Netflix’s Spicy “Bridgerton” Season 3 Brings “Romancing Mister Bridgerton” to Life

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Dearest Gentle Reader, the Droughteron is almost over. Although we were mildly entertained with Queen Charlotte last year, we have received no installments of the original Shonda Rhimes/Julia Quinn’s blockbuster Netflix Bridgerton series since 2022. It is now a short carriage ride to the big Bridgerton premiere of Season 3 on May 16th. Four installments will drop on that glorious day, with the remaining four becoming available on June 13th. So where are we now and what can we expect?

Let us revisit where we left off in Season 2, which was based upon Quinn’s second novel in the Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. The hot sequel to The Duke and I tackled the oldest son, rakish Anthony Bridgerton, finding his true love with Kate. Fans of the book series know there are eight Bridgerton siblings, and that The Duke and I kicked off the book, and the most-watched Netflix series in 2020. In Duke, the oldest daughter Daphne entered society as the belle of the season and lasciviously found love and lust with Simon Bassett, the mysterious Duke of Hastings.

In Season 3, Netflix has diverted from Quinn’s timeline by jumping over Benedict’s An Offer from a Gentleman to highlight third son Colin’s story, Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Avon). Over the past two seasons, Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherton, “Penn”, have proven to be fan favorites, and the tension in their relationship is delicious. At the end of Season 2, Anthony and Kate have married and Penn has been left in a cliffhanger. She has been in love with Colin since she was 16, but she has given up on him when she overhears him joking that he would never marry her. Also, her best friend, Eloise Bridgerton, has abandoned her upon discovering Penelope’s deep, dark secret. Penelope is … Lady Whistledown!

In Quinn’s Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, Colin returns from a trip abroad and finds nothing is the same. Even Penn, whom he views in a romantic, new light. The overweight girl in garish clothing with an overbearing mother is suddenly the woman of his dreams, but she rejects him. Making matters worse, he is the constant object of Whistledown’s gossip rag, and he swears vengeance against the anonymous tattler.

The Ton Society season is abuzz with the challenge offered by Lady Danbury to pay one thousand pounds to the person who unmasks Lady Whistledown. When an imposter claims the reward, Penn is at a loss and faces a dilemma. If she challenges the imposter, she will win the prize and set the record straight. Yet, she will lose Colin, whom she truly loves, forever. What is Penelope Featherton to do? What would Lady Whistledown advise her to do?

What we know so far about Season 3 of Bridgerton is that this is a season of Penn’s journey to self-realization. She is searching for a suitor other than Colin, preferably someone who will allow her to lead her double life as Lady Whistledown. Eager to win back her friendship, Colin offers to tutor her in the Georgian marriage market and their slow-burn romance begins. While the series deviates from Quinn’s novel, viewers can expect the same fiery passion, string quartet versions of modern pop songs, and fabulous outfits as they have enjoyed during the first two seasons.

Producer Shonda Rhimes has hinted there will be “some very interesting new characters.” So viewers can expect there will be another hunky suitor for Penn to keep Colin on his toes. Rumors suggest there are several sexy love scenes between “Polin” involving a carriage ride, an afternoon tea session where their ardent activities break the drawing room furniture, and the infamous “mirror” scene from the novel. Another subplot involves Lady Danbury on her own personal journey that catches her emotionally off guard. And certainly, Penn’s monopolizing the center stage in the London social scene will create drama with her domineering mother and her shallow older sisters.

As always, the returning ladies — Penelope, Violet, Eloise, Francesca, Queen Charlotte, Lady Danbury, and Kate — and the new firebrand widow, Lady Tilley Arnold, will steal the show in Season 3. Sadly, there will be two noticeable absences. Daphne Bridgerton Bassett — The Dutchess of Hastings, and her hunky husband are no longer in the cast.

Surely, Dear Gentle Viewer, we will miss the Hastings. But rest assured, Anthony, Kate, Colin, and Penelope keep us aroused and firmly glued to their lascivious liaisons for another steamy summer season.

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