This one’s for my Bridgerton baddies, I see you in the back, with your teacups and shit.
Pinkies out, let’s jump right in…
Season 1 of Bridgerton was a hit, I haven’t met one person that said “pee-yew, that stinks”... not ONE! From the messy love entanglements to the classical takes on modern music, and those sex scenes, babyyyyy, I was here for all of it. Shonda Rhimes managed to reconceptualize, repackage, and redistribute this period piece with Black characters as just that; Black characters. There was no outright mention of slavery, racial power dynamics, or segregation - some might call this remiss, I call it refreshing (but that’s a conversation for another day).
Admittedly, season 2 was a bust for me…
I just couldn’t connect. I really wanted to love it, trust me, I did - but 3 episodes in, I was like, “that’s a nah for me, dawg”. So when the graces of the self titled spinoff, “Queen Charlotte” blessed my Netflix home screen, I was intrigued, to say the least. My honest opinion; Queen Charlotte, as a character, was synonymous with the yawn emoji… BORING. She presented as dull, disinterested, aloof, and closed off - and the fact that Netflix created an entire spinoff for this woman (in spite of these descriptors) told me that she must have a fire-ass backstory.
What we got, I wasn’t at all expecting…
I tip my bucket hat and get down on both knees for these writers. The depth of the storyline, the unknowns, the easter eggs, the character development - all phenomenal. Those of you looking for some political tea, we have it folks - race relations, access and equity, mental health, LGBTQ+ matters, and the importance of support systems - this series tastefully touched on everything (and by “tastefully”, I mean “meaningfully”). Nothing grinds my gears more than shows/movies that so obviously have had the diversity and inclusion team moonwalk into the room and blindly check off boxes just to check off boxes.
Overall, the series offered up a ton of takeaways, but the ultimate conclusion that I walked away with is that Queen Charlotte is the original “down ass bitch”. Pour a little from your teacup and hear me out:
1. Homegirl Stayed Inquisitive.
As early as the opening scene, I knew she wasn’t someone who just “let life happen”. Charlotte was curious, yet skeptical, with a willingness to be in the know and have access to control. If she had questions, she dug for answers, and when she didn’t get answers, it was simply a matter of time. Far from a dummy, our queen was not about to be blindsided by anything/anyone if she had any say in the matter.
Like that time she got wind of King George’s private doctor doing shady shit and told the man to kick rocks.
2. Homegirl Stayed Discreet.
In a high society that thrived on gossip, Queen Charlotte said, “all that bullshit’s for the birds”, and kept it pushing. Charlotte had a clear understanding of what was on the line for her husband and his reputation, as well the immense pressure he was under, and took it on the chin, like a G.
Like that time she sipped and spilled tea with Lady Danbury (and only Lady Danbury) during her honeymoon.
3. Homegirl Stayed Patient.
King George tried her, time and time again (he’s lucky he’s cute). This man married her, and then left her moments later to play with his telescope.. excuse me, what?!?! Of course Queen Charlotte was deeply agitated and confused, but she waited that shit out and eventually got to the bottom of it. When she was made aware of the issues George was facing, our lady was incredibly accommodating.
Like that time King George ran out into the garden butt naked to greet Venus, and she chased him down adopting a comforting tone.
4. Homegirl Stayed Vigilant.
Nothing got past this woman, she was sharp with the ability to apply a full court press at all times (even while wearing a corset). If she doesn’t win MVP, I don't know who would. There were several times that she stood in the line of fire to protect her husband.
Like that time she kept the King’s whack ass mother away from him so he could heal.
5. Homegirl Stayed Supportive.
Despite what was happening in her castle, she always presented a united front with her husband. She used her power and access to stand up for what she believed in and to safeguard those closest to her.
Like that time she cosigned Lady Danbury’s social event, knowing that the others were in complete disapproval.
With all of that being said, I’d like to humbly retract my earlier statement regarding Queen Charlotte (you know, the one where I called her boring and aloof). Please accept my sincerest apologies, for I knew no better. You are a woman of great depth and honour, and I can only aspire to one day evolve from my current crusty status to be half the woman you are.