As the actor Regé-Jean Page himself said, “Bridgerton is Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl with about 35 shades of grey thrown in!” and I couldn’t agree more.
Let me just say right now, that all hard-core romance readers will have a few Historical romances in their favourites list. Mine are Julia Quinn books ( any and all… I love all of them), The League of Rogues series by Lauren Smith and the Storm and Silence series by Robert Thier to name a few.
I was, as with all readers of this highly popular literary series by Julia Quinn, absolutely surprised to hear of Netflix reproducing the books into a TV series.
So naturally I had to binge watch it as soon as I could. Only, it did take me a month since I had to reread the books again before watching it! And let me just say, it was magical!
The Bridgerton series has 8 books, each one focusing on the love stories of eight Bridgerton siblings, very curiously named from A to H — Anthony, the oldest and the Viscount Bridgerton, Benedict the artist, Colin the traveler, Daphne the eldest and gorgeous daughter, Eloise and Francesca just a year apart, Gregory the youngest boy and Hyacinth the youngest girl. Their Mama the Dowager Viscountess of Bridgerton just wants her children to find true love like herself and be happy, but fate has difficult times in store for all her kids. The Netflix adaptation of the series in season one mainly tells the story of the first book, The Duke and I, which is about how Daphne falls in love with Simon Basset, the new Duke of Hastings. Entwined within all the stories is the secret of an unknown gossip writer Lady Whistledown who seems to know everything about everyone — and god forbid there’s a scandal because you can be sure Lady Whistledown will expose that in her society papers!
To be sure, there are definite differences to the story line in the series as compared to the books with a lot of original characters being introduced, a much faster-paced storyline and even key differences to the characters themselves, most noteworthy being that of Eloise Bridgerton. Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out once you read the books ;) However I enjoyed it all the same. I am curious to know how the showrunners will take the series forward since there are such significant differences to the story when compared to the books.
It is so refreshing to see Shondaland and Netflix choose to give life to what many must think to be just a bunch of chick lit books. And they did it in such a clever manner that the whole world is obsessed! Surely it was a masterstroke to make the characters dance in ball rooms to the tunes of Ariana Grande’s Thank u, Next and set the honeymoon montage of Simon and Daphne to Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams! It made it all the more relatable. I was so very happy to note the colour blind casting as well. Honestly now that I have seen the show, I cannot imagine anyone but Regé-Jean Page playing Simon Basset. May I just say, he is so dreamy! *as I write this, I am wishfully sighing because I know I will never live in such a fantastical world in my life for sure*
Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how beautifully shot everything is. Cheers to the creators for mixing Regency Era with modern elements so well. Another point to note, it’s 2021 y’all and we’re finally talking about female pleasure for real. Hallelujah!! I haven’t seen many shows where the intimate scenes are shot so well, focusing on the pleasure of man and woman equally, and it’s about time someone did. (Fair warning, the show does get a bit risqué as the story progresses, but it’s all good fun). But more than that, the characters are real, with flaws and imperfections and I love that the creators put focus on how this is not a perfect love story between two perfect people — it’s a relationship with ups and downs and when things get rough, the only way to move on is to work together to get through this as a couple.
And to those of you who say Daphne is not a strong female character and that she’s meek because all she wants in life is to get married, well boo for you because you still haven’t grasped the meaning of strong females or feminism. Women aren’t only strong when they go against society’s expectations. Women are strong when they follow they dreams, no matter that those dreams are simple. Daphne is strong because she knows what she wants in her life and is brave enough to fight for love.
Can you imagine, if things had happened the way they told in the show, maybe todays world wouldn't still be divided on the basis of colour... Maybe we could all have been a bit more united if a noble king had fallen in love with a black woman in England long long ago.
And so it is with this I leave you all.... Bridgerton, both the books as well as the series, aim to spread romance and magic and beauty and smiles in the air. And I for one can certainly say that we all need a bit more of love in today’s times.
P.S: If you are in love with me, but you can’t say you burn for me like Simon says to Daphne, I don’t want to hear it. K, bye.