Bridgerton, the preview review of the new series by Shonda Rhimes

Bridgerton, the preview review of the new series by Shonda Rhimes
On December 25, the new original series will arrive on Netflix, created together with the Shondaland production company founded by Shonda Lynn Rhimes as well as the creator of famous series such as Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and Station 19. Rhimes's new production takes the name of Bridgerton and is based on the saga of historical-sentimental novels written by Julia Quinn, an author who in her long career has written over 30 volumes and included among the top 16 writers in the Romance Writers Hall of Hunger. The main themes are therefore love, romance, but also scandals, dramas and disappointments. Here is our preview review, obviously spoiler-free.

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Bridgerton: a family of viscounts in a London unexpected

The first season of Bridgerton consists of 8 episodes lasting about an hour each and is entirely based on the first novel of the saga entitled The Duke and I. The story narrated is set in a revisited England and in particular London of the age of the Regency, or the 1910s when the Prince of Wales, the future George IV, acted as regent to his father George III because he was unable to govern the Country due to a serious illness.

The series places a magnifying glass on London high society showing its strengths, weaknesses and secrets, but is particularly interested in the life of a young and beautiful scion of a rich and numerous family, Daphne Bridgertone. The young girl is forced by her family to make her debut in society so that she can find a husband who can raise her dowry and social level. She is also named the Diamond of the season by the Queen, which is the title that is recognized to the most graceful, elegant and beautiful girl of the season, but the possessive brother does not allow her to have the attention she deserves from the contenders to her hand.

In this regard, the girl, after countless unsuccessful attempts in the search for a suitor, to raise the interest in her decides to ally with the fascinating Duke of Hastings Simon Basset who, instead, wants to continue his life as a bachelor. Despite the immediate dislike of each other, the two pretend to get engaged and end up really falling in love.

Everything is complicated by both a large number of characters, each with secrets to keep in order not to ruin their reputation and that of the family to which they belong, whether from the gossips or the compliments of a mysterious Lady Whistledown, creator of a gossip newspaper that decrees the success or failure of the season participants.

Bridgerton is therefore a glittering and glitzy story high-budget love affair that she had never seen on television. Romance is key to a perfect fit for Jilia Quinn's beloved series of novels, and this makes Bridgerton a series unlike any other period drama. The series also showcases small tragedies and important corporate anecdotes that intertwine with multiple love stories that between dances and social events strengthen or weaken the British high aristocracy during the late Regency era.

Characters, tropes and deux ex machina

At the center of the story are the Bridgertons, a large and numerous family of viscounts led by their mother Violet (Ruth Gemmell) and composed of eight children: Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), Benedict (Luke Thompson), Colin (Luke Newton), Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Francesca (Ruby Stokes), Gregory (Will Tilston) and Hyacinth (Florence Hunt).

The series is focuses mainly on Daphne and her ties to the enigmatic and charming Duke Simon Bassett (Regè-Jean Page), but it is very well understood how the brothers and sisters of the young scion will play more important roles in future seasons, as the same series of books on which it is ba sato the show follows the Bridgerton brothers as they embark on life and love.

The series is therefore based on one of the oldest tropes of romantic narration: the classic plot of fake dating. Daphne, in fact, wants to seem desirable to London's bachelors and the Duke wants everyone to leave him alone, so they come up with a plan: if they court each other, Daphne will be at the center of the interest of the scions of the city's aristocratic families while the Duca will seem taken and will not be pursued anymore. Everything seems simple enough on paper, but it's not because of the introduction of the narrator, as well as the main element of confusion: the mysterious Lady Whistledown.

Like a sort of 19th century Gossip Girl, the Whistledown, the homonymous newspaper written by the mysterious owl, outlines all the events that happen in London and decrees their strengths and weaknesses. Her voice has so much resonance that even the Queen herself takes it into account and she comes to make some decisions only based on what the mysterious writer writes. At the same time, as in a sort of Big Brother, the protagonists try to avoid taking some actions in public so as not to allow Lady Whistledown to talk about it. In short, the central theme is romance, but Lady Whistledown is the true deus ex machina of the whole story.

It is also thanks to her that the couple Simon and Daphne decide to get together and on the whole they are a coupling so imperfect and fantastic as to represent the memorable element of the story. Their relationship is both frustrating and fraught with sexual chemistry. Page looks like the classic Derek Shepard (Patrick Dempsey) character from Gray's Anatomy, that is mysterious, affectionate, jealous and dark. Dynevor, on the other hand, infuses Daphne with a heady mix of naivety and curiosity that is the key to her wider journey into reality, away from her fairy palace and fairy-tale family.

The rest of the cast are just as enchanting. and to tell the truth it is not even overshadowed. Bridgerton's episodes are long enough to effectively characterize each individual character and showcase their dramas, pains, secrets and joys. This not only applies to the characters closely related to the protagonists, but also to the simple extras who in short minutes show their personal and corporate status and the viewer can perfectly understand their psychology and background.

Nel complex, net of some clichés and some narrative confusion that transforms some dramatic scenes into tragicomic moments, Bridgerton is a real delight. But that doesn't mean it's a perfect show.

A bold and risky storyline

For a series so clearly interested in overturning our expectations of what a period series should look like, Bridgerton it defends itself quite well from the risk of falling into dangerous and harmful contradictions. Shonda Rhimes did a very painstaking job in creating the costumes and settings of the London of the time. Visually everything is sublime and a real joy for the eyes, also thanks to a perfect use of the camera that expertly accentuates the close-ups and the opulent and magnificent environments. At the same time Rhimes takes a very bold step showing an aristocratic society totally different from that narrated in the history books.

Bridgerton shows an ideal reality where skin color is not a problem in choosing a husband or in the progress in society, where women do not yet enjoy the same rights as men, but who repeatedly manage to be the tip of the balance in decisions and want a future that is not only characterized by marriage and child rearing, where same marriage between people of different classes is not yet legitimate, but there are people of the aristocracy who would like to change this aspect, where homosexuality is still considered a taboo, but the same aristocrats do not want it to turn into a scandal and where sexuality it is not only seen as a way to procreate, but also of intense pleasure and love.

There are also moments in the Up and Down style p er the stairs where we witness ideological struggles against the elite and moments when the elite itself lowers itself to the level of servitude with disbelief and sometimes annoyance on the part of the latter. There are still some stereotypes such as that of the most cruel and terrible character in the series who is a black person and that the sweetest, kindest and least considered is an overweight girl with a story arc centered on jealousy and anger of not being reciprocated. by the man she loves, but they are little stumbles on the part of the creator that do not spoil the narrative at all.


One of Bridgerton's greatest achievements is her simplicity, her ability to deal with serious topics with lightness and vivacity leading to watch the almost eight hours of the first season without a moment of boredom thanks to moments of pathos interspersed with calm scenes and others of pure eroticism. The bright and picturesque Bridgerton offers the kind of relaxing and immersive viewing we all need.

Over the course of the first few episodes you will have a little trouble understanding the world you are in as the line between satirical comedy and drama is very subtle indeed, but once the story is outlined you will surely appreciate Shonda Rhimes' audacity and fly over the few, but present, classic moments of illogical romantic tropes for the chosen setting.

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