4 Shows to Watch to Fill That “Bridgerton” Void
Let’s all be honest with ourselves: By now, you’ve flown through Netflix’s Regency-era romance series “Bridgerton” — maybe more than once. To be fair, escaping into all the romance and scandal and elaborate parties and yes, the steamy sex scenes, feels good right about now. But if you’re looking to take a respite from the drama of the well-to-do Bridgerton family as they enter into the fray of high society London’s marriage market in 1813 — made infinitely more dramatic by the arrival of an anonymous scandal sheet writer who goes by the name Lady Whistledown — there are lots of other series with similarities to “Bridgerton” that might be worth adding to your watch list. Here are four:
The Starz time-travelling historical romance “Outlander” isn’t a pastel-colored romp like “Bridgerton” — these characters suffer a lot of harrowing trauma throughout the series, which concluded its fifth season in May, and has already been renewed for a sixth. However, the story of World War II nurse Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) who travels through some mysterious stones in 1946 and winds up in 1743 Scotland amongst the Highland clans where she meets the love of her life, Jamie (Sam Heughan), is sweepingly romantic and full of those steamy sex scenes you might be craving post-“Bridgerton”. If you’re on the hunt for more chemistry like Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and the Duke’s (Regé-Jean Page), you should get familiar with Claire and Jamie.
Streaming on Starz and Netflix
“Bridgerton”’s gossip queen Lady Whistledown knows everything about what’s going on amongst the lords and ladies of the ton and isn’t afraid to name names. She wreaks havoc on high society and sorry, not sorry, it is a delight to watch. If all of this sounds vaguely familiar, you may have heard about another anonymous writer thriving on scandal, the actual Gossip Girl, who tortured the teens and young adult’s of Manhattan’s upper east side for six seasons on the CW from 2007 to 2012. And although “Gossip Girl” takes place in a much different era than Bridgerton, there’s still an abundance of wild parties, hot hook-ups and capital-D Drama. You might as well catch up on the original series now — a sequel series is set to debut on HBO Max later this year. So! Much! Scandal!
Streaming on HBO Max
A note about “Reign” before diving in: It is bonkers. If you’re looking for a historically accurate retelling of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots as she navigates her doomed marriage to Prince Francis of France and her bitter rivalry with Queen Elizabeth I, this is not the show for you. However, if you’re looking for something soapy and insane with elaborate costumes and are cool with Druid stuff, secret love children living in the castle walls, and death by window sex, among much, much more, then by all means, you should head straight into the world of “Reign”. It aired on the CW for four seasons, so expect lots of good-looking people falling in and out of love and getting into trouble.
Streaming on Netflix
If you loved that “Bridgerton” was a period piece with a modern spin, you should try Apple TV+’s “Dickinson“, which takes that idea even further. The series, which premiered its second season in early January, stars Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld as the reclusive American poet Emily Dickinson as she writes (and writes and writes) in her family home in Amherst, Massachusetts in the 1850s and harbors a deep love for her sister-in-law, Sue (Ella Hunt). It’s weird and wild and mixes present-day sensibilities and slang — in season two, influencers are a thing! — with its historical setting. Like “Bridgerton”, “Dickinson” adds a distinctive tone and voice to the world of period piece television.
Streaming on Apple TV+