Television: Bridgerton 1-4

Mpepper/ February 16, 2021/ Reviews

So I’m halfway through this series or season or whatever (I feel like the usual ways to describe television no longer have meaning) when I realize this is the book—that is, the first book in this series—I was “warned” about from various sources.

Okay, that was really convoluted, so let me try again. I didn’t realize “Bridgerton” was the name of the series, not the book. The first book in this series is, I believe, The Duke & I. And that book had been flagged [by a few readers whose opinions I respect] for some… questionable content. I haven’t read the book(s), so I can’t speak from personal experience. But I’m curious to see if the show does what I’ve heard the book does. If that makes sense. It hasn’t happened yet, and I understand there are definitely some changes between the source material and the visual adaptation (*ahem* racial commentary *ahem*), so… Maybe some of the other stuff got changed, too?

I don’t hate the series. It’s more like I enjoy it despite my better judgement. And I don’t enjoy all of it, but then again, there are so many characters and plot lines that one can’t really be expected to like them all. More like throwing a ton of stuff at a viewer and hoping some of it grabs their attention. And whether that attention is positive or negative, the show doesn’t care. It only wants eyeballs. Hate watching is still watching, and ratings are ratings.

I’m not going to try to describe the goings on of this show. There’s just too much. If you like Jane Austen but wish that stuff were somehow made more contemporary… I guess…? String quartets at Regency balls playing modern songs, for example. Regency-era clothing but with glitter! (When they wear clothes at all. Lotta naked women is all I’m saying.) Gossip Girl for the Georgette Heyer/Marion Chesney set.

My overall feeling is that it’s mostly soapy rubbish, but it’s entertaining, so where’s the harm? Well… if what I’m told happens in the book also happens in the show, there may be harm… And I’m not really positioned to discuss the racial elements, but I’m sure there are others with insight about that who have blogged and/or vlogged. I’m curious to see what they say, but I’m waiting until I finish watching before I go looking for additional info.

I have such mixed feelings about this series that I’m barely coherent. Let’s just say that: 1. I will finish this season and see what happens, and 2. I won’t read the books. Whether I watch subsequent seasons will depend on how things are handled in this one.

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