The Bridgertons Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Bridgerton / The Bridgertons

Genre Romantic costume drama
Creator Chris Van Dusen
Cast Phoebe Dinevor (Daphne Bridgerton), Reggie Jean Page (Simon Bassett, Duke of Hastings), Ajoa Ando (Lady Danbury), Jonathan Bailey (Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton), Ruth Gemmell (Violet, Dowager Viscount Bridgerton), Ruby Barker ( Marina Thompson), Sabrina Bartlett (Siena Rosso), Harriet Keynes (Philippa Fetherington), Claudia Jessie (Eloise Bridgerton), Golda Rochevel (Queen Charlotte) and others.
Netflix channel
Release year 2020
Series 8
Site IMDb

The Bridgerton series is based on a series of pseudo-historical women’s novels of the same name by Julia Quinn, so don’t look for historical accuracy in it. However, the social background, traditions and rules of behavior in the high English society of the Regency period are described in it quite accurately, thanks to the primary sources in the form of Jane Austen novels, on which the author undoubtedly relied. The events of the series itself, unlike the books, take place in an alternate reality, and the appearance of a large number of aristocrats with African roots is even explained by a certain point of divergence in the past. By the way, this is not a fictional story at all – the discussion of the African roots of Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III and the grandmother of Queen Victoria, has been going on in near-historical circles for some time. The fact is that one of Charlotte’s ancestors, the Spanish aristocrat Margarita de Castro i Sousa, had a mixed origin, the roots of which stretch back to the 13th century, to King Afonso III of Portugal and his mistress, Madragana Ben Aloandro. Madragana was a Muslim and had dark skin, characteristic of some tribes, which the Europeans collectively called the Moors. Recall that the ancestor of A.S. Pushkin, Abram Petrovich Hannibal, who was born either in Cameroon or in Ethiopia, was also considered a Moor.

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However, this formal explanation, in my opinion, is even superfluous. Without it, Bridgerton, which already has some theatricality, looks quite organic, and the participation of black actors looks like another stage device, similar to that used in the musical Hamilton, where all the Founding Fathers of the United States are played by black actors, and from the stage rap sounds. By the way, if you like musicals and for some reason missed Hamilton, we highly recommend watching it, especially since the film version of the play was released in the summer of 2020 on Disney+.

But back to Bridgerton. The year is 1813, and the main task of all mothers is to bring their eldest daughters into the light and, during the season, find them a profitable match. Marriage is the ultimate dream for most girls of that time, the only way to guarantee yourself, and often your relatives, a secure future. By and large, girls of aristocratic families were prepared for marriage from birth, and all they could dream of was to marry for love, which actually happened very infrequently.

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Violet, Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton, mother of four sons and four daughters, is preparing to introduce her eldest daughter, Daphne. Daphne, like all girls of that time, desperately wants to get married, but a series of events leads to the fact that she is forced to make a deal with an enviable bachelor Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, who should help her attract rich suitors, but at the same time wants to avoid the attention of others girls for marriage. The fact is that the young duke swore on the deathbed of his father, whom he sincerely hated, never to marry and not have heirs, thereby destroying the Hastings family. Considering that we have a series based on a female novel, you can roughly imagine where this union will lead.

Overall, Bridgerton is a traditional romance story about two people who initially push each other away, but eventually find they can’t live apart. However, the conventions and rules of life of the early 19th century superimposed on top of a simple story make it very interesting to watch. Yes, most of the scenes shown in the series are a kind of compilation on the theme of the works of Jane Austen, but the authors added modern narratives to the series.

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So, in Bridgerton there are some, adjusted for the historical period, elements of Sex Education. Actually, Daphne Bridgerton’s complete unpreparedness for the sexual aspects of family life leads to misunderstanding and her quarrel with her beloved. Her mother is to blame for this, who literally did not say anything to the young girl about what awaits her in marriage. This is a typical position of the time, when men, including those who were required to visit brothels before marriage, were much more knowledgeable about sex. As a result, everything will end in the series, of course, well, but if you remember that in many religious countries, and this is not only about Islamic states, the sexual education of girls remained at the level of the beginning of the 19th century, the topic is still relevant. Yes, actually the erotic scenes in the series turned out very well.

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The second theme is, despite the abundance of actors of Asian and African origin in the series, it is not at all a struggle for equality, but an emphasis on the fact that differences in skin color are much less significant than differences in social status, upbringing, education, etc. If you raise a child in a certain society from childhood, he will acquire habits, manner, point of view on the world of this particular society. The differences between aristocrats and merchants, or between city and country dwellers, are actually much greater than between people of different skin colors who have received the same education. With a certain upbringing, skin color does not matter at all, you simply do not notice it, just as they did not notice it in Ancient Greece and Rome.

The third conditionally modern theme is feminism. Some women in Bridgerton do not want to endure the dictates of men, but are ready to make their own decisions about their lives. Recall that at that time women had practically no rights, all decisions were made for them by the eldest man in the family, who might not even be their direct relative. Yes, this topic, one way or another slipping through the images of many women in the series, is an anachronism, although some women, including the same Jane Austen, began to talk about it at the beginning of the 19th century.

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If we talk about anachronisms, then there are plenty of them in the series, take at least the same costumes and dances. Let me remind you once again that this is not about a historical work, but about a romantic story in conventional, and even alternative, historical scenery.

By the way, about the scenery. The work of costume designers and set designers at Bridgerton deserves the highest praise. The costumes, despite some pretentiousness and interspersed with modern motifs, turned out to be very bright, and the scenery – grandiose. And although London was filmed here mainly in Bath, it all looks really cool, although a little theatrical. However, this applies to many films and series about the Regency era. In terms of color saturation of the picture, bright dresses and design, Bridgerton approaches the same Emma. / “Emma” – as for me, it’s even very good.

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Bridgerton is a romance story first and foremost, and it’s worth watching with the person you have romantic feelings for. This is a beautiful, kind and somewhat instructive tale just right for the Christmas holidays.

PS Julia Quinn has written nine books about the Bridgertons, each dedicated to a different member of this aristocratic family. If the creators of the series stick to the chronology of writing, then the next part of Bridgerton will tell about the older brother of the heroine of the first season – Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton. And there’s no doubt that a second season will follow, Netlix has signed a multi-year contract with Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal) and her production company ShondaLand.

Conclusion:

A beautiful costumed romantic series worth watching only with your significant other

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