‘Bridgerton’ brings steamy romance to Netflix but plays a weak hand

“Grey’s Anatomy” producer Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix series, “Bridgerton,” plays a weak hand, turning Julia Quinn’s novels about a 19th-century London family into “Masterpiece Theater” with more sensuality.

The eight episodes follow the titular Bridgerton family, through eldest daughter Daphne, who is at the age where marriage and finding a worthy suitor are of paramount concern.

With her prospects threatened by scandal, she enters into a bargain with the eligible and dashing Duke of Hastings, who is determined to remain a bachelor but willing to participate in a charade.

Naturally, the two are in fact drawn to each other, a situation they prove reluctant to admit. Yet their ties represent only one of the soapy elements surrounding the Bridgerton family and their extended circle, developments chronicled by the mysterious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who narrates the proceedings via the voice of Julie Andrews.

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