It’s no secret that the world is obsessed with Bridgerton. The Netflix original series has been streamed by an incredible 63 million households since it hit our screens on Christmas Day, making it Netflix’s fifth-biggest original TV series of all time.
From its swoon-worthy characters to its satisfying aesthetic, there are plenty of reasons why the show has been such a success.
But according to Phoebe Dynevor (who stars as the series’ protagonist Daphne), there’s one main reason why the show has been such a hit with viewers – the escapism it provides.
Speaking in a new interview with The Guardian, Dynevor – who is no stranger to the world of period dramas, having appeared in shows such as Dickensian and The Musketeers – said she thinks Bridgerton has seen such unparalleled success because of the timing of its release.
“It has come out at a moment when people need it,” she explained. “It’s distracting and fun – a nice little bit of respite from the world we’re having to endure at the moment.”
Indeed, while many of the show’s characters feel trapped by the patriarchal society of 1813 London, they are still able to make their own decisions – something Dynevor says drew her to the series in the first place.
“What immediately excited me about the script was that, even in the context of this time, these women have real agency,” she said. “They’re obviously all suffering from the patriarchy in their own ways, but they manage to choose their own destiny.”
Speaking about the scene where Daphne admires the Duke of Hastings (played by Regé-Jean Page) as he gets dressed, she added: “So many times I’ve seen that done where it’s the man laying back in bed, with his chubby belly, and the woman is absolutely gorgeous in every way, and you see all of her beautiful backside.
“To flip that on its head was so interesting to me.”
Although they may not be the only reason why the show has seen such success, it’s safe to say Bridgerton’s array of sex scenes – which are not only incredibly hot but also a way for the series to explore themes of freedom, identity and discovery of the self – are now a foundation of the its identity.
Speaking in an interview with Deadline earlier this week, Dynevor said she couldn’t see how the types of scenes from season one would take place under coronavirus guidelines.
“I can’t imagine how it would be possible to film under these circumstances,” she admitted. “There are so many extras and so many crew members, and it’s a very intimate show. It just baffles me how we would film it under Covid rules unless there was a vaccine beforehand.”
For the moment, then, we must wait and see whether a season two is on the cards for Bridgerton – and if so, how the cast will navigate the uncertain world of the pandemic.
But for now, it’s clear that season one of the show will continue to remain a talking point for some time to come – not just because of its sexy appeal and subverted gaze, but because it’s offered us all a bit of respite from the unrelenting darkness of the pandemic.
Bridgerton is now available to stream on Netflix
As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.