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Good news, Lady Whistledown fans: “Bridgerton” Season 2 has been officially confirmed!
After a spectacular debut season, both “Bridgerton” and Netflix have confirmed that the steamy period drama would begin shooting its second season in Spring 2021. The show also revealed to fans that the second season would focus largely on Lord Anthony Bridgerton, presumably keeping with the theme of the second “Bridgerton” novel, “The Viscount Who Loved Me.”
“Bridgerton” withdrawals are real. Personally, the show served as the escape I had desperately needed all year. I was transported from my quiet Christmas during lockdown to another time filled with balls, advantageous marriage proposals, empire waisted gowns, pianofortes, unrequited love, invitations to take a turn about the room and steamy romances.
I’ve made it my personal mission to fill the void between Bridgerton seasons with similar streaming content. I’ve been on a bender filled with corsets and forbidden romances - and have briefly come up for air to share my recommendations for anyone looking for new shows to watch to keep the “Bridgerton” train rolling.
Starring: Theo James and Rose Williams
If “Bridgerton” bewitched me, “Sanditon” ruined me — in the best way possible. This eight-part PBS Masterpiece series is based on Jane Austen’s final unfinished novel and follows Charlotte Heywood (Williams) who receives an invitation to visit a burgeoning seaside resort, Sanditon. Heywood soon meets the handsome but cold Sidney Parker (James) and a cast of characters that provide drama and intrigue at every turn.
How to watch: Amazon Prime (PBS Masterpiece Channel add-on)
Starring: Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson
I’m deep in the trenches of “Poldark” a story based of novels set in the late 18th century following the American Revolutionary War. The five season series follows Ross Poldark (Turner), an officer in the British Army who returns to his home in Cornwall after years of fighting in the newly-independent colonies to learn that his fiancée, Elizabeth, is now engaged to his cousin, Francis. Heartbroken, Poldark sets out to restore his family’s estate and mines - and finds love, adventure and plenty of drama along the way.
How to Watch: Amazon Prime (PBS Masterpiece Channel add-on)
Sense and Sensibility
Starring: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman
Ang Lee’s 1995 film is based on one of Jane Austen’s most beloved stories that follows Elinor Dashwood (Thompson) and her sister Marianne (Winslet) who are on the brink of poverty following their father’s death. The only hope to save their mother and secure a future for their younger sister is to marry well. The sisters find their respective suitors and the potential for love in Edward Ferras (Grant) and Colonel Brandon (Rickman). The film is a romantic feast for the eyes and a great way to pass the afternoon. Get ready to swoon.
How to watch: Netflix
Far From the Madding Crowd
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen
Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” is one of those movies I go back to time and time again. The film follows Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan), a young woman who inherits her uncle’s farm and is determined to become a successful landowner on her own. Everdene is pursued by three men, each with their own agendas, who try their best to win her heart. The story is both romantic and heartbreaking and paired with sweeping visuals of the English countryside.
How to watch: iTunes, Google Play, YouTube or Netflix U.S.
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Starring: Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle
A polarizing pick - but I recommend the 1995 BBC miniseries over the 2005 film adaptation starring Keira Knightly, solely for Firth’s brilliance as Mr. Darcy. Joe Wright’s adaptation is beautifully made, but the miniseries allows for more character development than a 129 minute long film allows. Do I even need to summarize this Jane Austen classic? With no male heir, Elizabeth Bennett (Ehle) and her sisters are tasked with the mission to marry wealthy men to secure their family’s wellbeing.
How to watch: Amazon Prime (Britbox Channel)
Starring: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan
If you couldn’t get enough of the love scenes in “Bridgerton,” chances are you’ll enjoy “Outlander.” Based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon, “Outlander” features a passionate romance between Claire Randall (Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Heughan). Randall, a former WWII nurse, travels through time to 1743 and must marry Fraser, a handsome Scottish warrior, to survive. Together, Randall and Fraser try to change the course of history and outwit a British soldier determined to kill Fraser.
How to watch: Netflix, STARZ
Starring: Tom Bateman, Leo Suter
“Beecham House” trades in the English countryside for Delhi, India in the late-18th century. John Beecham (Bateman) is a former British soldier determined to start a new life in Delhi with his infant son. The six-part series was created by Gurinder Chadha, who wrote and directed “Bend It Like Beckham” and masterfully infuses “Beecham House” with cross-cultural romances, revenge and of course -lots and lots of drama!
How to watch: Amazon Prime (PBS Masterpiece channel)
Starring: Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith
No recommendation list would be complete without “Downton Abbey.” The wildly popular series follows the Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th century. Julian Fellowes’s award-winning drama explores the upstairs/downstairs divide during an era of tremendous social change while expertly weaving in romances, heartbreak and tragedy.
How to watch: Amazon Prime, BritBox