If you're anything like us, then you're on the hunt for shows like Bridgerton to add to your viewing list. Thankfully, we have you covered with the perfect curated list.
The Bridgerton shaped hole is REAL. The first season of the popular Netflix series, which dropped on Christmas Day 2020, was filled with tonnes of escapism, some steamy romance scenes, stellar acting, and pretty dazzling costumes—essentially everything we needed.
While we patiently wait for the second season of Bridgerton, despite the devasting news that
our the dreamy Duke of Hastings, Regé-Jean Page, won't be in it (yes, we were devastated when we heard the news), we’ve listed all the best shows to binge-watch now, with similar themes to our beloved period drama.
- Bridgerton Seasons 3 and 4: here's everything that we know so far
- Who narrates Bridgerton? You might be surprised to find out
- The ultimate guide to Bridgerton filming locations
- Bridgerton ending explained: here's what you need to know about the explosive last episode
- Who is Sabrina Bartlett, Bridgerton's Siena Rosso?
These are the shows like Bridgerton to watch when you've finished the series
1. VANITY FAIR
If you're craving another period drama then Vanity Fair—a seven-episode mini-series adapted from William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel of the same name—is just the thing. Starring Michael Palin and Olivia Cooke, the show follows the ruthless social climber Becky Sharp as she charms her way through British upper-class society. Set in the early 19th century, the same time period as Bridgerton (which begins around 1813), this show is a perfect follow-up with its gripping plot and dazzling costumes.
2. PRIDE & PREJUDICE
Many friendships have been solidified or torn apart over who most embodies Mr. Darcy perfectly, but that's a story for another time.
It's time for a rewatch of this 1995 TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel, starring Colin Firth and Elizabeth Ehle—another one set in the same period as Bridgerton.
We don’t know about you, but the relationship between the Duke of Hastings (the dreamy Regé-Jean Page) and Daphne (played by Phoebe Dynevor) reminds us of lively Elizabeth Bennet and stubborn Mr. Darcy.
3. The Great
The Great, is a drama about Catherine the Great, Russia's longest-running female leader. The titular character is played by Elle Fanning and it also stars Nicholas Hoult. Between the costumes, great performances, and seriously sexy scenes, it has all the ingredients that made us fall in love with Bridgerton.
4. DOWNTON ABBEY
This award-winning British period drama set in the post-Edwardian era follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family: cue soap opera levels of gossip and comic snooty one-liners—’What is a weekend?’ and a stellar cast including Maggie Smith and Lily James. The best part? There’s a whole six seasons to binge.
When you've finished those—as you inevitably will—you can watch the Downton Abbey film (Downton Abbey 2 is slated to drop in December 2021).
5. GOSSIP GIRL
OK, it’s not a period drama—but Gossip Girl has many of the same ingredients that make Bridgerton so addictive: beautiful people falling in love (albeit from the New York elite rather than the British aristocracy), edge-of-your-seat drama, with vibrant wardrobes and stunning interiors too. Plus, the Gossip Girl (who was the Gossip Girl?!) narrator gives Lady Whistledown a run for her money.
- Nostalgia 2000s: why the nostalgic TV binge (ahem, looking at your Gossip Girl) is good for you
- Where was The Great filmed?
- How to watch The Great from anywhere in the world
6. EMILY IN PARIS
Netflix's hit series Emily in Paris offers one thing we’re all looking for right now: escapism, which can be easily found in idyllic modern-day Paris. Even if there has been much discussion about the accuracy of the show, we’re borderline obsessed with marketing-executive Emily Cooper’s designer wardrobe (who cares if it’s implausibly expensive?), and the sexual tension between her and neighbor Gabriel is enough to rival Bridgerton’s Daphne and the Duke of Hastings.
Plus, it's no secret that we're HUGE fans of Lily Collins eyebrows.
For the avoidance of any doubt, this is an official Shonda and Kerry Fanclub now. Period!
This American political thriller is a much-loved offering from Bridgerton creator Shonda Rhimes (also the woman responsible for Grey’s Anatomy, FYI). It follows Olivia Pope—played by Kerry Washington—who heads up a crisis management firm in Washington D.C. If you loved Bridgerton’s fast-paced drama, you’ll love Scandal.
Look, who are we kidding, the steamy sex scenes were just one of the draws to Bridgerton. Now, if you think they were something, then you need to watch Outlander.
The show follows British army nurse Claire Randall who is enjoying a second honeymoon with her husband in Scotland after World War II. However, her life changes forever when she's suddenly transported to 1743 and thrown into a mysterious new world where she meets a new man and finds herself caught between her two loves.
The eight-part ITV period drama first aired back in 2019 and just like Bridgerton, it focuses on a romantic lead who is bound by his strong moral code. The show is based on Jane Austen's final novel, which was written just two months before her death. The plot follows protagonist Charlotte (played by Rose Williams) who moves to the quiet fishing village of Sanditon for a fresh start, only to almost immediately meet Sidney (played by the incredibly handsome Theo Campbell)—a charming man who has ambitions to turn the tranquil seaside residence into a luxury resort.
When all else fails, be your own sunshine.Watch a new episode of #Dickinson tomorrow on the @AppleTV app with an Apple TV+ subscription. pic.twitter.com/IG2SneFAbnJanuary 15, 2021
Starring Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Dickinson, this Apple TV period drama set in the 1850s focuses on the teenager as she struggles to follow her dreams of becoming a poet at a time when female writers were frowned upon (much like Eloise Bridgerton). In a coming of age story, Emily explores the constraints of society, gender, and family from her own creative an wonderfully imaginative perspective - one that is far beyond her time.
11. Gentleman Jack
Gentleman Jack is based on the decoded diaries of Anne Lister, a British landowner who became a queer icon, it's a love story like no other and is sure to give your historical fix and dose of escapism via period drama. Suranne Jones, an icon in the British television industry (she played Karen McDonald in Coronation Street) takes on the role of Lister and delivers a stellar performance.
Francesca Specter is a freelance journalist and the author of Alonement: How to be alone and absolutely own it. Based in north London, she's previously worked for Yahoo Lifestyle, Express.co.uk and Healthy magazine, and has written for the Telegraph, Red and Huffington Post.
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