11 Things In Bridgerton Season 1 That You Probably Missed On The First Watch
Where is the Duke’s spoon now, I wonder...
Bridgerton instantly burned its way into our hearts when it dropped in late 2020, and our obsession with the Shondaland drama has hardly left us since. Period dramas set in Regency-era England never fail to make popular viewing (hello, Jane Austen) but watching the Duke of Hastings and the Bridgerton family navigate the marriage market cast a spell like never before. So much so, it broke Netflix records as the series reached 82 million households in just 28 days.
Based on a bestselling Julia Quinn romance novel series, the show follows the debut matchmaking season of Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the wealthy Bridgerton family. As she tries to find a good husband, her elder brother and “man of the house” after their father’s death – Anthony, played by Jonathan Bailey – gets in her way with his overbearing overprotectiveness. Enter Anthony’s old friend, Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), the formidable Duke of Hastings. He’s vowed never to marry, so naturally, Daphne and Simon strike up a deal to be in a fake relationship. As we know from all the films and novels out there: fake romance soon blossoms into something very real.
Like the rest of the internet, I devoured the first season the second it dropped, and spent months after rewatching and revisiting the Ton. Ahead of the extra highly-anticipated second season, I couldn’t help but return once more. Here are some of the main things that stood out when I sat down to feast on the eight-episode season anew.
Diversity is always a good thing
The wonderful cast is one of the main reasons why Bridgerton was such a hot topic and I think it is safe to say that Shonda Rhimes’ colour-blind casting policy is the best thing since sliced bread. A world where Regé-Jean Page couldn’t play Simon Basset would be a sad place indeed. From the very moment he strides into town and blesses the screen, it’s game over. But enough has been said about our darling Duke since the show dropped. Golda Rosheuvel’s incredible Queen Charlotte is an absolute, unbridled joy. Not even the season’s diamond can distract me from the resplendence of her majesty whenever she appears in a scene. Also, Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury is the level of rich aunty I can only dream of. Seeing these talented actors in roles that previously hadn’t been an option for them still makes her heart feel full. More of this forever, please and thank you.
Has London ever looked so good?
Bridgerton said goodbye to muted shades and hello to all the colours. The show is so bright and beautiful, in the best way. I’m more than happy to be swept up into a world where the streets are that clean, the people are dressed to the nines in the most gorgeous hues, and everything is just so perfectly pleasing to the eye. Watching this again makes me want to head out to the park and go for a promenade with my friends, ASAP.
The societal pressure placed on individuals is something else
Times have moved on, but some things never really change... Perhaps it is S2 anticipation, but Anthony Bridgerton’s storyline felt far heavier this time around. It reminds us all that it’s not always fun to have the pressure of being the firstborn – even as a man. He clearly has no idea what he is doing and the pressure to make decisions as the “head of the family” is tough. The man can’t be with the woman he loves because she works – I mean, what is that about? All a bit sad, really.
Obviously, Daphne has it even worse as the eldest daughter. The pressure to be perfect and find a perfect marriage match, to be a perfect wife and never ever ever make a single mistake… it’s all very intense. Most pressing of all in my book though is Marina Thompson’s rush to marry someone before the Ton realise she’s pregnant...
What happened to Daphne’s dazzling necklace?
The scene where Prince Friedrich gifts Daphne that rather dazzling necklace is quite a moment. But so is the one where she leaves the rather expensive piece on a random wall, never to be seen again, before sneaking off to have a kiss with Simon in the garden. The fact we never see it again is still really baffling to me. Surely this is a pretty big plot hole, right? It should have been used as a tool to reveal that Cressida had been spying on them… or even returned to Prince Friedrich as a way to alert him that something was up with Daphne. Either way, a missed opportunity.
Sex education really matters
Penelope and Eloise having to go on a mission to understand how “one comes to be with child” might be hilarious viewing, but it’s wild to think of anyone being quite so uninformed and unprepared. Even in a fictional world. We can only be glad Simon was on hand to help Daphne discover the joy of self pleasure before their wedding night.
Speaking of their wedding night, Daphne’s mother really failed to prepare her for what was to *ahem* come. Shame on you, Lady Bridgerton. It took poor Daphne weeks before she realised she’d married the number one fan of the pull out method!
The power of the spoon is still strong
Has there ever been a more seductive shot? I seriously doubt it. Even knowing it was coming I was unprepared for just how commanding that sequence really is. Equally pressing question: where is the Duke’s spoon now? It belongs in a museum, or a hall of worship of some kind.
Bravo to the intimacy coordinator, scriptwriters, and everyone involved because that spoon scene – and that honeymoon sex montage – hold up impeccably still!
But Daphne jumping the Duke is still incredibly awkward to watch
Hard not to physically cringe at the moment when the Duke realises Daphne will not let him pull out. The least said on it, the better, frankly. Moving swiftly on...
Daphne & Eloise share something very powerful
Daphne and Eloise may be very different, but they have very important thing in common: both incredibly empowering women. Watching Eloise and Penelope fight to focus on their education and question why they can’t make their own money without the help of men is a welcome injection of modern feminism. Meanwhile, watching Daphne take on her own fight to marry for love and build a life that she wants on her own terms is equally powerful. Her game of cards with the other married women in the Ton is a great reminder of just how much ladies of that time worked their way around the patriarchal laws to the best of their abilities. Watching Anthony’s mistress Siena Rosso break things off on her own terms was a real “good for her” moment, too.
Will and his wife are couple goals
Boxing champ Will Mondrich and Simon’s sparring partner is a dishy addition to the series, but the moments when we got to see him interacting with his wife, Alice, made it clear that they had one of the strongest and most loving relationships in the Ton. Alice hinted at the fact her man doesn’t keep secrets from her, and anyone will tell you that being truthful at all times is great for a marriage. They might not be as rich as the other characters, but they seem to have an abundance of joy and love, which is a joy to see. Here’s hoping the boxing scandal won’t cause any trouble in season 2.
So here for Queen Charlotte’s story
The announcement of Netflix’s prequel, delving into Queen Charlotte’s story, is nothing short of wonderful. There’s definitely so much to uncover after season one reveals that the King fell in love with her and their union changed the rules about Black people in high society (in the world of Bridgerton, that is). However, her husband has memory loss and we learn that she’s always asking if he was dead because she can’t bear to see him be a shell of his former self. Watching her explain that their daughter Amelia died is perhaps the saddest scene of the whole season.
Gossip Girl wishes she had the same power as Lady Whistledown
Listening to Dame Julie Andrews reading the scathing words of Lady Whistledown has cemented the fact she is the ultimate gossip queen. Gossip Girl blasts might have been breaking the internet on her show, but Lady Whistledown has the people of London paying to read her mock them in her gossip sheets. That’s pretty iconic, if you ask me.