If you've already blitzed your way through the second season of Bridgerton and are now feeling a touch bereft, we're here to help you out.
Netflix (opens in new tab)'s giant regency drama is already booked for a further two seasons (opens in new tab), but with the second season only a few weeks old, you'll be waiting a while until the third instalment arrives.
Bridgerton (opens in new tab)arrived on Netflix in 2020 to rapturous applause. Sure, period dramas are nothing new, as viewers of iconic shows such as Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice would agree. But taking a modern-day twist and filling it with amorous exchanges, ravenous gossip, and splashing of opulence is what led many to Bridgerton. Not least forgetting that Bridgerton is a Shondaland production, with Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, overseeing the show as part of a new megadeal with Netflix (opens in new tab).
Following the dramas of Regency-era London, Bridgerton unravels the world of high society as each new summer season brings along with it the hope of finding your match, your betrothed, your … With an anonymous gossip columnist, Lady Whistledown there to make sure it doesn’t quite go as planned by revealing the dark secrets of the residents. As she so wisely put it, “marrying above one’s station is an art form indeed.”
Based on the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, season one focused on the romance between Regé-Jean Page's Simon, an eligible Duke who'd sworn off love, and Phoebe Dyvenor's Daphne Bridgerton, while season two zeroed on Jonathan Bailey's Anthony Bridgerton and his quest for a wife.
If you’ve consumed both seasons of Bridgerton, no doubt you’re looking for more to quench that period romping thirst. Here’s our six shows to watch if you’re a fan of Bridgerton.
Witty, tongue-in-cheek, and downright scandalous period drama, The Great, is a more than worthy alternative for those who love a period romp like Bridgerton. Telling the incredibly loosely-based history of Catherine the Great’s rise to power in Russia, this Hulu show (opens in new tab) is full of wonderfully lewd exchanges between Dakota Fanning's Catherine and her husband, Nicholas Hoult's Emperor Peter.
Much like Bridgerton, if you’re a fan of a period drama with a modern twist, then The Great can offer you episodes overflowing with titillating trysts, hot-headed outbursts, and questionable meetings of minds.
Where to watch: Hulu (US), StarzPlay (UK)
A truly British tale that first hit TV screens in 2019 as viewers were introduced to Gentleman Jack, a BBC (opens in new tab)/HBO Max (opens in new tab) drama set in the 1800s depicting the true story of Anne Lister, a landowner and industrialist, with Suranne Jones portraying Lister. Like Bridgerton, Gentleman Jack is a tale of romance. Unlike Bridgerton and perhaps most of the entries on our list, Anne is historically dubbed, “the first modern lesbian,” with Gentleman Jack following the story of her cryptic courtship with Ann Walker.
Anything but a simple romance, Anne’s story is cleverly depicted through her largely coded diary entries. Diaries that contain over four million words. Through these cryptic diaries, Gentleman Jack enlightens viewers to the relationships Anne had with many in her life, most prominently, Ann, as well as portraying how much of a trailblazer of her time Anne Lister was.
Where to watch: HBO Max (US), BBC iPlayer (UK)
It’s the battle of the Harlots as 18th century dramatics and fighting for dominance plays out over three seasons in this London-based drama. Samantha Morton's Margaret Wells has two main goals in life; to run a successful brothel and to look after her two daughters, Charlotte and Lucy. In order to achieve more success in her business, Margaret relocates her family to a richer area in a bid to attract a richer clientele.
Unfortunately, her movements do not go unnoticed as a brothel war ensues with rival madam, Lesley Manville's Lydia Quigley who feels ownership over the area and over the clients she’s worked hard to appease. With sex dominanting the landscape of Harlots, this show clearly has a main focus that Bridgerton instead weaves into a wider mission for love. But, similar to Bridgerton, it’s a period drama full of scandal, misbehaviour, and passionate tales.
Where to watch: Hulu (US), StarzPlay (UK)
Much like The Great, Dickinson, whilst depicting the life of a real person, is done in a stylistic way that historically may not hold as true. Emily Dickinson is a prolific writer, and one of the most important figures in American poetry. In Apple TV+’s (opens in new tab) show, Hailee Steinfeld's Emily is captured during her time as a budding writer, she is struggling to fit in, and constrained by society, gender, and her own family.
Guest appearances from Nick Kroll, Billy Eichner, John Mulaney, and recurring appearances from Wiz Khalifa make for a diverse and exciting cast list that leans into the modern day twist that all the period dramas on our list are privy to. Not forgetting all the modern tunes playing out along the way. Bridgerton also fancied itself as a jukebox for contemporary songs, but hidden within the guise of a string quartet.
Where to watch: Apple TV+
There’s clearly a lot to be said for the Regency Era as it’s the root of our guide and with Sanditon, Regency romance reigns supreme. Based on Jane Austen’s final, unfinished novel of the same name, Sanditon has the most similarities to Bridgerton compared to any show on our list. They’re both filmed in similar locations, they’re both based on books by female authors, they’re both set in the Regency Era, and young Lord Featherington of Bridgerton is actually brothers with the head writer on Sanditon.
If love set in the time of lavish parties and fashion is what you’re after then Sanditon is a great pickup for Bridgerton fans as viewers watch Rose Williams' Charlotte Heywood fall for Theo James' Sidney in the small fishing village of Sanditon.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime (US), ITV Hub (UK)
If the steamy, “Will they? Won’t they?” scenes of Bridgerton captivated you then Outlander’s multiple seasons has a fair few of those moments to offer you. A clash of timelines as World War II nurse, Caitríona Balfe's Claire Randall is thrown back in time to 1743 Scotland and into the arms of Sam Heughan's Jamie Fraser, a rugged Highland warrior.
Much like Bridgerton, Outlander (opens in new tab) is also a TV adaptation of a popular book series. Diana Gabaldon’s novels of the same name may have started in 1991, but even nine books in, they’re still being published to this day leaving lots of opportunity for romance, drama, and the tale to continue for these two time-crossed lovers.
Where to watch: Netflix (US), StarzPlay (UK)
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