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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Katie Walsh

What to stream: Follow 'Bridgerton' Season 2 binge with these shows

Season 2 of Netflix’s smash hit series “Bridgerton” hits the streaming service on Friday, and we could all use a dose of the frothy, frilly fantasy right about now. Produced by Shonda Rhimes and created by Chris Van Dusen, the series is based on the books by Julia Quinn, set in Regency-era London, following the courtships and dramas of young debutantes looking for marriage. In the second season, the attention turns away from the racy romance of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) and toward the exploits of Daphne’s brother, Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), who becomes embroiled in a love triangle when two new sisters (Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran) come to “ton.” Whatever will Lady Whistledown say?

If you gulp down the series too quickly, it could be fun to chase it with a few other series starring the talented cast. Watch Bailey in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s pre-“Fleabag” series “Crashing” (streaming on Netflix) or check out both Bailey and Ashley prior to their big new “Bridgerton” romance in the British crime series “Broadchurch” (streaming on PBS Masterpiece or available for rent elsewhere). Catch charming co-star Nicola Coughlan in the winning Irish comedy series “Derry Girls” (streaming on Netflix with a new season coming soon), or see what the warring mums Lady Featherington (Polly Walker) and Lady Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmel) were up to before they had to marry off their children. Walker schemed her way through the HBO series “Rome” (on HBO Max), while Gemmel had a far more supernatural time in London in the Victorian-era show “Penny Dreadful” (streaming on Showtime).

“Bridgerton” manages to skillfully balance the archaic mating rituals of the upper class with a healthy dose of romance, and yes, some bodice ripping too. Known for its steamy sex scenes that could only be shown on a streaming service, “Bridgerton” brings the heat to the small screen. But if it only leaves you wanting more, here’s a selection of series to check out along the same vein.

“Belfast” lead Catriona Balfe stars opposite Sam Heughan in the equally transporting series “Outlander” (streaming on Starz and Netflix). Balfe plays a World War II era nurse who time travels back to 1743 and falls in love with a Highland warrior. The series, based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, is five seasons strong and the sixth just premiered. A prequel series is also on the way.

Before “Game of Thrones,” Natalie Dormer starred in the steamy take on English history, “The Tudors,” as the famously doomed queen Anne Boleyn, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers co-starring as Henry VIII, plus, a pre-"Superman" Henry Cavill. Stream it on Showtime.

Or check out the historically informed series “Harlots,” streaming on Hulu, which is based on historian Hallie Rubenhold’s book “The Covent Garden Ladies.” Samantha Morton stars as Margaret Wells, the madam of a brothel trying to secure a future for her daughters against the backdrop of a rise in religious morality. Lesley Manville co-stars as a rival madam doing business in the same wealthy area.

Hopefully, this selection of series proves to be a satisfying post-“Bridgerton” binge.


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