Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story drops next week on Netflix, and the premiere was this week in Los Angeles. I’ll have a full review next week, but in short: it’s mostly good, and problematic exactly where I thought it would be. Why Shonda Rhimes and the Bridgerton team think they need to do socio-political commentary, I will NEVER understand. We’ll talk more about it later, but the handling of race in their fantasy version of historic England remains deeply, deeply weird. 

 

But the ROMANCE, and the SEX. Bridgerton season two felt a little shy all of a sudden, as if everyone hyping the sex scenes in the first season put the team off having entire episodes dedicated to doing it, but Queen Charlotte features a young couple with hot chemistry: Corey Mylchreest as King George, and India Amarteifio as young Queen Charlotte. They are HOT. Together, and separately. Like just standing around in rooms or gardens, they are hot. Making eyes across a ballroom—hot. Dancing while pining—hot. And yeah, the sex scenes are hot. You totally buy these two are obsessed with each other from the moment their eyes meet across the garden way. 

 

Queen Charlotte also introduces young Lady Danbury, played by Arsema Thomas, and she is also hot, though notably in a miserable marriage with a husband she can’t stand. Her sex scenes are more about “lie back and think of England”, though she does get one memorable romp (with a very scandalous suitor!). Thomas, though, beautifully taps into Adjoa Andoh’s grande dame energy as Lady D, and she especially makes good on Lady D’s monologue from season one about making herself fierce.

The Georgian cast of Queen Charlotte turned out for the premiere, as did Golda Rosheuvel, who plays Charlotte on Bridgerton. Alicia Keys was also there, she recorded a new version of “If I Ain’t Got You” for the series. The music is GREAT. Wherever else the world of Bridgerton decides to be weird about for no reason, at least the music is consistently spectacular.