Review: Bridgerton- The new Pride and Prejudice?

Katie Siddall reviews Netflix's smash-hit Georgian drama.

Katie Siddall
20th January 2021
Credit: IMDb, Netflix
Julia Quinn is essentially the Jane Austen of our time. Having set Bridgerton in 1813 London, Quinn could be said to have set out to recreate Pride and Prejudice.

Daphne Bridgerton, fourth child in a family of eight, is at the height of her youth whereby her mother wants her to find a husband; therefore, this drama piece is set within the “season” – the time of year where maidens would go to balls to find her suitor. The plot thickens when Simon Hastings (Roots' Regé-Jean Page), her eldest brother’s school friend, enters her life. They make an agreement to appear to be together to gain praise from Lady Whistledown.

Julie Andrews' (Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music) Lady Whistledown is the narrator of the eight episodes. Who is Lady Whistledown? No one knows. She is the observer of the season. She writes a short summary of what is happening within the lives of those looking for a match. She writes people’s darkest secrets; she lets everyone know the truth. You’ll have to watch the series to find out who she is.

Credit: IMDb, Netflix

Meanwhile, Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor (Waterloo Road), is presented as a strong woman who makes her own decisions in life. Like Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennett, Daphne truly believes that she is following her heart – especially when she declines a proposal from Nigel Berbrooke (Derry Girls' Jamie Beamish). However, unlike Elizabeth, Daphne is a resilient persona, who doesn’t appear to be conforming to society. The start of her marriage doesn’t allow conformity, yet the marriage itself does. Once married, Daphne wants children in order to obey society.

Personally, I was hooked to Bridgerton from the get-go. I love the Georgian period and the romantic stories and plots you can find within this time period. I managed to watch the full eight hours of the series in one sitting in the afternoon with one of my flatmates. We became instantly obsessed. My favourite part of the series was that, as it can be seen in Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Jane Eyre, it is not just a prominent white casting – the higher members of society are people of colour. This is not seen in period dramas often; therefore, it is a fresh perspective on what could be.

Bridgerton is not just about the life of Daphne Bridgerton. It delves into the lives of those looking for love, those who have found love and those who have separated themselves from love and their loved ones. There appears to be so many couples that you want to root for throughout that, occasionally, you don’t even root for Daphne. 

Credit: YouTube, Netflix
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