Give me a wedding and I am sold. Small screen, big screen, real life, fantasy, desi, videshi- I am a sucker for shadis. But even my love for the pomp and show of all things marriage could not help me develop a small dislike for the first few episodes of this Netflix original.⁣

Set in the nineteenth century, this show is yet another pre-Victorian romance set in the backdrop of balls, soirees and presentation ceremonies. I couldn’t help but cringe at the regressive customs of Britain two centuries ago- the indoctrination of young women into believing that marriage is the be all and the end all of their lives, the over-inflated emphasis on concepts of honour and pride, and belch-inducing rituals like women being paraded before the royalty as a mark of their initiation into society. ⁣

But I persisted because of Shonda Rhimes. I convinced myself that it’s a satire, tried to emphasise on the fact that the Queen was played by a person of colour and literally diverted my attention to the costumes to keep myself hooked. (It wasn’t very difficult, tbh). Thankfully the last few episodes more than made up for it all. ⁣

It moved the focus from the sad, old and over-exhausted trope of courting young lovers and brought in tales of friendship, entrepreneurship and censorship in its folds. The women mature into ladies with agency, the men get off their high-horses and realise how nobody gives two hoots about their opinions, and idle gossip metamorphosises into a beacon of free speech. ⁣

I would do discredit to the show if I don’t make a mention of the steamy sex scenes. My glasses fogged up just watching them. ⁣

Shout-out to Nicola Couglan who is absolutely adorable!⁣

Munish Rathore

Munish Rathore is a full-time journalist,
part-time dreamer and an aspiring writer. In
his free time he can be seen curled up in front
of the TV bawling over the latest tear-jerker.