When Shonda Rhimes officially left ABC Studios in 2017, the showrunner and super producer signed a major deal with Netflix that would allow her to create a slate of original programming for the streaming giant. The first of those new shows to hit Netflix is Bridgerton, a period drama that explores 19th century British society. But don’t get it confused — the men and women of the Regency Era were just as messy as they come.
Based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling historical romance series The Bridgertons, the latest offering from Rhimes follows the drama that unfolds in British high society, the influential Bridgerton family at the centre of it. In the upcoming season of the show, the siblings and their friends try to navigate life according to the strict social protocol of the times. For the young ladies, that means working towards making their debut as eligible bachelorettes, and and for the men, it's doing whatever they want (as the patriarchy would have it, society doesn't restrict them that much).
However, the day-to-day affairs of the close-knit community are thrown into a tailspin when a series of newsletters are anonymously published by a writer only known as Lady Whistledown. Somehow, the mystery writer knows everyone's secrets, and she's not hesitating to spill the tea in her papers. Combine that with the watchful eye of the Queen and the chaos of the civilians' lives, and we've got loads of juicy drama to look forward to.
The cast of Bridgerton is made up of mostly newer faces, but there are also some people in the Netflix original that you may recognise. Regé Page-Jean, who plays the sexy Duke of Hastings, is a staple in Shondaland canon; he famously starred in the now-cancelled law drama For the People. Film icon Julie Andrews also stars in the series as the voice of Lady Whistle. She and Page-Jean are joined by Jonathan Bailey, Nicola Coughlan, Claudia Jessie, Ruby Barker, Adjoa Andoh, Golda Rosheuvel, and more.
Bridgerton is only the first of many original projects in the Shondaland pipeline at Netflix. Rhimes is still developing a number of shows, including a series based on New York scammer Anna Delvey and another about Black flight in the early 1900s. From the looks of it, Rhimes is off to a great start at her new home — and Shondalanda stans may have a new series by their fave to obsess over, especially if Grey's Anatomy comes to an end after all. Perfect timing, Shonda.
Bridgerton will be available for streaming on December 25, only on Netflix.