On Monday morning, Netflix dropped the first official full length trailer for Bridgerton, the new series based on the Julia Quinn romance book series and adapted by Chris Van Dusen and Shonda Rhimes. As the first series in Rhimes’s producing deal with Netflix and one of the biggest adaptations of a romance novel, fans from both worlds are eagerly awaiting the December 25 release of the series. Personally, as a long time fan of both Grey’s Anatomy and historical romances, this is something I’m majorly looking forward to. And it’s extra nice to have something extra to look forward to this year.
Bridgerton tells the story of a wealthy, aristocratic family with eight children in the Regency period in London. And this trailer does not disappoint in terms of showing us large scale costume drama details and hinting at large scale romantic drama plot points. Here are a few questions I have after watching the trailer.
1. Will the story revolve solely around Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset?
The first book in the Bridgerton series, The Duke and I is Daphne Bridgerton’s story of making a fake courting deal with the Duke Simon Basset for both of their benefit. Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and Simon, played by Regé-Jean Page, are the most featured characters in the trailer. But Daphne has seven other siblings in the books who also have twisty, interesting pathways on the road to love and marriage. Shonda Rhimes is known for putting multiple intersecting storylines in her shows. Will the romances from future books be featured in this season or perhaps hinted at or set up for future seasons? Or will Daphne and Simon be the main focus?
2. How will racial diversity be handled in the series?
While the Bridgerton book series, and indeed most Regency romance novels, are completely whitewashed with mostly or all white characters, the trailer shows racial diversity among the the characters. This decision makes me wonder if race will ever be addressed in the storyline or if the series will be race-blind? History tells us that England and even the aristocracy was not as white at romance novels would make you believe. No matter how it’s handled, I’m excited by the update to this modern adaptation. And I can’t imagine a dreamier Duke than Regé-Jean Page.
3. What fashion statements will Bridgerton make?
The term costume drama highlights the importance of clothes in these period films. Fashion plays an important part in the book, ranging from unfavorable portrayals like the description of a “gown of lemon yellow that left a sour taste in one’s mouth” to beautiful Cinderella ballgown makeovers. The trailer displayed several beautiful fashion details—Lady Danbury’s wigs, Daphne’s sparkling white dresses and feathered headpieces, and the over the top colors worn by the Featherington family. While the costumes don’t look 100% historically accurate, they will certainly create an exciting spectacle. I’m excited to learn more about what other fashion moments costume designer Ellen Mirojnick will create throughout the show.
4. How big a role will the Featherington family play in the show?
Rereading the books, the Featheringtons sisters begin as very side characters who are mostly commented on for their nouveau riche fashion sense and pushy, husband-hunting mother. They don’t become important characters until later in the series. But the sisters are featured in several scenes from the trailer—at least, I assume it’s them from their bright clothes and signature red hair. This makes me wonder if the family next door will be important right from the beginning in the adaptation.
5. How steamy will the sex scenes in Bridgerton be?
Romance novels are not just about the sex. There is love, relationship building, banter, and so much more. That being said, Julia Quinn’s books have some very steamy sex scenes in them. They are called bodice rippers for a reason. There were a few hints of sex in the trailer. A gasp. A ballgown being unbuttoned. A hand grasping at a sheet. Some period pieces can be all buttoned up, prim and proper. But I wonder how much the show will borrow from its source material when it comes to sexiness on the screen.
6. Who is Lady Whistledown?
Voiced by Julie Andrews, the Whistledown papers play a major roll in the Bridgerton trailer. In the books, the gossip column provides interludes between chapters. They are something that the characters are all reading and a way to give the reader important backstory. Watching the trailer made me wonder if unmasking the anonymous scandalmonger will be a bigger part of the show than the book. Will the Lady Whistledown mystery be the new Gossip Girl? If so, let’s hope this show can set up a more interesting and plausible answer.
7. What about future seasons of Bridgerton?
Is it wrong that even before the first season airs, I’m wondering about future seasons of the show? We know the show has already been renewed for a second season—but there are eight Bridgerton children. Will there be eight seasons? Or perhaps even more, considering Julia Quinn’s spinoff series. I’m already feeling curious about what will come next.