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  • Writer's pictureAllison Westlund

Bridgerton Season Three

Netflix’s Bridgerton has been a hit since its season one premiere on Christmas Day in 2020. With each season’s release, Bridgerton breaks records for their streaming platform Netflix, with season 3 being no different. Netflix and Shondaland decided to change a few key things surrounding the release of the newest season, including breaking it into two parts (part one being released May 16th and part two being released June 13th). After the first four episodes' release, Netflix stated they had more viewers than ever before, with 45.1 million on the first weekend alone. Perhaps due to the large gap between the release of part one and part two, the release of the last four episodes did not perform as well with 16.5 million views within the first full week it was available on Netflix. 

Viewers have been complaining about the gap between seasons being released, as there was over a two-year gap between the release of season one (December 2020) and season two (March 2022), and another two-year gap between season 2 and season 3 (May 2024), if you don't include the spin-off Queen Charlotte (May 2023). On top of the long production times, each season seems to stray farther from the original story of the novels, sometimes cutting entire characters (such as Felicity Featherington) or adding in characters that never existed (such as our beloved Queen and Brimsley). With these additional characters, there are additional side stories that are added into the season to add bulk. This can be seen with the Mondrich family that was introduced in season one as well as the relationship Benedict Bridgerton has with both Lady Tilly Arnold and Paul Suarez. 

Unfortunately, viewers felt these side stories took up too much screen time in season 3. As each season of Bridgerton follows one of the Bridgerton siblings, viewers expected to see more of Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington (#POLIN) together on screen. Instead, Colin and Penelope only spent 78 minutes together on screen the entire season, which equates to about 16% of the whole season’s runtime.  

The commentary on Bridgerton season 3 has not been all bad. One positive that came from this season was the growth of viewers' love for the Featherington family. Although Penelope’s mother, Portia, and her sisters, Prudence and Phillipa, act as they have in the past constantly belittling Penelope in the first four episodes of season 3, in the last four episodes, they begin being nicer towards both Penelope and each other. The Featherington family begins even to support Penelope in times of crisis, such as Portia holding her hand when Queen Charlotte announces she knows who Lady Whistledown is and after, Phillipa releasing butterflies at their party to distract everyone from now knowing that Penelope is the illustrious Lady Whistledown herself.  

Season 4 was rumored to have begun filming in June but there has been no estimated release date. It is also rumored that the next season will follow Benedict Bridgerton as Netflix skipped his story (book three in the series: An Offer from a Gentleman) instead to follow Colin and Penelope (book four: Romancing Mr. Bridgerton) as viewers were eager to see Penelope’s story, who they know to be Lady Whistledown, which is not revealed in the books until Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (2002). There has been speculation on who might be cast next season to play Sophie, Benedict’s love interest, but no confirmation. There are many theories on who Sophie might be, one of which is that she might return as either a relative of Cressida Cowper or somehow might be Cressida herself, although I hope those theories do not turn out to be true.  

Regardless of these arguably valid complaints, I still enjoyed season three of Bridgerton. As a huge fan of book-to-film adaptations, I eventually see them as separate entities and Bridgerton is no different. If you love shows with both drama and romance with a hint of regency vibes, I'd highly recommend giving Bridgerton (or even Queen Charlotte) a watch.  

If you want more Bridgerton content, keep an eye out for Penumbra's next Totally Booked! podcast episode discussing all things Bridgerton season 3!

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