Extra Bits - Vol. 1
Generation Trauma & Queer Bridgertons
Every piece I write gets edited by me about a million times before my draft. I find it easier to overwrite as opposed to filling in later. Anyway this is what got left on the cutting room floor this time around.
The Published Piece (Click the photo to read):
The bits that got cut:
It feels like we are in the Pop Culture season of unhealed generational trauma & mommy issues, and in the middle of the trial-and-error efforts to bring more Black and other POC into the Hollywood fold. Encanto, Turning Red, and Umma all touch on both and now, Bridgerton joins in.
A prominent theme this season (other than diversity) is generational trauma and the effect it has when it’s ignored. After watching his father die, Anthony becomes the new Viscount at 18 and essentially shuts down emotionally. Rarely addressing his fathers death as the new patriarch leads him to becoming distant with his siblings, specifically the youngest son Gregory. In a precious scene where Anthony realizes the harm not addressing his trauma has done, he opens up with what feels like the intention to not pass on his emotional blockage.
We see many female characters, who presumably have inherited the most pain from their mothers or grandmothers, breaking with these generational patterns, as well. Lady Mary stands up to her mother who has given her pain that she managed to pass down to a daughter who isn’t hers by birth; Lady Featherington, even in her shady ways, steps into her own clever power and seemingly opts to stop depending on a man, something she no doubt was trained to do by her mother; and in an incredible monologue, Edwina Sharma shakes off living a life she didn’t ask for, curated by her sister and mother, and decides to live and love on her own terms.
Eloise, a Bridgerton determined to forge her own path, reluctantly makes her debut this season. I was more hopeful than ever that her storyline would be well taken care of because last seasons performance made her my favorite. Perhaps it’s because I am so desperately yearning for queerness amongst the people of the ton, that I attached myself to the nearest character who could be read as such—but it’s far too lazy to label her as queer coded. Although I'd HAPPILY welcome her on Team Sappho, I won’t assume she is just because she doesn’t want her dance card filled with the names of cishet gentlemen who have inherited titles, but zero personality. She’s not gay because she finds the banality in creating a life the revolves around men and babies, she just wants more, and this season has set her story up well to get it.
Why I cut them:
I was essentially writing two pieces in one—I wanted to talk about how unhealed generational trauma has been showing up in lots of Pop Culture recently AND about the issues I had with the “color-blind” casting on Bridgerton. Both make sense as they show up in the show BUT I had to pick a lane so I went with the casting. I also REALLY wanted to share my feelings on Eloise being read as queer by so many viewers and that just didn’t fit anywhere…i just wanted to talk about gay shit for a minute.
I love the final piece though and where my editor and I landed on it and I could have turned these cut bits into another piece, but in my opinion I don’t have enough here to build it out into something full.
Feels like the bits I cut out of pieces are the only type of leftovers I like :)