The British don’t have a monopoly on costume drama TV, or what I prefer to call heritage television – they just produce it by the tonne and then sell it internationally with the kind of born-to-rule instinct that once led to the colonisation of half the world.Bridgerton
Even where the production is American, like Netflix’s The Crown, British creatives from executive producers down to the smallest supporting players are usually crucial in getting the tone and details right.
Regardless of whether this type of programming appeals to a viewer’s particular taste, it’s usually of a high production standard, including excellent acting from both established names and talented newcomers, plus time-proven source material adapted by the highly skilled.
The main trap is that afflicting all genre fiction: a sense that, if the filmmakers aren’t supremely careful, the usual storytelling conventions can easily take over and make everything seem overly familiar and unsurprising.
It’s extraordinary that when you look closely, a...