Bridgerton season 3 part 1 review: Charming and comforting friends-to-lovers tale

The third season of Bridgerton tells the story of Penelope and Colin, two friends who fall in love with each other. The first part of the third season is now streaming on Netflix.


As the new season begins, the debutantes are presented to Queen Charlotte. One of them is Francesca Bridgerton, who hopes to find a suitable match. 

This season, Penelope also seeks a husband because one of her two sisters might soon inherit their estate upon bearing an heir. 

To find a husband, Penelope decides to change herself by acquiring new and better clothes than the ones her mother used to buy for her. 

Penelope and Eloise have still not reconciled since Eloise discovered that Penelope is Lady Whistledown. Eloise is now friends with Cressida, much to Penelope’s dismay. 

Penelope is also not on speaking terms with Colin, whom she overheard saying that he would never court her. 

Colin has returned home as a changed man after traveling across Europe. He charms every woman he meets except Penelope. 

Upon learning the reason for Penelope’s aloofness, Colin apologizes to her and decides to make it up to her by helping her find a husband. 

However, while doing that, Colin’s own feelings for her begin to change. Will he realize his feelings for his friend in time, or will Penelope marry someone else before that happens?


Nicola Coughlan completely steals the spotlight in the third season as Penelope, the protagonist—a wallflower with a scandalous secret.

She portrays Penelope with the sincerity and sensitivity that the audience has come to associate with the character. 

Coughlan’s Penelope has several sides—the invisible and lonely wallflower, the guilty friend, the bold Lady Whistledown—and the actor does justice to them all.

There is a noticeable personality change in Colin’s character compared to previous seasons, and credit goes to Luke Newton’s performance. 

Newton makes Colin’s evolving feelings towards Penelope, his dilemma, and his longing so evident that the character becomes an open book.

In addition to the lead actors, Claudia Jessie, who plays Eloise, also leaves a lasting impression. Jessie effectively portrays Eloise’s complicated feelings towards her former best friend.

The rest of the recurring cast did not disappoint either. Their portrayals of the characters remain as enjoyable as before.


While Penelope suddenly attracts attention after changing her clothes, the writers refrain from making her story simplistic and cliché. 

She does not become the most popular lady overnight. Instead, she remains awkward while interacting with others, which is quite endearing to watch; her failures are equally upsetting.

As Penelope’s character takes center stage, her loneliness, frustration over her failures, desire to be seen, and sadness over her mother’s indifference are felt more than ever before.

One cannot help but feel for her, which is why the support that Colin provides becomes significant. 

There is sufficient angst in the season, with Eloise and Penelope no longer being friends. It is evident that the two women still care about each other a great deal. 

However, they are forced to watch each other from afar, as they are not ready to reconcile just yet. Despite that, their concern and care for each other are touching. 

A surprising but welcome friendship is that of Eloise and Cressida. The change and growth in Cressida are gradual but evident, making her previously shallow character more likable. 

Francesca’s character comes across as very different from her siblings, but it is not uninteresting. Her relationship with John Stirling is strange, yet it makes complete sense. 

The set designs are just as good as the previous season, but the costumes are even better. The sparkling gowns complement the tone this season aims to set.


While Colin and Penelope’s romance is charming and sweet, it does not quite meet the standards set by previous seasons. 

It feels too comforting in the first part, lacking strong external conflicts beyond the internal feelings of the characters. 

The third season offers comfort through familiar characters and settings as well. However, one cannot help but wish for the season to deliver something more than that.

Although Colin undergoes a significant change, his character still lacks the depth needed to make him compelling as one of the two leads. 

The show fails to convince the audience that he is a worthy match for Penelope, whose character consistently shows depth and complexity.


The first part of the third season of Bridgerton brings a sweet romance and familiarity that is comforting, but it lacks a strong conflict. 

Perhaps the second part will introduce a conflict that could elevate this season to the level of the previous additions to the series.

Bridgerton season 3 part 1
Bridgerton season 3 part 1 review: Charming and comforting friends-to-lovers tale 1

Director: Tricia Brock and Andrew Ahn

Date Created: 2024-05-16 21:14

Editor's Rating:

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