By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

Netflix on Thursday (May 4) will premiere the first season of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, a prequel spin-off to the Bridgerton series (created by Shonda Rhimes) that’s been so successful for the streamer during its first two seasons. (Netflix has okayed a third and fourth season as well.)

Queen Charlotte follows the tale of the 18th Century Queen when she’s just 17 years ago and she’s been promised in marriage to King George III. Of course, this is a Bridgerton story so the pairing has immediate issues, leading to marital strife, affairs and lots of steamy sex.

This has been a winning hand for team Rhimes, but is Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story any good?, which tracks critical reviews, currently gives the series a score of 94 out of a possible 100, based on 18 reviews. Below is a sampling from the reviews, and a show trailer. Enjoy.

“Pure candy… easily digestible, reliably uniform, and fun to eat. The 17C century was never so confection-like, difficulties never too demanding, easily overcome, the highs more visual than meaty, no lows, like a table full of frothy dessert.” — Anne Brodie, What She Said.

“This prequel to Shonda Rhimes’ racy Regency hit is a lavish, thoughtful expansion of Julia Quinn’s saga that goes down as smooth as a fruity blancmange.” — Kristen Baldwin, Entertainment Weekly.

“Queen Charlotte’s most impressive feat is giving a stronger definition to an eccentric character from the main series, who now has a clear identity that will lead to a more complex understanding of her in future seasons of the original show.” — Fletcher Peters, The Daily Beast.

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“They still have ribald love scenes as they grudgingly try to produce an heir. No bodices are literally ripped, but they may as well be.” — Fred Topei, UPI.

“Despite its hit status, I never loved Netflix’s Bridgerton, which in its first two seasons proved painfully predictable. But take the show’s two most intriguing characters and give them a prequel/spin-off and the results improve on the original.” — Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story has enough to hook historic romance fans happy to look the other way when it comes to historical accuracy in exchange for a sublimely acted love story.” — Meghan O’Keefe, Decider.

To read more reviews of the show, click here