Is The Buccaneers a Rip-Off of Bridgerton and The Gilded Age? Creators Say No, But It Doesn't Help
It's up to us to believe them or not.
Even though Bridgerton still tortures its fans by its vague release window of its third season, the Netflix period drama still manages to steal the spotlight — even when it comes to a different show from another platform.
Having premiered on Wednesday, Apple TV's The Buccaneers follows young and rich American women visiting the UK in the 1870s. Being a period drama is tough these days, because even though The Buccaneers is set in a different time period, it is inevitably compared to Bridgerton (which is set in England of the early 1800s) and The Gilded Age (set during the titular era of the 1880s in New York City).
Many reviews have echoed the sentiment, but it seems that the creators of The Buccaneers are not particularly fond of these comparisons.
"The creative producers, they said, 'We're not doing, with the respect of that, we're not doing 'Bridgerton,' we're not doing 'The Gilded Age,' we're not doing any of these things, meaning we need to find our own way to be successful visually,'" said costume designer Giovanni Lipari, cited by Insider.
The Apple TV period drama did its best to find its own identity, with costume design being one of the tools to achieve that.
Still, there's hardly a review that doesn't mention Bridgerton when talking about The Buccaneers: CNN said the period drama "really, really wants to woo Bridgerton fans," Los Angeles Times claim The Buccaneers "may be more Bridgerton than Edith Wharton," while Time fuels the fire by noting that the Apple TV show "is trying so hard to be the next Bridgerton."
Reddit doesn't help, either.
"The Gilded Age does pretty much everything this show sets out to do, but way better, with more more charm, and dialogue that doesn’t make me want to put the show on mute and just imagine for myself what they might be saying rather than having to hear more of it," said Redditor Endemoniada.
Those who don't outright slam The Buccaneers for trying to emulate the already existing period dramas still compare it to them. However, The Buccaneers are only three episodes in its first season, and there's plenty of time for the show to prove that it has its own personality and doesn't need to be compared to its Netflix and HBO fellows.
If you want to see for yourself, the first three episodes of The Buccaneers are available on Apple TV+.