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I Netflix I May 16, 2024 I 6 Episodes I

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82 %

* As of 5/16/24

Starring:  Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Julie Andrews, Jonathan Bailey, Nicola Coughlan, Claudia Jessie, Adjoa Andoh, Golda Rosheuvel, Luke Thompson, Luke Newton

Directors:  Tom Verica, Julie Anne Robinson, Sheree Folkson, Alrick Riley

From Shondaland and new showrunner, Jess Brownell, Bridgerton is back for its third season and finds Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) has finally given up on her long-held crush on Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) after hearing his disparaging words about her last season. She has, however, decided it’s time to take a husband, preferably one who will provide her with enough independence to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown, far away from her mother and sisters. But lacking in confidence, Penelope’s attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly. Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his summer travels with a new look and a serious sense of swagger. But he’s disheartened to realize that Penelope, the one person who always appreciated him as he was, is giving him the cold shoulder. Eager to win back her friendship, Colin offers to mentor Penelope in the ways of confidence to help her find a husband this season. But when his lessons start working a little too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly. Complicating matters for Penelope is her rift with Eloise (Claudia Jessie), who has found a new friend in a very unlikely place, while Penelope’s growing presence in the ton makes it all the more difficult to keep her Lady Whistledown alter ego a secret.


RATING 3.5 out of 5

Bridgerton’s third season shines the spotlight on the long awaited romance between Penelope and Colin, and the first half of the season delivers all the romance, drama, and magnificent production and costume design that fans of the series have grown accustomed to, all anchored by a great performance by Nicola Coughlan.


Dearest gentle reader. Another season has arrived for London’s ton and it is time for a wallflower to thrive in the sunlight. Yes, the incredibly successful Netflix series has returned for a new season, this time focusing on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington, the young woman from across the street who has been secretly in love with Colin for years, while her identity as Lady Whistledown is threatened to be discovered. As with some of their most popular shows in recent years, Netflix has made the decision to release the season in two parts, the first now streaming and with Part Two coming in June. While the division in parts is going to leave fans eager to find out what happens next, there is lots of the juicy and steamy drama that made Bridgerton an instant hit present in the season’s first part to satisfy the fans’ thirst for a new season of romance, scandal and drama.


After being a pivotal but supporting character for the first two seasons, Penelope is getting her starring moment. Her story has been slowly building over the previous seasons of the show with viewer’s learning of her being the infamous Lady Whistledown, viciously calling out members of the ton as they all searched for romance and wealth with her wit and select choice of words. And with Eloise discovering her secret identity at the end of the second season, it’s a make or break moment for Penelope. The audience has already been primed for an emotional rollercoaster with Penelope as she begins to truly explore her romantic suitors this season, with the assistance of her dear friend Colin Bridgerton as the romance begins to develop between them, all while Queen Charlotte is dead set on discovering Lady Whistledown’s identity. There is no question that the two part division of the season hampers the storytelling, as there is lots of drama and groundwork to be set during the first four episodes to set up what can only be described as the explosive second part due out next month. But even so, the first four episodes are an addictive binge that fans will easily devour and leave them desperate for the conclusion of Penelope and Colin’s story.


While the first two seasons had largely focused on the romantic endeavours of the lead Bridgerton family member, the third season starts to develop the stories of Benedict and Francesca. They are the next two logical choices for leads in the fourth season, and with lots of the groundwork having been laid for Penelope’s love for Colin during the first two seasons, the writers have the freedom to explore other members of the Bridgerton family. Eloise’s story has always been tied to Penelope’s, and with her learning at the end of last season that Penelope is secretly Lady Whistledown, there are lots of great moments between her and Penelope that explore whether their friendship can survive. This all helps the season become more interesting, because with what is covered of Penelope and Colin’s romance in the first part, Francesca, Eloise and Benedict have the more intriguing and less predictable plot lines. But based on the scene that the first part concludes, and yes if you have read the novel I am talking about THAT Penelope and Colin moment, it will have viewers going wild and promises all the juicy romance and drama between Colin and Penelope to come in the second part that fans have been waiting for.


Continuing her wonderful performance from the first two seasons that helped to create one of the most intriguing and lovable characters of the series, Nicola Coughlan truly shines as Penelope. Three seasons in, she fully understands her character and perfectly captures every emotional high and low that Penelope faces over the course of the four episodes. There is a beautiful simmer between her and her leading man Luke Newton that allows the romance between Penelope and Colin to blossom as Colin begins to discover his true feelings for the woman he has long considered a true friend. Newton gets a much meatier role this season, and he is more than up for the challenge and proves himself to be a wonderful leading man. Luke Thompson continues to be dashing and tender as the second eldest Bridgerton son Benedict, and it only builds the anticipation that I have for his season when he gets to take centre stage with his charming performance. Given where Eloise’s story ended last season, Claudie Jessie has some great moments to explore her character’s fractured relationship with Penelope and wrestle with her brother’s developing feelings for her ex-best friend. And making her Bridgerton debut is Hannah Dodd, taking over the role of Francesca from Ruby Stokes, and Dodd is a scene stealer. Dodd brings a laser focused, no nonsense persona to the Bridgerton family that is the exact opposite of Daphne, Anthony and Colin, that not only demands your full attention while she is on screen, but promises we have a heartbreaker within the Bridgerton family who is going to have a phenomenal season of her own. The rest of the returning cast is great, notably Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley as Anthony and Kate who are enjoying their blissful honeymoon phase of their marriage, but there is not as much time for them to shine in the first four episodes as the focus is primarily on Coughlan, Newton, Thompson, Jessie and Dodd.


As with the previous two seasons of Bridgerton, the show looks and sounds great. The costume design remains top notch with the extravagant ball gowns and dashing suits for the gentlemen, combined with some remarkable production design to recreate the opulence of high society Regency era London. Sure, some of the CGI is a little noticeable, but with so many great practical elements to the show, it's quickly forgotten while watching. Continuing the trend of the first two seasons, there are more classical covers of pop songs to help build the romance between Penelope and Colin, and the selections this season are excellent; while Kris Bowers musical score continues to be great. From a technical aspect, the third season continues to get top marks in my book.

It’s been over two years since the second season of Bridgerton premiered on Netflix, and one wait that has been excruciating for fans, but I am happy to announce that the third season more than delivers the goods. Yes, it’s sad that we will have to wait for the truly dramatic moments to come in the second part of the season next month, but nonetheless, the first four episodes of the third season of Bridgerton are a great return to the world of Regency London’s ton and its romantic endeavours… including THAT fan favourite moment that everyone will be talking about! Led by a luminous performance from Nicola Coughlan and a dashing turn by Luke Newton, coupled with a scene stealing Bridgerton debut by Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton and all the flawless costumes and production design, Bridgerton’s return is a glorious romantic escapade that will satisfy every wish of fans of the series while leave them hungry for more.

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