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The Antelope

Is Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’ really worth the hype?

NETFLIX This series focuses on the story of eight sibling’s search for love.

All is not well in love and war.

The Netflix original Bridgerton thrusts viewers into the London “season,” in which eligible daughters promenade with their eager mamas for suitors. My thirst for drama intensified as soon as I heard Julie Andrews’s silver voice as the mysterious columnist, Lady Whistledown. However, both the stakes and my expectations fell as the show progressed.

Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) enters the London season with the queen’s favor and the city’s bachelors at her doorstep. The only obstacle between her and marriage is an overprotective brother driving off suitors until she is seen as undesirable. Out of desperation, Daphne makes a deal with the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) to pretend to court. It’s the perfect ruse: Daphne wants to elevate her status, and the duke wishes to appear perpetually ineligible.

What could go wrong? Apparently a lot.

Comparing dating in 1813 to dating in 2021 was interesting, but the show reminds me of a British version of “Gossip Girl.” The producers even incorporated classical renditions of modern hits in the earlier episodes. I found the music refreshing, but the instrumental versions of Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish’s songs soon died out.

A majority of the plot revolves around the purity of unmarried women. Even the affections of a prince couldn’t stop Daphne and the duke from marrying, which was obvious from the onset. Personally, I would have chosen the prince.

Despite a swift marriage, Daphne and the duke realize their feelings for each other and live happily ever after. It could have ended there instead of in the slew of bedroom scenes that followed.

And now for the favorable review.

Even though Bridgerton deserves two out of five Lopers, I appreciate it acknowledging the reality that marriage is no easy feat.

Perhaps Bridgerton would never have gained as much popularity if it was entirely true to the history books. I commend Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) for her grace under pressure as her children’s lives fall apart.

Dynevor’s acting was phenomenal, and it compelled viewers to relate to the ache of “burning for someone.” Independent, shunned and complacent woman are all represented in the complex dating scheme. The difference is we navigate our scene in sweatpants and cardigans while Bridgerton’s women promenaded in petticoats and painful corsets.

I would never watch Bridgerton again, though there is room for a second season. It concerns me how many high school girls are watching it. When the credits rolled, I found myself asking if love is worth the war. Daphne sums up my Bridgerton review with a single line, “Just because something is not perfect, does not make it any less worthy of love.”

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