To begin, I would like to express my sincerest condolences for the loss of more Bridgerton episodes to binge. Even though I don't think my life contains knearly as much drama as Lady Whistledown's pamplet, it would be made infinitely more interesting if Julie Andrews were to narrate it. If you're missing the ball gowns, Renaissance drama, fierce women and dreamy men of Bridgerton but are also overwhelmed by all the historical dramas available on streaming services, don’t worry, I am here to provide you with a list of Bridgerton-adjacent shows that I absolutely adore. Some are period pieces, but others are about elite societies of all time periods that just might satisfy your cravings. Consider these Lady Whistledown approved.
If you did not know about Mary, Queen of Scots before, you will be absolutely obsessed with her after this show. Queen Mary was crowned as a toddler after her father's untimely passing and was raised in a convent in France. The show kicks off with Mary returning to the French court to fulfill her long-standing engagement to Francis, the heir to the French throne. The plot of the show is loosely based on true events, with some mystery and mayhem thrown in the mix. Reign shares Bridgerton's emphasis on the importance of marriage, fabulous balls, and royal drama. The wardrobe in this show will definitely pique the interest of a fashion-inclined audience, showcasing the regality of the era's wardrobe while enhancing the costumes with modern finishes. To be honest, I would wear these dresses tomorrow if given the chance. You can stream 4 seasons of Reign on Netflix, so get your popcorn ready and treat yourself to your next favorite drama.
- The Great
The Great takes place in 1700s Russia and centers around Catherine the Great: one German princess in the vast sea of dozens of eligible women chosen to marry the heir to the Russian throne. Sadly, Catherine's fiance is no Prince Charming, and it's a riot to see their banter. Like Reign, The Great is based on real people and events, but the showrunners take dramatic liberties with the storytelling such as displaying the obscene nature of Catherine’s husband, Peter in a comedic and invigorating plot. You must watch to see how Elle Fanning, starring as Catherine, begins as a foreign princess married to a crazed ruler and ends up as the greatest empress Russia has ever seen. The Great streams on Hulu but I promise the inconvenient commercials are worth it.
I know what you must be thinking: how can a show placed in modern times be anything close to the extravagant period piece that is Bridgerton? Dynasty documents the glamorous life of Fallon Carrington, a wealthy heiress, trying to find her place in her father’s company and the world. It shares a similar steamy love plot and twisting marriage drama. Fallon Carrington is Daphne Bridgerton for 2021, exerting power and self-confidence through her sassy and upfront persona as she takes on the challenges of her elite society. There is scheming, drama, fabulous clothes and lots of money. Dynasty is on Netflix, ready to stream when you are ready to watch.
- Downton Abbey
Set in the early 1900’s England, Downton Abbey is the classic period piece drama. If you have yet to watch it, then this is your sign to go on Amazon Prime and start watching immediately. The show follows an aristocratic family and their servants as they manage their family, estate, love, and of course, drama. The costume department spares no expense: each character wears a different gown each scene, and there is no shortage of ballgowns and eveningwear. Downton Abbey stands apart from the other elite tales because of its focus on the drama of the working class. You get to watch as this family grapples with the turn of the century, World War I and potential marriages of the three daughters who each vye for their own independence.
Queen Victoria...I am not talking about the imposter on this season’s Bachelor. This Amazon Prime series is all about the young queen who held the longest reign in English history. Watch as Queen Victoria tackles sovereignty over a nation, independence as a woman, and pregnancies she believes threatens the stability of her reign. She understands her duties as a woman and wife yet struggles to balance them with the obligations of a queen. This show is perfect if you are craving something with a slightly more serious tone than Bridgerton with historically accurate twists and turns.