Friday, December 25, 2020

REVIEW: 'Bridgerton' - The Family Works to Prevent Daphne From Getting Stuck in an Undesired Marriage in 'Shock and Delight'

Netflix's Bridgerton - Episode 1.02 "Shock and Delight"

Simon's apparent courtship of Daphne angers her brother Anthony and threatens to ruin the arrangements he made. Marina opens up to a curious Penelope.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Bridgerton.

"Shock and Delight" was written by Janet Lin and directed by Tom Verica

At times, Lady Whistledown's narration and gossip leads the stories. Other times, the reverse is true. Everyone has been captivated by her words. She offers the summary of what is happening in the marriage market. She has essentially become the definitive truth-teller. What she writes is understood to be fact. Of course, she too is susceptible to persuasion. Daphne and Simon believe that their fists are the way to deal with Nigel. He continues to pop up demanding to be given Daphne as his bride. He blackmails the entire Bridgerton family with the confidence of knowing that his word will be taken more seriously because he is a man. It doesn't matter that the entire court views him as a disgusting prospect that no woman should willingly take as a husband. He is still given that luxury. He can continue to create problems just because Anthony once gave him his word. Anthony was willing to make that deal because he had no consideration for his sister's feelings. She has long dreamed of having a marriage just like their parents. The younger children in this world already have a cynical view of what marriage is suppose to be. Penelope and Eloise are confused as to how Marina has become pregnant even though she isn't married. No one is willing to tell them the truth either. Of course, they are expected to uphold that responsibility of wanting a family. That's what the entire pursuit of a husband is in this particular culture. It's about extending the family line. That is their responsibility. They have to bring honor to their families. They can't be seen as a disappointment. Penelope knows she shouldn't talk about Marina's life in public. But she is also curious. Her understanding of the world is naive. And yet, she is forced to prepare for the realities of it without being armed with the truth. Eloise dreams of a future that extends far beyond needing to create a family and being a suitable mother. She believes there are far more opportunities for her to explore. Her brother Benedict feels that same impulse. However, the narrative spins around Daphne and her quest to find a husband. That is important to her. It's a thing of value that defines success amongst her peers. The nobility has demanded that all of these ceremonies take place. It's the one piece of intrigue the Queen actually cares about. She is distant from her husband and even the overall concerns of the country. Instead, this drama is more exciting. She is wrapped up in it as well. People can see a perfect match between Daphne and Simon. As such, it's suspicious that marriage hasn't already been proposed. That's how fast they expect all of this to happen. But Daphne and Simon have individual concerns that are just as valid when it comes to these matters. Daphne wants a union made out of love. Her mother wants that for her. That's the dream. That's the standard she should set for herself. She shouldn't have to settle for less. For a moment, it seems like she will have to. Being a mother will be more rewarding and life-affirming than being married to a despicable man like Nigel. They were all willing to make that compromise. And then, the power of gossip destroyed his reputation in town. That was enough to continue this upward trajectory for Daphne's dreams and ambitions. People are pushing her closer to Simon. They have a deal though. One where they aren't entertaining the notion of a genuine romance. He made a vow to his father that he would never marry. It was a threat he issued on his father's death bed. It was retribution for the cruelty he was forced to endure for his entire life. Simon was discarded because he was perceived to be worthless at a young age. All he did was kill his mother during childbirth. Lady Danbury is the only one who showed him compassion. She demands that he present himself as extraordinary no matter what. No one can take away the power and convictions of another. Simon deserves to fill up space in this world. But he still feels beholden to this pledge he made. It's more than some trivial concern of not wanting to marry because he has other interests in the world. It's much more visceral and personal than that. That is what has to be overcome in order for this bond between Simon and Daphne to seem real. The possibility could very well occur. However, he encourages her courtship with others. He supports her. That too signals that he is a man of noble character even though he too is prone to bold reactions that don't inherently make things better.