Since it landed on Netflix on Christmas Day 2020, Bridgerton has taken over our TV screens, conversations, even our shopping habits. Following the high society families of Regency-era London during debutante season, centre-stage is Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hasting’s encapsulating love affair.
From the casting to the costumes and the sets, the show holds several layers of beauty, significance and authenticity – in fact, the (actual) Queen put a spanner in the works when she wanted use of one of the filming locations, Lancaster House, during filming.
Full of romance, scandals, secrets and an anonymous tell-all gossip newsletter writer who goes by the name of Lady Whistledown, the bingeable 8-part series is over all too soon, leaving a Bridgerton-shaped hole in all our lives. If that’s you, we’ve found 6 other TV series that will keep you entertained until season 2 arrives.
A new three-part mini series about Anne Boleyn is coming to Channel 5 soon, with Jodie Turner-Smith starring as the titular character. It’s thought that the series will depict the royal’s final months in a feminist light as she navigates Tudor England, her horrific husband Henry VIII and securing a future for her daughter (who becomes Queen Elizabeth I). Described as a thriller, this sounds exactly like the kind of new-wave period drama we were looking for.
Watch Anne Boleyn on Channel 5 later this month.
Starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, this riotous comedy drama is very loosely based on the rise of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia (seriously, even the opening title sequence bears the disclaimer ‘only an occasionally true story’). However, don’t let that put you off this stylish period drama with a modern soundtrack (just like Bridgerton), anachronistic language and jokes at her oafish husband Emperor Peter III’s expense aplenty.
Watch The Great on All 4.
Bridgerton has been described as a 19th Century Gossip Girl plenty of times, and it’s obvious why. While one focusses on the high society goings-on of Regency-era London and the other the 21st Century Upper East Side elite of New York, both shows feature an anonymous gossiping narrator whose sole purpose is to spill the secrets and scandalous truths of the upper class.
Watch Gossip Girl on Amazon Prime.
A reimagining of the life of American poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld), if it was those small moments of modern juxtaposition that you enjoyed most about Bridgerton, you’ll enjoy this. Also set in the 1800’s, contemporary dialogue, music and dancing (yep, there’s twerking in there) balance out the period costumes, sets and storyline.
Watch Dickinson on Apple TV.
If it’s 1800s-set TV that you just can’t get enough of, Harlots will satiate that desire. Rather than focussing on the upper classes, Harlots explores the lives at the other end of the societal spectrum, by following the story of two warring brothels and their resident ‘ladies of the night’.
Watch Harlots on BBC iPlayer.
Just as the Featherington family display in Bridgerton, social climbing was an art form and a full time job in the 19th Century, something depicted just as well in ITV’s Vanity Fair, which follows Becky Sharp as she elbows her way up and out of poverty to the heady heights of high society.
Watch Vanity Fair on Amazon Prime.