretty clear that Netflix haven’t spared much expense when it comes to making this series. That, combined with its gorgeous aesthetic, affords me the opportunity to use a word that I rarely do – sumptuous. That’s what this looks like, sumptuous. I also rarely enjoy period pieces because they tend to be overly stuffy, but that’s definitely not the case here. On the romance side it’s not just shy, retiring ladies swooning and wilting all over the place, but also some bawdy hard-partying, which I definitely appreciate.
This looks like it could be quite fun, something I never thought I’d say about a period-piece romance drama. What do you think?
P.S. The sharp-eared among you might recognise the voice of the legendary Julie Andrews as the gossip-mongering Lady Whistledown.
Bridgerton is due to premiere on Netflix on 25 December. It also stars Adjoa Andoh, Lorraine Ashbourne, Jonathan Bailey, Ruth Gemmell, Florence Hunt, Claudia Jessie, Ben Miller, Luke Newton, Golda Rosheuvel, Ruby Stokes, Luke Thompson, and Will Tilston.
Last Updated: November 3, 2020