‘The Buccaneers’ reviews round-up: ‘Bridgerton’ meets ‘The Gilded Age’

The new adaptation of The Buccaneers launches tomorrow!

Inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton’s unfinished final novel of the same name, Apple TV+ have produced this eight-part mini-series.

Ahead of its premiere, reviewers have revealed their thoughts on the first few episodes, and the verdict is surprisingly positive.

We were fully expecting this show to be slated as a lazy Bridgerton rip-off after its rather derivative trailer debuted, but – while its debt to Netflix’s hit period drama is widely noted – it sounds like there’s a lot to enjoy in The Buccaneers.

“A group of fun-loving young American girls explode into the tightly corseted London season of the 1870s, kicking off an Anglo-American culture clash as the land of the stiff upper lip is infiltrated by a refreshing disregard for centuries of tradition,” reveals the official synopsis.

“Sent to secure husbands and titles, the buccaneers’ hearts are set on much more than that, and saying “I do” is just the beginning…”

Watch the trailer here:

The first three instalments of The Buccaneers will be streaming on Apple TV+ from Wednesday 8 November, with new episodes premiering weekly on Wednesdays.

We’ve rounded up a selection of spoiler-free reviews here so you can decide if you’d like to watch the series:


“If Bridgerton and The Gilded Age melded together, their grittier, splashier baby would be The Buccaneers.

“However, this isn’t a romance series. Instead, it is a feminist love story about female friendships, shocking betrayals and the sacrifices women have made across time to release themselves and others from the shackles of shame.” – Variety


“The catty, status-obsessed Edith Wharton is perfect for Gen Z … The great American novelist is overlooked these days, but this sexy modern adaptation could find her a whole new audience.” ★★★★  – The Telegraph


The Buccaneers isn’t going to reside in the same optimistic period drama sphere as shows like Sanditon or Bridgerton, in spite of its bold creative choice to embrace pop music or the countless society parties that see the show’s main quintet getting to wear all manner of gorgeous gowns.” – Collider


“If you’re into things like high society scandal or people describing their feelings as being “hopelessly, irretrievably, overpoweringly in love,” or men standing on cliffs while screaming toward the sea, you will be into this.

“If you’re into shows full of lavish parties and swoony monologues and young women basically telling aristocrats to get bent, you will be into this…

“It’s very much a period piece, but think less PBS Masterpiece and more Bridgerton.” ★★★★ – TV Guide


“At first glance, the series appears like a TV-14 rendition of Bridgerton … Ultimately, it’s a feminist manifesto for girls eager to find love and adventure, free of the restraints of traditional society.” – Rolling Stone


“Bridgertonised Wharton adaptation wraps a feminist fury in silk and lace … Even Whartonites might have cause to cheer at this incisive reworking of her final novel.” ★★★★ – The Standard


The Buccaneers suffers from culture clash — not just in the characters’ debates about English and American ideals, but also from the show’s incongruous attempts at mashing up the late-1800s and today…

“Unable to choose between its modern sensibilities or period-piece faithfulness, The Buccaneers opts for a blend that doesn’t really work.” – The Daily Beast


“Created and written by comedian and actor Katherine Jakeways with a team of British women writers, The Buccaneers is not a subtle show but it has been precision-tooled to hit all the beats that fans of romantic period dramas expect of the genre…

“It’s been so expertly made that you have little choice but to just surrender to it. Resistance is futile. It looks absolutely beautiful.” ★★★★ – BBC


“Ultimately, despite a few bumps in the road, The Buccaneers always has its heart in the right place and the plot is really driven by the bonds between the female characters.

“Let’s just say that when the inevitable and heavily hinted at second season comes along, we’ll definitely be watching it.” – Grazia


Edith Wharton’s novel is available on Amazon.