- Bridgerton -What Period Drama To Watch Next Based On Your Favorite 'Bridgerton' Character
If watching Bridgerton left you promenading around your living room while daydreaming about your next period drama obsession, then allow me to introduce you to some eligible series that will happily sweep you off your feet. Granted, there's no other TV period drama exactly like Bridgerton — its combination of inclusivity and unabashed sexiness is a relatively new concept for the genre — but there are plenty of shows with sexy, but brooding heroes, independent heroines, and characters navigating the tricky social constraints of the past to keep you busy until the Bridgerton family returns for Season 2 (which is definitely happening, right, Netflix?).
In fact, there are so many period dramas out there, it can be a little overwhelming trying to decide what you should watch next, so allow me to play matchmaker. I've taken the liberty of pairing each major Bridgerton character with their period drama soulmates, which should in turn make it much easier for you to decide which series will bring you the same amount of joy as watching Simon and Daphne surreptitiously touch hands in an art gallery. Simply find your favorite Bridgerton character on the list and prepare to add a new show to your streaming dance card.
If You Love Daphne Then You Should Watch Sanditon
Season 1 of Bridgerton is devoted to Daphne's transformation from a sheltered young woman into a force within society who is unafraid to declare what (or who) she wants. Likewise, Sanditon, which is based on Jane Austen's unfinished final novel, is a coming of age tale for Miss Charlotte Haywood, who is the eldest daughter of a large family, and is wholly unprepared to be thrust into the cutthroat world of society when she heads off to a seaside vacation destination.
But what she ultimately finds is love with the dashing, but sometimes rude Sidney Parker, plenty of backstabbing and intrigue among the rest of the resort town's visitors, and her the truest version of herself. Like Bridgerton, this gone too soon period drama is full of modern flourishes and boasts a more inclusive cast, making it a must-watch for anyone who would love to see the ton making mischief outside of London.
If You Love Simon Then You Should Watch Poldark
Like Simon, Ross Poldark is a stubborn man guided by the traumas of his past. As a result, he can at times make truly maddening choices that will make you want to punch him in his perfectly symmetrical face. But ultimately, it doesn't matter how many questionable decisions he makes, because the droolworthy Cornwall setting and the mere presence of the fiery Demelza more than make up for Ross' shortcomings. (Also, if you're still thinking about Simon and his spoon, just wait until you see Ross with a scythe.)
If You Love Eloise Then You Should Watch Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
Eloise is a woman ahead of her time, and I'm convinced if she had been around during the roaring '20s, she would have been in awe of Phryne Fisher. Just as Eloise spends most of Season 1 trying to crack the mystery of who is Lady Whistledown, Miss Fisher spends her days solving cases, hanging out at jazz clubs, and just generally being the kind of fabulously modern woman that Eloise longs to be.
If You Love Lady Danbury Then You Should Watch Gentleman Jack
Matching Lady Danbury with a period drama is no easy task. She's so perfectly self-possessed and iconic that nothing else fully lives up to her towering presence. But if any show can match her awesomeness it's Gentleman Jack, which tells the story of real-life badass Anne Lister. How cool is Lister? Well, she defied societal conventions and ran her family's financial affairs, caroused, and ultimately married a woman whilst daring the townspeople to say one word about it.
If You Love Anthony Then You Should Watch North & South
Poor Anthony is a man bound by societal expectations, who has a penchant for saying the absolute wrong thing in any situation. But he's not alone at being frustrated with the arbitrary demands of society. All of the characters in the excellent 2004 miniseries North & South struggle against England's rigid class divides, including the star-crossed couple at its center, mill owner John Thornton and Margaret Hale, the daughter of a former clergyman.
If You Love Penelope Then You Should Watch Cranford
The bright and bubbly Penelope has a gift for gathering tea, but she's got nothing on the women of Cranford. Rather than pen their own gossip sheets, the widows and spinsters of Cranford spend their days chatting about the village's youngsters, spreading juicy rumors, and occasionally playing matchmaker. It should also be noted that Judi Dench stars in this witty series, which makes it an automatic must-see for everyone, even though I have feeling Pen's fans will be especially fond of this cozy series.
If You Love Colin Then You Should Watch Anne With An E
Colin Bridgerton is the second coming of Gilbert Blythe, and I won't be convinced otherwise. He's smart, funny, and a total charmer who is definitely going to fall for Penelope, whether he realizes it or not. Meanwhile, Gilbert knew he loved Anne from the moment he pulled her pigtails and she smashed a slate over his head — but that didn't make their slow journey from friends to something more in Anne with an E any less delightful to watch.
If You Love Benedict Then You Should Watch Desperate Romantics
Midway through Bridgerton Season 1, Benedict enters the art world, and he's showing no signs of looking back. If you loved the show's peak behind the curtain at London's Bohemian set, then you absolutely must check out Desperate Romantics. The series follows the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as they discuss art, engage in old-fashioned debauchery, and generally enjoy life as Victorian-era bros. (Just FYI, this show also stars Aidan Turner pre-Poldark, just in case that scything scene leaves you wanting more.)
If You Love Queen Charlotte Then You Should Watch The Great
Queen Charlotte is a real royal who gets a fabulous update in Bridgerton, and The Great does the same thing for Russia's Catherine the Great. The Hulu series is a splashy, modern period drama that manages to be both hilarious and revolutionary in the way it depicts Catherine's rise to power. Trust me, if you're looking for another queen to bow down to, Elle Fanning's Catherine is the royal you've been looking for.
If You Love Marina Then You Should Watch Belgravia
Early on in Season 1 of Bridgerton it becomes apparent that Marina is in a bit of a situation. As a result of her pregnancy, she needs to find a husband fast, but she also can't stop yearning for the father of her child. That also happens to be the basic setup to Julian Fellowes' Belgravia. The main difference is that Belgravia really takes off after the baby in question is grown, leaving a whole host of family secrets bubbling to the surface in this fast-paced miniseries about the personal cost of refusing to break society's rules.
Whether you're new to the period drama genre or Bridgerton has simply reawakened your love for over the top dresses and rain-soaked declarations of love, these shows should keep you busy until the Bridgertons and the rest of London's ton return.
Image: Liam Daniel/Netflix