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Bridgerton cast posing for Netflix poster
Bridgerton cast posing for Netflix poster
Culture > Entertainment

5 Period Dramas to Watch After Binging ‘Bridgerton’

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at George Mason University chapter.

It’s no secret that audiences can’t get enough of ‘Bridgerton.’ In its first week alone, its second season already racked in 251 million hours of viewership. If you binged the latest season as fast as I did, you may find yourself longing for another immersive period drama to watch immediately.

No need to endlessly scroll through streaming services, here are five great period dramas you can watch right now.

  1. Downton Abbey” (2010-2015)

I may be slightly biased because this is my absolute favorite television show, but “Downton Abbey” is the quintessential period drama. The show follows the Crawley family and their servants, who reside in a spectacular Edwardian estate. With enthralling familial drama and intrigue, “Downton Abbey” chronicles the lives of the Downton residents from the sinking of the Titanic, through World War I, and into the 1920s.

  1. Pride and Prejudice” (2005)

Especially in recent years, this specific adaptation has continued to maintain lasting popularity. Adapted from Jane Austen’s classic novel, the film follows Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and her spirited family. Amidst her mother’s match-making schemes for her sister, Elizabeth crosses paths with the aloof Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen). Despite the initial clashing of their equally strong personalities, Elizabeth must reconcile with their undeniable connection.

  1. The Great” (2020-)

Perhaps the most underrated item on this list, “The Great” is a satirical chronicling of Catherine the Great’s rise to power. Very loosely based on its historical source material, the comedy drama finds a naive Catherine (Elle Fanning) married to a cold and vapid Emperor Peter III of Russia (Nicholas Hoult). Infuriated by Peter’s recklessness and cruelty, Catherine constantly schemes up ways to usurp the throne from her husband. 

  1. Outlander” (2014-)

Another beloved period drama, “Outlander” is based on the historical fantasy book series by Diana Gabaldon. The show follows Claire Randall (Caitríona Balfe), a former World War II combat nurse, who finds herself mysteriously transported to 1743 during a trip to Scotland with her husband. Exposed to the cruelty and brutality of the past, Claire soon discovers that a marriage to Scottish warrior, Jamie Fraser, is her best chance of survival. Two hundred years from her home, Claire must reconcile loving two men from two different times.

  1. Reign” (2013-2017)

A truly stunning visual spectacle, “Reign” centers around a young Mary, Queen of Scots as she arrives at the French court to secure her engagement to Prince Francis. However, life within the French court is ruthless and full of threats not only to the potential political alliance but to Mary herself. Whisked into a world of betrayals, secret alliances, and political intrigue, Mary must shed her previous naïveté and grow into the Queen she is destined to become. 
Well, there you have it, collegiettes! I hope these recommendations will keep you sated until we know more about the upcoming third season of “Bridgerton.”

Marissa Joyce

George Mason University '22

Marissa is currently a senior at George Mason University and serves as Senior Editor of George Mason's Her Campus chapter. At Mason, she is pursuing a double major in English and Communication. When Marissa isn't writing articles, she can be found over-caffeinated, tackling her extensive library of books, or curating her vinyl record collection.