Bridgerton: The Good, The Bad & The Sexy

Olivia Bachar

Daphne and Simon dance at a ball. 
Photo: Getty Images

Warning: spoilers in the article ahead. 

Before we begin, if you have not already seen Bridgerton, go watch it, then come back. Now, Bridgerton: The Good, The Bad & The Sexy. All three glorious adjectives describe this Regency era romance novel series turned Netflix show. 

The show focuses on Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), who is crowned the “jewel” of the courting season by Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuva). But after this Daphne has a rough start. Her brother Anthony (Benjamin Bailey) rejects all of her suitors, leaving her with less desirable options.

Then comes the Duke of Hastings, Simon (Regé-Jean Page), an incredibly handsome duke and eligible bachelor. But with the secret of having vowed to never marry or have children. Daphne and Simon devise a plan to pretend-court one another, in an attempt to make the other suitors jealous and to ward off the nosy mothers of the other ladies. This agreement brings about plenty of sexual tension.

At the same time, newcomer Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker) arrives for the season. She is a distant cousin of the Featheringtons, another high class family searching for suitors. Marina is seen as competition to Daphne by society, but there is only one problem: she is with child. Marina attempts to find a husband while hiding her shameful secret.

In the background of the courting season is Lady Whistledown, a mysterious narrator and gossip writer. Her identity is unknown, but best friends Eloise Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington (Claudia Jessie and Nicola Coughlon) are on the case. 

Daphne Brigderton and her mother in their carriage. 
Photo: La Scimmia Pensa

Now, onto some of the best parts of Bridgerton.

One of the best parts of the show is the diversity of the cast. Rarely are people of color shown as royalties in historical dramas, such as Pride and Prejudice or Emma. However, in Bridgerton, people of color play roles like the Duke of Hastings and Queen Charlotte.

Both people of color and white people together are shown in all social classes, on the lower and higher ends of the spectrum. Race and social class are not even mentioned until episode 4 of the show. In the episode, it is discussed how people of color began to join higher social ranks when Queen Charlotte married King George.

The show also includes an incredibly curated soundtrack. The soundtrack takes modern hits, such as “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande and “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift, and twists them into classical instrumental masterpieces. That is absolutely not to say such songs were not already masterpieces, but the instrumental versions by the Vitamin String Quartet are truly phenomenal.

Even with such a diverse cast and a wonderful soundtrack, Bridgerton does have its pitfalls. The worst of all is an act that happens between Daphne and the Duke. After Daphne and Simon marry, she discovers his vow to his father to not have an heir and how he lied to her about his inability to conceive children.

Instead of confronting her husband, Daphne hatches a plan to be impregnated. When the two typically have sex, the Duke utilizes the pull-out method at the end. This time however, Daphne flips the script and sits on top of the Duke, forcing him to stay as he finishes. It is a non-consensual ejaculation that Daphne purposely orchestrated.

Later on, after several proclamations of their love, the Duke and Duchess decide to reconcile, and even have a child. A happy ending for the pair is still not a justification for Daphne’s actions, but I digress.

Finally, onto the sexual nature of the series. Steamy sex scenes are plentiful and graphic. Many are in episode 6, the honeymoon between the Duke and Daphne. The show portrays them  all over their estate; in the bedroom, the garden, the gazebo, and they definitely were not reading in the library.

They are not the only ones getting busy. Daphne’s brother Anthony has a lover- opera singer Sienna (Sabrina Bartlett), seen in episode 1 together against a tree. Bridgerton brother Benedict (Luke Thompson) also begins an illustrious affair with french seamstress Madame Delacroix (Kathryn Drysdale).

I recommend Bridgerton to everyone looking for a solidly sensual and bingeable show. The show both has a solid storyline and cast, although it has its pitfalls within its plot, it is still an enjoyable show. Out of 5 stars, I award Bridgerton 4.35 stars.