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Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’ sparkles in its long-awaited return to scandal, love and high society

Since “Bridgerton’s” first season debuted in 2020, the series has become a massive success among viewers, creating a wide fanbase. The show has since released another season and a prequel spinoff series “Queen Charlotte,” both met with high ratings and praise. “Bridgerton” is based on the novel series of the same name written by Julia Quinn.

The passionate, emotional drama and over-the-top social etiquette of high society of Regency era London create a binge-able show that glues audiences’ eyes to the screen. Additionally, since the release of the last season in 2022, fans have been yearning for a new season and to return to the love stories of the fictional Bridgerton family. Season three of Bridgerton was split into two four-episode parts: the first on May 16, 2024, and the second on June 13, 2024.

“Bridgerton” takes place in the early 1800s among ‘London’s ton,’ the upper class of English society. The prim and proper are expected to follow the rules and their duty to society of fashionable styling and finding and courting a suitable spouse while in the public eye. The noble and elite take part in the social season in which formal balls, dinner parties and various other social events allow for courting and chatting among the ton.

The series follows each of the eight Bridgerton siblings’ love stories as they navigate through high society and gossip. The gossip can spread quickly, especially as the anonymous author of the ton’s newsletter, Lady Whistledown, is eager to expose any scandal that might arise.

Season three of “Bridgerton” follows the love story between Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and his longtime friend Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), who has had a long unrequited crush on him. Throughout the past two seasons, the pair, known to fans as “Polin” have been developed as side characters allowing them to finally shine as the main characters for their season.

However, the setup in the last season raises the stakes as Penelope faces an estranged friendship with Colin’s sister, Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie). Penelope, a self-proclaimed wallflower, is finally away from the walls to find a husband and stand up for herself. Colin offers his help to Penelope to build her confidence and find her a suitable husband in the current social season.

One of the many aspects that the Netflix series gets right is the wonderful acting performance from its cast. Through passionate dialogue and longing stares, the cast perfectly brings the essence of the show to life. Each lead couple drives intense emotions in their characters, enough to enchant the audience and connect them to the show. Newton and Coughlan do this seamlessly as they fit into their main character roles. Additionally, the chemistry between the two is off the charts, teasing fans for more to come in part two of the season.

Penelope exceptionally shines this season as she faces many challenges. Since the start of the show, her character has been developed to the point of audiences rooting for her. The show builds up women in a way that feels empowering, while also getting the audience to sympathize and understand a woman’s perspective during the Regency era. Many of the characters have a relatability factor to them that gets audiences connected to them, resonating with what they may deal with.

The tension between the main couple has always been another highlight of the show. The buildup for Colin and Penelope has been in the works for the past two seasons, making the pair’s love story even more anticipated. However, tensions for the two are at an all-time high this season as they take on the limelight of the main couple.

Every secretive glance and longing moment between Colin and Penelope is enough to make the audience giddy with excitement. It builds anticipation as the season progresses to see how the love will develop and how they will handle any obstacle that comes their way. This helps to build suspense for the audience which can hook them onto every moment of the show.

Many of the actors’ performances and tension hinge on the wonderful writing that the series employs. From the fanciful and proper language to the witty dialogue, the script is unique in its own way that contrasts with other current TV series. It brings out the romance of the show in a way that can make even the audience swoon over the heartfelt words or laugh at humorous moments mixed in as well. From drama, suspense, romance and comedy, the show is a seamless and perfect blend thanks to its screenwriting.

The show does not skimp on aesthetics, from its beautiful scenery to a colorful wardrobe that remains true to its era. The design is part of “Bridgerton’s” charm, appealing to the audience’s eye and appreciating the attention to detail. With the show’s focus on London’s high society, comes glitz and glam that the production achieves. The lavish costumes and aesthetic sets make the story all more real for the audience to immerse themselves in.

A major talking point of the show lies in its unique soundtrack and for good reason. The soundtrack features popular contemporary modern-day music reworked into classical, orchestral pieces performed by Vitamin String Quartet. The music is a fun easter egg to spot for music enthusiasts trying to pinpoint the tune. It’s a wise creative choice from production as it connects classical music from the past era to current bops that audiences know and love.

Colin and Penelope’s love story from friends to lovers continues on June 13, streaming exclusively on Netflix.

Verdict: The season keeps true to what makes the series so popular, while also bringing in a fresh new love story. Part one of “Bridgerton’s” season three is a promising setup for part two as it heightens the excitement for the drama to come.

 

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