By Sam Bailey / Editor in Chief
While period dramas are far from new in the world of television and film, many fail to rise to the occasion the way the Netflix original series “Bridgerton” has.
Based on a book series by Julia Quinn, the directors of “Bridgerton” sweep audiences off their feet and take them into the stunningly beautiful world of 1813 England amid the heat and drama of the social season.
The show revolves around the inner workings of finding suitable matches for the children of the notable Featherington and Bridgerton families, providing viewers with all the sex and scandle possible in 8 episodes.
While the show is based in the early 1800s, it takes on modern day culture and ideals while offering a look into what the past could have been with today’s diversity in the ruling class.
Queen Charlotte is at the center of the show, bringing attention to main character Daphne Bridgerton (played by the stunning Phoebe Dynevor) and often starting chain reactions that affect the overarching story.
The character of the queen would not have been anything overly extraordinary if she was not played by Guyanese-British actress Golda Rosheuvel, creating a story where Black rulers are common and accepted in a world often thought of as being exclusively white run.
This not only allows for potential interacial love matches, but opens conversation on race and how the world views others in comparison to ourselves.
On top of the underlying racial and social topics are the issues of gender roles and the social expectations for young adults becoming members of society.
The characters in this series are woven together beautifully in a way that empowers young women and encourages the audience to question the pressures we put on gender stereotypes in society.
While there are numerous strong and powerful women in the series who break down social norms and fight for their own destiny, this show is not for the young mind.
Behind all the triumphs of the characters are layers of degrading messages toward women, whether it be that they are too bold, too smart or even too independent.
The basis of the show is that women reach a certain age and are to shut up and look pretty in the attempts to lure in a husband who will sire strong children and give the girl a purpose in life. This means that every time a woman goes out on her own or tries to make her own destiny, she is going against society and the messages the characters in the show put out.
This being said, the voice of the narrator is indeed a woman and is perhaps the most powerful character in the entire series, Lady Whistledown.
Lady Whistledown runs a gossip column that is sent out to the entire population and spills the details of every scandal throughout the whole story, while hiding the biggest detail of all, her identity.
“Bridgerton” creates a beautiful world where sexuality and scandal are explored and encouraged throughout. There are issues within the show like gender roles, questionable decision making, and immature approaches to problems, but it also shows how these real world problems can be fought and overcome by even the least likely person.
This tale from the past pulls audiences in with it’s old charm while holding our attention with modern takes on the aspects of the characters lives, even featuring covers of modern songs like “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish and “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande during ballroom dances.
While stories of outwardly perfect couples with seemingly unattainable good looks are far from uncommon, “Bridgerton” beautifully spins this old storyline into a modern tale in a past world that grips audiences and never lets them go.
The show takes hold of audiences through lovable characters and incredible storylines that bring them all the way into the last seconds of the series, making them wish for even more.
Luckily for fans of the show, Netflix has announced a second season is in the works and will begin production in the spring of 2021.