Bridgerton has been providing millions of viewers with a heavy dose of escapist fantasy during the pandemic since it first arrived on Netflix on Christmas Day – leading to some confusion for Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
Shonda Rhimes’ rich adaptation of Julia Quinn’s debaucherous Regency-era novels appears to have engrossed fans worldwide.
Speaking to NBC’s TODAY Show, Kunis revealed that she was among those watching the show but she has so far failed to convince her husband Kutcher to join her.
However, he has now gained some level of familiarity with the series – after waking up during “the peak” of the fifth episode.
Kunis explained that, while she typically falls asleep early no matter what she’s watching, “last night I clearly stayed up until midnight” to see “what’s happening in this show”.
While Kutcher, her former That '70s Show co-star, was initially “dead asleep”, Kunis continued:
“[He] wakes up in the peak of the fifth episode – and this is TMI for the morning – but he literally just goes: ‘Are you watching a porno?’ He was so confused.”
Kutcher jumped in to defend his assumption, saying: “I didn't know what was going on.
“I was like: ‘Is there someone else in the bed?’ It was terrifying!”
As Kunis shared her delight at the long-awaited moment her husband of five years had interrupted, the Two and a Half Men star jokingly added: “You are cheating on me with this show.”
Bridgerton is set during the Regency era – so named to denote the period between 1811 and 1820, when the young son of an ill King George III’s son ruled by proxy.
Unlike the chaste narratives typically associated with the era, the series focuses on the sexual awakening of Daphne Bridgerton (played by Phoebe Dynover), who consummates her marriage with love interest, Simon Basset (played by Regé-Jean Page) in the fifth episode.
“In a lot of the Regency stuff we’ve seen in the past, we see a very composed woman," Dynover told Glamour last week.
“There’s not much sexuality there. It’s very much the male gaze. I wanted to make her feel modern and have sexual desires, as women do, and have a lot going on that isn’t surface level.”
Watched by more than 82 million accounts in its first month online, Bridgerton is Netflix’s most successful series ever, according to the streaming giant – which is notoriously selective in what it reveals about its viewing statistics.
Perhaps Kutcher will be caught up by the time the new series – which has already been commissioned –arrives on our screens.