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‘Bridgerton’: the diamond of the season

| Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Jackie Junco | The Observer

Dearest reader, never did the world think it would care so much about an 1813 British society until “Bridgerton” graced everyone’s screens at the end of 2020. Based off of Julia Quinn’s popular romance novel series, “Bridgerton” masterfully combines luxurious sets, beautiful music, burning romances and complex familial relationships into one eight-episode season that has taken pop culture by storm. Produced by “Grey’s Anatomy”’s Shonda Rhimes, “Bridgerton” tells the story of Daphne Bridgerton — the “diamond of the season” — as she searches for a husband alongside many other young women hoping to fulfill their duties to find a suitable match in England’s 1813 social season. With family, friendship, proposals, scandal, fights and Julie Andrews as the show’s Gossip Girl–esque narrator, Lady Whistledown, “Bridgerton” has something any audience member would enjoy.

Though one would think it unrealistic to have a ball every night, it most definitely is true in “Bridgerton.” Each episode of the show features gorgeous set designs with flower and feathers galore. The vivid, pastel colors are like a painting next to the gold and silver decor of the wealthy nobility, which captures the audience’s attention even more. However, “Bridgerton” blends the past with the present by pairing classic symphony soundtracks with instrumental covers of modern songs performed by an orchestra. Heard an orchestral version of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” on social media recently? That’s from “Bridgerton.”

Although, be cautious about who is in the room while the show is on. “Bridgerton” is adapted from romance novels, and those steamy scenes are present throughout the season. Still, the main romance in this season is founded on friendship. The love wasn’t an “insta-love” that makes no sense in the real world. “Bridgerton” reinforces the idea that the best relationships are the ones based off of camaraderie, which is important to remember in the fast-paced world we live in. In this Regency era world where marriage is expected, love is a choice among the characters, thus breaking the societal norms of the period and reminding the audience of what’s important today.

“Bridgerton” proves that period pieces about high society can have a diverse cast. Having a racially diverse cast enriches the show by making the point that the themes of history are often more important than providing a perfect visual representation of the past. Every member of the cast masterfully portrays their characters as they each navigate a world that only allows a strict path toward the future. In Regency England, women were expected to marry and be perfect wives, and men were only expected to continue their family lines. Each character handles these expectations in different ways, but all break some unspoken rule in order to find happiness.

Although, the most heartwarming aspect of “Bridgerton” is the tight-knit family the show centers around. The eight children of the Bridgerton family love each other dearly. Although some are more willing to follow society’s plan for them than others, they acknowledge each other’s differences and support each other in their endeavors to find happiness. Not to mention, the familial relationships in the show give viewers moments of comic relief that produce a fun tone amidst all of the drama and scandal. Family can be stressful, but it can also be one of the greatest sources of joy.

At the end of the day, love is the core of “Bridgerton.” Love for family and friends empowers the characters to act past what is expected of them to find true happiness, and that sentiment is timeless enough to ring true today. Each episode is an illustrative masterpiece, but they also tell the story of characters finding their places in a rigid society. “Bridgerton” reforms history and translates it to make basic statements about what values are most important to hold in life. As for the future of the Bridgerton family, the social scene is already buzzing at the news of a second season coming soon, and one can only imagine where the show will go next.

 

Show: “Bridgerton,” Season 1

Starring: Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Nicola Coughlan

Favorite Episodes: Episode 4, Episode 8

If you like: “Downton Abbey,” “Gossip Girl”

Where to watch: Netflix

Shamrocks: 5 out of 5

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