By now, you've had some time to get into Bridgerton.
If you haven't yet, you're missing out on both a good show and on one of the juiciest romances TV has given us in years, thanks in part to the magnificent chemistry between Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne, and Regé-Jean Page, who plays Simon. You're also missing out on this article, because spoilers lie ahead.
For the first four and a half episodes, it's just a lot of looks, a couple of kisses and a whole lot of longing going on. But then, once the two get married (after a series of complicated and scandalous circumstances), Daphne begins to get an education in the art of intimacy from her new husband. The show goes from zero (okay, maybe five) to 100 real quick and there's barely even time to get your parents out of the room before it's a full-on sex montage set to an orchestral version of Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams."
Not since Outlander's first season have sex scenes caused such a stir, and they took a lot of work to make happen.
"I feel really proud of those scenes honestly," Dynevor told E! News. "We worked really hard at making them feel real."
Dynevor and Page worked with an intimacy coordinator and blocked out the scenes "like they were intricate stunts." Showrunner Chris Van Dusen described them as "heavily choreographed."
"We had many many conversations about exactly what we were doing," Van Dusen said. "It was all so that the cast would feel comfortable, and we all we really left it in their hands to take the scenes for as far as they wanted to take them. Those scenes were heavily choreographed, much like an action sequence, like 'Your hand goes here, your leg goes there.' They were all really, really rehearsed."
Dynevor said Van Dusen frequently described the first season as "the education of Daphne Bridgerton."
"It's so important for the journey of the characters to see those scenes," she said. "They're not just there to be there. They're there to tell this story of this sort of sexual awakening that Daphne is having and I think that's so important for her story particularly."
As for that delicious chemistry between Daphne and Simon, Page said he and Dynevor were "incredibly lucky" to have that chemistry written on the page, both in Julia Quinn's novels and Van Dusen's scripts. But there was a lot of prep work for that, too.
"We were immensely well-prepared," he explained. "We had lessons dance lessons, writing lessons—essentially, a lot of time in each other's arms before we even hit the set. And so once you've spent that many hours on the dance floor with someone, being close to someone, literally catching each other when you fall—and we didn't fall because we weren't brilliant dancers—then a lot of it happens quite organically."
We're only one season in (and there are eight books just FYI), but we're already ready to declare that Daphne and Simon rank among Shondaland's most epic romances. Now if you'll excuse us, we're off to a rewatch.
Bridgerton is now streaming on Netflix.