I love historical melodramas. Directors add modern ideas to past centuries, cover familiar hits, and entice viewers to romance, gloss, and dance at the ball. And, of course, I was fascinated by the Bridgerton series. Brilliant and colorful!
I know that Shonda Rhimes’ series has also captured the hearts of many of my blog readers. Today, I have collected romantic TV shows with Bridgerton’s spirit: a mixture of scandals, impeccable outfits, and sublime feelings. In my selection, you will find an exciting story you will enjoy while away this winter.
TV series like Bridgerton.
The Buccaneers, 2023 –
Сheerful American women and English aristocrats.
A horde of noisy, rich American women went to England in the 1870s to look for handsome lords. It is a bright and cheerful series with a love story.
The main trump card of the Buccaneers series is the costumes, interiors, and locations. There are many flowers, statues, clocks, brocade sofas, patterned wallpaper, and many different estates with charming nature, greenery, and sea. For such a setting, I can forgive the characters’ behavior, which was unreliable for that time, and unfunny humor sometimes.
My inner visual was pleased.
Doctor Thorne, miniseries 2016.
Ladies, gentlemen and their exquisite intrigues.
The plot centers on the story of two lovers whose union is hampered by two circumstances: she is poor, and his family can only be saved from ruin by a marriage of convenience.
Picturesque English landscapes and lovely historical costumes decorate the eternal story of good and evil, love and jealousy, envy and greed. I recommend this miniseries only for true fans of British film adaptations.
Prime Videos, VUDU, YouTube (paid), Apple TV.
The story of Charlotte and Sydney that will break your heart.
The British series has plenty to entice Bridgerton fans, from dramatic twists to Theo James’ brooding gaze.
The series is about a young girl, Charlotte Heywood. She has a sharp mind and lively character. She is upbeat, friendly, rational and reasonable. One day, Charlotte helps the Parker couple, who, in gratitude, invite her to stay all summer in their home in the resort town of Sanditon. The girl will experience disappointment and love and rethink her actions.
The series is based on the unfinished book by Jane Austen. The director took the novel as a basis and then developed the story independently. The first season was indeed a success.
Prime Videos, YouTube (paid)
The Cook of Castamar, miniseries 2021.
The Duke falls in love with his cook.
The Cook of Castamar begins with the story of the daughter of a famous doctor, who is left with nothing after her father’s death. The only thing the girl knows is to cook delicious dishes. Her talent brings her to Castamar Castle, where lust and secret passions are the favorite hobbies of the wealthy inhabitants. The plot is predictable, but the writers will make us cry all 12 episodes.
Even though Bridgerton is set in 1813 London and the Spanish show is set in 18th-century Madrid, there are quite a few similarities between the Netflix projects. At the very least, we see huge wigs and extravagant dresses again. Please note that this series is 18+.
In addition to the love story and other squabbles between the characters, I liked that the theme of haute cuisine was touched upon. It’s about aromas, smells, seasonings, and harmony with nature.
It is a story about a real man with luxurious curls and abs of steel.
Ross Poldark had a wonderful life as a young man. He had money, friends and a girlfriend. And then Ross found himself in a war that ended in defeat. Returning from the war, Ross learns that everyone thinks he is dead. The country’s economy is in post-war decline, the father is dead, the business has collapsed, the estate is in disrepair, and the bride is engaged to someone else. Welcome to adult reality!
I recommend you watch this series if you are still a romance seeker. An excellent script will immerse the viewer in a universe with nobility, generosity, rebellion, justice, friendship, helping the weak and disadvantaged, betrayal, love, and beautiful views of a picturesque place by the sea. It is one of my favorite tv series like Bridgeton.
Prime Videos, YouTube
War and Peace, 2016.
Love begins with friendship.
British miniseries based on the immortal work War and Peace by Lev Tolstoy.
At the beginning of the story, the main characters – young Russian nobles – believe that all roads are open to them, and minor difficulties only help them move more confidently towards their goal. But soon, Russia will enter the era of the Napoleonic wars, which will lead the world to irreversible changes, and the heroes’ fates will be more closely intertwined than they expected.
You will see incredible panoramic shots of the luxurious atmosphere created by designers. All the scenes are incredibly atmospheric – from Orthodox Russia to Mother Nature. I grew up in Russia and have no complaints about this film adaptation. It is a delight! Run and watch it! There were only six episodes, but it was so much fun.
Prime Videos, YouTube, The Roku channel
Jane Eyre, miniseries 2006.
A heartwarming story with a gothic touch.
Jane Eyre is a poor but strong-willed girl. Since childhood, she suffered deprivation and humiliation, but the most important test for her was her love for her own master – the proud and seemingly unapproachable Mr. Rochester.
The primary role went to actress Ruth Wilson. At first, I thought her appearance didn’t fit the story. But very quickly, I began to see her inner beauty. The real Jane Eyre! On the contrary, Toby Stephens, as Mr. Rochester, is perhaps even too handsome for his book character. You will definitely fall under its peculiar charm.
But the main advantage of this series compared to other film adaptations of Charlotte Bronte’s novel is how well they fit together and how harmoniously they look in one frame. How highly professional they have to play the love and chemistry between lovers in such a way.
I plunged into the series headlong, literally falling out of reality, unable to tear myself away.
Hulu, Prime Videos
Tess of the D’Urbervilles, miniseries 2008
Get ready to cry your eyes out.
This show will tell you about the fate of a village girl, Tess Durbeyfield, whose life changes greatly when her father discovers they are distant relatives of the noble D’Urberville family.
Actress Gemma Arterton perfectly played the role of a girl who has suffered many misfortunes. Alec D’Urbeville is her new relative who will bring her a lot of trouble. Angel Claire is Tess’s true love, whom she meets too late.
What will the characters in the film have to endure? What is the fate of the relationship between Tess, Alec and Angel?
The plot is morally difficult. But I watched all the episodes in one evening, it was so interesting!
Beautiful serial for a rainy weekend.
At a ball in Brussels, we see a magnificent pair of dancing lovers – a young viscount and the daughter of a rich but rootless military quartermaster. It is clear that they are in love with each other, but the war is relentless, and the Viscount dies. His bride dies during childbirth, and the boy is sent to a foster family to be raised. Then, an interesting story develops.
On the screen, I see all the attributes of good old Victorian England – large estates, beautiful landscapes, traditional English tea drinking, servants with their problems and intrigues. The series was filmed tastefully, with good musical accompaniment, as only the British can film.
Prime Videos, YouTube, Sling TV, Roku channel
Dangerous Liaisons, 2022.
The story of temptation and betrayal.
It is the story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Viscount de Valmont – two young lovers who grew up in the slums of Paris and rose to the top of the French aristocracy.
Dangerous Liaisons has a lot of tricks up its sleeve: luxurious 18th-century nobility, the approaching winds of change, and impeccable actors who swear eternal love at every corner.
Dangerous Liaisons rests on three pillars: intimacy, gossip and feminism. Camilla is the central figure, a woman deprived of freedom and hungry for power. The only way for her to escape the slums is to use her talent as a blackmailer and manipulate the aristocrats. Watching the budding friendship and mentoring relationship between two strong heroines, Alice Englert and Lesley Manville, is an undeniable pleasure.
Vanity Fair, 2018.
Beautiful. Realistic. I need more.
At the center of the story is orphan Rebecca Sharp, the daughter of a drunken artist and a French dancer, who is ready to do anything to escape poverty and make her way into high society. Thanks to her sharp mind, artistic abilities, and striking appearance, she masterfully manipulates both men and women and soon, her dream becomes a reality.
The show has the seductive atmosphere of the 19th century, dinner parties, balls, provincial and metropolitan entertainment, idleness and the search for suitable parties. Oh yes, I almost forgot – the soundtrack! The music in the series is very cool and modern at the same time.
Seven episodes flew by like one!
North & South, miniseries 2004.
A miniseries that you want to watch over and over again.
North and South is a film adaptation of one of the most famous works of writer Elizabeth Gaskell.
He is the North, a powerful, wealthy manufacturer who independently made his fortune—one of the most eligible bachelors in the industrial city. Nobody really interested him until she appeared in his life – Margaret, capable of stopping a crowd of angry factory owners.
Margaret is a true South woman – a Southerner who came to a cold industrial city following her father, a former priest. She is well-educated, has a kind, compassionate heart, and knows how to love and sympathize with people, taking the problems of workers and factory owners to heart.
The actors in the film played simply wonderfully. They managed to convey the feelings of their characters with just their glances. Just look at the scene when Margaret leaves, and he stands in the snow and says, “Please turn around and look at me.” For his sake, I’m rewatching the entire series and literally crying from Armitage. God, this actor, with one glance, is able to act so that everything is clear without words.
After the end of the last episode, I want to believe that these heroes will be able to carry their love through the years because it is built not on passion but on an agreement between two adults, a partnership that does not prevent them from loving each other.
Prime Videos, YouTube, The Roku channel (free).
Do you know other romantic series like Bridgerton? Have you watched anything from my selection? Share your reviews of the series in the comments!