|Created by||Chris Van Dusen|
by Julia Quinn
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||57–72 minutes|
|Original release||December 25, 2020 –|
Bridgerton is an American streaming television alternate history 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. It premiered on Netflix on December 25, 2020. In January 2021, the series was renewed for a second season.
The drama centers on the Bridgerton family: Violet, Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton; her four sons, Anthony, Benedict, Colin and Gregory and her four daughters, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca and Hyacinth. Also featured are the Featheringtons: Portia, Lady Featherington; her husband the Baron; their three daughters, Philippa, Prudence and Penelope; and their cousin Marina Thompson.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date |
|1||"Diamond of the First Water"||Julie Anne Robinson||Chris Van Dusen||December 25, 2020|
|In 1813, households are preparing for the social season of arranging matches for marriage. Among the debutantes presented to the queen are the three Featherington sisters and the eldest Bridgerton daughter Daphne, whom Queen Charlotte praises highly, giving her an edge over the other young ladies. A new scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown circulates London, promoting Daphne as the season's "Incomparable". A distant cousin of Lord Featherington, Miss Marina Thompson, comes to stay for the season under the supervision of Lady Featherington. Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, returns to London to see to the affairs of his late father. Simon's confidante, the indomitable Lady Danbury, pressures him into joining the season. Viscount Anthony Bridgerton deems all suitors unsuitable for his sister Daphne. Anthony's off-putting behavior drives away all potential suitors except the detestable Lord Berbrooke. Miss Thompson picks up the slack, to the delight of Lady Whistledown and the anger of the queen. Lady Danbury and Lady Bridgerton conspire to bring Simon and Daphne together. Anthony breaks up with his mistress, Siena Rosso. Lady Featherington deduces that Miss Thompson is pregnant. Simon and Daphne agree to pretend to court, so that Daphne will enjoy the attentions of suitors eager to steal her away from a duke while Simon will have respite from ambitious young ladies and their mothers.|
|2||"Shock and Delight"||Tom Verica||Janet Lin||December 25, 2020|
|Flashbacks reveal Simon's tragic childhood. After his mother died in childbirth, Simon was left under the control of his cruel father, who refused to accept that his only son was less than perfect. Lady Danbury came to his aid, assisting him in managing his stammer and supervising his education. On his father's deathbed, Simon vows he will never marry nor sire an heir in order to spite his father. In the present, the Queen grows more frustrated with Lady Whistledown's writings. Eloise and Penelope are confused as to how one becomes with child. Marina remains confined to her room but shares with Penelope that her child was conceived in love with a man named Sir George Crane who is fighting in Spain. Simon and Daphne's ruse works perfectly, but Anthony is quite upset, knowing of Simon's rakish behavior. Lord Berbrooke demands Daphne's hand, and Daphne gives him a black eye in self-defense. Anthony cancels his offer with Lord Berbrooke. Hastings and Berbrooke fight over Daphne's honor. Berbrooke acquires a special license for his marriage to Daphne and threatens to ruin her if she doesn't agree. Violet turns the tables on him, however, after successive teas with the Queen and Lord Berbrooke's mother reveal a scandal that makes its way to Lady Whistledown.|
|3||"Art of the Swoon"||Tom Verica||Leila Cohan-Miccio||December 25, 2020|
|Simon and Daphne become quite close, leading to Daphne turning down multiple proposals. Simon meets Siena, who invites him to see her after her next performance. Lady Featherington tries to match Marina again but she holds out for George to write back. Determined to prove that she is still the true ruler of London society, the Queen schemes to match Daphne with her nephew, the handsome and kind Prince Friedrich of Prussia. Lady Danbury tells Simon that he needs to propose to Daphne or step aside to make way for the superior match. Simon reluctantly calls off the ruse with Daphne. Benedict accuses Eloise of being Lady Whistledown. Anthony tries to take up with Siena again but she turns him down as she does not wish to be only loved in the dark. Sir George writes to Marina that there was nothing between them, but it is revealed that the letter was faked by Lady Featherington. Lady Bridgerton pushes Anthony to think about a match for himself. Simon decides to leave London ahead of schedule as a heartbroken Daphne embraces the prince's attentions.|
|4||"An Affair of Honor"||Sheree Folkson||Abby McDonald||December 25, 2020|
|Prince Friedrich invites Daphne to the palace and gifts her a beautiful necklace. Marina is presented to older suitors in want of heirs in an effort to marry her quickly. Eloise decides she will ferret out Lady Whistledown's identity. Daphne attends a boxing match with Prince Friedrich and learns of their compatible goals. Marina is set up with yet another older suitor and is saved by Colin, much to Penelope's disappointment. At a sumptuous fete, Friedrich prepares to propose but Daphne flees to the garden. Simon approaches her to say goodbye and apologize. Daphne runs into a hedge maze, followed shortly by Simon, and the two kiss passionately. Anthony interrupts and demands that Simon marry Daphne. Simon refuses and Anthony challenges him to a duel at dawn. Penelope is crushed by Colin's attention to Marina which causes a fight with Eloise. Anthony uses the duel as a way to free himself from society and be with Siena. Lady Featherington discovers the extent of her husband's gambling debts. Daphne realizes that Cressida Cowper, her rival for Friedrich's affections, witnessed what happened in the garden and races to stop the duel. Simon tells her that he cannot provide her with children and this is why he cannot marry her. Weighing her options, Daphne firmly declares they will marry.|
|5||"The Duke and I"||Sheree Folkson||Joy C Mitchell||December 25, 2020|
|Daphne and Simon petition the Archbishop of Canterbury for an expedited marriage license, but he refuses at the behest of the queen. Prince Friedrich visits Daphne for closure. Anthony, unable to see Siena, promises to take care of her even if they cannot be together. Money issues boil up at the Featherington home. Penelope becomes ever more jealous of Colin's attention to Marina. Cressida and Daphne confront each other during a dress fitting. Benedict attends a party at the invitation of Sir Henry Granville. Lady Featherington intends for Marina to marry Lord Rutledge and orders her to cut out Colin. Simon and Daphne appeal to the Queen to allow for an early wedding; faced with losing her beloved King George to his increasing dementia, the Queen is moved by Simon's impassioned plea. Simon and Daphne are married in a simple church ceremony. At the wedding reception, Marina gets a proposal from Colin, but with the request of a long engagement. The Queen takes interest in Eloise's investigation. Violet and Daphne have an awkward conversation which leaves her with more questions than answers. Simon and Daphne leave for Clyvedon, but stay at an inn to avoid the journey after dusk. At the inn, Daphne finally confronts Simon over his avoidance of her, and the pair realize that they are in fact madly in love.|
|6||"Swish"||Julie Anne Robinson||Sarah Dollard||December 25, 2020|
|The Duke and Duchess arrive at Clyvedon for their honeymoon and spend much time together. Daphne works to build a relationship with Mrs. Colson, although proven difficult. Colin announces his engagement to Marina, much to his family's dismay. Daphne and Simon initiate the fair and mingle with the villagers. Penelope tries to ruin the engagement by confiding in Colin that Marina is in love with another man. Colin suggests he and Marina marry sooner than their families desire by traveling to Scotland. Simon turns all of his attention to the books after hearing that his tenants' rent has increased. Daphne is told that she offended the village by not being able to pick a winning pig at the fair. Lady Colson reveals more information about Simon's upbringing to Daphne. Penelope discovers that George's letter was faked, but Marina chooses to move on. Daphne, with the help of her lady's maid, realizes that Simon is purposefully trying to not have children and devises a questionable way to confront him. Lady Whistledown publishes Marina's secret.|
|7||"Oceans Apart"||Alrick Riley||Jay Ross & Abby McDonald||December 25, 2020|
|Simon and Daphne's dispute continues and Daphne decides to return to London after Lady Whistledown’s latest publication surfaces. Eloise prepares for her debut and continues to try to uncover Lady Whistledown in order to convince her to restore the Featherington name. Daphne arranges a chaperoned meeting for Colin and Marina. Simon threatens to live separate lives if Daphne is not with child. The Queen is impatient with Eloise's progress in uncovering Lady Whistledown and later throws the Featheringtons out of her luncheon over Marina's scandal. Lady Danbury invites Daphne to a lively party with the married women of the ton, where Daphne flexes her social power to locate Sir George Crane. Lord Featherington approaches Will to convince him to throw his next fight in order to settle his debts. Anthony and Simon come to blows. Daphne discovers why Simon does not want to have children. Eloise realizes that Madame Delacroix is the most likely person to be Lady Whistledown. Marina attempts to abort her pregnancy. Daphne learns she is not pregnant.|
|8||"After the Rain"||Alrick Riley||Chris Van Dusen||December 25, 2020|
On July 20, 2018 Netflix announced that Shonda Rhimes would produce the Bridgerton series based on Julia Quinn's bestselling novels, while Chris Van Dusen would be showrunner. On June 19, 2019, Julie Andrews was cast as Lady Whistledown, whose voice-overs explain much of the series' action. On January 21, 2021, Netflix renewed the series for a second season.
On July 10, 2019, it was announced that Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page would play leads, while Jonathan Bailey, Golda Rosheuvel, Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, Nicola Coughlan, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Ruth Gemmell, Adjoa Andoh and Polly Walker were cast in as regulars.
Principal photography wrapped in late February 2020. Bridgerton was filmed in London and Bath, as well as at various estates and parks around England. Although the series takes place in London, most street scenes were filmed in Bath or York. The grounds of Wilton House were used for Hyde Park and the grounds of Somerley were used for Hampstead Heath.
Wilton House was filmed at for the exterior of and entrance to Simon Basset's Hastings House. Syon House in London and Badminton House in Gloucestershire made up the rest of the estate. Simon's Clyvedon estate was made up of Castle Howard in North Yorkshire for the exterior and Wilton House for the interior, with Coneysthorpe being used as Clyvedon village.
Holburne Museum in Bath is the site of Lady Danbury's estate. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the location of her balls, no longer exists in its entirety. The production team recreated it by combining the remaining parts with Castle Howard and Stowe Park. The banqueting room at the Guildhall, Bath was used for another ball as well as the Great Hall at Leigh Court in Somerset.
Hatfield House in Hertfordshire and Halton House at RAF Halton were combined for the Featheringtons' interior and No. 1 Royal Crescent in Bath makes up the exterior, which is meant to be Grosvenor Square in the series. The Featheringtons go for walks through the gardens of Painshill in Cobham.
Anthony Bridgerton and Simon Basset meet in the real life Reform Club on Pall Mall in central London. The scene in which Lady Featherington takes Marina to the slums was filmed at Chatham Dockyard in Kent. Boxing scenes were also filmed here in addition to Normansfield Theatre in Teddington. Theatre scenes were filmed at the Hackney Empire. Queen's House was used for exterior of Somerset House and Somerley for the interior. A Bath café, Pickled Greens, was the site of the Modiste shop and the Bathrooms at No.5 store on Trim Street the site of Gunter's Tea Shop. Dorney Court is the site of the Coaching Inn Daphne and Simon visit. Filming for the second season is set to begin in Spring 2021.
For the series, the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 90% based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 7.95/10. The website's critics' consensus reads, "Sumptuous design, soapy drama, and a sterling cast make Bridgerton a delightful treat." Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 74 out of 100 based on 33 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly gave the series a B+ and wrote, "Bridgerton, it seems, is a wonderful diversion for those who love Pride & Prejudice but wish it had more stairway sex." Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times gave the series 4 out of 4 stars and said, "A show that will give you that unmistakable binge twinge and have you activating that "Next Episode" time and again, until there are no more "Next Episodes"."
GQ Magazine describes the show as a cross between two popular television dramas, Gossip Girl and Downton Abbey, but notes that it "may just end up being another disappointment" and "it could have been brilliant."
On January 4, 2021, Netflix announced that the series was projected to be watched by 63 million households within 28 days of its debut, which would make it the fifth most-watched Netflix original series launch of all time.
On January 10, 2021, singer-songwriter Abagail Barlow wrote a song titled "Oceans Away," that would be sung by Daphne Bridgerton. She posted the song on the social media app TikTok where it received over one million views. Since then, Barlow and composer Emily Bear have wrote songs for several other characters and posted them under the hashtag #bridgertonmusical. It is very similar to the creation of Ratatouille the Musical, a crowdsourced musical based on the 2007 animated film Ratatouille, which was also created on TikTok.
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