Series Review: Bridgerton (Season 1-2)

Hello friends! I believe I’ve only done one other tv show review (for Hannah Montana a long time ago), but I’ve been wanting to do this post ever since I finished season two of Bridgerton.

Before I get start on my thoughts, I want to warn you that:

  1. I have not read the books this show is based on
  2. I do not like this show
  3. There will be spoilers in this!

If you’re still interested in reading what I have to say after that, keep scrolling!

My Thoughts

Let’s break this review into multiple parts.

The Casting

I have nothing against the casting done for this tv show. I honestly didn’t know who any of these people were before I watched this other than Freddie Stroma , Anthony Head, and Julie Andrews.

Similar to many other viewers, I was intrigued that this show took on a sort of colorblind culture when casting. I initially believed it was simply the choice of the show-makers to have a nice diverse cast and that we were just pretending this took place in a sort of alternate universe where race doesn’t matter. However, at some point a Black character (Lady Danbury, I believe) mentions that the reason racism doesn’t “exist” in this show is because the king fell in love with “one of us”, erasing everyone’s bigotry. I honestly didn’t like that they added that little footnote to the show because it felt very naive and unrealistic to just say that one person’s actions could undue the harm and hatred of others. I’m curious to know what other people thought about this.

I am also aware that there was some controversy that the casting, though diverse, was colorist. Certain viewers believed that the main POC characters were light-skinned, with the darker-skinned characters being portrayed as villains. It should be noted that this controvery happened prior to the casting announcements for season two. I don’t particularly agree with this belief seeing as I don’t think of Lady Danbury nor Will Mondrich as villainous characters, but I can understand why some people might have been unsatisfied.

He always somehow looked confused/startled/turned on at the same time. Maybe I just don’t find him attractive?

As far as the acting goes, I was pretty happy with everyones acting. In particular, I think many of us enjoy the expressive faces that certain characters have in most of their scenes (*cough* Eloise and Benedict *cough*). My only real issue is probably with Jonathan Bailey (the actor who plays Anthony) in season two. It felt like he was just constantly making the same weird expression in all of his scenes. I think it was supposed to be sexy(?) but I wasn’t into it.

The Characters

I hate so many of the characters in Bridgerton that I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to like. The following characters are people I do not at all care for in the show:

  • Daphne Bridgerton
  • Anthony Bridgerton
  • Kate Sharma
  • Penelope Featherington
  • Colin Bridgerton
  • Marina Thompson
  • Lady Portia Featherington
  • Siena Rosso
  • Lady Cowper

The top five people were either the main characters in seasons 1-2 or will be in season 3, so I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be cheering them on, even though I 100% don’t want to.

I think the point the books/show is trying to make is that even our heroes are flawed, but I think it goes way too far, honestly. The characters constantly manipulate, violate, and abuse each other for their own self gain. Why should I hope for their happy endings?

I will say that I do adore some of the characters in the show. Namely:

  • Simon Basset (The Duke of Hastings)
  • Eloise Bridgerton
  • Edwina Sharma
  • Lady Danbury
  • Prince Friederich

The Story

In season one (based on The Duke and I), the story follows the love between Daphne Bridgerton and The Duke of Hastings. I was enjoying this for the first few episodes until I decided that I did not like Daphne. From the very start of the show, the Duke is pretty much open and honest about all of his intensions, but Daphne repeatedly ignores the things he’s saying because she’s attracted to him. For example, he tells her that he doesn’t want to get married and instead of going with the amazing match of Prince Friederich, she decides to use the Prince to make the Duke jealous with the hopes of wrestling a proposal out of it.

Now, do I really have to talk about the rape? Before the Duke and Daphne agree to get married, he warns her that he cannot have children. She says it’s totally fine and that she wants to marry him anyways. She later finds out that what he meant was not that he was incapable of having children, but that he doesn’t want to have children. Instead of, I don’t know, having a conversation about the misunderstanding, she rapes him (i.e. she tops him in bed and makes it so he can’t pull out when he’s ejaculating which is what he had been doing previously). He, understandably, feels upset and betrayed by this.

I had hoped that the show was going to make this a teachable moment about the different types of rape, consent, communication, etc., but this is not at all what happens. Instead we get the two characters yelling at each other with Daphne saying that the Duke “lied to her” which like, bro, calm down. He didn’t lie to you; he just used the word “can’t” instead of “wont” when he said he can’t have children and you made an incorrect assumption.

Perhaps the part that annoyed me the most was the fact that because the show didn’t condemn Daphne’s actions as rape (and eventually kind of sided with Daphne by making the Duke change his mind about children in the end), viewers soon ended up arguing that it wasn’t in fact rape. I can’t even begin to tell you how harmful that storyline (and the audiences reaction) must have been for rape victims.

Moving on to season two where the story follows head of house Anthony Bridgerton and his hate-to-love romance with Kate Sharma, the sister of the woman he is official courting.

Listen, I’m a huge fan of the hate-to-love trope, but I hated both of these characters from the get go, so I found their “romance” super annoying. The woman that Anthony is official courting, Edwina Sharma, was one of the nicest, purest cinnamon roles on the planet. I can’t believe both of them would put her through the emotional rollercoaster that they did instead of just being honest at literally any point.

In reality, Anthony and Kate were kind of a perfect match in that both of them were meddling, manipulative, and selfish when it came to “helping” their siblings find a match during courting season. We saw the worst of Anthony’s meddling in season one with Daphne, and Kate does basically the exact same thing in season two with Edwina. They were the epitome of “you don’t know what’s best for you. I know what’s best for you”. I hate-watched this entire season just because I wanted to know what was going to happen to all the other character arcs.

Overall Enjoyment

I know that I spent a lot of the previous sections ragging on this series, but it honestly makes great television. It is very clear to me that Shondaland knows how to make compelling TV shows, regardless of how flawed and hatable their characters/plots may be.

What we have with Bridgerton is a show that is 100% bingeable and is sure to continue to be popular. It’s almost impossible to only watch one episode at a time, as each one leaves you wanting to immediately start the next.

I hated so many of these characters and found the main romantic plots to not be worth my attention, but I never once thought about DNFing the show. Watching Bridgerton was like a car crash, and you can bet your bottoms that I’m going to be tuning into (and probably hate-watching once again) season three.

Five Thoughts on Hannah Montana

Introduction

Hi Everyone!

This is a new sort of post for me and it has arisen from the fact that I recently binge watched all of Hannah Montana for no good reason and Twitter seemed to support me sharing my thoughts. The following are some of the main things that I wanted to talk about. These can get pretty spoilery so if you care about spoilers, you should probably not read this.

Here we go!

1. The characters are basically all jerks.

This is the thing that stood out most to me when watching the series. I couldn’t understand how Disney thought these episodes were good family content, especially when most of their viewers are impressionable children. Almost all of the characters were selfish and willing to treat their friends/family terribly to get what they want. Many episodes relied on people being horrible in order to move the plot forward or to get cheap laughs.

This might have been excusable if these acts were called out and recognized as being bad, but this hardly ever happens. I can only imagine how many children learned flawed lessons from watching this show.

2. The series can, however, occasionally be wholesome.

While I was mostly upset by the episode plots, every so often I would come across one that was particularly wholesome. In one episode, for example, Jackson wins two tickets to a Lakers game and ends up being emotionally manipulated into agreeing to take two different people to the game. I was prepared to be disappointed by this episode but surprisingly, people apologized for inviting themselves and in the end they were all able to attend together. I was pleasantly shocked.

3. The Hannah Montana Movie was weird.

For one thing, it takes place between Season 3 and Season 4 (I think) so it’s a bit awkward in terms of timing. Additionally, Season 4 hardly ever mentions or acknowledges the events of the movie–I noticed only one mention–even though there were significant developments that occurred.

Also, the ending of the movie was pretty farfetched and didn’t make much sense…I’ll just leave it at that.

4. They did us dirty with Jake Ryan.

I don’t even want to go into how upset I was with the whole Jake-Jesse arc, but it was TERRIBLE AND I HATED IT.

What I did want to talk about was how Miley and Jake were kind of set up to be endgame but it seems like the writers just gave up. There was even this big event on Disney Channel where viewers were asked to choose between Jake and Jesse and the audience chose Jake. A few episodes later, Disney wrote out his character and made Miley end up with Jesse. Like WTF???

I remember my teenage self being completely enraged by the fact that they misled everyone and went back on their word. Maybe they watched too much Hannah Montana and didn’t learn proper morals.

5. The continuity was a mess

Several episodes contradicted other episodes so it was hard to keep track of what was supposed to be accepted as canon or not. The most notable example that I can think of off the top of my head is that Oliver couldn’t sing in one season and in another he was a leading contestant on a singing show. It didn’t make any sense.

Speaking of things that don’t make sense, Robby Ray was publicly known as Hannah Montana’s father, but he was also Miley Stewart’s father. Even if people didn’t recognize that Hannah and Miley were identical, they would have known that the two of them shared the same father. Not to mention, his disguise is literally just a mustache that he only sometimes wears.

Welp, that’s all for now! If you have anything you want to add/talk about in the comments, feel free. I’m always willing to rant lol.