‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 series review: Back in the Ton for sex and style 

The raunchy Regency romance returns, strong and bingeable as ever, with amazing music and fashion — Queen Charlotte’s hair gets an extra special mention 

Published - May 17, 2024 05:29 pm IST

A still from the third season of ‘Bridgerton’

A still from the third season of ‘Bridgerton’

We are back in the Ton after two years — 2023’s Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story was an excellent poignant placeholder. Season 2 saw the eldest Bridgerton, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) find love and marry feisty (Kate Simone). Season 3, based on Julia Quinn’s fourth book in her Regency romance series, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, has a debutante from the Bridgerton family, (when there are eight siblings, there is bound to be one) Francesca (Hannah Dodd takes over from Ruby Stokes).

Bridgerton 
Season 3 (Part One)
Episodes: 4
Run time: 52 to 57 minutes
Creator: Chris Van Dusen
Starring: Adjoa Andoh, Julie Andrews, Lorraine Ashbourne, Jonathan Bailey, Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Nicola Coughlan, Ruth Gemmell, Claudia Jessie, Luke Newton, Golda Rosheuvel, Hannah Dodd, Luke Thompson, Polly Walker, Simone Ashley, Martins Imhangbe, Victor Alli, Daniel Francis, Jessica Madsen, Hannah New
Storyline: While two of the Bridgerton siblings are enjoying marital bliss, the others and the Featheringtons are en route to finding it

Francesca, the sixth Bridgerton, has a love for music and a practical bent of mind. She looks on marriage as a way out of her mother, Violet’s (Ruth Gemmell) machinations. That is an underlying thread of the season with all the girls looking at marriage as a way out, a path to freedom and asserting their individuality. Eloise (Claudia Jessie) the fifth Bridgerton, and ardent feminist, gives her sarcastic commentary on the proceedings.

Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews, voice), the author of the scandal sheet of all the happenings, assignations, bankruptcies and inheritances in the Ton, welcomes us to the latest goss, hot off the press. 

(L to R) Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich, Emma Naomi as Alice Mondrich in episode 302 of ‘Bridgerton’

(L to R) Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich, Emma Naomi as Alice Mondrich in episode 302 of ‘Bridgerton’

Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) is not particularly impressed with the year’s debutantes and holds off naming the diamond of first water, prompting a duel between her and Lady Whistledown. Her friend, the doyenne of the Ton, Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) cannot do much but nudge the monarch in what she perceives to be the right direction — towards Francesca.

The Featheringtons, the dowager Portia (Polly Walker) and her daughters, Prudence (Bessie Carter) and Philippa (Harriet Cains) do what they can to cement their place in society. The youngest Featherington daughter, Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), has also decided after unprofitable seasons, to seek expert help to land herself a husband.

She seeks help from her erstwhile good friend, the well-travelled and cosmopolitan, Colin (Luke Newton), the third Bridgerton son. Season three follows Francesca’s attempts to find a husband, to cut and run, Penelope and Colin’s lessons in charm, through which they realise they would like to be more than friends (duh), Eloise’ fractious friendship with gossipy Cressida (Jessica Madsen) and the coming of age of the second Bridgerton son, the artist Benedict (Luke Thompson).

(L to R) James Phoon as Harry Dankworth, Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington, Harriet Cains as Philipa Featherington, Lorn Macdonald as Albion Finch, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 301 of ‘Bridgerton’

(L to R) James Phoon as Harry Dankworth, Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington, Harriet Cains as Philipa Featherington, Lorn Macdonald as Albion Finch, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 301 of ‘Bridgerton’

Mondrich (Martins Imhangbe), the retired boxer, who runs the gentleman’s club, enters the Ton, thanks to his son being made the Duke of Kent. Meanwhile, the Featheringtons’ housekeeper, Mrs. Varley (Lorraine Ashbourne), helps with potions and advice to get the girls pregnant to benefit from the rather odd will.

Newcomers include Earl of Kilmartin (Victor Alli) who is smitten by Francesca, Lady Danbury’s brother Marcus Anderson (Daniel Francis), the wealthy vegetarian naturalist, Lord Debling (Sam Phillips) who is courting Penelope, and Lady Tilley Arnold (Hannah New), the rich widow who catches Benedict’s eye.

(L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in episode 303 of ‘Bridgerton’

(L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in episode 303 of ‘Bridgerton’

The racially-integrated Regency is now an established fact and no eyebrows are raised at Mrs Khanna, the Mondrich housekeeper, or Miss Malhotra (Banita Sandhu) being one of the debutantes. The clothes are to die for, and Penelope rocks her makeover and Queen Charlotte’s hair makes a statement before she even opens her mouth. In episode four there is that intricate hairpiece with sparkling swans (?) swimming around a glowing lake, which drags one’s eye away from the energetic ballet performance.

The conversation about Violet not moving out to make way for Kate, the new Viscountess Bridgerton could have been developed but otherwise the show delivers on all its promises from sizzle under and over the sheets and swooning romance to stunning costumes and music. Now to wait for June 13 and part two of season three…

Bridgerton Season 3 Part One is streaming on Netflix

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