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Culture > Entertainment

REVIEW: Bridgerton’s season 3: Now that part 2 is out, did it live up to the expectations?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The wait is finally over! Now that Bridgerton season 3 is complete and currently streaming on Netflix, the excitement to see the development of the awaited couple, Polin (Penelope and Colin’s ship name), was huge, at least for me.

I, as a fan, of course ran to watch it on Thursday (13), since the ending of part 1 was rather shocking and left me eagerly waiting for the next four episodes. However, I believe my expectations were not fulfilled at all, especially about the romance in its entirety.

Now, let me explain my controversial thoughts to you, my dearest gentle reader, as I quote the most dearest gossiper Lady Whistledown, or should I say, Penelope Featherington.

the couple

First of all, I have to say that I was extremely happy to know, two years ago, that the next season would be about Penelope and Colin’s relationship, especially because it is based on one of my favorite book tropes, childhood friends to lovers. But, if I’m being honest, I think that the construction of the couple was really shallow, to the point that I sadly couldn’t connect with them like I did to Daphne and Simon or even to Kate and Anthony.

It was missing the fire and passion that are present in their book, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, and I wasn’t feeling the love they are supposed to have towards each other, although Nicola and Luke’s acting were immaculate and really transmitted that Polin energy.

During the episodes, I noticed that the couple had so few scenes that the romance itself was a little left out of their own story, caused by multiple side plots that were taking up too much screen time, such as the drama with Cressida and her family and Benedict’s side affair.

Something else that I have been thinking a lot is that Colin was introduced as a main character so fast that I couldn’t, again, associate that this would be his season. That can also be applied to the development of Polin as a couple. I wasn’t able to feel the passion and couldn’t really understand how their friendship grew into romantic love, as we didn’t have childhood flashbacks scenes shown to us, the audience, which I believe would change their entire dynamic for the better, making us connect with them a little more.

Rambling about the negativities aside, I  need to, as a fan, express how happy I was to see the accuracy of some scenes. The amount of nostalgia that the carriage scene brought me was excruciating, since they are one of my most beloved couples from the books. Something else that had me on a chokehold was the amount of care they have for each other, especially considering their mutual forms of protection for themselves and their families. I just found that extremely adorable and had me giggling every time.

the production

Since the change of showrunner, going from Chris Van Dusen, who produced both seasons 1 and 2, to Jess Brownell, we can notice changes related to the writing, the costumes, and even the makeup of the characters.

I believe Jess chose to do an adaptation that doesn’t really follow what’s historically accurate, differently than season 1 for example, when the production of the characters were more fit to the regency era. Yet, we can notice that there are a lot of modern traces, looking at the style of Francesca, for example, which is causing a lot of polemic thoughts throughout social media.

In my opinion, I don’t mind it at all, but some little details did, indeed, bother me, like Penelope’s fake nails. For me this was completely out of historical context, taking the period that this series passes, around the 1800’s. But nothing that really changes the story, so it is more of a production’s choice question.

the characters

To begin with, I have to mention how much I love the Bridgerton family dynamic. They are simply funny and adorable, especially when the youngest, Hyacinth and Gregory, are involved. I always found myself hooked by them and wishing there was a whole season for just those family interactions. I also can’t forget to mention the amount of love I feel for Eloise and Benedict’s conversations, where they support each other without contest, always valorizing what makes them happy, a true friendship that never fades away, even with the changes of the seasons.

Speaking of Eloise, I have to say that I admire her so much and season 3 made me look at her from another perspective. After what she has gone through with the discovery of Penelope’s secret, given that she was literally suffering from a big disappointment that came from her truest friend, I realized that behind her armor, she just needed the people around her to actually understand her and see that she had dreams like everyone else. Yet, after everything, she still wanted to see her best friend and her brother happy, even if it meant breaking her a little.

Another Bridgerton character that had its time to shine was Benedict, with his mainly new affair. It showed me the amount of potential he has that can be developed, considering his whole misunderstood personality, which leads me to think that maybe the next season will be about him, but that is just my speculation.

I also want to mention the amount of love I feel for the Mondrich couple, as much as I feel for Anthony and Kate. They are both so passionate towards each other and always stick together even in difficult times (literally goals).

Moving to Lady Violet Bridgerton, I absolutely devoured her new relationship with Lady Danbury’s brother, Marcus. After everything she has passed, I think it is of extremely importance that her happiness is also achieved. If we consider her confessions in Queen Charlotte, we can notice that even if someone shows to be happy, it doesn’t necessarily mean it, and what she and Marcus are building is completely well deserved from both parts.

the story

It was in this season that the mystery of “Who is Lady Whistledown?” was finally revealed. I have to admit it, I enjoyed a lot how much queen Charlotte was basically breaking her head trying to figure it out. And, when the secret came out, I was absolutely stunned by Penelope’s speech and this quote specifically made me think for many days that, as a woman, her only choice was to hide by a pseudonym , so she wouldn’t be discriminated for wanting to write, something so simple to us women nowadays:

“You are not a woman. You have the choice to be any kind of person you wish to be while the only choice women have is to conceal the parts of ourselves the world will not accept. I am Whistledown, I will not change that.”

This shows us that Penelope is right in everything she said, because women are often put down and mistreated like she was. By breaking the rules, she shows us that she accepts herself as she is, not letting society guide and complain about her every little move. I absolutely loved the support she received from her family, who always seemed so closed off towards her, but, in the end, showed that they really cared for her in their own different and sometimes weird ways. 

This speech can also be reflected in the actress that plays Penelope, Nicola Coughlan, who is responsible for helping a lot of girls to embrace themselves as they are, independent of their body type, something with so much importance in our “complex of perfection” society. That just shows us that everyone is perfect just how they already are and nothing or no one can change that.

Another thing  I want to mention that has caused mixed feelings throughout the fandom, was the change of Michael Stirling to Michaela Stirling. I personally am confused about what to think of this massive change.

On one hand, I understand that it is a question of representation amongst the couples that make up the series. However, I see why some of the fans are upset, including me. As one of my most favorite male interests of the entire book franchise, I was sad to see this tremendous change being done to Francesca’s future story, as the original book couple are simply amazing together. I see the motive to that and it confuses me as to why it was done, but I guess we can only figure it out with the upcoming of the next seasons.

In the end, I found myself content with how everything turned out, and although the very end felt rushed, I can never complain about the baby scene, the most adorable and heart whelming thing I have watched in a while.

Well, these are my sincere opinions about Bridgerton season 3. I confess that I had high expectations, after all, season 1 and season 2 were absolutely phenomenal and transcending for me. However, besides the controversies, I could never give this comforting universe up and I’m waiting excitedly to see all that has yet to come.


The article above was edited by Mariana Aguiar.

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Luna Bahdur

Casper Libero '27

Hi! I’m a Journalism student at Casper Libero. Mainly in love with books, art, movies, sports and music.