Entertainment

Netflix’ Bridgerton is fun, raunchy, and visually appealing escapism at its best

The Duke of Hastings is enough reason to binge this show.

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If Jane Austen wrote Gossip Girl, this would probably be it. Bridgerton is Netflix’ latest offering for people looking for a bit of an escape — this time, to the Regency era where life was seemingly less boring than one might imagine.

The show is based on the first book of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series: ‘The Duke and I’. For comparison’s sake, I found myself reading the book after finishing all of its eight episodes. Personally, I find the small screen adaptation proves to be quite respectful to the canon. Some adjustments were made to make it a slightly better fit for today’s audience.

Seamless in injecting diversity

A racially diverse cast that doesn’t feel forced for the sake of being woke is something I truly appreciated. Show creator Chris Van Dusen reimagined the Bridgertons’ world with people of color having status and power. This was actually addressed by some of the characters, complete with its own narrative that fit — quite seamlessly — into the plot.

I’m pretty sure I speak for a lot of us who watched the show that this was something we welcomed. After all, this adjustment gave us Regé-Jean Page as lead character Simon Basset — the ‘Duke’ the book title refers to. The story revolves around the courtship between him and Bridgerton eldest daughter Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor.

*Spoilers are coming. You’ve been warned.*

It’s London in the early 1800s and Daphne has debuted into the marriage market. Despite rave reviews from their print-era version of Gossip Girl, Lady Whistledown, her prospects are looking pretty bleak. The Duke who doesn’t wish to marry to avoid fathering children finds himself in an agreement with Daphne that will make her more popular among potential suitors. And as for him, it will ward off determined mothers from foisting their marriageable daughters on him.

They pretend that they are courting and their ruse eventually leads them to develop feelings for each other. Surprise, surprise. And that’s where things get interesting. Despite the steamy adventures of eldest Bridgerton brother Anthony, things are a little slow during the first few episodes. The fun only starts to pick up midway into the series.

Expect to see Nicola Coughlan of Derry Girls fame as the daughter of Bridgerton neighbors, The Featheringtons. She plays Penelope who’s in love with Colin, one of Daphne’s brothers. I actually love her character and that of another Bridgerton sister — Eloise.

To see what happens to them, however, we’ll have to pray for more seasons of the show. This season is all about Daphne and the Duke of Hastings. I did enjoy the series, especially the parts where they tried to inject as much female empowerment that 1800s London can take. However, I still found some parts of it fell short.

Bridgerton: escapism but still a tad problematic

As a woman living in 2021, it was quite hard to relate to Daphne’s character who had her whole life pegged on marriage and having children. Sure, it’s the Regency era and women had limited options for a good life. So while these things should have been understandable, I felt horrible for Simon when she practically forced him to have children with her.

The act was much worse in the book but thankfully, Van Dusen made this part a tad bearable in the series. I have to admit, I lost much respect for Daphne after that. Without Page playing the Duke, I probably would have lost interest and hit fast forward just to find out who Lady Whistledown is.

At a time when there’s so much more to being a woman and consent is a major issue for both genders, I hope impressionable viewers won’t take Daphne for a role model. There’s always Eloise for this season. Pick her!

Bridgerton is fun, quite raunchy, and pretty exciting thanks to the mystery that is Lady Whistledown. I absolutely loved how cheeky she was.

It’s a visually appealing series with gorgeous sets and costumes in aesthetically pleasing color palettes. Well, except those worn by the Featheringtons. Oh, and did I mention Julie Andrews is the narrating voice of Lady Whistledown? That, in itself, is more than enough reason to grab that remote and give the series a try.

Catch the first season of Bridgerton on Netflix.

Entertainment

Netflix is reportedly producing a live-action Pokémon series

With Lucifer showrunner Joe Henderson

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Pokémon remains one of the most popular franchises today. From the ever-popular video game series to the still-ongoing anime series, the creature collector franchise still going strong. Even then, the franchise is reportedly working on another addition to its repertoire: a live-action Netflix series.

According to Variety, Netflix is in the early stages of an upcoming Pokémon series on the platform. Much like the widely successful film Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynolds, the series will star actual humans in a live-action format. Beyond that, the report does not go into detail into how the creatures will look like for the series.

Likewise, the report does not indicate when the series will launch.

Lucifer’s Joe Henderson is reportedly helming the series. He is also known for adapting Stephen King’s 11.22.63 for Hulu.

Over the past few years, Pokémon has tapped various segments besides gaming and anime fans. The company has tapped lifestyle with branded accessories and lifestyle-oriented apps. Adding a live-action series will tap into the thriving Netflix market.

For Netflix’s part, the popular streaming platform has considerably increased the variety of genres it is producing. Besides the live-action Pokémon series, Netflix is also releasing an anime version of its popular original, The Witcher.

SEE ALSO: Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the first open-world Pokémon game

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Netflix’s first games will be mobile-only first

Including Stranger Things titles

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Since the rise of its popularity years ago, Netflix has dominated the streaming services industry. Since then, the company has moved past just hosting content on its platform. They have also produced their own content including hit shows like Stranger Things. Now, they are going further than just films and TV series. Netflix is expanding to mobile games first.

Days ago, Netflix announced development towards gaming content. However, in their earnings report for the second quarter of this year, Netflix announced focus on mobile games first. To do so, the company has hired former EA official Mike Verdu for the project.

The company has also listed some properties that it is working on. The first game titles will include ones for Stranger Things. Further, Netflix subscribers will have free access to the games with their subscription. However, since the focus is still on mobile, only mobile users can access them when they come out.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Netflix tried interactive content. Recently, they released a special choose-your-own-adventure version of Black Mirror called Bandersnatch. Viewers were able to steer the film according to prompts on their screen, effectively making their own version of the film. Though the film never kickstarted the interactive film genre, it redefined how Netflix content can be enjoyed digitally.

Now, with whatever Netflix is planning, the company is likely continuing that trend.

SEE ALSO: What does your favorite Netflix genre say about you?

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Netflix could add video games to the platform at no extra cost

It’s trying to create a metaverse

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Netflix Video Games

Netflix revolutionized video streaming a decade ago and has been leading the sector ever since. Now, the company plans to leverage its reach and offer video games on the platform in a bid to dominate the entertainment industry.

The streaming service currently has more than 200 million subscribers globally and hosts movies, TV shows, and documentaries. According to a Bloomberg report, video games will be added as a new genre, and many experts are stoked about its future potential.

The streaming platform hired former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive Mike Verdu to head up the project. He has worked on many projects such as The Sims, Plants vs. Zombies, and Star Wars franchises. At Facebook, he was responsible for bringing games and other content to Oculus platforms.

Over the years, Netflix has experimented with many projects that aim to complement its existing entertainment library. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style production that made the watching experience far more engaging and exciting.

It has also previously tied up with third-party developers to release a couple of Stranger Things-themed mobile games. The company has also invested heavily in Game-inspired TV shows and movies such as Dota, Castlevania, and The Witcher.

Investors are also keenly watching how Netflix can establish a metaverse — a variety of virtual experiences, environments, and assets that make up an ecosystem. In simpler words, video games, TV shows, and movies can complement each other to offer a vaster entertainment experience.

While comparing Netflix’s current ambition to Google Stadia or Microsoft xCloud may be an overstatement at the moment, the cloud gaming sector is expected to be the future. If Netflix can gradually ramp up its offerings, the platform can be a formidable competitor in the entertainment space.

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