It’s what happens when you cross Gossip Girl with Jane Austen. At the moment, the new Netflix series Bridgerton is all I need.
Shonda Rhimes, who created Gray’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal, knows all about dishy storytelling. Now, she brings us a fabulous world of 1815 London, where the annual debut of the year’s most eligible young ladies is the talk of the town. Mothers are nervous. Daughters are buffed and cinched.
And, in a nod to Gossip Girl, a mysterious publication called Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers plays a major role in stirring up trouble. The voiceover for Lady Whistledown, by Julie Andrews, is perfectly plummy.
I hit rewind to get a closer look at the costumes, which start at a sort of period Regency vibe but don’t stop until they’re psychedelic confections with impossible layers of sparkle and shine. And the sets—nobody sits down to tea unless there are towers of sweets at hand.
The cast is diverse, with the royalty mostly Black. The actors are all clearly having a huge time with all this—what could be more fun than playing the snuff-dipping queen? And Regé-Jean Page is such a doll as the inscrutable Duke of Hastings that he’s being held up as an obvious choice for the first Black James Bond. (I’m still #TeamIdris, but I get it.)
Read about the actors of Bridgerton in this post from Essence. Many of the players have long and distinguished careers. This show has to be such a joyride for them.
The series is streaming on Netflix. Enjoy! It’s as fluffy as a meringue.