Netflix has released the full, nearly three-minute trailer for their upcoming period drama Bridgerton, and dear readers, I would be lying to you if I didn't say that this looks like precisely the lush, romantic escape we all need to close out this horrible year.
The lavish, soapy period drama is based on author Julia Quinn's bestselling book series of the same name, and it's the first new show to come to us out of Scandal and Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes' massive deal with Netflix.
The cast is both massive and utterly stacked with talent, and the show's race-blind casting philosophy means that this series is generally much more diverse than many period dramas set in a similar time frame. Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page star as eldest Brigerton daughter Daphne and Simon, the handsome and unattainable Duke of Hastings, but the ensemble includes a ton of faces who will be very familiar to British TV fans.
These include Broadchurch's Jonathan Bailey, Dunkirk's Luke Thompson, Derry Girls' Nicola Coughlan, Vanity Fair's Claudia Jessie, Poldark's Ruby Stokes, Cursed's Florence Hunt, Home Fires 'Ruth Gemmell, Silent Witness' Adjoa Andoh, Beecham House's Bessie Carter, Death in Paradise's Ben Miller, Age Before Beauty's Polly Walker, and more. (Whew!!)
The trailer is narrated by "Lady Whistledown", a sort of Regency-era Gossip Girl who publishes a printed scandal sheet with all the latest dirt on the high society members in town, and features Daphne's long-awaited debut. It also introduces several of the series' major players - the story has a fairly large and interconnected cast - and highlights some of the, er...steamier elements we'll see on screen. (Downton Abbey, this is....not. Shirtlessness! Fist fights! People literally being swept off their feet by hunky men!) You truly love to see it.
The trailer lays out the key elements of the series' plot - Daphne, seeking to marry well and fend off critiques from Lady Whistledown that she is basically ineligible as a prospect, strikes a deal with the handsome, rakish Simon, who doesn't wish to marry at all. He'll escort her to events, thereby raising her status in the eyes of other potential suitors, and she'll provide cover for him against the army of well-intentioned mothers trying to throw their daughters at him.
If you've ever read a romance novel or watched a romantic comedy, you can already guess exactly where this story is going, but that foreknowledge in no way depresses the flutter of excitement you'll feel at the prospect of watching this perfectly done fake relationship trope play out onscreen. Sometimes, romantic fluff is precisely what the times call for.
Bridgerton will hit Netflix on December 25. Will you be giving it a look?