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Bridgerton: Music, Fashion, and Shonda Rhimes

Some would argue that the allure of the critically praised “Bridgerton” would be Julie Andrews, sex, and a contemporary twist on an 1800s romance. 

Although the show’s popularity breaches past a romantic and sexual appeal, many say it’s Julie Andrew’s touch combined with other factors that have made this show a sensation.

With executive producer Shonda Rhimes, the stunning wardrobe, and the soundtrack, the show has managed to offer the audience a view on history that challenges today’s social norms.

Shonda Rhimes, the mastermind behind “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Scandal”, and “How To Get Away With Murder”, has done it again with the new unique period drama. The executive producer of the “Bridgerton” series continues to pave a way for minority women in the television industry and lets her vision speak for itself as an estimated 63 million households and counting have seen the show. 

“Netflix estimates that 63 million households have streamed Bridgerton since its debut on December 25. The new period drama has held the number one slot on the Top 10 list in 76 countries and has made the fifth biggest original series debut on the streaming platform, per Varietysaid Harpers Bazaar writer Erica Gonzales.

Although the screen adaptation of Julia Quinn’s “Bridegerton Family Series” is fictional, it was inspired by the 19th century and real historical figures, such as Queen Charolette who is speculated to have been the first mixed-race British royal. The series starts off at the beginning of the social season with young women preparing to make their debut to society and hopefully find a husband. 

The series follows this narrative through the eldest daughter of the Bridgerton family, Daphne (Pheobe Dynevor), and Simon Basset also referred to as the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), as they live out a passionate and conflicting romance. 

The show’s costumes help tell the story of high society and refinement right from the start, thanks to Emmy award-winning costume designer Ellen Mirojnick. “With Bridgerton, she outdoes herself again, transforming familiar Regency-era silhouettes into something fresh and fantastical,” said VOGUE writer Radhika Seth. 

Characters such as the Fetheringtons fashion a more vibrantly colored wardrobe, with bright yellows and pinks which help support the idea that they stand out, and are looked down upon amongst high society. Other characters, such as the Bridgertons, wear lighter colors which help highlight their good standing in society.  

Aside from the fashion, the series’s soundtrack stands out within the first 20 minutes of the first episode with an instrumental cover of Ariana Grande’s “Thank You Next” by the Vitamin String Quartet. Among the show’s popular pop song reimaginings are Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” by the Vitamin String Quartet and Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” by Duomo which make the show distinctive compared to other period dramas. 

These instrumentals have left an impact on the series ball scenes. They fit right into the series and help create the show’s modern yet historic aesthetic.

“Bridgerton’s multiple ball scenes were soundtracked by classical versions of contemporary pop songs, which is a genius way to modernize a show without sacrificing the period aesthetic,” said Cosmopolitan writer Mehera Bonner.

The hit series has cultivated popularity unlike any other show on Netflix. Fans now eagerly await season two which will most likely portray Anthony Bridgerton’s love story, according to the book series.

“Anthony is going to have a love interest and it’s going to be as sweeping and as beautiful as viewers have come to expect from the show,” said show creator Chris Van Dusen.

Ilyanna Santos is an aspiring writer and journalist from Austin, Texas. She is a staff writer and Marketing & Publicity Director for Her Campus Texas. She is currently studying journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and is the Marketing and Social Media Director for Shamari Realty. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and a good cup of tea.
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