Jane Austen’s work was one of the few options for people who want to view period pieces that don’t keep up with patriarchal and stodgy customs of past centuries. In recent years, fans of empire-waist and feminism have been blessed with a surge in empowerment retellings old-fashioned stories. This was most evident in Shonda Rhimes Bridgerton, the second season.
The series is about the Bridgerton siblings, an anonymous gossip columnist with great power and influence over Regency society. She also makes her living from this work. Bridgerton has been modernized with the clever insertion of classic versions of current pop songs and its portrayal of Georgian society as far more diverse than it was (though historians believe that Queen Charlotte was Britain’s first mixed-race royal).
It’s a perfect show. And it would be fine if you are still wondering what next to watch that will capture even a small bit of the magic of Bridgerton. Here’s a list of Best Shows Like Bridgerton to keep you entertained until you return to your beloved London.
Also Read: Best Shows Like Sanditon You Should See
Best Shows Like Bridgerton
Like Jane Austen’s Emmy, Clueless is Gossip girl essentially the mid-aughts Bridgerton. An ensemble cast of characters causes scandals and falls in love. They all surround a core group of friends and are documented by an anonymous gossipmonger. Good luck trying to “spot” the differences between them.
This provocative, sexy show gives a humorous take on Russia in the 1700s. It chronicles Catherine the Great’s life. All those rumors (, ahem) about her horse-loving ways have long overshadowed her badassery. Do you mean a young woman plotting the murder of her husband to overthrow the strongest government in the world to promote equality and education across the country? Sign me up.
Outlander, like Bridgerton, is based upon a long-running series of historical romance novels. The story is similarly modernized with Claire Randall, our heroine, incorporating her 20th-century perspective into the Jacobite risings of mid-18th century Jacobite risings. She mysteriously time travels to the beginning season. You don’t have to be convinced by Outlander sex scenes from five seasons that give Simon and Daphne a serious challenge.
‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Pride and Prejudice have been repeated many times. However, no matter how passionate you are about the 2005 Keira Knightley version of the story, you’ll be unable to resist zooming through all 100 episodes. The story is told through a series of vlogs by Lizzie Bennet (the quirky and strong Lizzie Bennet). Despite being set in the present, it stays true to the original text, complete with appearances by William Darcy, an entertainment mogul, and Bing Lee, aka Austen’s Mr. Bingley.
“Pride and Prejudice”
The 1995 BBC miniseries on Pride and Prejudice is a great choice if you prefer to take a more traditional approach with your Pride and Prejudice adapts. This miniseries goes deeper into the novel than 2005’s film. It also features the unforgettable scene where Colin Firth, fully clothed, dives into a lake to start a one-man T-shirt contest.
Harlots takes place just a few decades before Bridgerton, in a completely different area of London. It follows the struggles of a brothel owner to provide better lives for her daughters. This series puts women in the forefront at a time when they were often overlooked. It also presents a clear-eyed and empowered view of sex work, normalizing it and destigmatizing it.
Gentleman Jack is a fictionalized version of Anne Lister’s diaries. It depicts a woman who lived a unique life in the mid-1800s. Lister was an out-lesbian and-gasp!–a landowner. Many of her diaries were written in code based on algebra and Ancient Greek. After binging the series, make sure you have plenty of time to explore Wikipedia and Lister’s diaries.
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You don’t have to miss the Downton train that premiered in 2010 to near-instant acclaim. Now is the perfect time to explore the complicated world of the Crawley family. Although the series is set a century after Bridgerton, it’s just as full of society scandals and historical references and an unabashed take on the inherent classism in the British aristocracy.
Another period drama by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. Belgravia examines the mid-19th-century fallout of a secret pregnancy revealed 25 years later. It’s a Slider Doors version of what could have happened to a particular Bridgerton character if she hadn’t found a way to hide her “medical condition.”
It’s time to fix Emily Dickinson’s reputation as a melancholy recluse. This very accurate reconstruction of the poet’s life shows that she was a party animal who drank a lot of opium, twerked in her corset to Drake, and had frequent interactions with Death, who is reminiscent of Wiz Khalifa as I said, historical accuracy. It is very similar in sound and gender to Bridgerton.
Thackeray’s 1848 novel is long admired for its sharp, satirical view of the Regency era. The 2018 miniseries adaptation of the novel turns the satire up even higher. Becky Sharp, our heroine, does whatever it takes to climb the social ladder (seriously, whatever). It’s a sort of outsider’s view on Bridgerton. And, even better, Claudia Jessie (aka Eloise Bridgerton) plays Becky’s best friend, Amelia.
“Lost in Austen”
If you’ve ever dreamed of living in the world Pride and Prejudice, then this series will make you envious. It features a 21st-century Austen fan visiting Elizabeth Bennet through a mysterious portal. While Amanda is doing her best to keep the ball rolling according to Austen’s book and Elizabeth is busy changing her mind about the modern world. Her marriage to Mr. Darcy is still in doubt.
This one isn’t set in Regency, nor does it feature the courtly intrigues of Bridgerton. However, if you are looking for a comedy with hints of period drama, it’s worth a look. Ghosts is a reverse period piece that focuses on a couple who move into a new house only to find they are haunted from the past by a number of ghosts. A 1990s politician, a witch trial victim, and yes, multiple ghosts dating back to the early 1800s offer plenty of Bridgerton vibes. It’s hilarious and an absolute delight. You must see it right away.
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“The Gilded Age”
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey’s creator, took his upstairs-downstairs intrigues and complex female characters across the pond to this new series set in Gilded Age New York. Christine Baranski, Carrie Coon’s old money curmudgeon, and Louisa Jacobson, Carrie Coon’s new money wife of an entrepreneur, are among the newcomers who don’t adhere to snobbish norms. Denee Benton represents the elite of Black post-1989 New York. Same characters, same social scandals, and class commentary.
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Jane Austen fans should check this series based on Jane Austen’s last unfinished manuscript. It expands on the many characters who live in Sandition, a seaside town. The series is riskier than most Austen works. Although it doesn’t reach Bridgerton level, the romance between Rose Williams’ Charlotte Heywood (played by Rose Williams) and Theo James’ Sidney Parker (played by Theo James) is entertaining to watch. This is the perfect opportunity to catch up on your favorite shows and get involved in its second season.
This gorgeous series shows Queen Charlotte as she navigates royal life. It also features another British queen, from her ascension onto the throne to their marriage struggles with Prince Albert. If you’re looking for a 19th-century courtship between Victoria, Albert, and this series.
“The Pursuit of Love”
The miniseries adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s novel shows the struggle between absolute romance and absolute pragmaticism. The show is set in England between WWI-WWII and follows Linda James (best friend) and Fanny Beecham (cousin). Their differing approaches to love and life lead them in different directions. Stay for the coming-of-age story. Then, come for Fleabag’s Hot Priest Andrew Scott as an eccentric neighbor.
Fans of Nicola Coughlan should check out this period drama which put her on the map prior to Bridgerton. The comedy stars Penelope Featherington, who plays a Catholic teenager growing up and discovering her sexuality in the turbulent Troubles of Northern Ireland 1990s. It’s also due to air its third season very soon, so it’s a great opportunity to catch up.
“For the People”
Although this is not a period drama or Regency-era romance, it will satisfy those desperately searching for a certain duke. Rege-Jean Page’s Shondaland debut show is a legal drama about new prosecutors, public defenders, and how they navigate federal court. His crush on his coworker allows him to show off his romantic muscles and even his American accent!