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Gossip Girl in 19th Century England
The cast of Bridgerton in a picture for Netflix. Image source:

This past Christmas a drama debuted on Netflix from the company, ShondalandSince this company is known for smash television hits like Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, it was no surprise that this debuted was highly anticipated.  

What is the show you may be asking? It is none other than Bridgerton, a romantic drama set in 1800s England, surrounding the lives of the Bridgerton family, in London.  

The Bridgerton family consists of 8 siblings and a widowed mother. The siblings (in order from oldest to youngest) are Anthony (Johnathan Bailey), Benedict (Luke Thompson), Colin (Luke Newton), Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Francessca (Ruby Stokes) Gregory (Will Tilston), and Hyacinth (Florence Hunt). The mother is played by Ruth Gemell.  

The show focusses on the eldest daughter, Daphne (Phoebe Dyneor) who is preparing to enter society, trying to find a husband. Daphne’s older brother, Anthony is seen as her father figure and is overly cautious of who she courts. He is especially not happy when Daphne and the returning Duke Hastings, Simon (Rege-Jean Page) is seen to be her lover.  

The Duke of Hastings is a notorious bachelor visiting his mentor, Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh), who hosts many balls during this courtship season. So, it comes to many a surprise that he is spotted with Daphne many times.  

Daphne and Simon’s courtship are an example of the quintessential “fake relationship” troupe that is seen in many shows and movies. But, like many before it turns out to be a relationship that is real, but without its troubles.  

Anthony also has a lover of his own, an opera singer named Sienna, and their love is kept secret due to her lower social status. As for the other siblings, Eloise is determined to be an independent woman, along with her friend Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) of the Featherington Family.  

Penelope’s family is also housing their estranged cousin, Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker), whose father is owed a great sum of money by Penelope and her sisters’ father, Baron Featherington(Ben Miller). She catches the eye of many, including a Bridgerton. But Marina also bears a dark secret.  

But what really ties this show together is the mystery of Lady Whistledown, voiced by Julie Andrews. Lady Whistledown is the town’s gossip/squire, who spreads news and scandals of the social season. Many reputations are ruined by each edition, and this sparks the curiosity of Eloise to find out who it is.  

Bridgerton also is a “color-blind” cast, with many roles played by POC. This is a theme that Shonda Rhimes, of Shondaland puts in a lot of representation in her shows like How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal, which both have a black woman as the lead.  

This drama is also very risqué, with many sex scenes between the characters. I made the mistake of watching this with my parents’ present, and I was embarrassed!  

Overall, I highly recommend this show. Bridgerton is easily bingeable and will be coming out with a season 2 in the future!  

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