Bridgerton: Diamond of the First Water
December 25, 2020 5:55 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

 
I wasn't sure if I should just plow through the binge and post a full-season thread for this show, since it's only 8 episodes, but I figured it would be good to have an episode 1 thread first for general impressions without spoilers about the true identity of Lady Whistledown or other subplots from later in the show.

I've never read any Julia Quinn, though I've enjoyed plenty of other Regency-setting romance novels. So far, I'm liking this. The costumes are gorgeous - probably lots of anachronisms, but, very pretty. The diversity in casting is also a thing of beauty.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:16 PM on December 25, 2020 [3 favorites]


I'm a few episodes in and learned, not by watching the show, that there is not one, not two, but three older brothers all of whom I merged in my head into one. If you are bad at faces, beware. (I am having fun with the show nevertheless)
posted by jeather at 7:53 PM on December 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


The diversity, is that new for the genre? The Spanish Princess and The Great had diverse casts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:34 PM on December 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


They’re alphabetically named which is very helpful. I’m in the fourth episode and there’s been a throwaway line about racial relations that suggests the diversity as an alt-history.

This is the most delightful Boxing Day binge and definitely shot with the female gaze for some scenes.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 11:50 PM on December 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


Yup I totally just binge watched the entire thing. Echo the female gaze. And female written/directed sex scenes for sure.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:32 AM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


jeather and anyone else finding the Bridgerton brother's visually interchangeable - here's Vulture's Who’s Who in Bridgerton: A Books-to-Series Character Guide which has headshots of the cast.

The diversity, is that new for the genre? The Spanish Princess and The Great had diverse casts.

Spanish Princess & The Great aren't Regency romances though, which have traditionally been extremely white. It's only in recent years that there's been more Regency-set stories that focused on characters of color - like Courtney Milan's series. In film/television though, not so much, and not to such an alt-history extent.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:49 AM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


It isn't that I can't tell them apart, though of course I absolutely cannot, it is that I didn't even realise there were more than one who needed to be told apart. I am trying to consider if I need to rewatch the first few episodes or just assume I will catch up in context.
posted by jeather at 5:57 AM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


If it's any consolation, I've read the whole series and I got lots of the characters confused in the books, even with the helpful alphabetical names! Haven't started yet but will give this a go. Is there a Smith/Smythe musicale?
posted by mochapickle at 9:40 AM on December 26, 2020


My friend Hilary is a Regency costuming expert (as well as the genius behind the @BillandTedTest Twitter account), which meant that I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes at the Half-Up Hair. I didn’t mind the costume anachronisms so much, but Daphne running around with a little girl’s long hair (and no bonnets to be seen!) was just ridiculous. That said, I still let out a “Phwooooaaaar” when the Duke strolled in. 😆
posted by web-goddess at 12:38 PM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


Ok, season 1 thread posted now.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:19 PM on December 26, 2020


I also had trouble telling the brothers apart.

I'll chime in on the full thread once I'm done but this is frothy fun. Lots of pretty people wearing lots of pretty costumes. It's not perfect, no, but it's entertaining. I'm on episode 5 now and I imagine I'll just finish it tonight.

I was having some post-Christmas sads and this was a lovely antidote.
posted by edencosmic at 1:39 PM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


In the books, one of the characteristics of the Bridgertons were how much they all looked alike so the show is actually being book accurate in that regard. I have trouble with faces too and I've managed to distinguish Anthony from his two adult brothers by his sideburns. His are really prominent. I haven't figured out how to distinguish Colin from Benedict yet.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 3:57 PM on December 26, 2020


Colin’s hair is more 2 distinct parted poufs and Benedict’s hair is more messy.
posted by jeoc at 7:59 PM on December 26, 2020


Anthony is Sam from Phoebe Waller-Bridges's "Crashing"! Once you realize that, it's easier to tell the brothers apart. :-)
posted by torticat at 7:39 PM on December 27, 2020


The diversity, is that new for the genre? The Spanish Princess and The Great had diverse casts.

I don't know if the diversity comes from Julia Quinn's books or from the series itself - but it seems like a very positive trend. If you start with today's London and project back into an alt-history then why on earth could you not assume such diversity back then? See also His Dark Materials.

Likewise for the diegetic deployment of "Girls Like You" (to be heard shortly at a wedding near you, I suspect).
posted by rongorongo at 11:59 PM on December 27, 2020


(Fans of credits should check out the show's listing of maybe 15 different large teams assigned to dubbing the key characters into various languages. A reminder of Netflix's huge, global, instantaneous audience is for a show like this - plenty of cash to pay for frocks and garden parties, I suspect).
posted by rongorongo at 12:57 AM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


I don't know if the diversity comes from Julia Quinn's books or from the series itself - but it seems like a very positive trend.

It's not from the books, it's to Shondaland's credit - The Wrap: ‘Bridgerton’ Switched Book Characters’ Races for Series – Just Don’t Call the Casting ‘Color Blind’
posted by oh yeah! at 3:40 AM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


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