Regency Review Roundup: Sanditon and Bridgerton Season 2 Reviews

*There will be spoilers for Sanditon.

The Regency era is an interesting time in human history. Looking back, it is easy to see that, as a species. we are on the road to the modernity that is life today. But we are also still clinging to the rules and social structure of previous generations.

Bridgerton

After a year and a half wait, season two of Bridgerton premiered last weekend on Netflix. It’s been nine months since the narrative of season one ended. Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Bassett (Phoebe Dyvenor and Rege-Jean Page, who decided to move onto other projects) are happily married and have a baby boy. The oldest Bridgerton son Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) has decided it is his time to settle down. Among the eligible women of the ton, he chooses Edwina Sharma (Charitha Chandran). But before they can walk down the aisle, he has to get through her overprotective older sister, Kate (Simone Ashley). She is tough, smart, and unwilling to compromise on whom she sees as her future brother-in-law. The problem is that there is something between Anthony and Kate that cannot be ignored.

If last season one was hot, this season has the fire of several volcanoes exploding at the same time. The chemistry between Ashley and Bailey is intense. The enemies to lovers/slow-burn narrative is so perfect that I would recommend that anyone who wants to write a good romance novel watch this series. It’s that good.

Sanditon

Its been nine months since the audience has spent time with the denizens of Sanditon. After the death of her first love, Sydney Parker (Theo James), Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) has returned to the seaside town and the Parkers. Bringing her younger sister, Alison (Rosie Graham) with her, Charlotte reunites with old friends while making new male acquaintances. Among them are Charles Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos) and Colonel Francis Lennox (Tom Weston-Jones).

With her usual tenacity and intelligence, Charlotte is trying to move on with her life. But she is still grieving (as I suspect the viewers are as well) for what might have been, had things gone in another direction. As much as we all miss Sydney, I feel like this is opening the door for new opportunities for her in both the romantic and career arenas (as much as a woman could have back then). Akin to Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) dying in a car crash at the end of the third season of Downton Abbey, it was a heartbreaking loss. But I feel like if we look at it from a modern perspective, this unexpected change is normal. Not everyone spends their life with the first person they fell in love with. It sometimes takes a few years and a few relationships to find your other half.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Bridgerton is available for streaming on Netflix. Sanditon airs on PBS on Sunday night at 9PM.

Flashback Friday: Dickensian (2015-2016)

Good writing has a way of setting the reader/audience’s imagination on fire as few things can.

The television series, Dickensian (2015-2016) takes the characters from within the individual books of Charles Dickens and weaves their lives together in 19th century London. Starring Tuppence Middleton, Stephen Rea, Alexandra Moen, and Tom Weston-Jones, the series asks the viewer to believe that all of these people know each other and interact as they go about their business.

The premise is certainly interesting. The cast is nothing short of top-notch. I’m not a huge fan of Dickens, but I can see where the spark of the idea came from. The problem is that the spark dies quickly. I stopped watching after a few minutes, left with a bitter taste of a narrative promise that was not kept.

Do I recommend it? No.

Flashback Friday-Copper (2012-2013)

History can be an interesting subject for a fictional television drama. But for it to be done right, the characters must appeal to a modern audience and the narrative has to be more than dry facts coming out of a boring college history textbook.

Between 2012 and 2013, the BBC original drama Copper aired on Sunday nights. Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom-Weston Jones) is an Irish immigrants who walks the streets of The Five Points in New York City during The Civil War. While working the beat of the dangerous Five Points, Detective Corcoran, known as Corky, does not limit himself to his neighborhood. His travels around the city include trips to the uptown residences of wealthy playboy Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid), society wife Elizabeth Haverford (Anastasia Griffith) and to the home of African-American Doctor Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh).

I was a fan of this show. I enjoyed the subtle history lesson with the compelling narrative and 3D characters. The problem is that BBC America did not feel the same and cancelled the show after the 2nd season.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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