Bridgerton: Series, Books & The Musical

Image source: Netflix & Shondaland

Bridgerton: Series, Books & The Musical

It has been a few months, but I am absolutely obsessed. The reason for this is Bridgerton, the Shondaland x Netflix collaborative series that took the world by storm. At least my world, but I do believe it has officially become Netflix’s best watched series EVER.
After I watched the show, twice (certain parts some more, wink wink), I read all of the Bridgerton books (there are 8) in the span of a week and there was a ‘Bridgerton the Musical’ made by 2 incredibly talented girls about my age (what!).

So, why did I love this so much & why do I think it is such a hype? I will explain all of this, in my opinion, without spoilers.

The Shondaland x Netflix series

There are SO many things I loved about this. I am a huge Jane Austen and costume drama lover, and when I watched the trailer for Bridgerton I knew within a couple of seconds that I would be hooked. The diverse cast, the time period, the music, the actors, the romance, the plot and just all the liberties in giving it a modern twist. It’s better than any ‘costume drama’ I have ever watched and the twist Shondaland has given this time period is the best thing ever to be done for such a series. Everything should be made with diversity and inclusivity in mind, but because this time period really was not, it makes ALL the difference. And it worked, it absolutely worked. I never ONCE questioned it at all. It was so beautiful.

The series overall was even better than I anticipated. I watched the series in the span of two days and after that I watched it another time. The romance, for starters, was absolutely amazing. A slow burn, but so freaking intense. Some of the non-verbal acting just made my knees absolutely weak. The acting in general, I have to point out, was top-notch. I do not have much knowledge on acting, but I praise myself for having seen many movies & series and I feel like I know when something is good or bad. I felt all the emotions and they were just so real to me.

Image source: Netflix & Shondaland

Some things to mention

The music was absolutely wonderful. Covers made in the snares (what IS it called?) of that time period. I love instrumental music and to recognize the actual songs was a treat. I listened to ‘Strange’ on repeat for days. Again, it just worked. Nothing about it ever felt ‘off’ to me.

Then, the Bridgerton family. They were such a real family and I absolutely felt like I wanted to be part of it. The Bridgerton brothers were so much fun and I loved the way they portrayed the love for each other immensely.

I also loved the feminism and highlighting of the major differences between world views and the lives of women and men.

However, I must add, I did not care for Marina’s plot at all… And I was happy to learn that it did not occur in the books. I loved the fact that she added more representation, but I wished she would have been more aristocratic and not a ‘damsel in distress’ you know? Maybe they added the plot so they can show what happened in the time when someone was pregnant and out of marriage – and maybe more about the war that was going on at the time. I have no clue. I did not really care for that character or plot. Loved all the others though!

The Sex

What I feel like contributed a lot to the success of the show, was of course, the romance and more accurately – the sex and sexual tension. It’s (finally) getting normal for movies, series and books to include them more regularly and I do not complain. I loved that whilst it was a costume drama, it included the romantic and sexy scenes that you normally would not see. It just adds so much to the story and character relationships. And the Lady Whistledown plot is such a unique extra, really a la gossip girl.

However, I must mention that one of the sex scenes has a consent problem. Where the male characters is taken advantage of, but the female character is depicted as the victim. In the books this is worse, but it’s prominent in the series as well. So, then you know that such a controversial scene is present.

Image source: Netflix & Shondaland

The Books by Julia Quinn

The books are more historical-representative and a lot less diverse, but I love the changes Shondaland has decided to make on this. It makes it so much more unique and better for it. But besides it not being as diverse, I also enjoyed reading these books so much. Maybe even, a little bit more at times, because I laughed out loud a lot during reading these. Julia Quinn’s wit and humor are just top notch.

Also, again, she writes historical romances, but includes the sex scenes – which is a huge plus. It’s sort of what you’re working towards in the novel and when it does not happen, it’s kind of anti-climactic. Right? 

The books are slightly different. Almost all of the characters are white and straight (except for one, but he’s a very small character in one of the books). There’s no queen or anything related to royalty at all. Many of the characters have different stories, BUT are the same types of people (except Colin I guess, he was more ‘rakish’ in the books). Anthony, Benedict and Colin’s stories are different and Nigel’s (Berbrooke) as well lol. So, I am really excited to see what they will do in the next season and how everyone’s story will play out. It’s kind of exciting, knowing it will not be entirely the same. I will probably be surprised, yay! And hopefully, the diversity will continue whilst casting the new characters for the upcoming series. But, as Shondaland is steering the weel – I believe they will.

Image source: Netflix & Shondaland

Books vs Series

In my opinion the brothers are more fun in the books, especially Benedict and Colin. But there’s a lot of time in the next season to showcase this humor. The first season mostly created a basis for each character, so we will see! Whilst reading the books I loved imagining the diversity as depicted in the series as well. I know they all were supposed to be white characters, but I did imagine them as they were in the series. For example, Simon & Lady Danbury I pictured as the actors Regé-Jean Page and Adjoa Andoh who played them in the series.  And I must add, because the series strayed from the historical accuracy, there was more feminism than in the books. As in, way more, which is a plus. I loved Eloise and Penelope more in the series than I did them in the books. They were less spinster and more badass.

Bridgerton the Musical

Bridgerton the musical was made a thing by Abigail Barlow and soon joined by Madison Bear. They wrote a lot of songs for certain Bridgerton scenes. I especially am in love with ‘Burn for You’ and also ‘Ocean away’. They do have a website now, so check them out!

TikTok Abigail Barlow & TikTok Emily Bear

There are 10 parts as we speak, and there will most likely be more. You should really check it out!

Lots of Love,

Britt van den Elzen

Hi! I’m Britt, a 20-something creative entrepreneur from the Netherlands. I’m passionate about all things magic and can often be found dreaming about fictional worlds. The greatest love of my life is storytelling and I’ve been reading and watching stories ever since I can remember. ✨

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