Saturday, April 10, 2021

Netflix Bridgerton review – IGN

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For readers around the world, Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton saga is a bit of an entry drug into the world of romance novels. The eight-book long series, centered on the eponymous family in the height of the Regency era, is a bingo card full of everything that makes romance so alluring: stolen glances across the ballroom, gossip of society, family conflicts, sharp jokes that covers the real emotions and, of course, love conquers all. It’s the stuff of TV dreams – Bridgerton has been described many times as “Downtown Abbey meets Gossip Girl” – so it made sense that Netflix would bring her to the small screen. Season 1 of Bridgerton comes to us courtesy of Shondaland, the first major television offering of extraordinary showrunner Shonda Rhimes’ much-publicized deal with the streaming service. Rhimes’ work (which produces Bridgerton, while Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy alumnus Chris Van Dusen serves as showrunner and creator) and his Shondaland banner is famous for its mix of soapy sensations, social commentary, and an appetite. quite more delicious for the characters and the viewers. Even for those unfamiliar with Quinn’s novels, Bridgerton will prove to be a mouthwatering slice of Shondaland at its best.

Netflix’s Bridgerton: Official Season 1 Photos

The eponymous Bridgertons are a clan of eight children with alphabetical names and the eyes of London society on them at all times. Eldest daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) is set to make her debut as an eligible bride-to-be, and she looks poised for greatness when none other than Queen Charlotte herself (a delightful interference Golda Rosheuvel) bestows her on the royal seal of approval. But a good match has never gone smoothly, and Daphne’s hopes and reputation are not slow to be on the line. Step forward Simon Basset, the newly arrived Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) in London. He is the most eligible bachelor in the market, but he has no interest in finding a wife, fathering an heir, or performing his noble duties. It only makes sense for him and Daphne to strike a deal: they will play the role of sweethearts in love with the outside world, thus keeping him out of the marriage market and making him a greater prospect for socially climbing singles. That can’t be wrong, unless the seemingly omniscient gossip writer Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews with the right balance of nobility and bitchy) has something to say in her latest column. , enemies, suitors and voyeurs. The most exciting moments often don’t come from the bombast scenes but from the whispers that shape the season. There are men in this story, all of whom are interesting and often deeply alluring, but this is a show more concerned with the plight and passions of women. He doesn’t feel the need to force high-design dramas or unnecessarily soapy details into their life to make them interesting. Van Dusen has enough faith in both his source material and the very concept of a romantic Regency saga.

Daphne and Simon’s relationship, through all of their wiles and passions, is perfectly conveyed by Dynevor and Page, who share impeccable chemistry. Every barbed wire word shared between them and every glance that burns is enough to delight the audience. Their relationship is limited by a myriad of societal demands. If they fail to convince the world of their “love,” Daphne may never find a good match. It’s a prospect Bridgerton takes most seriously and never dismisses as a romantic twaddle or strained tension.BRIDGERTON_101_Unit_01798R3

Netflix’s Bridgerton stars Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton and Regé-Jean Page as Duke of Hastings Simon Basset

The real heart of the show comes with its empathy. This is not a story with cookie-cutter heroes and villains. (Only one character can truly be described as obnoxious and he disappears after a few episodes.) Bridgerton seeks to show not only how the course of true love can find its way through the darkness, but how such a prospect is nearly ridiculously impossible during this period. . Love is business and it is an industry that no one can escape. For women, your only goal is to get married well, have lots of children, and silently perform your chores in a way that won’t scandalize curious gossip. One small mistake, or something as seemingly innocuous as being alone with a man for a short time, could be enough to make you completely corrupt and ruin your prospects for life. Men have more freedom, but that doesn’t make it much easier for Simon, Anthony or Benedict, who all have desires incompatible with their inherited duties.

Bridgerton gives each character in this vast set of pieces to breathe and the attention their unique struggles deserve. Daphne longs for a married life with children but is also aware that her performance during the season will have an impact on her whole family. Anthony must be a good viscount to his family, but his heart is with a woman he can never marry. Eloise feels trapped by her lack of prospects as a young woman without money or power. Lady Featherington (Polly Walker, having the time of her life) manipulates and desperately tries to secure her family’s status because that’s all she has. Even Queen Charlotte, a woman who seems to hold all the cards, is still a powerless bride in court beyond her societal obligations. Each of these characters has an irresistible interiority and a unique role to play in London society. Bridgerton has immense affection for all and never sacrifices her character in favor of drama. Don’t worry, there is still a lot to do.

Not an inch of detail is overlooked, whether it’s the beautifully sewn costumes, the cynical looks of the maids or, yes, the sex scenes. Rest assured, dear readers, because Bridgerton doesn’t skimp on the unbridled passion of Quinn’s novels. Damn, they’re adding more scenes for sheer satisfaction. Some critics may take umbrage at what they see as an assembly line of well-worn tropes, but any true romance lover will know that the genre thrives on the embrace and wise use of the heartwarming familiar. There are scrambles in the meadows, kissing in the rain and mothers mingling at tea time, and it’s all executed with such a delicate flair that Bridgerton makes the usual fresh again. It’s not just a show that takes its own concept seriously – it’s a show that respects the romance genre as a whole, and I can’t tell you how relieved it is to see that, to especially since romance novels are largely ignored or ridiculed. by the cultural current.As a lover of romance novels, it is a true delight to see a series like this in all its amorous and sumptuous splendor. The series effectively uses books to build an even richer and more diverse world, which combines the inherently fairytale quality of the genre with a more modernized approach. Bridgerton is racially diverse in a way historical dramas rarely are, with the show imagining an alternate story where King George III’s marriage to a princess of color sets the stage for a sort of racial harmony between the different classes. Outside of the mainstream marriage game that animates the series, Bridgerton frequently focuses on romances on the fringes of society, including gay and polyamorous affairs absent from the novels. It’s a welcome extension of the source material and a vivid reminder that historical fiction shouldn’t feel constrained by ideas of “historical precision” as it already plays quickly and freely with, in this case, the age of Regency.

Beyond these changes, readers of Quinn’s books will be keen to spot the differences between Bridgerton and the first book in the series, The Duke and I, which this season is largely adapted from. Each book in Quinn’s series focuses on one of eight siblings, but here the scope is broadened to tell many stories, including older brother Anthony’s alliances with his opera singer mistress and the hunt. d’Eloise to discover the identity of Lady Whistledown. Fans should be cautioned not to expect a simple transfer from one page to another. Indeed, the softer narrative from Quinn’s books receives a serious injection of drama.

Whether you’ve read Quinn’s novels or haven’t read a romance in your life, Bridgerton is sure to delight and provide many with the perfect Christmas watch. It’s the kind of comfortable viewing experience that’s perfectly designed for such seasons, and the way the series builds on the foundations of its source material suggests they’re more than ready to tackle the next seven books and spin-offs.

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