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9 shows like Bridgerton to watch while waiting for Season 3

Published Feb 14th, 2024 10:07PM EST
Bridgerton on Netflix
Image: Liam Daniel/Netflix

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Netflix on Valentine’s Day released a new clip from the highly anticipated third season of Bridgerton, one of the streamer’s biggest shows of all time that’s finally returning in May after two years. In this latest sneak peek, the demure Penelope confronts Colin over his skittishness about dating her, lamenting with tears in her eyes that “because I embarrass you, of course you would never court me.”

Penelope, of course, has been crushing hard on Colin for a while now, and because this season promises to finally advance their friends-to-lovers storyline, fans have already taken to affectionally referring to the pair as #Polin. To watch it all unfold, of course, we’ll have to wait for the two episode batches of Season 3 to arrive, starting with the first four episodes on May 16 followed by the second half of the season on June 13.

For now, though one thing Bridgerton fans can do while awaiting the new season is to enjoy some of the many other period dramas and swoon-worthy romances that Netflix has to offer. You can check out nine of them below, with all of them (like Bridgerton) featuring strong women, similarly great fashions, and addictive, often romance-filled storytelling.

The Law According to Lidia Poet

The Law According to Lidia Poet on Netflix
Eduardo Scarpetta as Jacopo Barberis, Matilda De Angelis as Lidia Poet, and Pier Luigi Pasino as Enrico Poet in episode 103 of “The Law According to Lidia Poet.” Image source: Lucia Iuorio/Netflix

This first series offers a mix of history, gender politics, and a little mystery. The Law According to Lidia Poet is a six-episode Netflix drama, set in Turin during the late 1800s, that presents the story of Italy’s first female lawyer (incidentally, It also boasts a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes).

In the show, Lidia is handed a defeat by the Turin Court of Appeals, which declares her admission to the bar association unlawful. Prevented from practicing law solely because she’s a woman, she nevertheless manages to secure a job at her brother’s law firm and help defend criminal suspects — while, at the same time, preparing an appeal of the court’s ruling in her case and fighting to change the laws (written by men) that keep women like her from becoming lawyers.

Played by the fantastic actress Matilda De Angelis, Lidia is an unforgettable protagonist who constantly surprises her opponents with her intelligence, irony, and way with words. And not only is The Law According to Lidia Poet a breezy, enjoyable watch; it’s also been renewed for a second season.

The Empress

The Empress on Netflix
Devrim Lingnau, shown in a production still for the Netflix series “The Empress.” Image source: Netflix

One of things about this next Netflix series that grabbed my attention right away was actually a comment in response to a trailer for it on YouTube. A stunned viewer raved that the visuals and production quality in the trailer alone have “already destroyed the first two seasons of Bridgerton.”

I’ll leave that for you to decide, but the sentiment behind that comment is absolutely correct. The Empress is a lavish, Crown-like prestige drama based on real people and events. It stems from two young people meeting in August of 1853 — Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, and Elisabeth von Wittelsbach, Princess of Bavaria. The same princess who, unfortunately, is also the sister of the woman Franz is supposed to marry.

“When the rebellious Elisabeth (“Sisi”) meets Franz, the Emperor of Austria,” Netflix’s summary continues, “the young couple’s intoxicating love completely upsets the power structure at the Viennese court.”

Cable Girls

Cable Girls on NetflixImage source: Netflix

Strong women and iconic fashions make Cable Girls, like Bridgerton, another standout Netflix series. As for the story, this Spanish period drama that’s set in 1920s Madrid chronicles the lives of a group of young women who become friends at Spain’s first national phone company. “Empowered and ambitious,” the streamer explains, “these women rise through the ranks, defy convention, and find solace in the arms of lovers past and present.”


Elite on Netflix
Miguel Bernadeu as Guzman, Martina Cariddi as Mencia, Aron Piper as Ander, Manu Rios as Patrick, Claudia Salas as Rebeca, and Carla Diaz as Ari in “Élite.” Image source: Netflix

If you enjoy the initial mystery of who’s behind Bridgerton’s gossip rag, that’s reason enough to be intrigued by this next Spanish-language hit series (which is built around various murder mysteries). In Elite, rather than giving viewers a sumptuous period drama, the setting is Las Encinas — a ritzy school where students busy themselves with parties, breakups, and the kind of shagging that Lady Whistledown would have a field day with.


Medici on NetflixImage source: Netflix

Here, we trade the Bridgertons for a focus on the Medicis, a legendary family dynasty from Italy who were patrons of the arts — and who also racked up quite a list of enemies. Per Netflix, about this series: “In 15th-century Renaissance-era Florence, the visionary Medici dynasty flexes its power and politics and the arts, risking its rivals’ lethal opposition.”

Sex Education

Sex Education on Netflix
Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee and Asa Butterfield as Otis in “Sex Education.” Image source: Samuel Taylor/Netflix

When it comes to doing the deed, this four-season Netflix dramedy is basically the inverse of Bridgerton (whose young women are, unfortunately, a bit lacking in their knowledge about … you know, “it”). Bridgerton’s Simone Ashley, who plays Kate Sharma, also was seen first here in Sex Education, which is about a teenage wunderkind teaching his fellow high school students about the wonders of sex while also demystifying it.

Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife on NetflixImage source: Netflix

As an Anglophile, I love the British-ness that infuses this next series — Call the Midwife, which is adapted from the best-selling trilogy of memoirs written by Jennifer Worth, a nurse and midwife who worked in a poor section of London during the 1950s. The show follows a community of nuns and midwives who develop a tight bond of sisterhood with each other as they treat patients.


Crashing on NetflixImage source: Netflix

Here’s another one where you can check out a Bridgerton star in a different kind of role. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s single-season comedy Crashing is about a group of friends who live in a run-down former hospital, and it’s all about their foibles and romances. Jonathan Bailey (aka Anthony Bridgerton) is on hand as the uber-horny Sam, without those Regency era sideburns.

Derry Girls

Derry Girls on NetflixImage source: Netflix

Finally, this gem of an Irish Netflix series is actually the first drama I ever saw Nicola Coughlan (Bridgerton’s Penelope Featherington) in. I love Derry Girls, which is basically a snapshot of the lives of a group of young girls in Northern Ireland — a sort of typical coming-of-age story, with Irish humor that’ll make you roar with laughter, set against the backdrop of the country’s political struggles and change.

It’s a tight balancing act, this blend of humor and pathos, but Derry Girls nails it beautifully. Like the time when the priest is telling an assembly of students at one point to welcome “the weans from Chernobyl, who’ve come over to give their wee lungs a bit of a clear out, because, ah, sure, there’s all sorts wafting about in their neck of the woods,” and also at the end of season one (the first time when the show took my breath away).

I’m referring to a specific moment when the show’s core group of girls are dancing and laughing on a school stage — just an ordinary group of children at what could have been an ordinary school anywhere in the world. Except for the way the scene cuts back and forth between the school and the girls’ home, where their parents are huddled around a TV watching a news report about a horrific bombing amid The Troubles. It’s an emotionally devastating moment, made all the more so by the soundtrack’s use of The Cranberries’ Dreams“All my life, is changing every day, in every possible way …”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.