One of the curious side-affects of lockdown is how it has reunited the nation in its viewing habits. I’m old enough to remember when there were only three television channels and a tired series about a roguish antique dealer called Lovejoy could pull in an audience of 20 million. Even 25 years ago, office workers would gather around the water cooler to discuss Rachel’s hair and if she and Ross really were on a break.
Then channels multiplied, viewing habits fractured, and programmes ceased to have conversational currency.
Until now. We are so starved of distraction that the few original TV shows being screened soon become talking points – beyond any measure of their quality if Bridgerton is anything to go by. But that’s not my point. These cultural touchstones are a great hook for features.
On The Times we’ve already run pieces about how hot Georgian sex was and how hot Georgian fashion now is. Frivolous, of course, but it makes sense. From the little I’ve seen, the programme is exclusively about bonking and breeches.
On the other hand, whilst I’m full of admiration for PRs who have the nous to try to turn popular culture to their own ends, it does have to feel authentic. I’ve had pitches for Bridgerton-style cutlery, Bridgerton-style cocktails and Bridgerton-style flowers recently, and I can tell you, no one talking about the programme has ever mentioned the wonderful cutlery or dramatic flower arrangements in the Duchess of Hastings’s house.
So full marks for having your fingers on the cultural pulse, but I hope you don’t take it personally if, on this occasion, we don’t bite.
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