The Netflix original series, “Bridgerton” is the most talked-about show on TV since its release on December 25. Why it has come this far in terms of viewer ratings is not much of a mystery considering the intriguing details invested in the making of the Regency-era drama.
Producer, Shonda Rhimes gifted the world the perfect closure to an otherwise turbulent year with her Regency-era Netflix series, “Bridgerton.”
In eight episodes, the series portrayed the 1813 high England society at its best, with the rather scandalous Bridgerton family at the center of it all.
“Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” based on the eight-part romance novel by Julia Quinn garnered an impressive number of viewers within weeks of its December 25 release. The positive reviews and ratings received by the show over time have contributed to its widespread popularity.
Aside from the impressive cast lineup and five-star ratings across platforms, what other details about the Shonda Rhimes production have put “Bridgertons” on every lip this winter?
WHAT THE SERIES TALKS ABOUT
The first season of the Netflix series titled “The Duke And I” has no short supply of love, power, family, romance, friendship, intrigue, scandals, and drama. It focuses on the life of the fourth child of the Bridgertons, Daphne, (played by Phoebe Dynevor) as she made her debut in society at 21.
As the first daughter of the clan, with three elder brothers before her, finding a suitable bachelor and marrying well was imperative for her to set the undisputed standard for her three younger sisters. Luckily, her ravishing beauty and powerful family name set her up as a desirable debutante.
Receiving the blessings of Queen Charlotte, and hence the Diamond-status proved beyond doubt that she was indeed the fairest of them all.
“BRIDGERTON” IN A NUTSHELL
Just when it seemed she had the world at her feet, Daphne’s brother, Anthony managed to ward off all her prospective suitors. Anthony’s innocent intentions to ensure the most suitable candidate for his sister soon turned sour, leaving the one-time diamond without a caller, save for the obsessed, unscrupulous Nigel.
Daphne’s plight worsened with the revelation that every prospective bachelor’s interest was turned to the newcomer, Miss Thompson. The newsletters by the mysterious Lady Whistledown, which soon became a bane to her, did little to help Daphne’s situation. Before Long, the Queen started questioning her decision to bless the little beauty as the diamond of the season, further mounting pressure on the young debutante.
Simon Basset, The Duke of Hastings’ entry into the picture becomes a game-changer for Daphne. The duo devised a plot to make the young lady the most desirable debutante once again, earn her the queen’s favors, and keep Lady Whistledown off her case. In return, Basset gets to keep hungry moms and pestering debutants away, thereby, upholding his vow to never marry.
Predictably, the pair ended up developing feelings for each other and their love story set the premise of this beautiful romance tale.
WHY ARE PEOPLE INTRIGUED WITH THE SHOW?
Contrary to the stereotypic reception faced by typical romance novels, the world embraced the “Bridgerton” series with open arms. Irrespective of race, gender or genre preferences, hardly could anyone escape becoming caught up in the throes of the series after a first glance.
This has left many wondering what makes the show so special. For everyone caught up in that category, here are a few facts worthy of note.
1. IT IS SHONDA RHIMES FIRST NETFLIX SERIES
Arguably the most successful producer on TV, Shonda Rhimes gave fans quite the wait since her 2017 signing with Netflix. Finally releasing something three years after the $150 million deal certainly had lots of people at their wit’s end.
And Rhimes did not disappoint with her immense show of talent on the Netflix series which premiered on Christmas day. Then again, who is to expect less from the collaboration of two entertainment giants, Netflix, and the indefatigable Shonda Rhimes?
2. IT IS BASED ON A BESTSELLER
Even before it became a movie, the “Bridgerton” novel series was already a best-selling romance by Julia Quinn. The Regency-era books have sold over 10 million copies in the United States alone, with about 32 different language translations.
The novel series attracted an impressive fanbase, commonly tagged the Bridgerstans. The group notably held the storyline in high esteem and celebrated each character. There could be no greater joy for the Bridgerstans than having the grand series made into Shonda Rhimes-produced Netflix series.
3. THE PLOT IS RELATABLE TO MODERN-DAY TREND
Appreciating the 19th century London society requires the ability to relate it to current trends and happenings. Remarkably, “Bridgerton” avails that and more. The pressure placed on young women to find befitting partners and marry off remains prevalent to date.
It’s quite intriguing to discover dating and courtship were norms in the Regency-era, as a pre-requirement for marriage just like the world today. Although the system has changed in the last two centuries with the advent of technology, social media, and dating platforms, it is not difficult to create a parallel between online hookups and ballroom swiping.
4. THE SETTING AND COSTUMES ARE APPEALING
Netflix’s Bridgerton casts undoubtedly gave their best passing the message across, but the brains behind the props, costumes and overall creativity deserve some credits. While fans enjoyed watching the daring, heated exchange between Daphne and the Duke, the ratings would have been lower if the stars didn’t look the part.
The crew put in lots of work, time, and effort into portraying the high London society in the Regency-era. With its eye-catching costumes, colorful adornments, family traditions, artistic performances, and mode of speech, they certainly left out no detail. Way to add some color to a gruesome year.
5. IT HAS GARNERED WIDESPREAD CRITICAL ACCLAIM
“Bridgerton’s” reviews so far have been impressive, with movie critics dishing out accolades and acclaims to the Regency period drama. Sonia Saraiya of vanity Fair described the series as “The perfect Christmas offering for a crapstatic year,” while Vox’s Aja Romano noted that the series was “soulless and vapid,” like the aristocrats it portrayed.
The online ratings by viewers have also been top-notch, with most dealing the show’s first season five-star ratings. That, without doubt, is an impressive feat for a new series.
6. IT INTRODUCES DIVERSITY IN THE CAST
Thanks to Rhimes’ creative casting and open-mindedness, 21st-century folks lived to idolize a black-skinned Duke, albeit only on TV. Aside from Queen, representing the legendary England monarch, Queen Charlotte, believed to have been biracial, the other, main characters from the actual novel series were white.
Spicing things up with diversified characters is one of the reasons fans could not have enough of the production. Kathryn VanArendonk noted that “Bridgerton” was a “beguiling” example of the outcome of allowing romance to belong to characters who weren’t all straight and white. Rhimes ensured this first season of the Netflix series portrayed diversity at its best.
Hopefully, this assortment of races would prevail into Season 2 of “Bridgerton,” which would follow the second book of the Julia Quinn novel series titled “The Viscount Who Loved Me.”