These shows should hold you over until season three.
Are you simultaneously overjoyed that the new season of Bridgerton is finally here, but filled with dread that once you’re done bingeing it you’ll have to wait another year (or more) for season three? You, gentle reader, may be suffering from a very common affliction known as the post-Bridgerton blues. Well, fear not, because we have the antidote — 10 shows like Bridgerton that will help fill that gaping hole Regé-Jean Page started digging in your heart when you found out he wouldn’t be in season 2. Side effects may include a sudden urge to speak in a British accent.
10 Shows Like Bridgerton
The Gilded Age
If you’re not interested in Euphoria, The Gilded Age is reason enough to get yourself an HBO Max subscription. Set in Manhattan at the turn of the 20th century, the show follows the shockingly cutthroat social battle between the “old money” and “new money” families of New York as the latter try to gain status among the city’s elite. What the show lacks in romance (a man touching a woman’s arm in public is grounds for a public scandal) it makes up for in fantastically passive-aggressive cattiness.
If you’re in the market for a light-hearted show with fantastic characters, gorgeous costumes, and a few steamy scenes to keep things spicy, this show is for you. The Great is set in 18th century Russia, and follows Catherine the Great from her marriage to the wild and bawdy Emperor Peter III through her plot to overthrow him and take the throne herself. It’s a funny and modern take on a moment in history that seems almost too outlandish to be true.
Set just a hop, skip, and a jump away from London (give or take a few centuries), this show follows a young English woman named Claire who goes on a trip to Ireland with her husband after his return from the second world war. While there, Claire stumbles into a fairy circle and is transported to the year 1743, just before the Jacobite rebellion. Claire is taken in by a group of clansmen and embarks on a romance with a particularly handsome rebel named Jamie. After you watch this one, we won’t be surprised if you go looking for a fairy circle of your own. While you might not think there’s much else to watch on Starz right now, we promise just this show is worth the subscription.
About 15 years before Lady Whistledown graced our screens (or about 200 years after, depending on how you look at it), there was another anonymous gossip columnist shaking up the lives of the glamorous upper class: Gossip Girl. Although it takes place in another city and in another era, the premise of Gossip Girl will sound familiar to any Bridgerton fan: The private lives of the students at an elite prep school in New York City are suddenly public fodder when an insider begins blogging about them under the pen name Gossip Girl. Get out the popcorn, because this show has got six whole seasons of scandal to keep you entertained. Plus, the reboot.
Maybe this one’s a bit obvious, but for fans of British period pieces, there are few shows that hold a candle to The Crown. Each season of the series covers a different period of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, from her marriage to Prince Phillip and ascent to the throne through her son’s tumultuous marriage to Princess Diana. No matter your feelings on the modern British monarchy, this is one show that is not to be missed.
King Henry VIII was not exactly known as a sex symbol (in fact some reports say that at the time of his death, the infamous monarch was covered in foul-smelling open ulcers and weighed almost 400 lbs) so to say that the creators of The Tudors took some creative liberties is quite the understatement. The series stars a smoldering Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as a young and lusty Henry VIII as he exerts his power over both his kingdom and his many wives and mistresses. Who knew the 16th century could be so sexy? Yet another reason to sign up for Hulu.
Any diehard Benedict Cumberbatch fan (or as the group calls themselves, his Cumberb*tches) knows, before the actor was Dr. Strange or even Sherlock, he was conservative English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens from the limited series Parade’s End. Set at the start of World War I, the five-part series centers on a torrid love triangle between Tietjens, his philandering socialite wife, and a forward-thinking young suffragette. As the war begins raging across the globe, it shatters the lives of millions across Europe, including all three protagonists.
Before the fashion magazine graced newsstands across the globe, there was the 1848 rags to riches novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. The book served as inspiration for the 2018 series, which follows a manipulative and whip-smart young woman named Becky Sharp as she skillfully maneuvers her way from the lowest class of society all the way up to the court of King George IV. Whether you love Becky or you hate her, the young woman’s tenacity and disregard for consequences make her a fascinating character.
Pop star Hailee Steinfeld hits the small screen with this comedic interpretation of poet Emily Dickinson’s early years establishing herself as a writer. Set in the 19th century, the series blends fact with fiction, with some nods to how Dickinson might behave as a modern millennial. The show, told from Dickinson’s perspective, frames her as a young woman who thinks she was born in the wrong time as she fights against gender and social constraints to pursue her dream of becoming a poet.
Call the Midwife
Any show that’s been on for 11 seasons has got to be doing something right. This BBC drama follows a group of midwives in the late 1950s and early 1960s as they encounter a whole host of women’s issues including miscarriages, unwanted pregnancies, prostitution, and same-sex attraction. The first season takes place in the late 1950s during the “baby boom,” as a group of midwives from a nursing convent work to deliver hundreds of babies in London’s poor and medically underserved East End.