The Bridgerton family, and a number of their acquaintances, compete, form friendships, and try to find love against the backdrop of London high society. Meanwhile the enigmatic Lady Whistledown (voiced by the fabulous Julie Andrews) writes and distributes the gossip of the day, making everyone’s life that bit harder.
From the offset, 'Bridgerton' seems to be custom made for fans of period and costume dramas. It's also a great fit for fans of the series 'Grey’s Anatomy', 'Scandal', and 'How to Get Away with Murder', as it hails from the same producer Shonda Rhimes.
As well as its luxurious look, and bright and colourful settings and costumes, the strength of ‘Bridgerton’ lies in its exciting, energetic and fast-paced turn of events. You'll fly through the eight hour-long episodes in no time.
Our lead is Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) who has been deemed the Crown Jewel of the season by Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) but her over-protective brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) is ruining her romantic prospects. Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), a duke and friend of Anthony's, and Daphne come to a mutually convenient arrangement that could develop into something more.
But theirs isn't the only point of interest in the show, as the ensemble cast all get a chance to shine. Loyalties are challenged and love affairs turn complex as each character struggles to find their purpose and source of happiness.
The Featheringtons, for example, provide the second most focussed on family aside from the Bridgertons, and while they initially seem frivolous and rather silly, the female-dominated household members really come into their own as the series progresses.
Nicola Coughlan, who audiences will recognise from 'Derry Girls', is adorable as Penelope Featherington, a wallflower whose mother forces her into the spotlight. Eloise Bridgerton (played by Claudia Jessie with a Aisling Bea-like energy) also makes for an interesting character, telling it like it is and openly criticisng the amount of crap women have to endure and how meaningless and predetermined their lives can feel.
Various scandals emerge and there’s much sneakiness on all the characters’ parts. The show also highlights the struggles of those who attempt to live outside societal norms. The series is never humdrum or gets particularly serious, and that’s the fun of it.
'Bridgerton' will surely get another season beyond this one, but here's a warning label - this isn't one to sit down and watch with the family at Christmas, as there are some rather raunchy scenes.
It drops on Netflix on Christmas Day.