Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page on Netflix's Bridgerton

Liam Daniel/Netflix/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Think of the show as a Christmas gift to lovers of soapy TV.

We’re just one day away from our newest guilty pleasure. Based on the trailer, Netflix’s new series Bridgerton, premiering December 25, is basically Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl. It’s Jane Austen with a way bigger payoff than a chaste kiss at the end. It’s Jane Austen with the scandal turned up to 10. It’s Jane Austen with more than just straight white people.

In short, it looks amazing.

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And the blender full of influences makes total sense, considering the show, based on Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novel series, comes to us from Shonda Rhimes and Shondaland. You know, the production company that brought to vivid life Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and more juicy television.

Ladies of Bridgerton gather near a pond on Netflix

Set in 1800s Regency-period London, Bridgerton is narrated by the fabulous Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown, whom, she teases, we will never meet. However, her ladyship knows all the main players and, more importantly, their secrets. And much like Gossip Girl’s blogger, voiced by Kristen Bell, Lady Whistledown happily spills them all.

“Let it be known,” she says in the first trailer. “If there is a scandal, I shall uncover it — and share every last detail.” Since blogs weren’t a thing back then, Lady Whistledown relies on her weekly printed paper to do her dirty work.

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When the eldest marriage-seeking Bridgerton daughter, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor, Younger), falls victim to Whistledown’s column, thereby turning off potential suitors, Simon Basset, aka the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page, For the People) steps in.

But first, they meet-cute at one of the balls used to procure marriages by London’s elite. How cute is their meeting? Erm, let’s just say things get off to a bumpy start.

“I’m aware of your reputation,” Daphne tells the world-traveling, marriage-averse playboy in the extended trailer. “I’m anything but interested in you.”

“And I,” Simon retorts, “anything but interested in you.”

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Doth the couple protest too much? If the lingering looks and sexual tension between them are any indications, of course, they do. Regardless, Simon comes up with a classic soap solution to fix both their problems — a fake relationship. “Every presumptuous mother in town will leave me alone,” he posits, “and every suitor will be looking at you.”

Much like General Hospital’s Ava and Nikolas or Days of Our Lives’ Gabi and Stefan, you know their “just-for-showmance” is headed for something more. Especially after Daphne wonders, “Is it awful I’m enjoying this so much?”

When your fake paramour looks like, and at you, the way Simon does, we say, absolutely not!

BRIDGERTON, Rege-Jean Page, ‘Diamond of the First Water', (Season 1, ep. 101, aired Dec. 25, 2020). photo: Liam Daniel / ©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

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As Simon and Daphne navigate the pressures of society and their growing attraction, the series treats viewers to a seemingly endless array of gorgeous people in gorgeous clothes with complicated relationships and enviable homes. Alongside the illicit trysts, subtle humor and potential true love, there’s even room for some commentary to be woven in about the quest for independence and empowerment.

And did we forget to mention Simon’s aunt, Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh, Doctor Who), pictured below. Not much is revealed about her in the trailer, but with her formidable presence and that hint of naughtiness about her, we can’t wait to find out more. That look alone says, “Of course you’re right. I am the person next to whom you want to be seated at any and every dinner party.”

Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury on Bridgerton ,

So, what do you say? Will you be binge-watching Bridgerton over the holidays? Have you read the novels? Tell us in the comments.

While you’re here, relive memorable soap-opera Christmases in the photo gallery below and then sign up to get your free daily soap-opera fix for all of the daytime dramas — delivered straight to your email inbox by signing up for Soaps.com’s newsletter.

Video credit: Netflix