“Bridgerton” — Netflix’s hit period production about upper-class courtship in England’s Regency era — is a world populated with sparkling balls, intricate courtship rituals, extravagant attire, and insidious gossip.
And, apart from the Julia Quinn novels, there’s a surprising inspiration for it: West Hollywood. “Definitely,” creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen tells Out, with a laugh, when asked about a connection to queer cruising. “When the lords and the ladies are meeting each other and they’re literally swiping left and right on these people, it’s very much like modern dating on an app.” “In the writers’ room, we always try to find modern touchstones and relate those things,” says Van Dusen, including in how gossip is spread. “We think of social media kind of like a modern-day corset in terms of it feeling a little stifling and a little hard to breathe sometimes.” He also points to the classical arrangements of hits by Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift played for the ballroom guests as other winks to the present-day viewer.
Chris Van Dusen Van Dusen is no stranger to WeHo. He’s been a resident of Los Angeles since 2001 when he began attending the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Producing Program.
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