Netflix: “Queen Charlotte: a Bridgerton Story”
“Queen Charlotte: a Bridgerton Story” is the prequel to the Netflix series that captivated so many with its wit and star-crossed romances. While this prequel doesn’t have as many snappy bon-mots, it does feature a number of steamy love affairs—chief among them, between the young Queen Charlotte (the marvelous India Ria Amarteifio) and the handsome but troubled King George III (Corey Milchreest).
Showrunner Shonda Rhimes isn’t shy about revealing the young King as someone plagued by what we would now call bipolar disorder. In a desperate attempt to continue the royal line, George’s mother (the redoubtable Michelle Fairley) has recruited Charlotte from Germany as his royal consort, but fails to tell her future daughter-in-law about his maladies, which cause him, among other things, to scribble on walls and howl at the moon naked.
Fans of “Bridgerton” will be pleased that some of their favorite characters are back in “QC,” including a young Lady Danbury (Arsa Thomas) who, when unexpectedly widowed, seeks solace in the arms of Lord Ledger, a married man (Keir Charles). Ledger is the father of young Violet (Connie Jenkins-Grieg) who becomes the grownup Mrs. Bridgerton in later episodes.
Keeping all of this straight? Well, that’s a nice segue into the steamy relationships in “QC” that aren’t straight—like the hot-and-heavy Grind’r-caliber hookups between Reynolds, King George’s chief of staff (Freddie Dennis) and Brimsley, (Sam Cornett), Charlotte’s man. You go, lads!
Shonda Rhimes doesn’t hold back on the sex scenes, which makes the show fun to watch. Nor does she shy away from the archaic techniques used in the late 18th century to treat George’s mental illness—one more appalling than the next.
In short, “QC” is superb stuff for those who like their costume dramas frilly, their couplings steamy, and their royal women strong. Speaking of strong women, the show teases you with the birth announcement of a once and future queen: Victoria. Perhaps you’ve heard of her?
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