Bridgerton is an American streaming television period drama series created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes. It is based on Julia Quinn’s novels set in the competitive world of Regency era London’s ton during the season, when debutantes are presented at court.
Bridgerton premiered on Netflix on December 25, 2020. The eight-episode first season was met with positive reviews.
With a viewership of 82 million households, it has become the most-watched series on Netflix. In January 2021, the series was renewed for a second season.
The drama takes place in 19th century Britain.
It centers on the aristocratic Bridgerton family.
The widow Violet, Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton is mother to eight children: her four sons, Anthony, Benedict, Colin, and Gregory; and her four daughters, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, and Hyacinth.
(In birth order, their names are also alphabetical.) Also featured are their gaudy neighbors, the Featheringtons: Portia, Lady Featherington; her husband the Baron; and their three daughters, Philippa, Prudence and Penelope; as well as their mysterious cousin Marina Thompson.
Each episode includes narration by actress Julie Andrews, who voices the anonymous and ever-scandalous newsletter columnist known as Lady Whistledown. As eldest daughter Daphne Bridgerton enters her first season with Queen Charlotte’s favor, she meets Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings and best friend of her eldest brother, Anthony. Despite being encouraged by his mentor, Lady Danbury, the Duke is determined not to marry and plots with Daphne to secure his bachelordom and her a suitable marriage.
Unlike the series of novels,Bridgerton is set in an alternate history with a racially integrated Regency era London where people of color are members of the ton, some with titles granted by the sovereign.
Creator Chris Van Dusen was inspired by historical debate over Queen Charlotte’s possible African ancestry “…to base the show in an alternative history in which Queen Charlotte’s mixed race heritage was not only well-established but was transformative for Black people and other people of color in England.
“Van Dusen says the series is not “color-blind” because “that would imply that color and race were never considered when color and race are part of the show.”