Hello, my beloved readers, it’s series review season. The news going around is that the Bridgertons are getting quite a crowd of admirers. Reporting to you is not Lady Whistledown (unfortunately), but a spectator who is very much an admirer of 19th century London’s most loved gossip writer. Shall we dive into today’s adventure?
Released on December 25, 2020, Bridgerton is a new addition to Netflix’s big catalogue of success. Produced by Shondaland, and based on the book series written by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton takes place in the high society of London in 1813, where the best thing that could happen to a woman is to be wed to a guy that is able to provide for her and their kids. With this comes a whole lot of drama incited by societal backlash and defied expectations. Though the first season focusses on the story of Daphne Bridgerton and Simon (known as The Duke of Hastings), the screen adaptation introduces a lot of well-rounded characters that make Bridgerton the great show it is.
I think Shonda did an amazing job adapting the book to screen. Bridgerton is funny, romantic, adventurous, and sexy (let’s have a moment of silence for the scene where the Duke licks the spoon, amen). It’s like Gossip Girl—but make it classical and historical. The dances, the accents, the figurines, it’s all made so beautifully that it makes you want to be there. I also love the fact that even though the women are expected to marry and have a family, they are wicked enough to choose who they want, rather than settling for an unhappy marriage.
I was so in love with the show that I devoured all the books in a matter of days. As a book nerd though, I have to admit there are a lot of differences between the books and the Netflix show. This review, however, is not a critique. I 100 percent understand that changes need to be made during adaptations to make the story more relatable, and sometimes more appealing. That’s why I’ve pointed out 4 adaptations for screen that make the Netflix show all the more entertaining. Enjoy!
1. The Queen Doesn’t Exist in the Books
Queen Charlotte, as you’ll see on the show, is a wicked little thing that likes to give her opinion on everyone’s life. But believe it or not, the Queen is hardly mentioned in the books, and doesn’t have an impact on the debuting seasons. It’s like—we know she exists—but we don’t talk about her. The reason she appears so much on the show is because Shonda wanted it to be more inclusive; she wanted black representation within a position of power in their society, which I think is brilliant. We hardly get to see classical movies and shows that feature black royalty, and I think it’s important for future generations to see this as a realistic reality.
Fun-Fact: Queen Charlotte really existed in real life, and some historians affirm that she was of African descent, isn’t that great?
2. Anthony is Not That Overprotective
Daphne’s older brother, Anthony, is so overprotective in the show, that he makes every suitable man in London run for their lives, which is Daphne’s biggest nightmare come true. Don’t get me wrong, he would kill for Daphne in the books, but he doesn’t go around intimidating all of her suitors as shown in the show. They are so close in the books that when Daphne and Simon come up with a plan that will help solve both of their problems (you’ll have to watch the show to find out what that is because this is a no spoiler zone), Anthony is the only person that knows about it, and he even supports the idea.
3. Marina’s Back-story is Way Different
The seasons of the show follow the order of the book series; the first book (The Duke and I) was about Daphne, so the first season was about her too. But right away in the first episode, we meet Marina, a simple lady who is spending a season with the Featheringtons—a very noisy, complicated family within the series. In season one, Marina is a big part of the plot, but she was only supposed to appear in season five since she is part of Eloise’s book (Daphne’s younger sister), and even then, Marina only appears for six pages (maximum) within the book. She never meets the Featheringtons, nor does she meet the Bridgertons. And Mister Phillip, the brother of Marina’s biggest love, was supposed to be Eloise’s romantic match, which makes me wonder if they will create a whole new story for Eloise, or if they will keep the original story and find a way to connect it all. I hope for the latter, as I’m quite fond of Phillip’s twins (they’re little devils, but sure are funny, too).
4. Anthony’s Mistress Isn’t Really a Mistress
Siena Rosso, the opera singer (and Anthony’s mistress), is only briefly mentioned in book two (The Viscount Who Loved me). In the screen adaptation you’ll see her quite a lot; she’s Anthony’s first love, and his greatest mistake too. In the books, her name is Maria Rosso, and she is indeed a former lover of Anthony’s, but she was never his mistress, and he never fell in love with her. She only appears in the book to spark jealousy in Kate (who you guys will meet in season two).
Netflix just announced season two, which I have to admit is the one I’m most anxious about. It’s going to be about book two, which is my favourite from the series. I can’t wait for you guys to meet Kate Sheffield. I bet you will love her just as I did. In its entirety, the show was beautifully made. It entrances the viewers and makes them fall in love with the story. It makes you wonder what it would be like living during that time, going to balls, and wearing big, beautiful dresses while drinking tea with your family. It will also cause you to have a British accent by yourself in the middle of the room as if you were at a royal party. I 100 percent recommend you take the time to dive into the Bridgerton world.