Bridgerton Season 3 Review: Where Did We Go Wrong?

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While I, like much of the world, have spent the last few days processing how I feel on the other side of Bridgerton Season 3. It felt like we needed to have one more conversation to fully process how I feel about it. How it feels like it all came together. What we wish would have been done differently – in a way where it hopefully produces positive change. And so today, I thought I would bring you on that journey.

All the spoilers ahead. This is your only warning.

bridgerton season 3 review

The Synopsis For Bridgerton Season 3

It’s finally time for Penelope and Colin’s season. After years of pining, Penelope has heard loud and clear that Colin does not wish to marry her. But her desire to be free of her family and to have her own life while continuing to be Lady Whistledown pushes her to try harder to find a husband this year. Colin, feeling ashamed that he hurt someone he cares about, offers to help her in the marriage mart. And so begins the friends-to-lovers journey.

For my booktok girlies, it’s a bit of she fell first – he fell harder. And we love to see it.

Things I Loved About This Season

The costuming was fantastic – as always. Bridgerton costumes are a major element in showing character development. Eloise’s exploration of herself with more trendy dresses. Penelope’s makeover both highlights her as a more romantic lead and someone who should indeed be seen rather than a wallflower. Francesca’s outfits show her subtle comparisons to both Daphne and Violet. They were all stunning.

The lighting was beautiful. The romance energy of the Bridgerton world is heavily influenced visually with colors but also by shadowing. And this really showed the intimacy of certain scenes while also being visually captivating.

The female relationships. I was worried like many of us that the Cressida and Eloise friendship wouldn’t be something I could get behind. But I truly appreciated those moments. Coming off of Queen Charlotte, I adored the scenes between Violet and Lady Danbury. Their many seasons of working together, feeling betrayed by each other, and then choosing to honor what it means to choose each other in friendship. It’s a needed moment and I could happily watch more of them on screen.

The Featherington redemption arc. Mother-daughter relationships are complicated. And seeing just how much that could change over a season was powerful. I will never be over the “inserts himself where” scene so thank you for that Netflix. But I truly felt like we got the deepest understanding of Penelope through her conversations with Portia this season. And the juxtaposition of the Bridgerton family vs the Cowpers vs the Feathering highlighted complicated family dynamics as well as added to the emotional investment we have in these characters. Whether it’s wanting to see them win in love, in life, or in finding their own independence in a society that very much is determined to define the female experience regardless of an individual’s desires.

Things That Felt Mid

The music (at times). With the split season, it felt like we were trying to shove as many pop covers as possible in and it was too much. I could have done with a few less and more original pieces. But Give Me Everything, ABCEDFU, Happier Than Ever and POV were perfect.

The editing. I’ll dive more into storytelling in a moment but the editing choices left me at times feeling like I couldn’t truly appreciate the moment of a scene. It felt too manipulated and dramatic and took away from the acting that was happening in front of me. I would have LOVED to see the ballet in ep 4 without so much dialogue cut in to really give that emotional impact. And all of the cuts with Benedict’s throuple were a lot.

Where We Went Wrong

I’ve sifted through some of the comments online after part 1 and a little bit with part 2. As someone who has read the books, I didn’t find myself angry by any means with how they chose to deviate.

What strikes me the most and took me some time to process is that it feels like the writing this season doesn’t honor the brand of Bridgerton. I know we’ve all said it but there is WAY too much going on. But even more so, it feels like the team didn’t trust themselves with the characters they were writing. And that they didn’t trust us to want to be on this emotional journey with them.

Looking back at seasons 1 & 2 of Bridgerton as well as Queen Charlotte, we had a lot of space to get emotionally invested in these characters. To understand them in their quiet moments but also in their conversations with other humans. We understood Daphne when she was alone but also in her moments with her mother, Rose, Simon and even Eloise. We spent time with her.

Penelope and Colin

It feels like we missed that opportunity this season with Penelope and Colin. And the lack of those moments made certain parts of the story feel unresolved or like they weren’t as important as they should have been.

This is the first season we haven’t done flashbacks and it feels like we could have used them. If we’re going to truly say that Colin realized Penelope was there all along, it would have been nice to see those moments. Because really it just looks like he wanted her because someone else tried to take her.

Lack of emotional impact on certain scenes

It also feels like we didn’t fully anticipate the emotional impact certain scenes would have on the viewer and made it more chaotic than necessary. While the church scene was beautiful, having a scene where people could potentially object to their wedding while we also know that Colin still doesn’t know Penelope is Lady Whistledown felt like a bit of unnecessary anxiety.

Of course, there are the large chunks that it feels like we could leave out and/or adjust for the season where it feels more appropriate. The absence of Benedict in the Bridgerton house along with Anthony was felt. I still don’t understand the Mondrich family. And the Michaela Sterling introduction felt like it was too soon.

To me, it very much felt like this season was more about drama than it was about these beautiful characters we wanted to spend time with while seeing them develop. And I needed more. 

All in all, I find myself feeling rather disappointed with how this season felt compared to 3 previous Bridgerton world shows. And that overall disappointment is casting a large shadow over some of the truly beautiful moments. I hope that for season 4 we slow the heck down and remember that we aren’t watching for the drama. We are watching for the romance and escapism.

Let me know your thoughts below – but let’s try to keep it kind and constructive. Until next time, Xoxo, Savvy

PS. If you enjoyed this review, be sure to come follow me on Instagram or subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss my entertainment breakdowns/recommendations

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    Kristen jones
    Kristen jones
    23 days ago

    I completely agree. The season did not feel as if it were colin and penelope season. It felt like a combination of theirs and Frans. I was extremely disappointed in the wedding night. It left me feeling completely empty and unnecessary for them to be mad at each other on their wedding night. I also felt after the wedding their was no happiness in between when in fact their was in the book.i have never felt so excited after part 1 to feel so empty after part 2.

    Niah
    Niah
    18 days ago

    Yes!! The first part I enjoyed it felt like a nice build up. There is a few things I would want to change for part 1, but part 2 felt completely different. The second part focused more on the side stories and less on the couple. Towards the end the story felt rushed and unresolved. I felt unsatisfied and wanting for more of the Polin romance. I wish after the wedding they would have talked and came back together. That way the rest of the season could have focused on them dealing with the Whistledown drama together and Polin finally… Read more »

    Shannon Long
    Shannon Long
    16 days ago

    This season has been my hands down favorite. Am I alone in this? So many amazing quotes and unforgettable scenes. I rewound and replayed multiple scenes between Colin and Penelope. So romantic!