Dear readers, Bridgerton season 3 may still be a long way off, but there are finally rumors about the newest couple. The word on the street is that season 3 will focus on the love story of Penelope and Colin. But until Lady Whistledown returns to give you the latest scoop, you may be looking for similar shows to kill time.
Bridgerton wowed us with all her bubbly, sexy romances, worldly D-R-A-M-A, and instrumental versions of Billie Eilish songs. We have curated a list of shows that feature many elements that are featured in the Regency-era series. For example, romantic relationships, lots of scandals and gossip, and a surprisingly modern historical drama remade for today’s audiences.
When Bridgerton first appeared, Twitter users couldn’t help but talk about the fact that it was essentially a curvier version of Sanditon. Based on Jane Austen’s last unfinished novel, the regency drama revolves around Charlotte (Rose Williams) to the small seaside town of Sanditon and meeting Sydney (Theo James). From the dramatic twists to the sexy romance to James’s riveting yet dark performance as Sydney, Bridgerton fans will love the show.
Interestingly, the surge in popularity Sanditon received after Bridgerton went a long way toward saving the PBS series from cancellation.
If you’re really into the Bridgerton era, but are looking for something a little chunkier, you should make Harlots your next watch. The series revolves around Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), a brothel owner and mother of two, who has moved to an exclusive area of London hoping to attract a wealthy clientele. This decision directly conflicts with her rival, Madame Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville), who runs an elite brothel that primarily caters to the wealthy. There are plenty of scandals, rivalries, and romances, but Harlots is also about normalizing sex work.
3. The Pursuit of Love
Even after 100 years of Bridgerton, it turns out the British were still lecherous. Amazon Prime’s The Pursuit of Love is a three-episode miniseries written and directed by Emily Mortimer, starring Lily James and Emily Beecham as cousins and best friends during the World War 2 era. Despite their different personalities, they drool over boys together. Like many recent historical works, particularly Bridgerton, The Pursuit of Love has a contemporary style and witty energy. Bridgerton’s desires are rarely present in The Pursuit of Love, as they choose friendship as their primary focus over romance, but the emotions are still there.
4. The Cook of Castamar
The show on this list that probably resembles Bridgerton the most, at least on paper, is the new Spanish series The Cook of Castmar, which debuted on Netflix after airing in its home country in July 2021. Both shows are set in the age of extravagant wigs and dresses (Castamar is set in 1720s Madrid, and Bridgerton is set in 1813 London), and both are wildly hilarious and showcase the tastes of their wealthy and privileged characters. In Castamar’s Cook, a duke mourning the death of his wife finds solace in a new cook who starts working in the mansion’s kitchen. She is agoraphobic and scared of open spaces and outdoors, so hopefully, she will be brought inside. Sex abounds in The Cook of Castamar, but there’s a lot less actual nudity, so you might be disappointed if that’s what you’re looking for.
5. The Great
Hulu’s The Great is an excellent follow-up to Bridgerton. Especially if you like Bridgerton’s unexpected humor. The series is from screenwriter Tony McNamara, who has already proven that period dramas can be fun with his screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film The Favourite, which stars a young Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) who is sent to Russia to marry Pedro III (Nicholas Hoult) and finally overthrow him and rule for herself when her fantasies of real good times fade. It’s not as sexy as Bridgerton, but it’s a lot more interesting.
If a corset and puffy camisole (and the horny tearing process) are your things, it’s hard to top the sultry romance of Starz’s Outlander. This Diana Gabaldon’s remake was made in 2014. Jamie Fraser (Sam Hugan), a Scottish highlander in the 1740s, grabs WWII nurse Claire Randall in his arms and re-enacts cover photos of romance novels you see in the airport. Do you mean a World War II nurse in the 1740s and a guy from 2014? Yeah, the outlanders put a bit of sci-fi into time travel because Claire and Jamie’s romance can’t be included in the space-time continuum. The entire series (so far) comes on Starz, but the earlier seasons are on Netflix.
7. Gossip Girl
Bridgerton is full of sex and scandal, but what keeps it all going is the voice of the anonymous Lady Whistledown. This bulletin tracks all the obscenities and the whereabouts of high society. Her ability to influence the actions of on-screen characters is reminiscent of Nosy Parker from The CW’s Gossip Girl, who ran a blog chronicling the ins and outs of wealthy Manhattan socialites. Bridgerton was smart enough to mimic Gossip Girl’s device. That’s because it constantly pushes the characters to impress while creating a mystery about the narrator’s identity. Gossip Girl is worth watching because it catapulted its young cast to stardom, including Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, and Ed Westwick.