By Alan Champion (New York, NY)

 

Ladies and Gents, gather around, and feast your eyes upon an unknown world; a quixotic world that will razzle-dazzle and inveigle you… Relax, and let it take you to new, untold heights; it’s a Canterbury tale about new love, betrayal and iron-fist, complaisance. Folks, BRIDGERTON, a chimeric marchen about radical, upending change; an “Oz-esque” change in a land, far, far away, where black is no longer black, and white’s no longer white, anymore. Ladies and Gents, gather around and witness the “Greatest Show on Earth…”

BRIDGERTON is pure escapism, fantasy and preternaturalism – a quixotical mirror of a society beset with flaws, but, still, our better…; the better of ours…

Aside from a titillatingly seductive yawn about a hyperbolical, sybaritical conjugality between two exceptionally attractive, yet, strong-willed individuals, who imbue a classical  love/hate dynamic, and, contiguous, teetering affairs by venal townsfolk, Bridgerton brims in  awesomely, scintillating, cloak and dagger, Cat & Mouse escapades and shenanigans, whereupon, frolicsome, gamesome, skittish, debutantes’ – in this 19th century, Regency era, epic burlesque – when, at the end of the Georgian era, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland deemed, King George III unfit to rule due to his indispositions. The King’s s son, Prince George ruled as his proxy, as prince regent, and, upon George III’s death in 1820, the prince regent became King George IV – were dutifully constrained to engage cutthroat gamesmanship to procure the most socially fit, highborn, baronial steed, who would father their brood, take care of them and catapult their family’s name/title in society.

BRIDGERTON, is, concomitantly, a fantastical, Utopian farce, whereupon, blacks and white live both collectively and harmoniously without cognizance or mention of raciality; a purged, paradisical, Utopianist society – one which, I’ve dreamt of, unremittingly but, whose reality is, oh, but, centuries away – only to be momentarily shattered, ushering in our stark reality, when there was allusions to how ‘tenuous’ this nascently, idealized society was – that it only came about because the “white” king married a “black” queen, but, that the king could just as well change his mind…”; forthwith, interjecting or reverting this hybridized, pacific sphere, back to our abysmal, dystopian society, and, its preoccupation and obsession with race. Women, don’t as auspiciously; they don’t get the sensitivity, ascendancy or power afforded the male sect, though; a patriarchic, misogynistic sphere, they are rendered secondary or inferior to the male order – which, leaves one quizzically musing about male hegemony, particularly as most of the male characters tend to be inept, fumbling imbeciles, while women always, heroically seem to come to their rescue, imparting an exquisitely delectable, ambrosial ignis fatuus, yet, with a deleterious aftertaste…

Escapist, idyllic, farfetched, and even, phantasmagorical, BRIDGERTON fosters and makes chimeric idealism, and dreams come true.

Superlative acting – hats off to star-struck/dilemmatic, lovers, Rege-Jean Page, who portrays Simon Basset, The Duke of Hastings and Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton, who, ultimately bear a child; Golda Rosheuvel as the conniving, sagacious Queen Charlotte; Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, who, single-handedly raises Simon after he’s rendered a “throwaway’ baby by his perfectibilian father, the late, Duke of Hastings; Jonathan Bailey as the older, Anthony Bridgerton, who attempts to right his siblings’ lives as his own  is in constant shambles; Ms. Julie Andrews’ narrative as the formidable, Lady Whistledown, and the entire inimitable cast, opulent sets, superlative period-era costumes, and, its mesmeric, forward-thinking, story-lines – which give life to an archaic, adamantine epoch – with the apropos, subliminal, paradoxical touches, sensibilities and perspicacity provided by Ms. Shonda Rhimes’ au courant, vicissitudes and avant-gardism. And, of course, its ingenious creator, Chris Van Dusen.

BRIDGERTON, based on Julia Quinn’s romantic novels, is a breezy, titillating pastiche or “What the new world hath finally wrought,” ~ Lorraine Hansberry, which, fills, empowers and fortifies present-day viewers with vision, ethos, resolution and, the figmental and imaginary vicissitudes, import, marrow and gist to proffer change… And, oh, by God, lest I forget, loads of laughs…

Rating: 4.5/5