Bridgerton Season 3: A Detailed Review of Drama, Romance, and Intrigue

Bridgerton Season 3 Review: The much-anticipated third season of “Bridgerton” has finally arrived on Netflix, with its first four episodes now available for streaming. The series, which captured hearts worldwide when it first debuted in 2020, continues to enchant with its characteristic mix of regency-era romance, sumptuous visuals, and captivating storytelling. This season, however, brings a refreshing focus on an often-overlooked character, Penelope Featherington, played by the talented Nicola Coughlan. As Lady Whistledown returns with her biting gossip, Penelope steps into the spotlight, bringing new depth and intrigue to the series. This review delves into the strengths and weaknesses of “Bridgerton” Season 3, exploring the performances, plot developments, and overall production.

The Return of Lady Whistledown

Lady Whistledown’s return is marked with more danger and excitement than ever before. Her penchant for gossip, which has both entertained and scandalized the ton, now threatens to cost her dearly. Penelope Featherington’s double life as Lady Whistledown brings a new layer of complexity to the series, making her the central figure around which much of the season’s drama revolves. The stakes are higher, and the consequences of her actions more severe, as she navigates the treacherous waters of high society with her sharp pen and hidden identity.

Nicola Coughlan’s Star Turn

Nicola Coughlan’s portrayal of Penelope Featherington is a revelation. After spending the previous seasons on the sidelines, Penelope emerges as the intelligent and warm-hearted heroine of Season 3. Coughlan brings a nuanced performance, balancing Penelope’s anxieties, wit, and intelligence. Her long-neglected romance with Colin Bridgerton, played by Luke Newton, takes center stage, adding emotional depth to the narrative.

Penelope’s journey is both relatable and inspiring. Her struggle to find her voice and assert her independence resonates with viewers, making her a standout character in the series. Coughlan’s ability to convey vulnerability and strength simultaneously makes Penelope one of the most compelling heroines in the “Bridgerton” saga.

Romance and Courtship: Penelope and Colin

The romance between Penelope and Colin Bridgerton is a central theme of Season 3. Colin returns from his European tour, eager to reclaim his place in the social spotlight. However, his interactions with Penelope reveal a more complex dynamic. While Colin attempts to help Penelope find a suitable husband, their deep-seated friendship and unresolved feelings complicate matters.

Penelope’s attempts to engage with potential suitors are marked by awkwardness and humor, highlighting her struggle to fit into societal expectations. Colin’s role as her well-meaning but oblivious friend adds tension to their relationship, as viewers eagerly anticipate whether they will move beyond friendship to romance.

Despite the initial slow burn of their relationship, which some viewers may find frustrating, the development of Penelope and Colin’s story is ultimately rewarding. The series explores themes of self-discovery and the courage to pursue one’s desires, making their romance a captivating aspect of the season.

Supporting Characters: A Mixed Bag

While Penelope and Colin take center stage, the supporting characters in Season 3 receive mixed attention. Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) are still in the bliss of their honeymoon phase, providing a contrast to the more tumultuous relationships around them. Their presence adds continuity to the series, but their storyline lacks significant development this season.

Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd) makes her debut, but her role is disappointingly uneventful. The potential for an intriguing subplot is there, but it remains underdeveloped. Similarly, Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) continues to deal with the fallout from her conflict with Penelope, offering a few scene-stealing moments but not enough to drive the plot forward.

New characters, such as Miss Malhotra (Banita Sandhu), bring fresh faces to the series but are underutilized. Miss Malhotra’s role is limited to engaging in gossip, missing an opportunity to enrich the narrative. Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson) is given a subplot that feels superficial and unimportant, detracting from the overall quality of the season.

Costume and Production Design: A Visual Feast

One of the hallmarks of “Bridgerton” has always been its stunning visual presentation, and Season 3 continues to impress in this regard. The costumes, designed by John Glazer, are nothing short of spectacular. Each character’s wardrobe is meticulously crafted, reflecting their personality and social standing while adding to the series’ aesthetic appeal. The intricate details, vibrant colors, and luxurious fabrics transport viewers to the Regency era, creating an immersive experience that is both visually and emotionally engaging.

The production design, from the opulent ballrooms to the lush gardens, complements the costumes perfectly. Every set piece is designed with precision, contributing to the overall grandeur of the series. The instrumental covers of modern pop songs, featuring artists like Billie Eilish and Sia, continue to add a unique twist to the show’s historical setting, blending past and present in a delightful harmony.

Writing and Narrative Structure: Hits and Misses

While Season 3 excels in many areas, its writing and narrative structure present some challenges. The initial episodes suffer from a slow pace, with elaborate dialogues that can feel tedious. The early scenes, intended to set the stage for the unfolding drama, sometimes lack the punch needed to keep viewers fully engaged. This sluggish start may test the patience of some fans, though the pace picks up as the story progresses.

The dialogue, although witty and reflective of the period, occasionally falls into the trap of being overly verbose, detracting from the more dynamic aspects of the plot. The interactions among the supporting characters, in particular, can feel forced and one-dimensional, failing to capture the complexity seen in the lead characters’ arcs.

Character Development: The Penelope and Colin Arc

Penelope Featherington’s character arc is the highlight of the season. Her evolution from a shy wallflower to a confident woman grappling with her dual identity as Lady Whistledown is compelling and well-executed. Nicola Coughlan’s performance is both heartfelt and nuanced, capturing Penelope’s inner turmoil and growth. Her relationship with Colin Bridgerton is intricately portrayed, reflecting the complexities of friendship and unrequited love.

Colin’s return from Europe marks a turning point in their relationship. While he initially appears as the same charming but somewhat clueless character, his interactions with Penelope reveal deeper layers of his personality. The tension between his desire to help Penelope and his obliviousness to her feelings creates a poignant dynamic. This storyline explores themes of love, friendship, and self-awareness, providing a rich emotional core to the season.

Supporting Cast: Underutilized Potential

The supporting cast in Season 3, while essential to the fabric of “Bridgerton,” often feels underutilized. Anthony and Kate’s continued honeymoon phase offers a sweet, stable backdrop but lacks substantial plot development. Francesca Bridgerton’s introduction is underwhelming, with little done to integrate her meaningfully into the ongoing narrative.

Eloise Bridgerton remains a compelling character, her tension with Penelope adding depth to both characters. However, her storyline doesn’t progress as significantly as it could, leaving viewers wanting more of her sharp wit and rebellious spirit. Newcomer Miss Malhotra, played by Banita Sandhu, adds diversity to the cast but is given limited material to work with, reducing her to a peripheral role.

Benedict Bridgerton’s subplot is perhaps the weakest link, feeling disconnected from the main narrative. His romantic escapades lack the depth and significance seen in previous seasons, rendering his scenes somewhat forgettable.

Themes of Identity and Independence

A recurring theme in Season 3 is the exploration of identity and independence, particularly through Penelope’s character. Her struggle to reconcile her role as Lady Whistledown with her personal desires underscores the broader societal pressures faced by women in the Regency era. This theme resonates with contemporary audiences, highlighting issues of self-empowerment and the quest for autonomy.

Penelope’s journey is emblematic of the broader feminist undertones of “Bridgerton.” Her determination to control her own destiny, despite societal constraints, mirrors the struggles of many women, both in the past and present. This theme is further explored through other female characters, though not as prominently, adding layers to the narrative.

Romance and Yearning: A Delicate Balance

Romantic tension and yearning are central to “Bridgerton,” and Season 3 is no exception. The chemistry between Penelope and Colin is palpable, even as their relationship remains fraught with unspoken feelings and misunderstandings. The slow burn of their romance, while at times frustrating, adds a sense of realism and depth to their interactions.

However, the season sometimes struggles to balance this delicate tension with the need for narrative momentum. The yearning and attraction that made previous seasons so captivating are present but not always as intense. The writing occasionally falls short in conveying the deep emotional stakes, particularly in the scenes involving Colin, whose character lacks the complexity and depth needed to fully engage viewers.


“Bridgerton” Season 3 continues to deliver the glamour, romance, and intrigue that fans have come to expect. With Nicola Coughlan’s standout performance as Penelope Featherington, the season introduces a refreshing and intelligent heroine who carries the narrative with grace and charm. Despite some pacing issues and underdeveloped subplots, the season manages to captivate and delight, staying true to the spirit of the series.

The luxurious costumes, exquisite production design, and clever use of modern pop songs in an instrumental format add to the show’s unique appeal. While not all characters receive equal attention, the central storyline of Penelope and Colin provides enough emotional depth and intrigue to keep viewers engaged.

As the series progresses, it will be interesting to see how the writers develop these characters further, addressing the criticisms of slow pacing and superficial subplots. For now, “Bridgerton” Season 3 stands as a testament to the enduring allure of regency-era romance, enhanced by contemporary sensibilities and a stellar central performance. Fans eagerly await the second part of the season, set to release on June 13, hoping for resolutions to the tantalizing storylines introduced so far.

Gaurav Manral

I am from nainital, Uttrakhand, India and like to write different type of entertainment news like bollywood, Hollywood, South Indian movies, Life Style etc.