Penelope Tries to Get Out of the Friend Zone in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Premiere

Attention, dear readers

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I’ve been waiting for the premiere of Bridgerton season three ever since the second season hit Netflix back in March 2022. And now, the time has finally come. 

The first half of Bridgerton’s third season is now streaming on Netflix. (The first four episodes dropped today, and the rest will debut on June 13.) It’s no secret that the new installment will explore the sexual tension between Colin and Penelope, but does it live up to the hype?

Keep reading for my honest review of Bridgerton season three.

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What Is Bridgerton Season 3 About?

The entire show is set in London during the early 1800s (commonly known as the Regency Period), and it’s based on the namesake book series by Julia Quinn. The story follows the Bridgerton children as they search for true love in a competitive (and equally diverse) marriage market. The first season focuses on Daphne, the second revolves around Anthony and the third centers on Colin (Luke Newton) as he pursues a relationship with Penelope (Nicola Coughlan).

Season three starts off the same way as previous installments, with the ladies preparing to officially “come out” into society. This includes getting dressed up and parading in front of Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), who is searching for the “diamond” of the season (aka the favorite debutante). As a returning debutante, Penelope is originally ignored by Queen Charlotte…and Colin, who’s desperate to play the field. But that’s all about to change.

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My Bridgerton Season 3 Review

Bridgerton season three stands out from its predecessors because there isn’t an immediate spark between the two love interests. In past installments, it’s very clear who will pursue who. But in the newest episodes, Penelope and Colin are initially seen as friends. 

Well, let me be clear—Colin treats Penelope like a friend, but it’s obvious that Penelope has underlying feelings for him. The only reason she doesn’t immediately pursue him is because he puts her in the friendzone, confiding in her about all the ladies fawning over him while Pen patiently watches from afar. 

As an avid viewer, it’s hard to watch her struggle to hide her feelings, especially since she’s one of the most underrated characters (in my humble opinion). Colin refuses to give her the attention she so desperately wants, and I look forward to seeing how his feelings change as the season progresses. 

Romance aside, I am surprised by how little focus there is on Penelope’s role as Lady Whistledown (at least in the first episode). However, I expect this to change as her connection with Colin grows. Hopefully it gives her the confidence boost she needs after being treated like a wallflower.

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Is Bridgerton Returning for Season 4?

That’s correct. In April 2021, before season two dropped, Netflix revealed that Bridgerton is renewed for seasons three and four. The announcement came in the form of a letter penned by Lady Whistledown herself, who wrote, “Esteemed members of the Ton, It seems we have a special announcement. Bridgerton shall return for seasons three and four. This author will have to purchase more ink...”

Additionally, Bela Bajaria, Netflix VP of global TV, said in a statement that Shonda Rhimes and her team have “exciting plans for the future.” She continued, “We think audiences will continue to swoon for this show. We’re planning to be in the Bridgerton business for a long time to come.”

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PureWow Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars

So far, Bridgerton season three is worth the wait. My only hope is that there are more female power moments for Penelope as the episodes progress. As in, I hope she isn’t chasing after Colin for the entire season only for him to realize at the last minute that everything he’s ever wanted is standing right in front of him. It would be nice to see the roles reverse and for the ultimate decision to fall into her hands, rather than his. 

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...