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Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers for Season 1 of Bridgerton.
Shonda Rhimes is bringing sexy back. Back in time. Her new cult hit, Bridgerton, became Netflix’s number one streamed series, and has been watched by almost 82 million households. But let’s get right down to the important stuff: Sex. Outlander may have set the bar for period-drama sex scenes, but Bridgerton is a student with great potential, especially in its first season.
Shonda, of course, isn’t new to this. She’s conquered most time periods and love scenes in many genres. With Scandal, it was sex with a side of politics, and Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, and Scott Foley ruled the roost. With Grey’s Anatomy, it was a hospital, and every single doctor had sex in a closet or elevator, and if you didn’t, were you even on Grey’s Anatomy?
Bridgerton has it all. Good music, angst, sex, dancing — plus Julie Andrews! Yes. The Julie Andrews — Maria Von Freaking Trapp from The Sound of Music — is the voice of Lady Whistledown. She’s The Sound of Bridgerton! Picture me spinning through a field like Maria when I realized this… in episode 4.
But back to the sex. There’s a guy named Simon, who’s a Duke. A single duke. There’s a girl named Daphne, who’s single too. Simon thinks all the girls want him, and he’s right. But not Daphne, in fact, she actively dislikes him when they first meet. But things happen. Simon comes up with a plan. They will “pretend to form an attachment,” which will make him “unavailable” and her “desirable.” Win. Win. Oh, Simon. Nothing more interesting than seeing two people who are in love not realize it. And then realize it. So get ready to get your Dickinson on! Or rather your Dukerson on…
A version of this story was published in 2021.