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Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

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Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

Review | Bridgerton season three

Now that hotter days have begun, and “the ton” have secluded themselves in the privacy of their parent’s estates, what better time for me to sit down and catch up with the ungodly amount of shows and movies that streaming services have produced in the past six months? My retreat this summer has been accompanied by a copious amount of romantic films, which all seem to end with heartbreak and “matureness” (check out Elizabeth Benaven’s Eramos Canciones on Netflix if you are looking for a film like that!). So, when the first part of “Bridgerton’s” season three was announced, I finally thought my hopeless romantic heart would be healed. 

What made this season so exciting — yet also ruined the entire show — was the amount of promotion that it offered. The Instagram reels, interviews and teaser clips fed us to the point of feeling our bellies bulge and our breeches far too tight after the constant appetizers from Netflix. 

Yet, my expectations fell a tad short of what was supposed to be the romance of the season. “Bridgerton” season three was built to be an ode to all those hopeless romantics who have never been kissed, desperate to be swept away by burly, traveling young men of society. Penelope Featherington, played by Nicola Coughlan, the wallflower of London’s society and the secret author behind the gossip column Lady Whistledown, has decided to find a husband this season after the constant ridicule by her family and society. She enlists the help of her long-time crush, Colin Bridgerton, who has just returned tan and rakish from his travels around Europe. It’s a surprising duo for society — one of the richest families of “the ton,” gorgeous and educated, and the ugly duckling family that is about to lose their title.

The romance was quick-paced and superficial, with a storyline that seemed to go against the rules that the Bridgerton universe had built for its plot to follow — ladies spending their evenings always chaperoned, quiet pining that would be far too scandalous if noticed and episodes of yearning, of cliché big, strong men that turn pathetic at the sight of their loved one. How I miss the secrecy.

The main characters of this season — Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton — were not fleshed out to their maximum potential in the short four episodes. These two extremely interesting characters, who seemed to steal the show in the past seasons, were minimized into bland characters who’ve lost their edge. Penelope Featherington is not only the youngest of a family but a breadwinner fighting for her independence and recognition within a society that ostracizes her. Her character, which has been pulling the strings for all the members of “the ton,” is reduced to her physical makeover over her social, yet anonymous character. If I had the column that controlled even the Queen, I would surely delve more into that in the script. 

Nicola Coughlan is an amazing actress, and I refuse to hear slander against her. I first met her as the “wee little lesbian” Claire from Derry Girls, a masterpiece by Lisa McGee. Nicola has expert control of her character, and seeing the world of sparklers and diamonds through the wallflower’s eye has been gratifying. Nicola doesn’t glide through a room, but slithers unnoticed, staying close to doors, walls and any corner that can offer her refuge. But her eyes scan across the rooms, and her ears perk up to any news that could entertain. No one fears Penelope Featherington. 

On the other hand, Colin Bridgerton’s personality is inconsistent. His change from a romantic and lovable young boy in the first few seasons to a rake who frequents brothels is not explained. His attitude is later excused by his mother as “armor” to protect him, alas, she asks him to “put himself first.” Hasn’t he been doing just that in his little ‘grand tour’ through France, Italy and all that? Colin, the main character, receives little to no attention when it comes to his background, thoughts or even values of the world. Anthony Bridgerton’s fear of bees took over a whole episode. Daphne’s season ended with a life-after-marriage montage. What is Colin’s trauma? Which bee has stung his heart cold? Cressida Cowper has received more characterization than Colin in this show, and she’s a secondary character!

In FOUR episodes, the writers rushed through all the best parts of a “Bridgerton” romance. Chaperones were absent during the evenings and no secret kisses were shared under moonlight. Colin Bridgerton’s eyes didn’t wander to Penelope’s window or, scandalously, her figure, desperate for love. What is the point of a cliché, guilty-pleasure show if there is none of that? 

About the Contributor
Irene Castillo, Senior Staff Writer
Irene Sofía Castillo Maldonado is a junior history of art and architecture major with a museum studies minor and a Latin American studies certificate. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico, so you might see her long Spanish sentences slip through in her exhibition reviews. Aside from The Pitt News, she’s a researcher for anti-colonial practices in museums and art, as well as a firm coffee shop critic –– cortados are her favorite.