When a great new show lands on Netflix, sometimes you just can’t help but binge your way through it: especially when there’s not much else to do (thanks COVID).
If you’ve already completed Bridgerton, the first Netflix Original created by Shonda Rhimes’ production company, Shondaland, nobody’s judging. In fact, we’re here to help.
If you loved Bridgerton, here are our recommendations of what to get stuck into next.
Note: The following shows and movies are available to watch on Netflix US. Availability across other regions may vary, but most Netflix Originals are available globally.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
If you enjoyed Bridgeton, the next best thing (although some would say better), is a Jane Austen adaptation.
Jane Austen was an English novelist who wrote romances during the early nineteenth century. Not only are Jane Austen’s novels set in the same time period as Bridgerton, but they also inhabit the same high-society world. Everyone’s interested in other people’s private lives: who’s marrying who, and how much money do they have?
Pride & Prejudice is perhaps the most famous of all Austen’s works. This version features Kiera Knightly as the heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, and Matthew Macfadyen (Succession, Frost / Nixon) as the dashing Mr Darcy.
Viewers in the UK can enjoy the 1995 Pride & Prejudice series (generally considered to be the better adaptation), as well as an adaptation of Austen’s Sense & Sensibility, featuring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and the late, great Alan Rickman.
Outlander (Seasons 1-3)
If you’re looking for a romantic historical drama with a bit of a twist, we recommend Outlander.
The drama starts in Scotland, just after the Second World War. However, the protagonist, nurse Claire Randall, inadvertently time-travels back to the 18th century. There, she becomes entangled in a dramatic romance with a rebel Highlander, Jamie. Adventure soon comes calling, as does Claire’s previous life.
This Starz series features Caitriona Balfe (Now You See Me), Sam Heughan (A Princess for Christmas), and Tobias Menzies (The Crown).
Lady J (2018) N
This period piece is set a little earlier than Bridgerton, in 18th-century France. However, both dramas are deeply concerned with the ins and outs of high-society relationships.
In Lady J, a woman spurned by her Marquis lover devises an elaborate plot to exact revenge. According to reviews, it’s similar to the 1988 classic, Dangerous Liaisons.
Anna Karenina (2012)
If you want to watch a period drama that’s as lavish as they come, look no further than Anna Karenina.
Based on the iconic Russian novel by Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina is a vast tale of romance, infidelity, and reputation. Our heroine, played by Kiera Knightly, experiences firsthand the double standard faced by women in 19th-century society.
Kiera Knightly is supported by an all-star cast, including June Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Alicia Vikander, and Domhnall Gleeson.
The Princess Switch (2018) N
While this one’s not a historical drama, there’s nothing like a little holiday romance to get you in a festive mood. Especially when it involves all the glamour of princes, princesses, and Christmas parties in castles.
Vaness Hudgens plays both Stacy DeNovo and Lady Margaret Delacourt: a talented baker, and a betrothed duchess who happens to look almost identical. The pair agree to swap lives for a couple of days, just to see what it’s like. Of course, it doesn’t take long for love to blossom.
If you really like this one, The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again is also available on Netflix.
Anne with an E (Seasons 1-3) N
This hugely popular period drama is based on the 1908 novel, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
The series follows a warm and excitable orphan girl, Anne, who is adopted by a farm family. Although the series has been highly praised for how it deals with topics such as prejudice, race, gender, and other social issues, Netflix controversially declined to renew the show for a fourth season.
Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker (2020) N
Our final recommendation moves away from the romantic period drama theme. Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is another title to emerge from Netflix’s partnership with Shondaland.
For many families, watching the Christmas ballet, the Nutcracker, is a festive tradition. Since that’s probably out the window this year, let’s try something different.
Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is an annual dance performance organized by famed choreographer Debbie Allen. This reimagining of the classic ballet seeks to showcase the amazing talent of Black dancers. Shondaland’s documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the production of Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, and the incredible dancers and team that make it.
What shows or movies would you recommend to viewers who loved streaming Bridgerton? Let us know in the comments below.