REVIEW: ‘Bridgerton’ brings more to table than typical English romances

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(Archive Photo | Collegian Media Group)

The first season of the Netflix series of “Bridgerton” began with Daphne Bridgerton searching for a husband at debutante balls. It wasn’t long before she was faced with obstacles that kept her from her quest — an overprotective brother, a duel and even a love triangle — or two.

Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, is the focal point of the show. She is the eldest sister and has dreams of starting a family of her own in England’s Regency era.

However, her eldest brother Anthony, played by Jonathan Bailey, makes this fantasy a challenge for Daphne. His overbearing ways would scare away any man who comes near her — not to mention his decisions made behind her back.

Duke Basset, played by Regé-Jean Page, arrives in town and shakes up the season, with his title and charm. The Duke also happens to be a friend of Anthony’s.

One of Daphne’s seven other siblings is Eloise, played by Claudia Jessie. Eloise is the exact opposite of Daphne. Eloise longs to receive higher education and make a name for herself — marriage is the last thing on her mind. She is also the primary investigator in charge of finding out who Lady Whistledown is.

Lady Whistledown, played by Julie Andrews, runs an anonymous gossip column in the newspaper. She airs everyone’s dirty laundry and holds the characters’ reputations in her hands.

The supporting characters of “Bridgerton” go through their own highs and lows during the chaos that is debutante season. This season showcases the rivalry between two families — the Bridgertons and the Featheringtons. Three of the Featherington sisters go head-to-head with Daphne in the debutante season. The divide makes you wonder if happiness really is having more money and status than your neighbor.

Gina Cromwell and Will Hughes-Jones created the show’s set design.The bright set fits the lavish lifestyles of the socialites. The costuming, done by Ellen Mirojnick, is exquisitely filled with countless ball gowns and tuxedos popular in 18th century England.

Although “Bridgerton” takes place in the 18th century, it has modern notes to it. This includes the soundtrack, which consists of classical renditions of modern music, such as “Thank u, Next” by Ariana Grande. The show also tackles modern topics of feminism, reputation and the LGBTQ+ community.

Overall, “Bridgerton” is more than the typical 18th century English romance. This is a story of triumph that touches on many modern issues. It investigates the importance of the connections you make and the relationship between reputation and being truly content. As cheesy as this may be, “Bridgerton” delightfully portrays what it feels and looks like to follow one’s heart.

Aishah Chaudhry is a staff writer and a freshman in English. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and the persons interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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