Handwritten love notes, horse-drawn carriage rides, meaningful looks exchanged over cups of tea — romance just seemed more fun in the Regency era, but can old-fashioned courting lead to a meaningful connection in the modern world?
That’s the question at the heart of NBC’s upcoming reality series, “The Courtship”, in which 16 dashing suitors compete for the affections of an eligible bachelorette — Nicole Rémy, a software engineer from Seattle.
In a twist sure to make any “Bridgerton” fan swoon, the show was filmed in Castle Howard, an impressive historic home in northern England that was also used to film the hit Netflix series, and Rémy and her suitors are dressed throughout in sumptuous, Regency-inspired costumes.
“I felt different, I really did, because when we were there, we didn’t have social media, we didn’t have phones, we didn’t have anything, so it was really like we went back in time,” Rémy said during a visit to TODAY with Hoda & Jenna on Wednesday. “We’re doing carriage rides, we’re riding in boats, we’re not going to the bar and getting a drink.”
Rémy said she and her suitors got to know each other through decidedly 19th-century pursuits, including attending balls, doing archery and, yes, drinking tea.
“We had plenty of tea," she said. "From now on I’m like, I need tea every morning."
The stunning English countryside setting and gorgeous costumes aside, Rémy said that getting to know people in a more traditional way, without technology or other distractions, did lead to deeper bonds.
“For me, it was like, I spent time on dating apps and you’re superficially swiping, right?” she said. “You’re like, ‘OK, yes, no, maybe so.’ But it’s like, where’s that meaningful connection? So you take us back into a romantic time period and you take away social media and everything like that, and it’s just a real connection that you can develop with people.”
She added that exchanging letters with some of her suitors reminded her of her parents’ romance.
“They spent four years long distance and they wrote each other letters and they wrote each other poems and it’s just so amazing that I went through a very similar process trying to find my person,” she said. “And it’s just beautiful. It’s not a DM, you’re not sliding into somebody’s DMs. We definitely don’t like the slide. We want a handwritten letter in calligraphy.”
Rémy, of course, wouldn’t spill any tea on whether she found lasting romance on the show, but she did say the experience gave her “a whole different perspective on dating.”
“I’m in it for the deep connections,” she said. “I’m in it for the romance, the chivalry.”
“The Courtship” premieres on NBC on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and will stream on Peacock the following day.
(Note: NBC, Peacock and TODAY share the same parent company, NBCUniversal.)