Bridgerton: the cult phrases of the first season
It was enough that Simon, Duke of Hastings, licked a teaspoon in a tea room to make the internet go wild, or at least the 63 million families who watched the Bridgerton costume event series on Netflix in two weeks. This nineteenth-century version of the rebellious – and hot – gentleman is played by the English Regé-Jean Page, who has been able to embody all kinds of fantasies, from the romantic ones to the more erotic ones. The first season, taken from novel The Duke and I (Oscar Bestseller Mondadori), the first in Julia Quinn’s Regency saga, is contained in this single image which, more than a thousand words, explains the hot atmosphere of the episodes. It is thanks to Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy) who recreated – with a surplus of sensuality – the world of young London debutants of the time, in particular the ethereal Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor). The eight episodes are not the word-for-word transposition of the first book, on the contrary they often wink at readers with references to the sequels or prequels of the story, but they have captured the essence of the story.
Regé-Jean Page and… the spoon in a scene by Bridgerton
Looking forward to find out what will happen to the Bridgerton brothers and sisters of the protagonist, with new and exciting lovestories, here is the top ten of the already cult phrases (with some small spoilers) of this television chapter signed by Chris Van Dusen. Many belong to Simon and Daphne, of course, but one cannot escape the scandalous pearls of the mysterious writer Lady Whistledown, who has the voice of Julie Andrews in the series. The cleverest jokes? They obviously belong to Eloise (Claudia Jessie), rebellious, nonconformist and brilliant best friend of Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), a key character in the saga.
1. “There is nothing the author loves more than a scandal” (Lady Wistledown, episode 4)
“It has been said that of all bitches, dead or alive, a woman who scribbles is the most canine. If this is true the author would like to show you her teeth. My name is Lady Whistledown, you don’t know me and I assure you that you will never know me, but I warn you, dear readers, I certainly know you ”. With a presentation like this, fun is guaranteed, but this mysterious voice that reveals the altars of high society, has a nose for scandals and boasts an elephant memory (like a famous four-and-a-half-minute flash courtship in front of a buffet. ) at one point tells one of the most sinful dances of the season, between acrobats and semi-naked opera singers on stage. And, of course, he warns the young debutants: “The bold move of an unmarried couple, a fleeting touch or, god forbid, a kiss would drag any young lady down the road to ruin.” In fact …
2. “I am your trusted general” (Simon, episode 3)
Simon, who at the beginning of the story appears refractory to worldly life, allergic to the marriage season and extremely opinionated compared to the other members of the aristocracy, begins to have fun when he proposes to Daphne a fake courtship. The reason? He gets rid of mothers eager to marry their daughters, while the girl becomes the most desirable of the noble bachelors around. And, knight as he is, he even lends himself to playing the part of the jealous suitor. This sentence, however, occurs after the infamous spoon scene and perhaps Miss Bridgerton did not understand a single word, too distracted by the raging hormones.
3. “Flawless” (Queen Charlotte, episode 1)
Between bored snorts, grimaces of disgust and various yawns, the Queen Charlotte at the meeting of the debutantes of the new London season she has only one moment of curiosity, when Daphne presents herself in front of her. He kisses her on the forehead calling her “flawless”, an adjective that transforms it into the diamond of the year, the object of desire of the whole aristocracy. His jokes about the state of health of his spouse or the digs at his nephew, however, remain the favorites of the public because his acidity has something inexplicably irresistible.
Daphne receives a necklace as a gift from the prince, the queen’s nephew
© LIAM DANIEL / NETFLIX
4. “I burn for you” (Daphne, episode 5)
Dear Daphne ignores any kind of relationship there may be between a man and a woman. She feels a series of upsets in the presence of the duke, but does not clearly grasp the signs of him. When he sees his face red in the face and passionate, he thinks he is upset, without understanding that in front of him he has the very image of passion and ardor. She almost needs the subtitles from him, but when she realizes it she leaves in one equally heartfelt confession, framed by the light of a fireplace and on the notes of the usual string quartet that in the various episodes even melts hearts of ice.
5. “What if I prefer to take flight?” (Eloise, episode 4)
THE dialogues between Eloise and Penelope they remain iconic because only to her friend can she reveal all her intolerance for the position of inferiority in which the nineteenth century relegates the female universe. During a walk in the center he blurts out: “I’ll never understand this feathers on the head fashion, why pay even more attention to the fact that we are chicks looking for male attention? (..) Why must the choice always be between squawking and brooding or never leaving the nest? “. She, as she clearly says, just wants to aim for the sky and take flight. She also confesses it on the swing to her brother Benedict and tries to explain it to her mother too, who instead wants to get her married the following year. His are the shrewdest and most brilliant lines of Bridgerton’s first season.
Daphne with a feather headdress
© LIAM DANIEL / NETFLIX
6. “I would have died for you” (Simon, episode 6)
Simon does not want to marry or have children, so when he meets Daphne he treats her first with the usual coldness, then with gallantry and then with complicity. The feelings are amplified and contemplate jealousy, he cannot hold back and ends up in trouble, in more ways than one. But he doesn’t want to dishonor the girl or put her in danger, which is why in an epic clash between the two he confides in her what she already knows, that is, that he would have given his life for hers. On this precise occasion, however, this phrase – used in a literary sense – does not mitigate the fury of the young Bridgerton, on the contrary …
7. “My mother had three daughters, who could ever believe that love is in the way?” (Penelope, episode 2)
One of the most inconvenient conversations for high society ladies is about procreation. Over and over again Eloise, Penelope, and even Daphne try to get explanations, but instead they receive confusing metaphors and some distant allusion. So when Marina, Lord Featherington’s distant cousin, tells Penelope that she gets pregnant for love, she talks about it with her best friend on the street but something is wrong. The mother, far from romantic, would hardly have felt such ardor for her husband. The result of the scene is absolutely hilarious.
© COURTESY OF NETFLIX / NETFLIX
8. “You are a libertine from head to toe” (Daphne, episode 1)
When the matron of the house Bridgerton invites the duke to dinner, in the hope that the spark will spark between him and Daphne, instead the two tease each other throughout the dinner. The girl takes the opportunity to leap: “How is it possible for a girl to offer a smile and nothing else when sitting next to a duke? (…) Presumptuous? Obvious. Arrogant? Probably. You are a libertine from head to toe (…) I assure you I am not interested in you “. Deep down, however, she knows she couldn’t be further from reality, as her nocturnal fantasies confirm …
9. “If the only righteous gentlemen are your brothers then we are in trouble” (Anthony, episode 1)
Anthony, eldest son and Viscount Bridgerton, he takes the role of head of the family quite seriously but only when it comes to protecting his sister’s virtue from what he calls “the shrewdest foxes.” None of the young bachelors suits him: either they are cadet sons, or they are destitute, or they are poets, or they are looking for a dowry … The poor girl seems destined to remain a spinster, despite the illustrious “review” of the Queen. At a certain point he himself realizes that he has exhausted all the candidates and, with great disappointment, only … the brothers remain on the list. Disheartened, he has to come up with something, but his intuition turns out to be anything but infallible.
10: “Repentant libertines are the best husbands” (episode 1)
The phrase, written in Julia Quinn’s novels, is attributed to Lady Violet in one of the most insightful dialogues with the eldest son. The widow Bridgerton has the only goal in life to marry her eight children and wastes no time. With the precision of a military strategist he dodges inadequate suitors, architects plots and makes alliances, demonstrating how the power of a woman has always been underestimated. Even in his house. Today we would call her “badass woman”, right?