Is This Spicy and Scandalous New Show the Next ‘Bridgerton’? Here’s Why the Royal Comedy Is a Must-Watch

On Prime Video as of June 27

my lady jane review mobile
Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

When it comes to content with a royal theme, you don’t have to twist my arm: I’ll be there with bells on to watch it. That was my reaction to the opportunity to get a sneak peek at My Lady Jane, the brand-new Prime Video series, which celebrated its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City earlier this month.

The show centers around the tragic life of Lady Jane Grey, best known as England’s nine-day queen and the ultimate damsel in distress. The quick back story: After King Edward VI died in the mid-1500s, Jane, his cousin, was named his surprise successor only to be forced to relinquish the crown and be tried for treason. This led to her untimely beheading.

But the series also boldly retells her story. (“What if history were different?” the narrator protests.)

The edgy historical comedy, based on the bestselling fantasy novel by Cynthia Hand, kicks off from there, following the smart and riotous Jane (played by newcomer Emily Bader) as she fights tooth and nail against her fate—an arranged marriage that, per her mother, is her duty and, conveniently, will help shore up her family’s fortune and future. Here are three reasons to watch it.

my lady jane lady jane grey
Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

1. It Plays Like a Bolder ‘Bridgerton’

The pomp, the pageantry, the costumes—it’s all there. But so is a feminist portrayal of a woman hellbent on bucking royal tradition and carving her own path (in Jane’s case, she’d love to write an anthology of herbal remedies to common medicinal woes). Still, Jane’s fate to marry seems sealed, which includes a betrothal to Guildford Dudley (played by Edward Bluemel), which has been mapped out by parents on both sides with ulterior motives—mainly, a path to the throne, where Jane’s cousin currently sits.

Cue the plot twist in this modern re-telling of Tudor times: Per Jane, marriage is the last thing she plans to do, but her husband-to-be turns out to be equal parts dashing and dastardly. Could this royal romance turn out to be a love match? (Feels like something Lady Whistledown might narrate, no?)

my lady jane king and princess mary
Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

2. The Cast Is Totally All-Star

Yes, you’ve got newcomers such as Bader and Bluemel (who, BTW, has stood out in bit parts in series like Sex Education and Killing Eve). But there are also a few familiar faces who share the screen—Dominic Cooper plays the devious Lord Seymour, who may or may not be secretly poisoning the king. There’s also Kate O’Flynn—formerly of Bridget Jones’s Baby and Happy Go Lucky—who steps into the shoes of Princess Mary (ahem, the future Mary, Queen of Scots) and Jim Broadbent, who plays the Duke of Leicester (oof, no spoilers, but beware his feet). Together, they deliver performances that are equal parts dramatic, spicy and full of comic relief. 

lady jane and guildford dudley
Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

3. The Feminist—and Fantastical—Parts Are What Make It Unique and Fun

My prediction? Judging by the uproarious applause following the screening at the Tribeca Film Fest, My Lady Jane is set to be a hit. But its tone and decision to modify history and serve up a female-forward (albeit fictional) revision to the facts is what makes it such a stand-out. In other words, instead of life happening to Jane, Jane happens to life. Her character is in the driver’s seat of this series, making every desperate effort to chart her own course.

This follows a growing trend of rewriting the narrative for female characters after history seemingly fails to do them justice. (Hello, Dickinson, but even shows like Bridgerton or The Crown to some degree.)

Did we mention part of the My Lady Jane plot centers around people that can shape-shift into animals—a detail that sparks political turmoil in the kingdom?

Truly, this is a series you won’t want to miss.

My Lady Jane is on Prime Video as of June 27.

Get more entertainment news sent to your inbox by subscribing here.

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...