Shonda Rhimes’(“Grey’s Anatomy”, “How to Get Away With Murder”, “Scandal”) new alternate history drama turned out to be a surprise hit; instead of the projected 63 million, the show was downloaded by 83 million households in it’s first 28 days on the streaming platform Netflix. This made “Bridgerton” the most watched series of all time in the streaming services history.
The overnight sensation is based on the Bridgerton saga by American novelist Julia Quinn, with the first season based on the first entry out of the nine volumes, released in 2000. This was the first small screen adaptation of any her books.
Revolving around the titular family, the series offer Jane Austen style high-society period drama expertly tailored for the 21st century palate. The hardships of star-crossed lovers (courtesy of lead actors Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor), politics and duels, fans of the genre are certainly going to be satisfied by this stylish re-imagining of Regency era London, underlined by classical tunes and orchestral renditions of recent pop songs alike.
The principal photography was mostly done in England in February 2020. Interior scenes were shot mostly in the Greater London area’s period appropriate mansions, exterior ones in Bath and York.
Reception was overwhelmingly positive, both from critics and members of the general audience. On IMDb it received 7.3 stars out of ten based on nearly fifty-thousand user submitted reviews, and approval from the professionals was even more positive, according to Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of writing: 74/100 and 89%, respectively).
The series managed to overtake such hit shows as “The Witcher” (76 million), ”Stranger Things” (64 million) and another recent entry, “Lupin” (70 million). However, it should be noted, that in the overall category, “Bridgerton” would still be sixth behind five feature length movies, the first of which is Sam Hargrave’s “Extraction” (2020), starring Chris Hemsworth, that was downloaded by a staggering 99 million households all over the world in the same four-week timeframe.
Fans of the series will be delighted to hear the on the 21st of January, Netflix confirmed the return of the show for the second season with a clever press release “written by” the series’ gossip columnist, Lady Whistledown. The filming was originally scheduled for July, last year, but was postponed due to the worldwide pandemic. The shooting will start in Spring.