Bridgerton is big business for Netflix. It’s one of the most-watched dramas in the service’s history (according to Netflix). It launched a boom in Regency romance novels, a spinoff prequel, and there’s even a Bridgerton experience. Naturally, other streamers are out to replicate the show’s success, and Apple TV Plus has entered the fray with one of the most visually similar shows, The Buccaneers.
The bright pops of color Bridgerton has made its hallmark are on display in the first trailer for The Buccaneers. But this show isn’t based on a steamy series of romance novels — it’s based on the unfinished final novel of Edith Wharton, one of the giants of American literature. And where the books Bridgerton is based on were very clearly romance novels, Wharton’s book blends romance with satire and a sharp critique of American wealth and British pride. It's about a group of wealthy American girls who travel to England to debut and hopefully score husbands from very old and very noble British families. Romance, in the world of The Buccaneers, is an inconvenience.
So it will be very interesting to see how closely The Buccaneers hews to its source material versus the show it’s riding the coattails of. Will it be its own show and develop its own style and rhythm or bask in the shadow of Shonda’s empire? More importantly, will it be good?
The show comes from the very funny Katherine Jakeways, features a big cast including Christina Hendricks, Kristine Frøseth, and Alisha Boe, and will begin airing on Apple TV Plus on November 8th.