Binge and Repeat: ‘Bridgerton’ is Netflix’s steamy and addictive new regency drama

During the holiday season Netflix gave viewers a gift in the form of a new Shonda Rhimes produced drama. For those who might not recall, Rhimes in the mind behind hit series like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.” Now with Netflix’s help she’s delivered an intriguing and gossipy regency drama in the form of “Bridgerton.”

In this series, based on the romance novels by Julia Quinn, all of London is a flutter over the latest season where the singles of high society will flirt and use their wits to ensure a fortuitous marriage all while avoiding scandal and shame through Lady Whistledown’s high society gossip rag.


Seasons: One

Episodes: 8

Episode length: 1 hour

TV rating: TV-MA

Language: English

Similar series: The Spanish Princess/ Call the Midwife

The series revolves around Daphne Bridgerton, sister to a viscount who is making her debut into society...and into husband hunting. Daphne hopes to secure a solid arrangement, but is determined to marry for love instead of doing so to climb higher along the social status ladder. Simon is a duke with a reputation for being a rake and has absolutely no intention of finding a wife and only finds himself in London to oversee the management of his late father’s affairs. When the two first meet Simon assumes Daphne is another marriage-crazed lady hoping to land his title, while Daphne has no clue who he is and finds him to be an arrogant man and her opinion of him only drops further once she realizes Simon is friends with her brother...who she feels has too many less than honorable hobbies. Daphne quickly writes Simon off, which instantly grabs his attention.

Of course Simon and Daphne’s paths collide again and they scheme to trick the anonymous gossip writer Lady Whistledown into believing they’re a couple in a mutually beneficial scheme. Daphne and Simon’s friendship is not the only thing that will keep viewers in their seats. The series also features a secret pregnancy, the perils of power, impending poverty and the intrigue of who is Lady Whistledown?

The series also has a steamy edge to it (steamy for a regency period drama) as various couples fall together throughout the show and it’s certainly addictive as viewers will crave more drama and wish they could ring for the maid to fetch them the next season. Given that the drama is based on a series of books, we can only hope to watch the romantic entanglements of the other Bridgerton siblings in future seasons.

Regé-Jean Page offers an eye-catching and emotive performance as Simon, while the character in question is emotionally closed off, Page conveys the duke’s emotional aches with finesse. Phoebe Dynevor provides a captivating turn as Daphne and she shares an easy chemistry with Page. “Derry Girls” actress plays the ignored but gentle Penelope Featherton well and gives the side character more prominence in the drama. It should be noted that Julie Andrews lends her distinct voice to the series as the narrator of Lady Whistledown’s gossip columns.

While the drama onscene is captivating, it should be noted that the show does include a rape scene that has garnered some controversy for being included in the series.

“Bridgerton” has one season available on Netflix and is rated TV-MA. For those looking to for more period dramas, consider watching “The Spanish Princess,” which (loosely) follows the life of Catherine of Aragon (the first wife of Henry VIII) and how she came to her throne. The drama has two seasons on Starz. For those looking for a period drama that feels a bit more wholesome, Netflix has nine seasons of “Call the Midwife,” which follows the lives and works of a group of midwives and nuns working in a poor district in London after World War II.