'Seriously Steamy' Or 'Stale'? Critics Can't Agree On Bridgerton Season 3

Part one of the long-awaited “Polin” season has already garnered a mixed response.
Things escalate between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherton in the third season of the hit Netflix period drama
Things escalate between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherton in the third season of the hit Netflix period drama

After the first two seasons became record-breaking TV smashes, hopes have certainly been high for the long-awaited next chapter in the high-society world of Bridgerton.

Part one of season three is now streaming on Netflix, with viewers finally able to swoon over the much-hyped romance between Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton).

This next instalment certainly marks the biggest romantic build-up the regency drama has teased so far – but was the wait worth it?

While some critics have praised the Netflix show’s reliable format and sweet chemistry between its stars, others fear the show might be losing its spark.

Here’s the consensus on the first half of season three so far…

“Nicola Coughlan is sensational as Penelope Featherington, whose long-simmering romance with Colin Bridgerton reaches boiling point – and the bonking is scarce but seriously steamy… As we dive into season three, the show’s delights are still blindingly obvious, its flaws possible to overlook. Just like the besotted couples it follows, Bridgerton’s honeymoon phase is far from over.”

“There is something about seeing the bond between Colin and Penelope transform from comfortably platonic to yearning and passionate that elevates this journey. Coughlan and Newton have always had a beautiful rapport, but watching Colin realise he desires Penelope sexually [...], creates a sparkling tension throughout Part 1 that threatens to burst off the screen.”

NME (3/5)

“Still sweet and seductive but the taste is growing stale…If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, this still won’t be the show for you. But if you’re craving an early-summer pick-me-up, you’ll devour these warm and watchable episodes in one scrummy sitting.”

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton
Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton

“In Season 3 of Netflix favourite, the spell starts to wear off…despite the friends-to-lovers premise, we are given little sense of what Colin and Penelope are like as buddies before they’re thrust into the awkwardness of attraction. Combined with the fact that Colin is written to have little of the rich inner life that Penelope enjoys [...] the relationship that should be this volume’s breathless centrepiece feels uneven.”

IGN (6/10)

“Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1 has the bones of something great. Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton excel as the couple at centre stage, beautifully portraying the knife’s edge balance on which Penelope and Colin’s relationship sits…Time will tell if the rest of Bridgerton’s third season can balance its overabundance of plot threads, but Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton’s chemistry as Penelope and Colin is shaping up to be worth the wait for Part 2.”

Screen Rant (3.5/5)

“One of the best things about Bridgerton is its ability to tell a different kind of love story each season. Yes, there is a rotating cast of characters who each get their own storylines, but the central romance – and its dynamics and tropes – stand apart, giving us an opportunity to enjoy and experience something fresh each time.”

Collider (8/10)

“Even though this is very much Penelope and Colin’s time in the spotlight, the third season (of which the first six episodes were provided for review) also begins to sow the seeds of other love stories that, quite frankly, need plenty of time to grow. These teased threads don’t just prove that the future of Bridgerton is already being taken into consideration, but that the series itself is still as good as ever.”

“Nicola Coughlan is superb – but the Netflix show is losing its bite… The writing in this third chapter is particularly flimsy, while the production design looks increasingly like the hyper-saturated, uncanny results produced by an AI tool.”

“Regency romp has gone stale – even the sex scenes are dull…What was once fresh and fun now seems stuck in a rut, as the hit period drama begins to show signs of wear.”

The first half of Bridgerton season three is available to watch now on Netflix, with the next four episodes set to drop on Thursday 13 June.


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