Just like each episode begins, “Dearest reader...”
Perhaps you are reading this article because you are wanting to learn more about the new Netflix show that everyone is obsessed with or maybe you are watching it for the second time around to relive the season.
I’m here to tell you about the record-breaking show...without giving any spoilers, of course. From the fashion trends, the iconic instrumental pop songs, the inclusivity of race and gender, and one of the most shocking things are the major heart eyes for the two main characters!
Based on Julia Quinn’s romance novel series, the show takes place in London during the early 19th century. This first season follows Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter of eight siblings, as she enters the competitive marriage market. Enter Lady Whistledown, the anonymous writer who shares her aspirations for Daphne and gossips about society. Then, comes in Simon Basset, the handsome Duke of Hastings, who is the “catch of the season”. After Daphne’s suitors seem to fall through, Daphne comes up with a plan that involves help from Simon himself. And of course, this wouldn’t be a Shonda Rhimes, Shondaland series without scandals, sex, and surprises.
Some viewers are even comparing the series to other shows like “Sex in the City” and “Gossip Girl”.
“Growing up watching ‘Gossip Girl’, ‘Bridgerton’ is [a] great 19th-century version of it. Between the elaborate balls, orchestra version of modern pop songs, and beautiful handmade dresses, it is an all-around fun show to watch,” said Rachel LaBrie, Junior at SPU.
So, first and foremost, fashion. I think it’s safe to say that the fashion pieces in the show are spot on. The diamond detailing, puffed sleeves, elegant gloves, floral patterned dresses, and hair embellishments all help to transport viewers back into the 1800s. Did I mention that each dress is handmade? One of my favorite outfits that Daphne Bridgerton wore was the outfit she wore during her first dance with the Duke. Her baby blue floral laced dress was everything! The puffed sleeves, jewel detailing, and floral hairpiece helped pull all of it together.
Ava Beranek, a sophomore at SPU, mentioned how she loved the time period of the show and said, “it made me want to go to a ball”. She also humorously touched upon how “Simon was easy on the eyes”.
And I’d have to completely agree with her.
Speaking of going to a ball, can we talk about the soundtrack?! There are violin covers of Ariana Grande’s “Thank U Next”, Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood”, Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You”, Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”, Celeste’s “Strange”, and my favorite, Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”. If this list of songs doesn’t make you want to watch the show, then I highly recommend adding these to your homework playlist.
One of the top reasons why I love this show is because of the way they portray the characters, especially the women. Phoebe Dynevor plays Daphne Bridgerton as her character battles the pressure of finding the man of her dreams, while also learning about herself.
Even freshman Abigail Waunch admired how the show portrayed strong female characters. She said, “Eloise was my favorite and I loved how spunky she was”.
One of my favorite lines that Eloise, Daphne’s younger sister, said was to her close-friend Penelope Featherington. She said, “We should both aspire to be just like her (as in, Lady Whistledown): unmarried [and] earning our own money”. I mean, how iconic?!
Another reason I love this show is because of the attention to diversity and inclusivity within the characters. Creator Chris Van Dusen said to USA TODAY, “With Bridgerton’, we set out to create a period piece that we hadn’t seen before...we wanted this show to reflect the world that we live in today”.
I think this show does just that. It pushed back traditional ideas of race, gender, sexuality, and class, but not only within the elite society but within our society.
In the series, Simon Basset and Lady Danbury are both Black and Queen Charlotte is also of mixed descent. Van Dusen said in the article, “We wanted our approach to race to go beyond mere representation...we wanted race and color to be a part of our text”.
There’s one specific scene between Lady Danbury and Simon that discusses the conversation of race.
“We are two separate societies divided by color until a king fell in love with one of us... Love, your grace, conquers all,” said Lady Danbury.
The show also highlights mixed-raced relationships, the story of a gay character who needed to keep his sexuality a secret, women who struggled to find their voice and place in society, and the struggle with class distinction and how it restrained characters.
If this doesn’t make you want to watch the show, I don’t know what will.
I can also say that I live with five other roommates and I’ve gotten four out of the five of them to also watch the series because it’s just that good.
Senior, Kara Rehms even said, “I loved the drama and romance in the show and how much it draws you into finding out what will happen next.”
But here’s some exciting news for “Bridgerton” fans! Van Dusen also teased that there could potentially be eight more seasons of the show to account for all eight Bridgerton siblings. And for a girl who binged watched the show in less than two days, I have no doubt that I would do the same for the other seasons.
So just as Lady Whistledown’s would end her letters...
“Yours truly,” Lady Hiroyasu.
(Well, maybe that will be true one day.)