LOCKDOWN had many downsides, some far worse than others.
Of greatest concern has been the sharp increase in domestic violence against women and the added burden of confinement and loneliness imposed on those with already fragile mental health.
The number of first-time dog owners has also risen sharply.
After restrictions were lifted, there followed a surge in the number of dogs being cruelly abandoned or abandoned in shelters after these selfish idiots discovered that a dog is for life and not just for Covid.
Bottom of the list, but still extremely annoying, was the tiresome obsession with baking sourdough bread and then posting pictures of the result on social media.
But if the sudden global need to knead a lump of dough is hard to fathom, it’s not half as bewildering as another major lockdown craze sweeping the world: Netflix’s costly but trashy period drama Bridgerton, which is back for a second season on Friday.
True viewership numbers for a Netflix series are notoriously difficult to determine. The company uses two metrics: the number of accounts that turn on in the first 28 days — although if you “turn on” something for two minutes, that’s counted as a view — and the number of hours viewed in the same period .
By both measures, the first season of Bridgeton was, at least until Squid Game came to knock her out of her seat, Netflix’s most-watched series with 82 million accounts and 625 million total hours watched.
You have to admit, that’s an impressive achievement. Who would have thought so many viewers would gulp down something so devastatingly bad — or, for that matter, so many TV critics would be all over each other to laud it as the best thing since, well, sliced white sourdough.
Historians, as historians are accustomed to, tore up Bridgeton to shreds about Regency England for his savage inaccuracies.
Much of the criticism from the right has, predictably, been aimed at the color-blind casting, which includes Guyanese-British actress Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte and a host of other cast members of people of color playing aristocrats rather than the servants and maids they are in would have played in years past (and not too many years).
Personally, I don’t care what the color of the actors’ skin is as long as it doesn’t undermine the storytelling. It’s not like Jodie Comer plays a black slave on a cotton plantation, or Daniel Kaluuya was cast as the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
The problem with Bridgeton is pretty easy. It’s tripe. Drivel. A bland, sub-sub Jane Austen pastiche that’s been jazzed up and dumbed down, playing like a frocks-and-toque version gibberish.
It appears to be aimed at a younger audience who have never seen the BBC’s grandeur Pride and Prejudice from 1995 — which is practically prehistoric in today’s binge-and-move-on-to-the-thing culture — or the superlative 2006 adaptation of Charlotte Brontë by the same channel jane eyre
A lot of the attention focused on that in season one Bridgerton’s sexy young breakout stars, phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page. This time, Dynevor’s character is limited to cameos, while Pages does not appear at all, according to the source novels.
All I could stomach of season two in a single sitting was episode one. Running to a soul-wrenching 70 minutes, it sets up another scenario, this time involving Bridgerton’s eldest son, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), who makes high demands of a potential wife, and newcomer Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley).
The older performers chew on the backdrop, the younger ones are either wooden like fence posts or trill like hyperactive budgerigars.
The $7 million-per-episode packaging is as lavish as ever, but the contents inside are even flimsier than before.
Still, 82 million Netflix account holders can’t be wrong, right? Oh well. Yes, you can.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-reviews/bridgerton-season-two-review-netflixs-regency-romp-is-more-vapid-than-ever-it-gets-one-star-41469516.html Bridgerton season 2 recap: Netflix’s Regency hype is more vapid than ever — it’s getting a star