While the rest of the world anticipates presents under the tree, some of us long an escape to the 19th century. Bridgerton is gifting the world with that very desire on Christmas day.
The Bridgerton trailer has finally released and we’re now closer to the premiere of the year. Let’s break down that trailer shall we? Scandal, an arrangement, angry siblings, a Duke that’s already making us swoon hard, and a Queen (Golda Rosheuvel) we’re all going to want to be. Bridgerton is going to have something for everybody even if regency period dramas aren’t your thing.
We’ve read all eight of the Bridgerton books, but let’s break down the trailer as if we’re complete strangers to the novels because that’s often the case–it’s being sold to audiences worldwide, not just book fans. We’ve got a bump-in meeting featuring our season’s heroes Simon (Regé-Jean Page) and Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and it’s giving us butterflies–or bees. Is that going to be a thing with this series? Ridiculous puns about bees?
That said, Simon and Daphne pretend to form an attachment and we already know where that’s going. The trailer’s deliberate focus on the hands already has fans swooning, and because everyone and their mother knows the importance of hands in period dramas. Austen invented it, Quinn followed beautifully. The faux attachment will lead to a real one and we’ll be here all day to talk about the fact that Page and Dynevor have such exquisite chemistry, it’s already more thrilling than it is in the books. And if we were to approach this completely blinded, we’d be shipping those like FedEx right from the start.
“Stare into my eyes, if this were to work, you must appear madly in love.” Well, at this point, Daphne’s not the only who’s madly in love–we all are. Page could not have been more perfectly suited to play Simon and it’s thrilling to have a Black man as our lead who’ll be given the kind of happy ending that’s deserved. Simon isn’t just a side character and this series isn’t diverse for the sake of inclusivity, it’s a celebration of humanity where Black people can be queens and kings and Dukes who’ll be on top through and through. Did we mention already that we’re madly in love? We did didn’t we, but it’s okay, this is something audiences will be saying until next year.
The trailer is chaotic, it’s sexy, it’s ravishing, and it’s beautiful. Quinn’s books are a series that cater to sexuality gorgeously–they focus on female pleasure and they follow Rake-ish men that fall hard once they do. The series won’t be tamed, but it’ll be done tastefully, and that’s always something that’s admirable where intimacy on television concerned. Characters like Anthony, as fans will note isn’t exactly a leading example of nobility in the first book, but he’s got to go through his mistresses to find his home in Kate. It looks like Colin will pose an interest in Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker), but we all know his heart belongs to Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan).
And then there’s Eloise Bridgerton–the feminist icon of the series.”What if I want to fly?” We might be in the 19th century and history looks different than the present does, but Quinn’s novels have often allowed their women to be exactly who they want to be. And we’re entirely here for Eloise exploring avenues other than the marriage market. Granted she’s too young at the moment anyway, but the desire to fly, the desire to be the kind of woman with ambitions and desires that are bigger than the world she’s living in is going to be fascinating to watch. She’s always reminded me a bit of Emma Woodhouse, and if anyone knows me, you know Emma is my favorite Austen series–it should be no surprise that Eloise Bridgerton is my favorite Bridgerton girl.
Nicola Coughlan who’ll play the beloved Penelope was on the Graham Norton Show last week, and she’s given the audiences a little clip of what’s to come with Colin and Penelope. Now while we all know Colin and Penelope’s romance doesn’t take flight until book four, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, we can already tell that a lot of angst might be surrounding these two, and to be frank, we’re here for it. A little angst, when done well, always makes for a better union in our book. In the clip above from Coughlan’s Instagram, we see Colin dance with Penelope after 19th century mean girl Cressida Cowper purposely spills her drink on her. (Book fans might also recognize that this is a moment from The Viscount Who Loved Me.) But we’ll talk more about what gentlemen the Bridgerton brothers are in our episode reviews coming later, today we’re here to talk about Penelope Featherington. We’re to here talk about the fact that people should be hyped because the chemistry that’s already so palpable between Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton is only the beginning.
Colin calling Penelope “Pen” in private is already a fantastic little detail to allude to the fact that she’s someone who’s close to him. Societal rules aside, he doesn’t need to call her Miss Featherington when it’s just the two of them. And though he approaches her looking for a certain Miss Thompson, we know that no one’s a threat to the endgame that’s set up for these two. It’s not always going to be pretty or fun watching the angst build up between the two of them, but Penelope’s always been special to Colin, whether he knows it or not. And calling her Pen so early on is a little delight for fans to hold on to. (We’ll look into this more when we review the entire episode, but for now, don’t mind us while we continue to press replay.)
While it’s not always going to be easy for the two of them before their happy ending and no one wants to see a sad Penelope when she deserves the world, we’ll be singing 101 praises about the work Nicola Coughlan’s doing with and how transcendent each moment she’s on screen will be. Coughlan’s embodiment in that little scene and all the glimpses throughout the trailer is so telling of what’s in store—this is a woman who’s going to showcase a full range of emotions to a character who holds so much in. Penelope might be a wallflower, but Coughlan is a star, and the myriad emotions she’ll continuously convey, even in silence, will always be a marvel to analyze.
P.S. We’ve got a new Podcast in store for Bridgerton! The Lady Geeks Society Podcast is coming soon with episode reviews and more to gush all about the little gem that this series will be. While everyone’s comparing Bridgerton to Gossip Girl, we’re confident that it’ll be even better. Yes we went there. This series will have scandal and drama but colossal heart surrounding people that care deeply for each other, and people who’ll always bring out the best in each other.
What was your favorite part of the trailer? What are you looking forward to most with Bridgerton?