Bridgerton was almost perfect. Almost. Almost. Almost. Having been a reader of Historical Romance since I was 12;
cutting my teeth on, Fires of Winter by Johanna Lindsey at a church retreat to Mt. Cheah then being an author of of HR with my Harem Diaries Series I have a unique perspective to share.
𝐀 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝: I like to divide Historical Romance into the BEFORE TIMES and the WOKE TIMES of all romance. The greatest sea change in romance that was HUGE push to include all people in romance has been fairly recent 2016 — when publishers, gatekeepers and writers are actively seeking to change this industry. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭.
I think they did a really good job.
People have said they didn’t understand the way the show explained how Black people could be in the aristocracy in 1811 and they felt explanation was too pat. I feel like the explanation was PERFECT and explained by Lady Danbury and the previous Duke well. Before his illness the king fell in LOVE with the QUEEN who was in real life actually of African descent gave his Black citizens who were “EXCEPTIONAL” (the duke’s words) lands, properties and tittles. It was RIGHT THERE IN THE SHOW. Before seeing the show I was like maybe they didn’t really explain it well or whatever but now I know what the issue is, some people just didn’t like that explanation that a man (the king) FELL IN LOVE with a (BLACK) woman and sought do to ANYTHING to make her happy. Well, idk what world y’all lve in but #HimDownStairs does that everyday and I know God’s favor ain’t fair and I’m spoiled but carry on. And if Outlander can have time travel Bridgerton can have Black aristocrats. Dr. Vanessa Riley is more of an expert of this subject and has done extensive research on this issue so follow her for more info. It is also fiction we can do what we want in the creative world. Change starts first in the arts and we bring people along.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 was that Miss Thompson played by the incomparable Ruby Barker was made to be an unwed mother and didn’t get an HEA. It was a great side story but we must have all women regardless of race have an HEA and Miss Thomson commits suicide in the books so that is a NOPE. We will not have WOC trauma and White Woman HEAs ruling the day in the WOKE TIMES of ROMANCE. Nopity. Nope. Nope. I also didn’t like that Will played by talented and gorgeous Martins Imhangbe, compromised his honor & threw the fight. His reasoning was clear and he was not the HERO but I still did not like that was placed on the Black man. Why? Because Black men are disparaged in the media, film etc. Yes, the other men did dishonorable things — mistresses, orgies etc but there were only two Black men in the show and most of the white men had wealth.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 & 𝐬𝐞𝐱 was sublime with the exception of that one scene. I have read a lot of books and the Duke & I was a BEFORE TIMES book. I think the BOOK and the series have been conflated and in the BOOK the sex for that scene was completely NON-CONSENTUAL from start to finish. In the show she stole his seed by not getting off him. Which to me was a dastardly act regardless of her excuses. THIS IS THE DARK MOMENT. I think she comes to realize this and her hypocrisy when confronted with Colin and Miss Thompson’s situation. Little Miss Perfect realizing she’s not is growth we like to see in romance.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 all the little things. The touches, glances, settings and tidbits that Historical Romance readers have longed to see on the screen. They knocked it out the park. LOVED it. The chemistry was great between the actors and no one was perfect. The story had a great arc. My favorite part being the parent of exceptional children was when Landy Danbury said, “You can speak.” because I have said those very words and when Lady Bridgerton spoke of her marriage and love because that has been my experience of what love is — we choose to love each other everyday.
I look forward to next season.🥰