Shonda Rhimes’ Regency era series has captured the hearts of millions of viewers. After setting a record for views on streaming service Netflix since its premiere, the show has finally returned with a second season. If you’ve already devoted an evening to a new chapter in the life of a powerful family and can’t wait for the sequel, it’s time to check out our list of recommendations. We’ve rounded up projects that capture the spirit of the Bridgertons: a mix of scandal, impeccable outfits and sublime sentiment. Here are top-6 series like Bridgerton.
Sanditon (TV series, 2019-…)
- 2 seasons, drama, melodrama
- Directed by: Charles Sturridge, Oliver Blackburn, Lisa Clarke, Etoshea Hilton
- Starring Crystal Clarke, Rose Williams, Chris Marshall, Kate Ashfield, Anne Reid
Based on Jane Austen’s last unfinished novel, the costume drama follows Charlotte (Rose Williams) as the girl moves to the small seaside village of Sanditon. Here, in true Austen style, she is destined to encounter Sidney (Theo James), a proud and cold young man. The British series has plenty of details to entice Bridgerton fans, from the dramatic twists and turns to Theo James’ wistful gaze. It’s a curious fact that after the launch of Shonda Rhimes’ project, Sandyton enjoyed a surge in popularity, which helped the series stay afloat.
Harlots (series, 2017-2019)
- 3 seasons, drama
- Directed by Koki Gidroich, Jill Robertson, Chyna Mu-Yen, Philippa Langdale, Robin Sheppard
- Starring Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville, Jessica Brown-Findlay, Elouise Smith, Liv Tyler.
If you’re looking for something less light-hearted but no less colourful than The Bridgertons, you should devote a few hours to The Courtesans. The series revolves around a woman named Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), a brothel owner and mother of two daughters. The heroine decides to move the business to a respectable area of London in the hope of attracting privileged customers. Margaret’s ambitions clash with the high-end brothel of rival Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville), who is used to dealing with the wealthy class. Apart from the abundance of scandal and intense rivalry, the racy drama is valuable in exposing eighteenth-century London mores not through the aristocracy but through the normalisation of sex work.
The Pursuit of Love (series, 2021-2021)
- Season 1 drama
- Directed by: Emily Mortimer
- Starring Emily Beecham, Beatty Edmondson, Lily James, Emily Mortimer, Andrew Scott
In the three-part mini-series, Lily James and Emily Beecham play cousins and best friends who grow up together between the world wars. Fate takes them to different places, both territorially and socially, but the unlikeable girls keep in close touch year after year. The action takes place about a hundred years after the events of The Bridgertons, which in no way prevents the two projects from finding common ground. It’s still good old England, the same aristocrats, the same deliberate sensuality. However, instead of passionate and ardent love, awkward crushes prevail here, and romance is completely overridden by pure friendship and sisterhood.
La cocinera de Castamar (TV series, 2021-2021)
- season 1, drama
- Directed by Iñaki Peñafiel, Norberto López Amado
- Starring Michel Jenner, Roberto Enriquez, Hugo Silva, Maxi Iglesias, Maria Hervas
Although the American series is set in 1813 London and the Spanish show is set in 18th century Madrid, you’ll find many similarities between the Netflix projects. At the very least, huge wigs and extravagant dresses are back in front of us. In The Cook of Castamar, the story begins with the daughter (Michelle Henner) of a famous doctor who is left with nothing after her father dies. The only thing the girl knows how to do is cook gourmet food. This brings her to Castamar Castle, where lust and secret passions are the favourite pastimes of its rich inhabitants, and the secrets from which the drama is woven are everyday life.
The Great (series, 2020-…)
- 2 seasons, biographical, drama, historical, comedy
- Directed by: Colin Baxey, Bert, Bertie, Ben Cessel, Gita Patel
- Starring Elle Fanning, Nicholas Holt, Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee
Written by screenwriter Tony McNamara, the series shows that historical events can be looked at from a different angle and presented in a witty way. Elle Fanning, as the future Catherine II, travels to Russia to marry Peter III (Nicholas Holt). Initially the young lady’s intentions are entirely innocuous, but the longer she stays in the harsh country, the more she realises that order must be restored here and… she must kill her husband as quickly as possible. The Hulu project may lack the sweetness of the Bridgertons, but that doesn’t stop it from injecting some romance at just the right moment, while still being painfully funny.
The Gilded Age (TV series, 2022-…)
- season 1, drama
- Directed by Michael Engler, Sally Richardson-Whitfield
- Starring Cynthia Nixon, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Taissa Farmiga, Kristin Baranski, Donna Murphy.
The end of XIX century in America is not called the “golden age” for nothing. It was during these years that economic growth allowed the country to make huge strides and ordinary people with pennies in their pockets to make their way into a privileged society. The series revolves around the daughter of a broke general, Marian Brooke (Louise Jacobson). The young lady moves in with her aunts and enters the high society of New York. The HBO project, released after the premiere of The Bridgertons, was doomed to be compared to the Netflix brainchild. The two historical epics do have a lot in common, from the intertwining of numerous plot arcs to the perennial conflict between the two generations. In this case, however, not only are the lives of the individual characters unfolding in beautiful interiors, but also a portrait of the cultural centre of the time is being constructed piece by piece.