Bridgerton: Season 3, Part 1 Review

Bridgerton: Season 3, Part 1
Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) has given up on her crush on Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton), but she hasn't given up on love. Determined to find a husband, Penelope embarks on a new journey of self-discovery, all while hiding her double life as Lady Whistledown.

by David Opie |
Published on

Streaming on: Netflix

Episodes viewed: 4 of 4

Change is afoot in Bridgerton, dear reader. Season 3 has been split into two parts, a consequence of last year's Hollywood strikes and Netflix's evolving approach to their traditional release model. And with this new season also comes an inevitable change in focus. It's finally the turn of Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) to take centre stage, a change that's most welcome indeed. Coughlan has always been a scene-stealer and she continues in that fashion here, as Penelope begins to prioritise her own happiness over the lives of others. Colin (Luke Newton), Penelope's long-time friend and the secret object of her affection, has also changed a great deal, with a near-unrecognisable glow-up that's made him the talk of the town.

Bridgerton: Season 3, Part 1

A flash of Colin's newly chiselled abs in the first five minutes, not to mention the return of Jonathan Bailey's perpetually shirtless Anthony, remind us that at least some things never change in Bridgerton. But the problem is that there's more sexual tension in Anthony and Kate's (Simone Ashley) brief return than there is in Penelope and Colin's entire relationship. If anything, a stronger connection can be felt between Penelope and Eloise (Claudia Jessie), despite the pair no longer being friends.

This season's split does Bridgerton no favours.

The same goes for Colin's lifeless threesomes, crammed in to keep the show's signature lust intact while the inevitable will they/won't they between him and Penelope drags on. Everyone knows exactly where their story is going, regardless of whether you've read the books or not. That might not have been so much of an issue with a chance to binge the season as a whole, but as it stands, this new split does Bridgerton no favours, with a severe lack of surprises heading into Part 2.

Still, the gowns are glorious and the gorgeous orchestral covers are present and accounted for. Plus, the new cast members are a lot of fun, especially Wreck's James Phoon as a charming himbo named Harry Dankworth. At one point, a fellow gentleman says of Colin, "You are much more fun this season." But based on this first part alone, fun is surprisingly lacking in the ’Ton this season.

With repetition setting in, the second half of Season 3 needs to surprise fans with some bigger swings if Bridgerton has any hope of remaining the belle of the ball.
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