The sophomore season of “Bridgerton” finally hit Netflix last Friday, much to the delight of its legions of fans, and has been holding strong to the streamer’s number one spot ever since, which comes as no surprise. Based upon bestselling author Julia Quinn’s novels of the same name and backed by producing powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, the period romance, set during London’s Regency era, ranks as the platform’s second most-watched original series of all time, according to Complex, with a reported 82 million households having tuned in to season one!
Along with binge-watching the eight newly-dropped episodes, fans can get in on the “Bridgerton” action in real life, too, thanks to several events inspired by the show that are popping up worldwide. The Lanesborough hotel in London is currently hosting a daily ”Bridgerton” Afternoon Tea, with a menu “paying tribute” to the series’ “key families.” The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston is offering a High Society package, giving those so inclined the chance to “live life and travel like a wealthy lady or lord . . . at least for one night.” And now, dearest readers, Shondaland, Netflix and Fever are teaming up for The Queen’s Ball: A “Bridgerton” Experience, in which hopeful debutantes and suitors in Chicago, Los Angeles, Montréal and Washington, D.C. can “mingle with other members of the Ton, and partake in an evening of music and dance featuring acrobatic performances, interactive experiences, a stunning dance show, delicious cocktails, and much more, all accompanied by the iconic ‘Bridgerton’ soundtrack.” The 90-minute themed soirées take place several times daily in each city, with tickets starting at $49 a person. Just don’t forget your corset!
As New York Times journalist Debra Kamin recently explored in an article titled “Why TV-Inspired Vacations Are on the Rise,” such immersive events are proving big business. She writes, “With 70 percent of Americans watching more TV in 2021 than they did in 2020, binge-watching has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Now, as borders reopen, restrictions ease and travel restarts, tour advisers are fielding an increasingly popular request: immersive, TV-themed itineraries that allow travelers to live out their favorite shows’ storylines.” And Shondaland is definitely delivering on that front!
The Queen’s Ball experiences will be taking place in venues certainly suited for royalty. Though the Chicago location is being kept secret, Montréal attendees will be stepping into the historic Le Windsor Ballrooms, D.C. patrons will be heading to a decked-out soundstage at Whitfield Entertainment Group Studios, and Angelenos will be checking into the iconic Millennium Biltmore hotel. Located in the heart of downtown at 506 S. Grand Ave., the opulent Beaux Arts-style lodging is not only one of Los Angeles’ landmark structures but a prolific filming location, as well, popping up in everything from “The Sting” to “Beverly Hills Cop” to the latest “A Star Is Born” remake, and a slew of productions in between!