Bridgerton: Penelope & Colin
May 14, 2024 11:33 AM - Season 3 (Full Season) - Subscribe

#Polin is here, based on the Julia Quinn book, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (which is actually #4 in the book series). In this friends-to-lovers tale, I'm guessing we'll get Colin finally coming to his senses, Penelope evolving from wallflower to the center of attention, and a big dash of "Who is Lady Whistledown?!?"
posted by BlahLaLa (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It's not out here in Canada until Thursday. Did it come out earlier in other places?
posted by jacquilynne at 11:50 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


(Sorry, it's Thursday in the US too; i just put it up a little early.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:00 PM on May 14


I watched the first ep and I'm completely sucked in again. Colin's not even my fave, but yes, I am all in, LOL.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:17 PM on May 16


Yes it was already out in Australia as we live in the future. But have not had time to watch more than the first episode yet.
posted by Coaticass at 1:13 AM on May 17


Interesting attempt to humanize Cressida.
posted by Julnyes at 9:11 AM on May 17 [7 favorites]


I've gotten up to the start of episode 4, and I'm 100% team Lord Debling. He's kind, shows genuine interesting in Penelope and encourages her to be her true self, he's an environmentalist. And apparently he's got an impressive title/estate.

I felt the same way about Daphne and that Prince in S1. They shared similar values, seemed to get along, he was kind and caring, and a prince who very much wanted to have kids, just like Daphne.

I just feel like they need to do a better job of selling the central romance, b/c it's kind of a problem when I'm constantly rooting for the "decoy" suitor and the decoy is a better match in basically every way. Plus Penelope and Debling seem to have great chemistry!

One of the nice things about S2 was that Kate and Anthony had such a good chemistry and genuinely seemed to be the right personality match. I'm quite sad that we've barely gotten to see them at all in the first few episodes.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:23 PM on May 17 [7 favorites]


I am also team Lord Debling, who seems like an ideal match. Colin, meanwhile, is probably riddled with syphilis. Like, in this show across the seasons I don't see how multiple scenes of the Bridgerton brothers visiting brothels/banging other women increases their attractiveness or the sense that they'll actually be non-cheating husbands.
posted by TwoStride at 8:11 PM on May 17 [5 favorites]


I am so much more invested in the Eloise-Pen friendship tension than any of the Colin-Pen romance stuff.
posted by ourobouros at 6:18 AM on May 18 [6 favorites]


Having watched Queen Charlotte's prequel in between seasons, it is difficult to understand how we get from that Charlotte to this one who is both bored and boring, as well as insecure and jealous. I didn't mind her before because she was more of a plot twist than a person, but now that she's been given a complete character, I am interested in the character herself and don't really understand the arc.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:58 AM on May 18 [6 favorites]


After binging the episodes, I'm definitely feeling a strong preference for Penelope/Lord Debling and Eloise/Cressida as pairings. Alas. With this, as with most k-drama, I'm definitely not getting what I want.

Otherwise it continues to be frothy fun, but I also feel like there's something a bit off about this season? Maybe the makeup, or the way scenes are framed. It feels different in a way that I can't quite put my finger on.
posted by daikaisho at 11:41 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Otherwise it continues to be frothy fun, but I also feel like there's something a bit off about this season? Maybe the makeup, or the way scenes are framed. It feels different in a way that I can't quite put my finger on.

Apparently there's a new showrunner this season. I also noticed that things felt a bit off in the costumes/makeup/etc.

I also think the story is too disjointed. Like, that whole thing with the Mondales suddenly becoming lords feels completely unnecessary. I wish Lady Danbury were more involved this season. Basically, in S1 and S2 there were other storylines, but they felt more organically woven into the story for the main pairing. It also just feels like Colin/Pen barely interacted.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:43 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]


And now that I've watched the 4th episode, I don't buy Debling suddenly changing his mind b/c Pen has feelings for Colin. Especially after that whole "I'm married to my work" speech. Basically, the whole ending part of the episode didn't ring true.

Maybe I'm just not the right audience for romances, though I did really enjoy S2, and I found parts of S1 enjoyable.

If they wanted us to buy into Pen/Colin, they needed to do a better job of showing them being together relaxed and enjoying each other's company. I think there was literally one scene (where they joked about the dead horse) that felt natural and not cringy. Whereas Pen and Lord Debling seemed to immediately get along.

I could imagine Pen giving up Lady Whistledown and becoming a romance writer. Doing all her writing, befriending other married women, while Debling is away. Debling and Pen could write letters to each other.

And Pen's mother was write when she said something about "Security is love". Debling seems steady and like he has a good heart. And he appreciates Pen for who she is. He's been forthright about his intentions.

Ugh, I actually was looking forward to how they handled the Pen/Colin thing, but these first 4 episodes were not good. And I think splitting up the season into two parts is a bad idea, b/c by the time the next 4 episodes come out, i'm not sure i'll even care.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:48 AM on May 18 [3 favorites]


Well I also watched the first four and was a bit underwhelmed...but I did really start to enjoy Colin right at the very end, when he stopped his dithering and finally moved into a state of action. I kinda want the same for Pen -- too much heavy, anxious breathing on her part, and not enough strength. We know she's got balls of steel from the fortitude she's shown in creating and executing the entire Whistledown scenario. I'm ready for her to bring some of that to her actual life too!

Cressida is intriguing. Eloise is always fun. Francesca's relationship is very interesting...especially given what I know about her romantic relationship in her book. The Featherington sisters are delightfully absurd. Lady Danbury's bro seems like an interesting match for the dowager...but also why exactly does Lady D dislike him so much? Is there some big secret there?

All in all, there's no chance I won't be watching the next set of eps when they drop.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:39 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


Boy the writing and editing quality has gone waaaaay down, how annoying!

- Scenes get cut at really strange points which makes the pacing feel off (e.g. Lady D's argument with her brother at the end of ep 4 was cut at a really strange and awkward moment),

- characters are suddenly hellbent on making subtext into plain mallet-on-head text (e.g. the Queen saying "perhaps my little love play will inspire the young lovers here" - wtf, come on)

- there are many plot contrivances with no follow-through and no conflict, which makes it feel like there aren't any stakes anymore (e.g. okay so Pen is awkward at flirting and Colin must coach her in charm - I was willing to buy into that except there was no follow through at all? The "lessons" were like four sentences long, total, over two sessions, and no complications arise *from the lessons* at all! Except, wait! There was a glimmer of hope for conflict and drama at the end of the ruse when the arrangement is exposed to gossipers, and Pen is forced to write about herself in LW, but... that fizzled out completely. Nothing bad happened. No consequences were ever even threatened. What was the point? --- compare this to Daphne's ruse of fake-dating her Duke, which had real conflict and real drama built in, and had actual consequences.)

By the time the Queen and Brimsley were repeating "She did not drink the lemonade!!" at each other, I couldn't take the self parody as ironic. The show really has become that stupid.

And yet I'm gonna watch when part 2 drops. Sigh. I miss the show this used to be. QC especially is my fave Bridgerton series. Would that they could bring back that showrunner, that writing team!
posted by MiraK at 11:18 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Stuff I liked:

- Eloise is suddenly a lot less annoying and a lot more mature, her storylines are uniformly excellent and well executed - both Cressida and Penelope have their best showstopper moments and storylines when interacting with Eloise
- I like what's happening with Francesca, though I do keep wishing they'd lean all the way into this couple's weirdness!
- Featherington sisters are great and v entertaining, I am looking their husbands too
- the hot air balloon made me long for steampunk Bridgerton so I give it points just for hinting in that direction and putting this thought in my head
- Kate's gowns and hair and makeup are fucking AMAZING every time she appears. Love her stylist!
posted by MiraK at 11:26 PM on May 18 [3 favorites]


I did really start to enjoy Colin right at the very end, when he stopped his dithering and finally moved into a state of action. I kinda want the same for Pen -- too much heavy, anxious breathing on her part, and not enough strength.

I agree, which is why I wonder how Colin will take to the inevitable unmasking of Penelope as Lady Whistledown in the second half of the season. I think that as a sensitive, emotional dude who's been masquerading as a rake about town, he's been drawn to Penelope as someone who is also sensitive and vulnerable and in need of protecting. So what he's going to do when he realises she has this bitchy alter-ego, I don't know. Personally I really enjoy that both he and Penelope are both in disguise - except Penelope is masquerading as the sweet innocent while Colin actually is. (Don't get me wrong, I like Penelope as a character, and I get why Lady Whistledown is her way to empower herself when in reality she is a hard-done-by wallflower whom no one really notices.)

I feel like Nicola Coughlan is acting circles around everyone else. I've seen her in lots of other things and I feel like she brings such shades of vulnerability to her character. To be honest, I really wanted to like Luke Newton in this, but I feel like his way of portraying Colin's gathering feelings is to just kind of stand there with his mouth open. He just isn't doing it for me, which is a shame because I vastly prefer romances with a sensitive, beta male character, and the 'person who suddenly realises they have feelings for their friend' trope is one of my favourites.

As ever, the emotional heart of this season has got to be Eloise and Penelope, although I do love that friend-stealing Cressida is being explored more, and I love the focus on female friendship. I get the Bridgerton series was written a number of years ago, and I like that this 2020s era take on the series explores the fact that heterosexual, romantic relationships aren't the only ones that have deep levels of meaning and emotional impact.
posted by unicorn chaser at 2:34 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]


Ok I will admit the once scene I did genuinely laugh at was when Francesca and Lord Kilmartin were sitting in silence and Eloise was marveling at this man-repelling tactic she hadn't thought to try.
posted by TwoStride at 9:09 AM on May 19 [7 favorites]


I hate when a show drops all episodes, thus we have to have a binge thread, and I can't just write/read about each episode before starting a new one because I haven't gotten there yet...sigh...so I wrote down the things I wanted to comment on while watching.

* I tend to mix up/forget the names of the Featherington sisters. Prudence is the bitchy one and Phillipa is the dumb one, right? There's Nicer Dumb Featherington, and "I've Only Had Sex Once It Messes Up My Hair All I Want With Him Is To Show Him Off" Featherington. What a dipshit. Meanwhile Phillipa appears to be getting hot and heavy all the time, and yet OMG HIS BRITCHES REMAIN ON I DIED I DIED I DIED. WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND THAT ONE?!?! By the time they appear to both be pregnant at once, I was laughing.

* The book and show establish that Lady F loves citrus colors and they are not Penelope's colors, and in all honesty I think Penelope looked cute in the flowered dress in the first episode. Now that she's used her "pin money" (har har) to get a better wardrobe, I do like all the sea green cloudy dresses she got--particularly the one with the purple in it. But really, I think the issue is that her breasts were cut in half in every damn citrus dress and when the breastline was moved down to below her breasts, she's a lot hotter. (I speak from experience.)

* Eloise and Cressida is interesting. Much as Cressida is generally a pill, it's nice to see that she's lonely for friendship, even if it's with Eloise and they may not be all that suited. I continue to be amused that Eloise is all "hide when a man comes over" and going on about feminist principles to someone who just isn't even going to be into that. I was shocked when Cressida's father told her to not associate with Eloise any more (feels like that scandal has been forgotten with time), but appreciated that Cressida didn't care.

* Francesca is BORING. That's....certainly a choice. Now that she's actually in the show, her character traits are "loves music" and "hates being a part of a big family" and "doesn't really care about much of anything," which is a yawn, but I do enjoy her and John and their liking of silences and that's how they bond. John getting the music rearranged for her was adorable. I do like the queen's reason for the diamond this time--she sparkles for herself? How sweet. But was Francesca even proclaimed as a diamond this time? I'm not sure.

* "It would have been suspicious if she did not." True.

* "I do love a good fur." "Oh, I would NOT tell him that." LOL. Also, "Tell me the name of the bird I adore?"
Eloise and Penelope look like they are ABOUT TO THROW UP listening to Cressida try to talk about nature.

* SAVED from being hit by a .... balloon.

* I love Penelope's overexplaining herself.
"How many yous are there, and where do you hide them all?"
"I do not wish to court someone exactly like myself." and "embraces their peculiarity." I LIKE LORD DEBING AND I ROOT FOR HIM NOW, FRUITLESSLY.

* Cressida's giant sleeves are the worst. She must have to go sideways through a door.

* "A diet of vegetables does not suit you."

* Aw, that's so sweet, he brought a plant!

* Why does Queen C have a ...lopsided wilted white wig on?! I expect there should be a giant ship straddling the middle of it in order to make it make sense.

* Ah, here's John Stirling! I like him. Even though both of them sitting in silence is boring as heck, it's also kind of sweet? "I thought one had to use wit or banter to secure a suitor." "But how will they know each other if they do not speak?"

* Oh, this blue with purple dress on Penelope! That's my favorite so far. She looks like a pretty cloud.
I like that she wanted to read up on travels.

* Eloise tries to make a joke, boy, does it fall flat.

* "histories of connection, hope for a better life." AWWWW.

* What is...revolving...in the queen's wig?

* "He certainly could have put on a shirt."

* "NOT DRINKING THE LEMONADE."

* You know, for all the people who keep begging that Benedict be the gay one, I still think I'd rather it be Eloise since she doesn't want to get married in the first place. I'm not sure how they're going to sell a hetero romance for her. Maybe she should marry Lord Debling and then do her own thing.

* Lord Debling: nice dude, but apparently a natureaholic.

* "Do I only matter to you if I have a lord's engagement ring on my finger?" Clearly yes.

* Colin does great work with his hands. That's quite a proposal. Fade to black!



Thoughts after reading this thread:

* This is a totally different direction than the book. I rather wish they'd do the "we're so bored, let's out Lady Whistledown" plot, but maybe that'll be in the second half. I do note that Colin's writing did come up, so hopefully that is brought in.

* Kate and Anthony are busy banging offscreen. I know we generally kind of have to "lose" people after they get their HEA, but I wouldn't mind them being a bit more involved in the plot. That said, I'm glad they're not totally gone, but would expect them to depart like Daphne and the duke after this one.

* The Mondriches seem nice, but I've never been overly invested in them, they don't really tie in with the B's especially after the duke is gone, and the sudden rags to riches plot is a bit odd. Reminds me a little of Downton Abbey, Matthew, and "What is a week-end?"

* "Having watched Queen Charlotte's prequel in between seasons, it is difficult to understand how we get from that Charlotte to this one who is both bored and boring, as well as insecure and jealous." Agreed. Did she become a petty bitch because she was left alone to deal with her husband and she wanted more fun drama?

* I was definitely rooting for Lord Debling after episode 3, but "I'm going away for three years after the wedding" is kind of a buzzkill. I like that he likes Penelope for who she is, but also he just seems to want to get married ASAP and move on and hope she's fine on her own, so...kind of a buzzkill, indeed. I can also see him kind of being concerned that she takes up having an affair with Colin while he's gone for three years.

* "Like, in this show across the seasons I don't see how multiple scenes of the Bridgerton brothers visiting brothels/banging other women increases their attractiveness or the sense that they'll actually be non-cheating husbands." I'll say after having read this series and other Regency books, men being "rakes" who fuck around and get hookers, etc. is A Thing to show that they're hot, and yet so in love they'd give up all the banging. In reality they'd probably be more Rhett Butler about it. Honestly, I like threesomes and even I was rolling my eyes at Colin and the ladies of the evening towards the end. Romance novels have a concept of "glittery hoo ha," i.e. "a rake becomes faithful once he's in love and nobody else will do," which they clearly did with Colin once he became bored with a threesome.

* I thought they'd set up Benedict during this season for his own season (from what I recall of his book, he met his beloved and then she poofed for a few years), but "hey, let's boink this hot widow" was not what I expected and I'm not sure if I care if they're just FWB'ing. Um, have fun, I guess. That said, "I'm all for brute strength" is quite a come-on.

* Lady D seems to think her brother is a rake and disapproves.

* "To be honest, I really wanted to like Luke Newton in this, but I feel like his way of portraying Colin's gathering feelings is to just kind of stand there with his mouth open." Agreed. Colin is my favorite in the books--HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE CHARMING--and Luke Newton generally comes off as a lummox who's perpetually gaping at the mouth and a bit cross-eyed. I still can't say I'm fond of him as an actor, but I do think the writing for him improved and he actually got some depth and personality. Learning how to be charming and attempting to teach it, learning how to be himself without the family reputation, getting attracted to Penelope. That carriage scene was damn hot and the man can apparently...use his hands. ;)
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:43 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]




I'll say after having read this series and other Regency books, men being "rakes" who fuck around and get hookers, etc. is A Thing to show that they're hot, and yet so in love they'd give up all the banging

I get that this is A Thing in the original novels and in this particular subgenre, but still I find it super disappointing for a show that's trying to be all 21st-century cool (see: their orchestral remixes of the Billboard Top 100) to have not abandoned or usefully subverted this trope. Colin's sad threesomes where even more useless to the plot than most of the Game of Thrones sexposition scenes, where at least there was exposition...
posted by TwoStride at 1:12 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


I agree that Lord Debling might make a much better partner for Penelope, except for one thing. It's clearly stated that he's planning to explore the Northwest Passage after his marriage. It's not entirely clear recently what year the show is set in, but it seems likely that he would have been joining the 1845 Franklin expedition, which fairly famously never returned.
posted by peppermind at 4:54 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]


That would be during the reign of Queen Victoria though. And the real Queen Charlotte died in 1818 so it must be earlier than that, one would assume.
This article suggests 1815: Bridgerton timelines
posted by Coaticass at 8:33 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]


kinda want the same for Pen -- too much heavy, anxious breathing on her part, and not enough strength.

Yes! I actually would have loved to see a version of Pen with agency. Pen who decided - fuck it, I'm going after Colin b/c that's what I want. Where her interactions were Debling were consciously to make Colin jealous - but also to have a back up plan if Colin didn't come through. Where she used those lessons with Colin to make him fall in love with her.

I also just was not a fan of Pen begging Colin to kiss her. I feel like that wasn't necessary at all. You could have cut that scene, and instead just kept the dream in, and shown how he was becoming more attracted to her during the lessons.

Also, I don't necessarily want Benedict to be gay - but I think it's a missed opportunity not to make him bi. I didn't read the books, so in S1, I definitely thought they were going in that direction. Oh well.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:07 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


It's interesting to see what they kept from the book - like Pen asking Colin to kiss her, that's book plot and it's probably the main event that gets Colin thinking about her THAT way. Not sure how they'd get around to that without it. But there's so much other stuff that's brand new - like Lord Debling!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:23 PM on May 20


If one sibling has to be gay, I vote for Eloise rather than Benedict, thank you. I think it would be a happier life for her and easier for her to be a spinster. (Also, I can't say I loved her book relationship and if she's set up with this one in the show, some people will have complaints.) Benedict being the gay one because he's the artist feels so cliche.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:11 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


If one sibling has to be gay, I vote for Eloise rather than Benedict, thank you.

Yes!

I can't be the only one here rooting for a Pen/Eloise relationship, even if it's not canon at all.

(Also, ty, Bridgerton, for making me love, adore, and care about a romance series! This is normally my mose detested genre.)
posted by spinifex23 at 4:23 PM on May 21


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