Shonda Rhimes is back at it again with another juicy drama-filled series to keep viewers guessing. Bridgerton, her newest show which premiered on Netflix Christmas day, is a Regency-era period piece that takes place in London, England. With a diverse cast, the show follows Britain’s upper-class as they look for love in the 1810s.
More specifically, the show, which is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Julia Quinn, details the lives of the Bridgerton family’s eight kids. When it’s time for Daphne, the eldest daughter, to be on the “marriage market” at the beginning of the social season, the pressure of her family’s good name falls on her shoulders. It becomes up to her to set the tone of how the following marriage arrangements of her younger siblings will go.
Unluckily for her, things get competitive in the search for a perfect match really fast. With new women coming onto the social scene and a few blunders on her part, Daphne falls short as one of the most wanted woman available for marriage. Meanwhile, all of that coincides with the Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset, who is the hottest bachelor in the marriage market, even though he doesn’t want to get married anytime soon. The two eventually end up scheming a plan to be in a fake relationship to smooth things over but then are constantly caught up in the complexities of keeping their lie going.
The show features several Black actors, including Regé-Jean Page who plays the Duke, Golda Rosheuvel as the Queen, Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, Kathryn Drysdale as Genevieve Delacroix, and Ruby Barker as Marina Thompson. Not only has the show been creating buzz because of its diverse cast, but many viewers consider the placing of Black characters in the era in roles outside of slaves, servants, or secondary characters as a big win for the genre. While Bridgerton has Black characters, the character’s storylines don’t revolve around them being Black.
Of course, people have been excited to get a new drama from Shondaland, especially since Rhimes announced she was leaving ABC and taking her talents to Netflix back in 2018. Bridgerton, of which Chris Van Dusen is creator, showrunner, and executive producer, is only one out of the eight projects Rhimes signed on to do with the streaming platform. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter back in October of this year, the Grey’s Anatomy showrunner shed light on her experience with ABC and why she left. While creatively she already felt stifled by execs, the hurdles she had to jump through to receive a $154 ticket to Disneyland for her sister was the final straw for her.
Within the past decade, Rhimes has brought us so many primetime classic shows, including Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. As Bridgerton gains appeal as the newest romantic period piece to get audience’s attention, we can’t help wondering if Rhimes’ adaptation of the New York Magazine article on Anna Delvey scamming her way into NYC elite social scene is next.