‘Bridgerton’ Season 1 is so, so good

If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be in my parlor, curtains drawn, peering out from under my unkempt 2020 brows, ON MY BRIDGERTON SH*T.

Some of you may know, I am of the Abbey, a frequent guest at the Grand Hotel on the Nile, and, of course, I patch all my calls through Las Chicas Del Cable. I love to get my historical drama on, and if you’re reading this, so do you.

PRAY TELL, who would think such a thing as, ‘What ever would happen if Gossip Girl met Jane Austen and they bequeathed a babe of the likes of Downton Abbey and lived happily ever after in one hour installments of equal parts whimsy and scandal?’ Julia Quinn did think such and such a thing. 

AND HOWEVER WOULD SHONDALAND x NETFLIX KNOW?

THAT THIS IS THE PRECISE MOMENT IN WHICH WE ARE IN NEED OF SUCH A SHOW?

Hang onto your pink powdered wigs, dear viewers, for Shonda is about to blow all of us out of our tightly bound corsets. 

At every turn about the room, there is a twist. Each character unfolds in layers, there is more to them than the face by which they are so deeply scrutinized and judged. And I am here to sip the English Breakfast that Lady Whistledown spilleth.

This set design though.

My favorite thing about this genre is how in all of the rules and restrictions, the way women – who are written out of history textbooks, said to have no agency, no import – are imagined to have navigated and pushed against those boundaries. And Bridgerton delivers on those intricacies generously.

A few noted notes:

  • “Surely, I can not be expected to wear these fashions the entire day?!” Girl, I am in my sweatpants, thank you very much. With that one line, Eloise Bridgerton immediately became one of my favorite characters. 
  • If you are imprudently PRUDISH as I am, then FYI this is a NSFW, NSFKids and definitely NSFWatching-with-your-immigrant-parents. Oh, Lord! Literally. 
  • Those thoughtful, hopeful, and often dashed looks from Penelope Featherington are the makings of a deeply captivating character. Color me intrigued AF. 
  • When Simon rides in on a f*cking horse. OF COURSE. OF COURSE, HE DOES. AND WHY WOULDN’T HE? Lordy, Lord-Lord. 
  • The fashion is undisappointingly stunning. The production value and set designs, the cinematography and lighting, sheesh. Some of the most dazzling, delightful, and FUN I’ve seen in awhile. Netflix showed me the monet on this one. 
  • Lady Danbury is giving me those Dowager Countess vibes I live for. 
  • Queen Charlotte’s pink powdered wig, people!!!
  • The ENTRANCING quality of Marina Thompson. I need to know more! 
  • Anthony, Anthony, Anthony. SMH you handsome idiota.
  • Each and every line Daphne delivers after one man or another attempts to dictate her life. GAME SET MATCH, TOUCHE, EN GUARD, ALL OF IT.

I’ve devoured the first couple of episodes, pausing to rejoice, then immediately hitting play to take it all in. In the DROUGHT OF MY SOCIAL LIFE that is pandemic isolation, this FRENZY of so many maskless people at balls is all what I need in this very moment.

Take me away.

I read ahead and there seem to be many scandals to come, including, trigger warning, a sexual assault. 

I’m looking forward to watching what this show has to show, and getting DEEPLY LOST in the world of Bridgerton. GOOD ‘MORROW!


*23 Hours Later*

Okay, well, um, I watched the whole thing. Thankfully there were a generous 8 episodes, rather than that dreaded Netflix half season of 5 or 6 episodes where I’m left shaking my fist.

NOW. I DECREE. A SPOILER ALERT.

You shan’t, I repeat, you shan’t read past this line if you do not wish to know of the spoils.

READY?

we’re scrolling

and we’re scrolling

and we’re scrolling

and we’re scrolling

and we’re scrolling

and we’re scrolling

and we’re scrolling

and we’re scrolling

and we’re scrolling

aaaaaand….

  • Penny. You sneaky little minx. PENNY, PENNY, PENNY. There was that moment where, I do believe the show wanted us to suspect her. When she ran into the garden crying to Eloise. And then the next morning, we read the news i.e. gossip about Marina’s wombage. The way Penny looked and hugged Eloise, I was like, girl, did you do something rather questionable just now? Lots to unpack here. I almost want to go rewatch the whole thing with Lady Whistlepenny in mind.
  • Umm, okay, so remember 5 paragraphs ago when I was like, NSFW? There’s quite a bit of female-gaze-unlaced sexy, sexy here. Something for everyone really, whether you’re into Daphne or Simon or both or neither. They ain’t messin’ around either. There’s like a whole 3 minutes straight of “marital bliss.” Shonda took things out of the Grey Sloan Memorial supply closet and let it out all over the lawn, stairs, hallways, and dinner table on this one.
  • I guess I should have seen Marina’s story coming, but I didn’t. It seemed like it was going in one direction – Lady Featherington’s jealousy. But then there was the twist that laid ground for the rest of her story. I was fascinated by the tug-of-war between Marina and Penny, and the way she navigated herself in search of a way out.
  • Siena. A name. Great closing monologue by her!
  • Did Eloise figure it out in the end? Who Miss Whistledown is? It seemed like she did. What do you think?
  • I think Colin is going to come back with someone on his arm. And then there will be a questioning of her past. And, perhaps worse for Penny, there won’t be anything questionable.
  • Anthony, you hot idiota. You really are the Carlos of this bunch.
  • I got some Ayla/Jondalar vibes betwixt Daphne/Simon’s troubles, in case anyone knows that reference. All that miscommunication! Just glad it didn’t last 3 billion chapters.
  • Oh, my. This whole mess with the Featheringtons. There are lots of questions. Is Lord Featherington really dead, or has he been kidnapped? There’s obviously foul play at hand. But… that means danger also lurks for the Duke’s friend, boxer Will Mondrich. Those horrid people know he threw that game, and subsequently came into some money. Unless they think he has the Duke’s protection and dare not encroach upon that.
  • Damn, Lord Featherington. I must say, this was, I did loved this dark twist of his gambling debts for Lady Featherington. I loved seeing her reactions, and how she tried to clean up a mess that was out of her hands. So real.
  • Lady Featherington’s fashion.
  • I am glad for the important issues around consent and sex education that the storyline between Daphne & Simon raises, as painful as it is to see.
  • Lady Danbury knows how to throw a party! I need some more Lady Danbury sauce though. Let’s hear some stories. What’s her love life like? I need details, people.
  • I’m glad we got more Queen Charlotte as the episodes went on, but I must say, I was left wanting to know much, much more.
  • That leap for The Duke/Simon, where he goes from finding out Daphne read his childhood letters to his father, to being able to… that was a bit of a leap for me (regardless of the well-established rift between them). Like, mmm… ya’ll need to have been seeing a therapist this whole time.
  • I love those betrayal conversations between Daphne and her mother.
Now that’s a coiffure!

And here’s the part that’s hard to write. I adore this genre. I love the escapism. I love the romanticism. I love the conjecture, the historicizing, the female gaze of it, the herstory of it. But, for as long as I’ve watched it, I have known that, I will rarely get to see a woman of color on screen. Aside from the phenomenal Belle (and I’m sure some other portrayals), it’s rather a wasteland in that regard.

So it is no small thing, how well this is done, it has changed the game. I wouldn’t be able to put into words how I feel about that. Alls I can say is, I am looking forward to seeing the next twenty-fiffle seasons on Netflix.


If you enjoyed this show, you might enjoy watching ‘Secret of the Nile’ and ‘Las Chicas del Cable,’ both on Netflix. And maybe you’ll enjoy checking out my show, ‘Unfair & Ugly,’ too!

All out of episodes?

You can watch my web series, Unfair & Ugly, about a South Asian Muslim American family in Orange County, California trying to keep it together. It’s had over 300K views on YouTube and been reviewed by NBC, Aljazeera, and Refinery29!

One thought on “‘Bridgerton’ Season 1 is so, so good

  1. I just recently finished watching your show on YouTube. It is brilliantly put together and I’m currently working on a small think piece about it for my website. Thank you for giving us and while we anticipate the return of Bridgerton, I hope you know we anticipate a season 2 of “Unfair and Ugly”. That last scene, I’m curious to know more!

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