Dance with me neath a rain-kissed sky as all eyes stay fixed upon us and the world melts away. It’s just you and I. The smell of freshly drenched earth wafts and dewed air is aloft, while you stare in astonishment at me and I look to you. I smile in ecstasy and thank the Creator for such a wondrous parting of the heavens for who else has but a hand in all this. In us coming together and joining our hearts in this one dance, for eternity to last.
The descriptive prose just flowed from pen to paper as the scene unfolded in my mind, a short while after it unfurled on the Netflix screen in iridescent splendor. Season 1 of Bridgerton concluded with all the fervor and pomp it brought with it albeit with a scene so simple that it arrests the mind in a tender delivery. The visual cinematic panorama arrests the soul.
1 minute and 45 seconds of brilliant cinematography to capture the emotions of a young couple in love and despair, all under rain that’s just right. Blame it on the despair that rules our lives right now, in a pandemic world like thunder that shakes our core, that drops of respite are what we need to transport us to a realm of bliss.
Daphne Bridgerton soaking it all in has to be my favourite moment of the season of this period drama, from the Shondaland empire. Not an easy pick, for sure, given the choices that comprised all eight episodes, from gorgeous balls to elegant soirees, d’alliances that were the talk of the ‘ton’ and, without a doubt, the rapturous sex scenes between Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton. Sure, they could turn it down a notch or two, but best we leave the newlyweds to their ignited desires, in locations discreditable though beautiful.
As Reg Jean-Page – tall, dark and handsome in every sense of the oft misused description – alluded to on an episode of the now socially-distanced Graham Norton Show that the scenes were masterfully choreographed, by Lizzy Talbot, intimacy coordinator. Every hand and leg moving in tandem, in a symphonic bliss, that makes the viewer forget most else till it’s done and the newlyweds are famished. And on goes the dance that plays itself out time and time again between Simon, the Duke of Hastings and Daphne, his new and shiny, petite, porcelain, prized Duchess – played with intimate ferocity by Phoebe Dynevor.
All set in the era of flourishing trends in British architecture, literature, politics, culture, and eye-catching fashions. Simplicity at its most evocative. Bridgerton is set in early 19th century England when the Regency Era was at its height. When a coloured queen by the name of Charlotte – played officiously well by Golda Rosheuvel – wife of the indisposed King George III ruled the lands; when a young dame’s coming out required her hems to be lengthened and her waist to shrink down to an orange, so that the she either faints before the Queen – what more a sign of obsequiousness, yes – or pulls through long enough to welcome her suitors soon after. The era when scandal rocks the whole ton or at the very least, sets off a ripple. You know Lady Whistledown is burning the midnight oil and airing the dirty laundry of one and all, in the voice of none other than Dame Julie Andrews. Who else! The Bridgertons and the Featheringtons, families of social standing and central to the script, best be on their virtuous behaviour.
Back to the season finale and the royal Waltz. The Duke & Duchess host the much-anticipated ball at their fabulously appointed home, nay mansion, in London and dance their fears away. Fears of the future for a man who wishes to sire no heirs whatsoever and a woman who yearns for her womb to be laden. Yet in this moment, time stands still. It gives itself to the lovers.
Source: Netflix Still
As Vivaldi’s Spring is remastered, the world is in slow motion and the camera glides with the couple. The tempo picks up and the effect is back to speed. As the clouds rain down, the chequered floor is cleared for Daphne to play out her own opus with elan. Yet again, slow mo features, smooth as silk, and the closeups leave you mesmerised. Each drop that falls is captured, captivating, as they shower Daphne’s face, then serve as the foreground to the faces of the crowd – some bewildered, others bewitched. As they touch serene white roses, luscious, wholesome fruit, rims of crystal glasses and the water in them… drop collides with drop, then on to the candelabras… and back to Daphne.
It’s magical what one moment in a TV show can achieve – few powerful enough to define the entire season, others an actor’s entire role. Take the finale of Season 3 of the all-time favourite, The Crown. Olivia Colman’s concern for her sister, Princess Margaret after a near death scare brings home the performance of the Season and Olivia’s tenacity as an actor across the board. Another that remains etched in the portals of the unquenched mind is the showering of expensive shirts on Daisy to an orchestral background that amplifies the grandeur of Luhrmann’s Gatsby.
Here and now, it’s Bridgerton – the dreamy Duke, the pretty Duchess, the bedazzled ton in charming London and the last waltz. Love rises to its pedestal once again that night, and there’s a little surprise that awaits you, dear Bridgerton virgin. Loose ends certainly well-tied up! Not to mention the unveiling of Lady Whistledown! We dare say, we suspected her to be just who they reveal at the very end of this premier. With bated breath, we shall wait for Season 2 and Whistledown’s sordid gossip. Oh, how we love us some hot-off-the-press goss!
YouTube video created by The Pen Chants