Bridgerton is Shonda Rhimes’ latest TV show. It’s also her first as part of a deal with Netflix and her production company, Shondaland. Instead of a medical drama like Grey’s Anatomy or a political program such as Scandal, Bridgerton is set in 19th England. And, like many other TV shows and movies, it’s based on a book, or rather, a series of books.
While some onscreen adaptations of novels can leave something to be desired, Bridgerton creator and showrunner, Chris Van Dusen, assures fans of the books the show lives up to the source material.
‘Bridgerton’ is based on books by Julia Quinn
Bridgerton began with Julia Quinn’s 2000 novel, The Duke and I. It’s where readers first met Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, portrayed by Regé-Jean Page in the Netflix series. The Duke and I has since spawned a series of Bridgerton novels totaling eight titles. According to Quinn’s website, there are also two novellas.
During an interview with Oprah Magazine, the author recalled how her books became a TV series. She said she never pitched the idea of making a Bridgerton show.
“It was really out of nowhere,” Quinn told the publication. “I would talk to people later and they’d ask, ‘How did you sell your books to Hollywood?’ I would say, ‘I didn’t.’ They just came to me. Nobody in Hollywood was adapting books like this. So it didn’t even occur to me to try to sell them.”
‘Bridgerton’creator says it includes both staples and ‘new elements’
Van Dusen discussed adapting the novels for TV in a December 2020 interview with Seventeen. Asked to share what fans of the books would want to know before watching the Netflix series he said while it is certainly not exactly like Quinn’s novels, the show has the same feel.
“I think with any adaptation, there’s always going to be differences from the source material. But, fans of the books are going to see all the elements they love on screen. From the way the Bridgerton siblings banter to their love,” he said.
Van Dusen, who previously worked with Rhimes on Scandal, continued, saying just like the books the romance between Simon and Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) is the main focus of the show.
“The story of Daphne and Simon, really is the bedrock of the first season. It’s moving, sweeping, and filled with twists and turns,” he said. “But there’s also new elements as well. We have new characters like Queen Charlotte, who really opened up the world quite a bit. We also get to explore love stories for other characters that weren’t necessarily in the books.”
A second season isn’t in the works … yet
Certainly, there’s enough material for a second season of Bridgerton on Netflix what with Quinn’s multiple novels. However, it still remains whether or not the streaming giant will move forward with another chapter in the story. Keep in mind Bridgerton premiered on Dec. 25, 2020.
Shondaland and Netflix haven’t confirmed Bridgerton Season 2 but the way season 1 ended — no spoilers — points to there being more episodes in the future. For now, fans will have to read the Bridgerton books when they are done with TV series or watch another one of Rhimes’ hit TV shows.
Bridgerton Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.