Bridgerton: On-screen Versus Off-screen

After slowly “binge-watching” the glamorous, Regency-inspired phenomenon that is Netflix’s Bridgerton over the course of a few days (I say “slowly” and use quotation marks because I realize my definition of binge-watching is a little different from the widely accepted one), I had come to the conclusion that I, like 82 million other households, was Daphne Bridgerton in another life. 

As one does after finishing a show they love, I quickly adapted my personality to that of the main character’s. I started drinking tea, I wore ball gowns around the house for a few days, I met the Queen, I had a little rendezvous with the Duke- okay, maybe it didn’t go quite like that, but I dreamed that it did. 

In reality, I followed all of the actors on Instagram and discovered that the show is based on an entire book series. Yup, that’s right. This Author was positively shocked and delighted. Lady Whistledown would be undoubtedly flushed reading that statement.

Naturally, after coming across that glimmering piece of bookish information, I immediately went to go order the first book. Of course, it was on backorder everywhere. But I was prepared to wait, and wait I did. After a few weeks, I finally had the book in my hand. I was finally going to be able to see if the book was better than the on-screen adaption. It always is, so I was fully prepared to dive even deeper into the shining, high society world of the Regency era. But what I was met with, dear Reader, was rather ghastly.

Like the show, I finished the book in a few days, and for the first time in my life, dear Reader, I found the screen adaptation to be better than the book. Le gasp! I know I know, what went wrong? To be fair, nothing went wrong, per say, but I just found the two main characters, Daphne and Simon, to be wholly unlikeable within the words on the page. I found myself being more indifferent towards them rather than rooting for them as I did for their on-screen counterparts.

I found this to be jarring and a little disappointing considering I was on team Daphne and Simon the whole time I was watching the show. I think the creators of the on-screen adaption did a fantastic job showcasing the characters in a likeable way while still showing their flaws and mistakes. Despite those mistakes (I will not go into them because hello, we aren’t about spoilers here), I still found the characters to be charming and good-natured on screen. They appeared human and earned my sympathy. 

Disappointments aside, will I continue the book series? Perhaps at a later date. Will I continue watching the show, though? Absolutely. Season two cannot come soon enough. This Author could absolutely use a little more gossip in her life.


Lady Stefanie’s Society Papers, 

February 9, 2021


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