15 Period Romances to Watch While You Wait for the Rest of Bridgerton Season 3

Sometimes, you know a show or movie is going to be special before you even watch it. We all felt that way when we saw the first promo photos for Bridgerton way back in 2020, and, of course, that gut feeling was correct. Shonda Rhimes’ series for Netflix broke viewership records when the first season aired, and somehow, season two was even better.

So it’s no surprise that when the third season starring Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton hit Netflix, we binged it right away. We should have paced ourselves, though, because now we have yet another Bridgerton-shaped hole in our lives.

You are probably wondering what could possibly measure up to the drama, historical settings, and unbelievable costumes and sets that Bridgerton offers, and these are the shows and movies that just might do the trick—that is, of course, until the second half of Bridgerton season three hits Netflix.

1. Downton Abbey

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Let’s start with a double whammy, because you deserve to have your cake and eat it too. If scandal, romance, and English aristocrats are what drew you into “Bridgerton,” then six seasons of “Downton Abbey” followed by the movie (and a new film underway) should be right up your alley. 

2. Emma.

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While there have been a few great versions of Jane Austen’s “Emma” brought to life on film, if you appreciated the candy-colored sets and costumes of Bridgerton, then the 2020 version will make your heart skip a beat. Equal parts funny, romantic, and visually stunning, “Emma.” checks all the boxes. 

3. The Buccaneers

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Ok, so maybe it didn’t get the most amazing critical reviews, but “The Buccaneers” brings a lot of the same romantic, period piece energy that makes “Bridgerton” so lovable. A group of wealthy young American women are sent to London to secure husbands and titles during the London season of the 1870s. Their rowdy ways kick off an Anglo-American clash in high society.

4. The Gilded Age

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In 1882, Marian Brooks moves from rural Pennsylvania after the death of her father to live with her two aunts in New York City in the height of the American Gilded Age. As she adjusts to life in the city, Marian accidentally becomes enmeshed in a social war between one of her aunts and her rich neighbors. As the title of the series implies, the costumes and sets in this series rival the glitz of “Bridgerton.”

5. Sanditon

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Some say that “Sanditon” is even steamier than “Bridgerton.” Is that even possible? You’ll have to dive into two seasons of “Sandition” to be the judge of that. This Regency-era series based on Jane Austin’s incomplete final novel follows Charlotte when she moves to the village of Sanditon.

6. Marie Antoinette

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The visual appeal of “Bridgerton” is pretty hard to deny, and the only true rival I can think of for the breathtaking sets, jewels, and desserts that are heavily featured in the show is Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette.” This film steps away from historical accuracy at times in favor of aesthetics, and you won’t hear me complaining about that.  

7. Portrait of a Lady on Fire

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“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” may not be as lighthearted as “Bridgerton,” but it does include all of those romantic period piece details that we love. From a slow-burn romance between a painter and her subject to an arranged marriage, this drama piece will have you glued to the screen from beginning to end.

8. The Crown

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If you’re an Anglophile, chances are, you’ve already watched and rewatched every season of “The Crown,” but I had to include this recommendation just in case. 

9. Outlander

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“Bridgerton” fans will want to tune into all four seasons of “Outlander.” You can expect all the glitz and glamour you loved in “Bridgerton” and will likely be head over heels for the costumes (The costume designers for both shows took inspiration from Dior when creating their breathtaking gowns).

10. The Great

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“The Great” takes place in Russia in the court of Catherine the Great instead of England, but it delivers possibly even more charming pastel costumes and sets than “Bridgerton” does. You’ll have to make the final call!

11. Dickinson

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Comedy isn’t usually a word that’s associated with Emily Dickinson, but in this series from Apple TV+, the young poet’s rebellions against proper society are absolutely hysterical. Hailee Steinfeld stars as Emily, as she navigates the perils and pitfalls of coming of age in a sexist system.

12. Little Women

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Nobody does a period piece quite like Greta Gerwig! In “Little Women,” writer Jo March lives in New York, until her sister Beth falls ill. Beth’s sickness brings Jo and her sisters back together once again, and Amy, the youngest, has a chance encounter with Laurie, a childhood friend who proposed to Jo but was ultimately rejected.

13. The Duchess

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I won’t spoil the ending of this movie based on a true story, but if you appreciated the feminist undertones of “Bridgerton” as well as the dramatic settings of the show, then you’ll appreciate this historical film staring the ever lovely Keira Knightley. 

14. Pride & Prejudice

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Speaking of Keira Knightley, this list would be incomplete without the OG swoon-worthy Jane Austen romance. Elizabeth Bennett lives with her mother, father, and sisters in the English countryside and faces mounting pressure to marry. When she’s introduced to the reserved Mr. Darcy, sparks fly.

15. Poldark

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If you like British historical romance sagas, then “Poldark” will set your heart aflutter. There are plenty of “will they, won’t they” moments to keep you on the edge of your seat as well as a closer look at more than just what the upper class experienced. The show takes place about 20 years before “Bridgerton” does.

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