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Period Drama Pieces That Will Soothe The Bridgerton Ache

 

If you’re like me, eight episodes of Bridgerton simply wasn’t enough. Unfortunately, there are no shows exactly like it, but hopefully these movies and tv shows can hold you over until season 2 is released. 

 

Reign 

Reign portrays the life of teenage Mary Queen of Scots, sent to France in order to marry Prince Francis and secure Scotland’s strategic alliance. You’ll come for the regency era craving, you’ll stay for the sex, politics, intrigue and stunning outfits.

 

Belle

Much like Bridgerton, this movie explores the issue of race in a time period that very rarely depicts black people as anything other than slaves. Based on a true story, Belle tells the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle as the titular illegitimate daughter of a navy admiral in 1700s England. 

 

Poldark

Aidan Turner gives us smoldering looks to rival the Duke’s in this BBC adaptation. Poldark returns to England after fighting in the American Revolutionary War to find his father has died, his estate is in ruins and the love of his life is getting married to his cousin. He is determined not to let the bleak circumstances of his life defeat him and instead begins the process of rebuilding his life.

 

Pride & Prejudice

An oldie but a goodie, the 2005 adaptation tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet’s trials and tribulations with love in the Georgian era. This enemies to lovers classic is sure to have you wistful for your very own Mr. Darcy to run through the British countryside with.

 

The Spanish Princess

The STARZ drama tells the story of the notorious King Henry VII’s reign through the eyes of his first wife (and apparently true love), Catherine of Aragon. Like Bridgerton the series also explores diversity in an era we wouldn’t normally see people of colour. Lina de Cardonnes is Catherine’s “Moorish” lady-in-waiting—and she actually existed.

 

Outlander 

If you still haven’t recovered from Daphne and Simon’s steamy wedding night, then this show might provide the fix you need. All period pieces transport you to a different era, but this show has literal time travel. Dublin actor Caitriona Balfe plays a nurse from 1945 who finds herself transported back to Scotland in 1743 where she falls in love with a handsome Highland warrior. With an erotic wedding night to rival Bridgerton’s, this show is sure to have you longing for more (quite literally).

 

Sanditon

Sure to satisfy your Jane Austen cravings, this adaptation is based on her final (and incomplete) novel. In an English fishing village, Charlotte Heywood navigates a gossip-filled social scene and a burgeoning swoon-worthy romance with Sidney Parker (Theo James). The show is also notable for featuring the only Black character in Austen’s work, Georgiana Lambe, a West Indian heiress.

 

The Crown

If Queen Charlotte left you curious about royal life then this drama won’t disappoint you. Set almost a century after Brigderton, it follows the political rivalries and romances of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, from her early 20s to the 90s. The Crown explores the pressure monarchs endure and gives insight to particular historical events.

 

With every day blurring into the next in this never-ending lockdown, these dramas are a great way to escape reality and transport yourself to a different time.

Law graduate at DCU.
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