No amount of money can hide the atrocity that is ‘Bridgerton’



Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton attends a fancy ball.

Sanhita Lothe, Staff Writer

Hours of hidden misogyny and frivolous antics between young, noble ladies are words I would use to describe Bridgerton.

Creator Chris Van Dusen brings us Bridgerton, based on the novels by Julia Quinn. Having premiered on Netflix on December 25, the show has rendered many people speechless. While portraying two-faced backstabbing drama queens as main characters, the whole world could be a better place without this show.

The first season follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest Bridgerton daughter of the Bridgerton family line, entering into the highly competitive marriage season in London, England. Eligible ladies from all over London attend events and fight over the courtship of men with the talons of a bald eagle. They titter tatter over their high heels and don extra, high maintenance gowns, all whilst managing to balance a stack of books on their heads.

Set in the Regency era of 1813, Bridgerton is historically inaccurate at times. The Vitamin String Quartet sneakily incorporates covers of modern pop songs, such as Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande, Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift, and Bad Guy by Billie Eilish.

The show goes against historical norms again by portraying a black queen, who back in 1813 was white, and by creating somewhat stronger female characters than history would allow. Another Bridgerton daughter, Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie), is a prime example of this. She brings it upon herself to uncover the identify of an anonymous writer named Lady Whistledown, and is appalled by the idea of marriage. For a girl of her age at the time, this would be considered an absolute outrage.

Going along with the historical inaccuracy within Bridgerton, the 7,500 costumes that were created for the show definitely gained a lot of attention from the audience. Wardrobe designer Ellen Mirojnick decided to take a creative turn with the costumes by reimagining the 18th century attire. Instead of plain old mary beige, she decided to go with colorful patterns and colors, using pinks and bright blues for the women. She incorporates modern ideas into her designs for the women and adds bits and pieces of her own spice to ramp up the traditionally bland attire of the time.

Nonetheless, instead of spreading the message that women should stand by and help each other out, the show advertises women treating each other with as little respect as they can muster. Each girl finds ways to dehumanize the others and make their lives as miserable as possible. A character in the show, Lady Featherington (Polly Walker), is set to take in a distant cousin of her husband’s. Upon arrival the girl, Marina Thompson (Rudy Barker), is a young and gracious woman, and instead of welcoming her with open arms, Lady Featherington decides to make her life a living hell. Another girl, Cressida (Jessica Madsen), who entered into the wedding season as well, decides to blackmail Daphne when she sees her kissing a man. She decides to use this information against her as a supposed friend, instead of helping her.

Bridgertons so called enemies to lovers trope is a parallel to that of Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. The classic “we will pretend to be together, but we can’t fall in love” dynamic has been so overplayed, and physically makes this show hard to watch. The Duke of Hastings, or Simon Bassett (Regé-Jean Page), strikes up a deal with Daphne to help save each other’s reputation. They fake interest in one another, but ultimately end up falling in love. Their relationship lacked any thrilling drama or conflict with each other in the early stages, which in my opinion is what makes any relationship stronger and last longer.

Throughout Daphne’s story, all she ever thinks about is finding true love and the right husband. She dismisses the idea of finding out who she is on her own and what she wants to do in the real world. Instead of creating Daphne’s character as independent and willful, they make her out to be daft and especially naive. The writers of the show could have stuck with going against historically accurate character traits and made Daphne into a stronger and more driven three dimensional character. They missed an opportunity here to add depth within their main character.

The characters in Bridgerton are all spoiled, and the women are all entitled to themselves. They only care about fame and fortune.

If people were to have an interest in the series, I would recommend this to a much more mature audience, one who understands the messages and subtle hints that are incorporated throughout the season. I would encourage people to not only watch this for fun, but as a way of understanding the way that women were treated horribly throughout history and as a way of noticing the faults within the show and characters itself.