A fine alternative to Shonda Rhimes' costume drama.
The teen drama series that has made Blake Lively one of Hollywood's most famous actresses is a modern reimagining of Jane Austen's classic novel Emma.
In terms of its plot, Gossip Girl is similar to Bridgerton — but with one correction: the series' action takes place in the early noughties. There is also a mysterious anonymous figure who spreads other people's secrets, and the main characters are privileged and rich students of an elite school in Manhattan. Like Bridgerton, the show depicts the characters' passionate love adventures and focuses on the sensual side of their lives.
The satirical comedy is akin to Bridgerton in that it offers a rather dark take on history: The Great follows the life of Catherine the Great, one of Russia's most famous empresses.
It must be said, however, that the events in the show are pure fiction, and the creators don't even try to be historically accurate — which doesn't deprive the series of its charm. Elle Fanning gives an outstanding performance as young Catherine, and Nicholas Holt portrays her husband, Peter.
Like Bridgerton, Outlander is based on a novel series (written by Diana Gabaldon).
The show's protagonist is a young woman, Claire Randall, who can travel through time. While in the 18th century, she meets a stern but terribly attractive Scottish warrior. Romance sparks between the characters, but Claire doesn't give up the hope of returning to the future. Despite the fantastic plot, Outlander is a very romantic show and may rival — or even surpass — Bridgerton in the number of intimate scenes.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Among the many adaptations of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, this series stands out as the most unusual take on the novel.
For one, the story has been transferred to modern times: Elizabeth Bennet is now a video blogger. In her videos, Lizzie talks about her family life, complains about her sisters, and shares her thoughts on the mysterious Mr Darcy. Unlike the classic BBC miniseries and the film with Keira Knightley, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is more of a humorous show. Just like Bridgerton, it reimagines its literary source and turns it into something entirely new.
Set in London a few years before Bridgerton, the story centers on brothel owner Margaret Wells who struggles to run the business while also raising her daughters.
Like all women of her time, Margaret is heavily dependent on men, but even under the pressures of the 18th-century patriarchy, she manages to bring feminist ideals to life. The creators of Harlots also offer a fresh look at the sex industry of the time, destigmatizing the world's oldest profession.
The show is inspired by the diaries of Anne Lister, a British landowner who lived in the early 19th century.
Lister questioned gender and sexual identity and had a rather turbulent personal life. Some experts believe that she was one of the first open lesbians in history. Gentleman Jack is similar to Bridgerton in the overall lighthearted, melodramatic atmosphere that's full of vivid sentiment and emotions.
In many ways, the series breaks the popular stereotype that the famous American poet Emily Dickinson was a recluse leading a cloistered life.
Dickinson focuses on the poet's youth, family, early creative successes — and her numerous crushes. In the same vein as Bridgerton tackles 19th-century realities, the show takes a more feminist approach to the era, presenting its main character as a fierce, bold, and irresistibly charismatic woman with a bright personality.