How ‘Bridgerton’ flipped the script on ‘The Duke and I’
Read on The Washington Post
Jan 12, 2021
Written by author Vanessa Riley.
“Race is celebrated. Regé-Jean Page, Adjoa Andoh and Golda Rosheuvel play Black characters, not amorphous shape-shifters with tans. “Bridgerton” entwines culture into the story but without the burden of the colonial past. With everything from the solidarity dap, the arm tap between Hastings and Mondrich, to a jeweled Afro-pick comb, Black is on the screen. It’s bright and happy and shiny in a post-racial afterglow.
The duke, the lady and the baby-face queen — these characters’ struggles are not framed by slavery or prejudice. The Duke of Hastings is broken, consumed by a vow made against a horrid father. Lady Danbury’s pain is physical. Her knees aren’t as adept as her meddling. Queen Charlotte seeks excitement to avoid hours of dwelling on her husband’s mental illness. These troubles are universal. They hit at the soul. Viewers of color can feel safe watching the story without waiting for that moment when our breath is punched from our lungs because of an epithet, an othering action or plot point constructed on historical pain, pain that still runs deep.”