Shonda Rhimes

“Bridgerton” prequel: some greatness, then very-goodness

In its first hour, the “Bridgerton” prequel seems ready to be a really great show.
It soon retreats into merely being a very good one; it insists on emphasizing – and even expanding — a crisis from history. But that opening hour is a gem.
“Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” (shown here) is a six-parter that arrived recently on Netflix. It maintains the lush look and vivid characters, while jumping between two timelines.
There’s the one we know from the first two “Bridgerton” seasons: King George, descended into madness, is mostly invisible; his wife Charlotte is the unflinching, unsmiling ruler. And there’s this prequel time, when she was 17, heading to marry a king she’d never met. That’s the part that produced three amazing scenes in the first hour: Read more…

“Bridgerton”: Elegance and decadence entwine

On Christmas Day, the mega-movies suddenly crowded into our streaming services.
It was “Wonder Woman 1984” on HBO Max, “Soul” on Disney+ and (two days earlier) George Clooney’s “The Midnight Sky” on Netflix. It was so crowded that we could almost overlook the other Christmas arrival – “Bridgerton,” an eight-part Netflix mini-series.
Still, “Bridgerton” (shown here) shouldn’t be ignored. It’s part classy Jane Austen and part tawdry Harlequin novel; it’s part classic-style period piece, part revisionist … and all Shondaland. Read more…