‘Bridgerton 3’ doesn’t disappoint with its unlikely romantic leads, tongue-in-cheek moments and delicious drama

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton season 3. Picture: Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton season 3. Picture: Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024

Published May 27, 2024


Shonda Rhimes has left streamers weak-kneed with her critically acclaimed historical romance, “Bridgerton”. It’s taken on a life of its own in that the numbers keep soaring with each season.

Season three recently dropped on Netflix.

This time, the love story is a bit of an underdog one, compared to seasons one and two, which centred on the exoticism of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), the new Duke of Hastings, as well as Miss Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) and Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), the 9th Viscount Bridgerton and head of the family, respectively.

Admittedly, I had a few reservations about the story trajectory in season 3, which is based on Julia Quinn’s “Romancing Mister Bridgerton” novel and centres on the unlikely romance between Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton), the third Bridgerton son, and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), the youngest Featherington daughter.

I wasn’t convinced that Penelope was a strong enough character to helm the series. But I was wrong. Not only is she an absolute delight, but she leaves fans rooting for her happily-ever-after ending.

That said, let’s backtrack a little here.

Penelope and Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie), the second daughter, are no longer BFFs. Their fallout is felt in the first half of the series.

Jessica Madsen as Cressida Cowper and Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton in season 3. Picture: Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024

Meanwhile, the spirited Eloise aligns herself with her new friend Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen), a snob of note.

This time around Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) isn’t particularly smitten with any of the debutants at the Ton. But Lady Agatha Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) quietly works her matchmaking magic behind the scenes, with Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) as her ally of sorts.

Meanwhile, Colin receives a hero's welcome from his worldly adventures. And the ladies are quite smitten with him.

But Penelope gives him the cold shoulder.

Hurt by an unflattering comment he made about her previously, she pushes on with her quest to find a husband. And she’s put in a lot of work with her new ladylike wardrobe, toning down on the bright colours and adopting genteel mannerisms.

However, her lack of confidence in maintaining a conversation with the opposite sex sees her stand out like a sore thumb. Wanting to make amends, Colin offers to be a sort of husband whisperer.

And his work pays off when Lord Debling (Sam Phillips) starts to show interest in her. His work, which involves studying nature, sees him travel for long periods. As such, he is looking for a practical match.

At first, Penelope is blown away by the interest. But she gets a bit of competition from Cressida, who is also hoping to catch his eye.

Nicola Coughlan in ‘Bridgerton’ season 3. Picture: Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix © 2024

The other Bridgerton’s in the running for a match include Francesca Bridgerton, played by newcomer Hannah Dodd, Elloise, Colin and Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson), the second son.

Benedict, however, is drawn to the enigmatic Lady Tilley Arnold (Hannah News).

The other interesting character this season is Lord Marcus Anderson (Daniel Francis), who is Lady Danbury’s womaniser brother. He’s quite debonair and appears to be sweet on Lady Violet.

Meanwhile, Will and Alice Mondrich, played by Martins Imhangbe and Emma Naomi respectively, find their status elevated as they move up in society from their working-class ranks.

But he isn’t as keen to let go of his failing gentleman’s club, much to the frustration of Lady Danbury as well as his wife.

Fans get to see Anthony and Kate in their honeymoon bubble.

Of course, Lady Featherington (Polly Walker) remains obsessed with status, power and money. As such, she encourages her two married daughters to give them an heir while being dismissive of Penelope until she sees the romantic interest in her.

“Bridgerton” 3 doesn’t disappoint with the script either. It is laden with tongue-in-cheek comments and wittiness.

It offers plenty of drama and romance. While those steamy scenes come in much later in the first half of the season, fans will love every heart-fluttering moment.

∎ “Bridgerton” season 3 is streaming on Netflix. Part 2 debuts on June 13.