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Entertainment

Shondaland’s Newest Television Hit Show: Bridgerton

Not only did Santa deliver gifts on Christmas morning, but it seems that Shonda Rhimes has given us all a gift as well with the release of “Bridgerton” on Netflix. Ever since the debut of the new Netflix hit on Christmas day, it has held the number one trending spot on the streaming platform. 

 

According to “Forbes” magazine, this period piece is the first installment in a series of television shows that Rhimes will spearhead for Netflix, as a part of her $150 million deal with the company (Fitzgerald, 2018). If the success of “Bridgerton” is any indication of Rhimes’ future Netflix shows, then we should all be excited for everything else she has in store for 2021.

 

“Bridgerton” is the first of several romantic books within the fictional series written by Julia Quinn. The first season of the show is devoted to the plot of the first book in the series, which led many viewers to buy the following installments in the series since the second season has not yet been confirmed by Netflix. 

 

In fact, the book is in such high demand that it is only available on Amazon via Kindle edition, and has been in low stock at Barnes and Noble stores. If the Netflix series is to be continued, then it is safe to assume that the streaming platform will pursue a similar structure with the other stories by devoting one season to each book. This would mean that Rhimes could be setting Netflix up with eight more seasons of “Bridgerton” in the future — if its success continues.

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The period piece has been most commonly described as a combination of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Gossip Girl.” It follows the debut of Daphne Bridgerton into high society, along with her struggles through the courting season during 19th century England. 

 

Similarly to “Gossip Girl,” it follows the livelihoods of higher-ranked members of society and their relationships with each other. Additionally, like “Gossip Girl,” it has a mysterious writer that spreads gossip about the esteemed men and women in high positions throughout society. 

 

Julie Andrews takes on the voice acting role of Lady Whisledown — the mysterious writer of the gossip paper — in “Bridgerton.” Furthermore, the story can be compared to “Pride and Prejudice” due to its time period and related theme of the importance of marriage for women.  

 

However, it is Daphne Bridgerton’s complex relationship with the Duke of Hastings that has enthralled fans with the show. The iconic theme of enemies to lovers mixed with a fake relationship serves as the basis for the romantic storyline — which makes the romance that much more intriguing for viewers. 

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Another notable concept of the show is its unique music which is played either in the background or during the ballroom dancing scenes. The pop music from our generation is transformed into the musical styling of a string quartet that adheres to the type of music that would have been played during the era. 

 

Famous artists such as Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, and Taylor Swift had their songs make an appearance in the show. This incorporation may be small in the grand scheme of the series, but it definitely adds to both the modernity and the beauty of the overall production, and helps create the world in which “Bridgerton” is set. 

 

Lastly, one of the most important characteristics of the show is its diverse ensemble of actors. In recent years, Hollywood’s lack of diversity on screen has been a constant conversation in the mainstream media. With Shonda Rhimes as the producer on “Bridgerton,” she has chosen the leading characters in the cast to be a mix of both black and white actors. 

 

This can be viewed as a great accomplishment — especially since this show is a period piece — as it essentially ignores race, and instead depicts the black characters as incredibly influential and wealthy people during the 1800s. Although this is a major milestone towards more authentic representation in Hollywood, there is still something to be said about the lack of Asian and Hispanic actors in the show. We can only hope that there will be more actors from these backgrounds incorporated into the cast for the second season of the series. 

 

Junior, Film major and Women's Studies minor
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