A Netflix Triumph


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Elise Unterseher, Arts and Community Editor

Jane Austin’s witty romance novels have been replaced by the risqué romance between Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset. This new Netflix original series is based off the books of Julia Quinn, an author known for her charming Regency-set collection surrounding the lustrous Bridgerton family.  

The first book and first season follows the fourth child Daphne Bridgerton as she introduces herself to London high society with the goal of finding an exceptional husband. This accomplished young woman is deemed the diamond of the London season by the Queen herself, which is the highest form of praise and leaves all the other eligible ladies jealous of Daphne. There is also another force that is to be reckoned with in this show, the would-be the mysterious Lady Whistledown. This anonymous author writes pamphlets exposing all the scandals surrounding London’s elite party goers. Although Daphne’s first few soirees are sabotaged by her eldest brother, Anthony. Anthony is the head of the family after the untimely death of their father. His overprotectiveness of his sister, unfortunately, scares off all the male prospects, making Daphne become an undesirable candidate.  

It is only until Daphne and the Duke of Hastings, Simon, come to an agreement to fool both Lady Whistledown and the rest of London society into thinking that they are a couple. The fake courtship between the Duke and Ms. Bridgerton is to bring up Daphne’s status and keep marriage determined mamas away from the Duke.  


The Duke does not wish to marry because of his childhood traumas. Simon’s father, the previous Duke, wanted nothing more than an heir to carry on the Basset name, but that desire cost the life of his wife, Simon’s mother. It is revealed that during his younger years, Simon had a speech impediment, which made Simon’s father deem him unfit to carry on the Hastings legacy. However, Lady Danbury, a dear friend of Simon’s mother, took it upon herself to raise the child properly and teach him to be a strong, proud man. On the previous Duke’s death bed Simon promises never to sire an heir, so that the Basset line ends with him.  

Nevertheless, as Daphne and Simon become closer, they both start having feelings of love. Until the handsome and available Prince Frederick of Prussia comes to London, which causes doubts within Simon. Those doubts are only confirmed when the Queen hints to the Duke that he should stop his pursuit of Daphne because she is destined to be a princess and not a duchess. Simon tells Daphne he will be leaving London and they can no longer continue their little game, ultimately breaking Daphne’s heart.  

Daphne decides to accept the Prince’s advances, but she still cannot let go of her affections for Simon. Anthony tells his sister that Prince Frederick has asked for his permission to propose to her. As the Prince is about to propose to her during a royal ball, Daphne runs away into gardens. There Simon is waiting to try to explain his situation to Daphne, but she refuses to listen, and she then ventures further into the garden, Simon chasing after her. Eventually, the two are caught passionately kissing by Daphne’s brother Anthony.  

In London high society there are certain rules everyone must follow, especially the women. Daphne and Simon being alone with no chaperone under the cover of night breaks all the rules. Anthony demands satisfaction from Simon for ruining his sister’s innocence.  

Simon and Anthony are to duel, but Daphne stops them before either die. Daphne questions Simon on why he won’t marry her in order to save her reputation in London society and Simon states that he cannot provide the life she wants. Despite Simon’s warning Daphne still pushes him into marriage.  

After the ceremony, these two spend their wedding night at an Inn where they confess their true feelings for each other. What follows can only be described as an expression of love to the fullest extent.  

Regardless of their strong affections, Daphne still craves a family because family is something that she values, so she tries to almost trick the Duke into having children. The two grow apart and come to the agreement that they will divorce. It is only until Daphne’s mother sits her down and explains how marriage is never perfect and it doesn’t matter how in love a couple can be, they will have problems. Daphne then realizes how childish she had been not respecting Simon’s wishes and Simon realizes that he needed a change of perspective. This series ends with Daphne giving birth to their first son.  

This show brings an audience to a seductive world of beautiful scenery and costume. There are interesting plot lines between all the characters along with tremendous dialogue. Overall, this show is the perfect weekend binge.  


 Elise Unterseher is a Dakota Student Arts and Community Editor. She can be reached at [email protected]