How to Watch 'Bridgerton,' 'Grey's Anatomy' and Other Fantastic Shondaland TV Shows
By Katy Lindenmuth
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With the upcoming Christmas release of Bridgerton on Netflix, the Shondaland universe is about to welcome a new cast of complex, scandal-prone characters that we can't get enough of.
Shondaland -- the unstoppable production company powered by director, producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes -- has developed Julia Quinn's bestselling novels into one of the most highly anticipated television series of the year. Over eight episodes, the wealthy Bridgerton family navigates 1800s London high society, their stories infused with Shonda's trademark witty banter and steamy love scenes.
"It's got more zing than Downton," Adjoa Andoh, who plays Lady Danbury, tells ET about the show's comparisons to another sprawling period drama. Notably, Bridgerton also features a racially diverse cast, re-envisioning the period surrounding the end of King George III's rule as a time when Black people held titles and power equal to their white counterparts.
Like Grey's Anatomy and Scandal before it, Bridgerton promises to be a groundbreaking and addictive Shondaland show audiences will be dissecting (and rewatching) for years to come. To celebrate its release, here's how to binge Bridgerton and Shondaland's other biggest and best series on Netflix, Hulu and more.
In Regency Era London (think early 1800s or simply the words "Jane Austen"), we meet the eight wealthy Bridgerton siblings: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth. Season 1 follows the eldest daughter, Daphne (played by Phoebe Dynevor), as she makes her debut in London's marriage market and embarks on a fauxmance with Simon, the Duke of Hastings. The show has everything you could ever want in a period drama: glittering ballrooms, aristocratic palaces, forbidden romance and Gossip Girl–like narration from the mysterious Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews). The Bridgerton Netflix series kicks off Shondaland's epic eight-show deal with the streaming behemoth.
It all began here. Shonda broke into the mainstream in 2005 with the debut of Grey's Anatomy, a medical drama that made household names of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), doctors McDreamy and McSteamy (Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane), and other residents at Seattle Grace/Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Fast-forward 15 years, several love triangles and countless incomprehensible medical emergencies, and Shonda is still serving as Grey's executive producer and head writer -- and the show is still making us gasp. Stream the first 16 seasons on Netflix and then head to Hulu to catch up on season 17, which is currently airing on ABC.
The first Grey's Anatomy spinoff ran from 2007 to 2013 and followed Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) after she left Seattle Grace for a, well, private practice in Los Angeles. But in true prime-time TV fashion, she didn't leave the drama behind: Over the show's six seasons, the neonatal surgeon and her colleagues become entangled in nonstop personal, professional, familial and financial drama. Private Practice featured a star-studded cast (Taye Diggs, Benjamin Bratt, Tim Daly and Audra McDonald were series regulars) and plenty of crossover events with the original show.
If you're hankering for a Shondaland show that's still churning out new episodes, get ready to become addicted to Station 19. The second Grey's Anatomy spinoff is now in its fourth season and follows a team of firefighters at the Seattle Fire Department's Station 19. To the delight of Grey's fans, crossover events abound here too -- including a three-episode event in November that we don't want to spoil if you haven't tuned in yet.
Kerry Washington stars as a former White House media relations consultant who starts her own crisis management firm, Olivia Pope & Associates, to "fix" problems for Washington, DC elite. Over seven action-packed seasons, Olivia tackles everything from blackmail to conspiracy theories to high-profile assassinations. Despite dazzling audiences and critics alike, the arc of Scandal was so meticulously planned out by Shonda from the beginning that there's basically no chance of a spinoff or movie.
Another Shondaland series with a strong female lead and solid supporting cast, How to Get Away with Murder follows criminal defense professor Annalise Keating and a team of her students as they uncover countless dead bodies and cover-ups in and around Philadelphia. In 2015, Viola Davis became the first Black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and went on to be nominated three more times for her portrayal of Annalise.