Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) and Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) in a scene from "Bridgerton" Season 2. Photo courtesy of Netflix
April 1 (UPI) -- The millions of people who made the second season of Bridgerton No. 1 on Netflix this week may be craving other romantic costume dramas to binge, especially if they have already devoured the first season of Downton Abbey's American sister The Gilded Age on HBO Max.
Here are five suggestions for love stories and tales of socially/financially beneficial matches from long ago to fill those heart-shaped holes in their viewing schedules.
'Sanditon' - PBS
Based on an unfinished Jane Austen novel, the series is set in the early 19th century at an English seaside resort where the locals vie to entertain the rich and fashionable. The heroine at the center of the story is Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams), a fiercely independent woman with little financial means who is invited to stay in the town by new friends. She must quickly learn how to navigate the societal customs and business practices of its residents and tourists, all while entertaining prospective suitors who could change her fortunes. The Season 1 ensemble includes Theo James, Kate Ashfield, Crystal Clarke, Turlough Convery, Jack Fox, Kris Marshall, Anne Reid and Charlotte Spencer. James is not returning for Season 2, which premiered in March.
'Belgravia' - EPIX
Perfect for viewers who want a glamorous diversion, but don't have time to commit to multiple seasons. The six episodes, which focus on several London dynasties and those who serve them in their mansions, are based on a book by Downton Abbey and The Gilded Age creator Julian Fellowes. Starring Tom Wilkinson, Harriet Walter, Philip Glenister, Tamsin Greig, Alice Eve, Paul Ritter, Janes Fleet, Tara Fitzgerald and Ella Purnell, the show kicks off at a Brussells ball in 1815, two days before the Battle of Waterloo when the British defeated the French.
'The Great' - Hulu
This fact-based series distinguishes itself from other entries on the list by being hilarious and raunchy, while still offering plenty of eye candy with the sumptuous sets and costumes that are the hallmarks of the genre. Set in the 1700s, it stars Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great, Russia's longest reigning female ruler, and Nicholas Hoult as Peter III, the selfish, inept husband she detests and constantly undermines. Phoebe Fox, Sacha Dhawan, Charity Wakefield, Gwilym Lee, Adam Godley, Douglas Hodge and Belinda Bromilow co-star. The series was recently renewed for a third season.
'Poldark' - Prime Video
Inspired by Winston Graham's books, the five-season show was set in 18th century Cornwall and starred Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Heida Reed and Kyle Soller. It followed the titular hero, Captain Ross Poldark (Turner) as he returns home after the American Revolution to find his estate in ruins and his childhood sweetheart Elizabeth (Reed) engaged to his cousin Francis (Soller). He hires scullery maid Demelza (Tomlinson) with whom he eventually finds love again as he tries to rebuild his life. The cast also includes Jack Farthing, Luke Norris, Gabriella Wilde, Ellise Chappell, Harry Richardson, Tom York and Beatie Edney.
'Outlander' - Starz
Now in its sixth season with no end in sight, Outlander is a sweeping historical epic with a sci-fi twist. Based on Diana Gabaldon's bestsellers, the show stars Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, Lauren Lyle, César Domboy and John Bell. It follows time-traveling British heroine Claire Fraser (Balfe) from World War II to 18th century Scotland where she meets her Highland warrior husband, Jamie (Heughan), pops back to 1960s Boston where she trains to be a surgeon and raises Jamie's daughter Brianne (Skelton,) then ultimately returns to him in the American colonies on the eve of the War of Independence.