Bridgerton Season 3: An In-Depth Review

Photo Courtesy of Netflix
Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Two weeks ago the first part of the third season of Bridgerton, the beloved historical romance, came out. As a long time fan of the show I watched it as soon as I got home that day, and I definitely have some thoughts. There’s been a lot of discourse online about whether or not this season was good, and some of the takes have definitely been a little off in my opinion. I did overall like this season, and I am very excited for part two. A quick warning that this review does contain major spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the show and do plan to, wait to read this until you are done watching! This article is a long one, so let’s get straight to it.

The show starts with an introduction of the main couple of the season: Colin and Penelope. The two are reunited after spending the off season apart, Penelope in the countryside and Colin out on his travels. We ended season two with Colin basically insulting Penelope in front of the other gentlemen of the ton, so there is immediate tension between the two as season three begins. The first thing I want to point out is how quickly Penelope forgave Colin. If you’ve watched the show you know it practically only took them two conversations to make up, which I just thought was not enough. For what Colin said, it should have taken more than a simple “Are we not friends?”, to repair their relationship. 

Courtesy of TV Insider
Courtesy of TV Insider

People online have also been complaining about how rushed this season felt, which I do understand to a certain extent. I think this is mainly because of the season being split into two parts, which makes it seem like the season was super short. I also think the love story feels rushed because Colin still doesn’t know Penelope is Lady Whistledown, and this will cause a lot of strain between them. I’m assuming that they are planning to make part two about him finding out and actually being okay with her secret identity, which is why it feels like they moved way too fast in the first half. They’ll probably have some big fight and have to make that okay. I definitely think the division of the show contributed to this rushed feeling, so it would have been better if the entire season was released at once.

Another point people have been making online is that there were too many subplots. I personally disagree with this. Bridgerton has always been an ensemble show, not focusing on just the main couple. I also think that these subplots are setting up later seasons. For example, Francesca and Lord Kilmartin. I haven’t read the book but I’ve heard their relationship is important for when we eventually receive Francesca’s season. It’s necessary to further the plot and add depth to future main characters. I also think the subplots are just entertaining. They show the lives of the other characters, and add humorous moments to the show. I do wish that we got more screen time with Colin and Penelope, but I think that’s only because of how short the season is. I also think we can’t fully say who gets the most or least screen time until part two comes out. I will say, I wish there was more Kanthony and Benedict.

When Does Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 Come Out?
Courtesty of TheWrap

A topic that has been involved in so much discourse online is Colin and his sudden change in personality. So many people are saying he gave them the ick this season, or that he wasn’t acting like himself and it was weird. I feel like this is really obvious, but that was the whole point. In the earlier seasons he showed his emotions, and was constantly beat down for it. The situation between him and Marina showed him that he couldn’t be his true self around other people of the ton, because he would just get hurt. He tried to be more like Anthony and Benedict, and other gentlemen of the ton, carelessly engaging in activities that he believed should have more meaning. The scene at the club when he is talking with Lord Fife and some of the other gentlemen, he outright says that they disregard the “one thing in life that has true meaning”, and asks the others if they find it lonely. In this one scene he revealed that he did care, and has been pretending he didn’t since he got back. This is especially important when it comes to his relationship with Penelope, because she is the one who had always shown him that it was important to care. I think when people watched this season they forgot about the other two seasons, which were so important to Colin’s character. That’s why it seemed like he was acting weird for no reason. 

Though I really did love this season, there were some things I just couldn’t overlook. For example, the relationship between Benedict and Lady Arnold. It felt incredibly repetitive, and it added no depth to Benedict’s character. I wish we had gotten more about his journey with art rather than some attempt to show how unserious his character is. I also did not like the hot air balloon scene. It felt very awkward and unnatural, especially the way Lord Debling tried to “save” Penelope. She had so much time to move out of the way, and him just laying on the ground with her would not actually do anything to help her. I just could not take that scene seriously. One of the last things that I didn’t like this season was the fashion. I know Bridgerton has established itself enough to not be bound by the typical rules of style of the regency era, but I do think that it was pushed a little too far. Though there were so many beautiful outfits, some of the clothes just looked cheap and extra, and I miss the simplicity of some of the outfits in earlier seasons. I also wish some of the characters had more natural looking makeup. When I saw my girl Penelope wearing falsies and acrylics the whole energy of the show just felt off for a minute. I also didn’t like that every ball Penelope went to ended in tears. I feel like she deserved at least one win, and after a while I just began to expect her to go home crying. 

Overall, I will say I enjoyed this season. I would rate the first half of Bridgerton season three, 7.5/10 Viking Heads. I’m excited for part two, and I definitely think it’ll clarify some things most of us were confused about in part one. There was a lot to unpack in just the first part, so I’m excited to see what the showrunners have concocted for the next part. As a reminder, part two comes out on June 13th! 

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  • S

    Shannon RaneriJun 2, 2024 at 1:46 pm

    When Pen had her whole do-over, it felt very unnatural. The Featheringtons wear citrus and bright colors. It felt off when she walked in wearing the dark green and the sheer black. In the scene after the ball, she was wearing a lighter color, much like the class Featherington palate. I’m unsure if I love the relationship between Eloise and Credissa and I want the friendship of Penelope and Eloise again. I hope to see more things between the Lady Whistledown and Madame Delacroix businesses.

    Great job, Zaineb!

    • Z

      Zaineb FawziJun 4, 2024 at 8:36 pm

      I definitely agree. Pen looked fabulous, but it just didn’t fit her normal colors. I also wish she had more of a mental “glow up” before her physical glow up. I also don’t really know how to feel about Eloise and Cressida. I am enjoying learning more about Cressida, but it’s hard to like her with everything she’s done to Penelope and even Daphne. I do wish they went more into Madame Delacroix’s business as well, since it seems like it was just forgotten. There’s definitely a lot that could have been done better, but I do still really like this season. Thank you for reading!