Leave it to Shonda Rhymes to hit a home run with her inaugural Netflix project, Bridgerton, based on the Bridgerton series of books, by Julia Quinn. Season one, released on Christmas Day, is from the first book in the series, The Duke and I.
While set in England during the early 1800’s, with a focus on high society, Bridgerton is relevant and relatable today.
- There’s the Duke of Hastings (Rege-Jean Page), a reminder that falling for the emotionally distant bad boy with swag on fleek is a weakness for all times.
- The term dysfunctional family is a redundancy on full display in the high society and regal offspring of that era, just as it is in Keeping up with the Kardashians.
- While Ball attendees dance to classical music played by string quartets, the songs are actually pop hits by modern day artists such as Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes. Hey, good music is good music.
- Race is noted but not belabored among the royal and aristocratic, which seems like a naïve and utopian concept at first, but once we meet Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), a regal Black woman picked by a White King, we can see a glimpse into what may be our not-so-distant future.
- Social media of the time was a popular gossip paper penned by the anonymous Lady Whistledown (eloquently narrated by Julie Andrews). A mention of improper behavior in this rag was the authority and purveyor of the #cancelculture we know today.
Bridgerton is, in a word—binge-worthy. Since its premier two weeks ago, Bridgerton has been viewed in 63 million households and is on pace to be the biggest hit in Netflix series history.