Netflix series review: Bridgerton Season 3 – spoiler alert

Spoiler Alert: This review contains predictable spoilers from both parts of Bridgerton Season 3.

We were promised that Bridgerton Season 3 would turn up the heat, but the initial episodes felt more like a simmer than a sizzle. The first part of the season offered little more than an illicit fumble in a carriage, leaving many fans yearning for the steamy romance the series is known for.

bridgerton series 3 netflix poster

As the second half of the season begins, we see Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin (Luke Newton) announcing their engagement to the bewilderment of the Bridgerton family and the horror of Eloise (Claudia Jessie). This will-they-won’t-they couple has finally sealed the deal, but the road to the altar is far from smooth. Penelope’s secret life as Lady Whistledown, the notorious gossip of the ‘Ton, threatens to unravel their relationship before it even begins. With the Queen offering a reward to unmask Lady Whistledown and Cressida Cowper eager to cash in, Penelope faces mounting pressure from all sides.

Despite the potential for high drama, much of the action in the first two episodes revolves around polite conversations and social maneuvering. The tension between Penelope and Colin builds, but their interactions feel more like awkward teenage fumbling than the passionate romance fans hoped for. The series, known for its steamy scenes, seems to have lost its touch, delivering PG-rated intimacy that fails to ignite.

However, the show redeems itself through its rich character arcs and engaging subplots. Claudia Jessie’s Eloise and Jessica Madsen’s Cressida stand out with their compelling storylines, adding depth and intrigue to the series. Eloise’s ultimatum to Penelope adds a layer of tension that keeps viewers invested.

Three seasons in, Bridgerton has developed a reputation for being great at foreplay but iffy on the climax. The slow build-up of relationships often leads to finales that feel underwhelming. Yet, Bridgerton Season 3 manages to retain its charm by expanding its focus beyond the central couple. The show deepens the plot into the lives of other Bridgerton siblings, providing enough fun and anticipation to overshadow the less satisfying moments of the main plot.

The appeal of Bridgerton lies in its blend of confectionary-sweet silliness, progressive undertones, and the occasional structural flaw. Each season has its imperfections: Season 1 was a sexy and unrestrained exploration marred by racial politics and reproductive anxiety, while Season 2 faced criticism for its lack of intimacy and mishandled emotional stakes. Season 3, built on the foundation of Colin and Penelope’s established characters, initially promises a compelling narrative but falters in execution.

Nicola Coughlan’s portrayal of Penelope is a highlight, seamlessly transitioning from awkward side character to central love interest. Luke Newton’s Colin, however, struggles to keep up, with a character arc that feels underdeveloped and lacking in depth. His attempts at Brontë-style brooding come off as unconvincing, diminishing the impact of the couple’s inevitable conflict.

Despite these shortcomings, Bridgerton Season 3 remains an enjoyable watch. The Featheringtons, particularly Polly Walker’s Lady Featherington, steal the show with their multifaceted performances. The Bridgerton siblings are given ample screen time, and their individual stories help maintain the series’ momentum.

In its effort to expand the Bridgerton world and embrace ensemble storytelling, the series has evolved from a romance-novel adaptation into a standalone work of art. While Season 3 does not fully achieve the structural balance of a romance novel, it offers enough entertainment and promise for future seasons to keep fans hooked.

 

The trailer

 

The verdict

Bridgerton Season 3 may not deliver the steamy romance it promised, but it compensates with rich character development and engaging subplots. Despite its flaws, the series continues to entertain with its charm, wit, and glimpses into the lives of the Bridgerton family and their peers. Fans may find themselves frustrated with the underwhelming climax, but the anticipation for future seasons remains strong.

 

London Mums’ Rating: 7/10

Season 3 is a must-watch for fans of the series, offering enough intrigue and character growth to keep viewers invested. If you love period dramas with a modern twist and a dash of political undertones, Bridgerton continues to deliver, imperfections and all.

 

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