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13 Shows to Watch After 'Bridgerton'

Bridgerton may be over (for now), but your obsession with gossipy period dramas is just getting started.

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Liam DanielNetflix

For far too long (like, literal centuries), Jane Austen's work has been one of just a handful of options available for people looking to read and watch period pieces that don't uphold the stodgy and excessively patriarchal customs of past centuries. Fortunately for fans of both feminism and empire-waist dresses, however, recent years have ushered in a surge of empowering retellings of old-fashioned stories—as seen most recently in Shonda Rhimes' first project under her new Netflix deal, Bridgerton.

The first season of the series focuses primarily on Daphne Bridgerton, a high-society young woman determined to marry for love, rather than status. She's surrounded by equally fascinating women bucking their prescribed societal roles in their own ways, including a sister who has much bigger plans for herself than a traditional life of domesticity, and an anonymous gossip columnist who not only has immense power and influence over Regency society, but also supports herself financially with this work. Bridgerton is further modernized by the sly insertion of classical versions of current pop songs in the background, and by its depiction of Georgian society as far more racially diverse than it probably was (though historians believe there's a good chance Queen Charlotte really was Britain's first mixed-race royal).

In short, it's a near-perfect show, and it would be perfectly acceptable if, after racing through that jaw-dropping finale, you're now staring wordlessly at your TV, wondering what to watch next that will recapture even a little bit of the magic of Bridgerton. We've got you: Here are 13 shows in the same vein as Bridgerton that will tide you over until it's time to return to our beloved London ton.

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1 'Gossip Girl'

In the same way that Clueless is a wholly modernized remake of Jane Austen's Emma, so too is Gossip Girl basically the mid-aughts version of Bridgerton. There's an ensemble cast of characters causing scandals and falling in love, all encircling a core family-like group of friends, and all documented by an anonymous gossipmonger—good luck playing "spot the difference" between the two.

watch on netflix

2 'The Great'

This sexy, subversive show offers a hilariously outlandish take on the world of 1700s Russia and chronicles the life of Catherine the Great, whose badassery has long been overshadowed by all those rumors about her—ahem—affinity for horses. I mean, come on: a young woman plotting to kill her bumbling husband and overthrow one of the world's strongest governments in order to promote education and equality across the land? Sign me up.

watch on hulu

3 'Outlander'

Like Bridgerton, Outlander is based on a long-running series of historical romance novels. It's similarly modernized, with our heroine Claire Randall infusing her 20th-century viewpoint into the mid-18th-century Jacobite risings, to which she mysteriously time travels at the beginning of the first season. If you're still not convinced, just know that Outlander's five seasons' worth of steamy sex scenes give Daphne and Simon's nonstop rendezvous a serious run for their money.

watch on starz

4 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries'

Pride and Prejudice has been remade countless times, but no matter how devoted you are to the 2005 Keira Knightley version, you won't be able to resist zooming through all 100 episodes of this incredibly delightful take on the classic tale. It's told through a series of short vlogs from the quirky and headstrong Lizzie Bennet, and stays remarkably true to the original text, even though it's set firmly in the present—complete with appearances from entertainment mogul William Darcy and med student Bing Lee, aka Austen's Mr. Bingley.

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5 'Pride and Prejudice'

If you'd prefer to go the more traditional route with your Pride and Prejudice adaptations, however, the 1995 BBC miniseries is an excellent choice. It delves even deeper into the novel than the 2005 film and, of course, features that unforgettable scene in which Colin Firth dives into a lake fully clothed, promptly initiating a one-man wet T-shirt contest.

watch on hulu

6 'Harlots'

Taking place just a few years before Bridgerton and in a decidedly different part of London, Harlots follows a brothel owner's struggles to singlehandedly provide a better life for her daughters. The series places women at the forefront—during a time in which they were all too often shunted to the sidelines—and also takes a very clear-eyed and empowering view of sex work, normalizing and destigmatizing the "oldest profession."

watch on hulu

7 'Gentleman Jack'

Based on the real diaries of Anne Lister, Gentleman Jack depicts a woman whose life was truly one of a kind in the mid-1800s: Lister was an out lesbian and—gasp!—a landowner who documented her life in millions of words in her diaries, many of which were written in a code based on algebra and Ancient Greek. Be sure to set aside plenty of time to fall into a Wikipedia hole all about Lister and her diaries after you finish bingeing the show.

watch on hbo max

8 'Downton Abbey'

If you somehow missed the Downton Abbey train back when it premiered to near-instant acclaim in 2010, there's no time like the present to dive into the complex world of the upper-crust Crawley family. The series takes place a century later than Bridgerton, but is just as jam-packed with society scandals, historical references, and a blunt take on the inherent classism of the British aristocracy.

watch on amazon prime

9 'Belgravia'

Another period drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Belgravia explores the mid-19th century fallout of the reveal of a secret pregnancy 25 years after the fact. Basically, it's like a Sliding Doors version of what might have happened to a certain Bridgerton character if she hadn't found a suitable way to cover up her "medical condition."

watch on epix

10 'Dickinson'

It's about time somebody fixed Emily Dickinson's reputation as a melancholy recluse. According to this definitely very accurate adaptation of the prolific poet's life, she was actually something of a party animal, with a penchant for getting high on opium and twerking in her corset to Drake and having regular interactions with Death himself, who looks suspiciously like Wiz Khalifa. Like I said, very historically accurate—and actually very similar to Bridgerton in its ultra-modern soundtrack and feminist take on the 19th century.

watch on apple tv+

11 'Vanity Fair'

Thackeray's 1848 novel has long been admired for its sharp satirical take on the Regency era. This 2018 miniseries adaptation turns the satire and scandal up even higher, with our heroine Becky Sharp doing whatever it takes (seriously, whatever) to claw her way up the social ladder. It's sort of an outsider's take on the world of Bridgerton and, even better, it features Claudia Jessie, aka Eloise Bridgerton, as Becky's close friend Amelia.

watch on amazon prime

12 'Lost in Austen'

Anyone who's ever wished they could live in the world of Pride and Prejudice will be seething with envy while watching someone else live out their dream in this four-part series, which sees a 21st century Austen fan swapping places with Elizabeth Bennet via a mysterious portal. As Amanda does everything she can to keep things rolling in accordance with Austen's book, Elizabeth is busy having her viewpoint completely changed by the modern world, with her prescribed marriage to Mr. Darcy hanging in the balance.

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13 'Ghosts'

OK, so this one doesn't actually take place in the Regency era or feature any of the courtly intrigue of Bridgerton, but if you're in the mood for a comedy with hints of period drama, it's still definitely worth a watch. Ghosts, which I am hereby coining a "reverse period piece," takes place in the present, in which a couple moves into a new home only to discover they're being haunted by a group of ghosts from all throughout history. There's a 1990s politician, a witch trial victim, and, yes, multiple ghosts from the early 1800s who offer up plenty of Bridgerton vibes. The show is hilarious and a true delight, and you simply must watch it immediately.

watch on hbo max

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