So with Bridgerton, the Netflix show, getting a third and fourth season renewal a lot of people were excited to see Benedict Bridgerton get his time to shine in the third season. Since Benedict’s book was the next in the series people were expecting his season up next. Well, the show instead decided to skip over to Colin’s book ‘Romancing Mister Bridgerton’. In this book Colin finds love in his long-time family friend Penelope Featherington, who is hiding a big secret: she is Lady Whistledown.

When this news arrived people were shocked but a lot of people were upset by this news and there were many different reasons why:

  1. Benedict is a fan favourite character in the show and people want to see more of him as he has been merely a side character: This one is quite obvious but unfortunately it probably also means no new principal cast members (besides Francesca’s actress).
  2. People feel like the Featheringtons, Penelope included, got way more screentime than was necessary, in the second season: Unfortunately, despite the success of the second season of Bridgerton (surpassing the first in ratings) the show’s reaction from fans was not the best (mixed). Many people were super excited to see the Sharmas and how they would be portrayed and were disappointed in how different the show strayed from the books especially when it came to the portrayal of Edwina and how the show did not dedicate enough screentime to give the two main protagonists of the season (Kate and Anthony) a wedding. The time taken away from the Sharmas was instead given to the Featheringtons who had to deal with issues and fallout from the previous season. The show added a character in Cousin Jack and added a fraud subplot. Alongside this, we had Eloise and Penelope at odds because Eloise was sneaking off and Penelope was desperately trying to maintain her secret identity.
  3. Many people just don’t like the characterisations of Colin and Penelope: That in lies the problem with dedicating time to other characters if it is not done well, you risk negative feedback and loss of interest. Look, the show is not unfamiliar with having to do work to redeem and uplift a character who might not have been liked in the previous season, look at Anthony BUT the fundamental difference was Kate Sharma was either an unknown entity (if you did not read the books) or you liked her so the show had enough to still drive up support. Many people dislike both Colin and Penelope’s characters. Many excuses can be said about Colin and Penelope’s actions but when you have two characters who the fanbase either has apathy for or actively hates, it becomes quite difficult to draw up support. What I thought the show would do in this case is spend some time in the third season cleaning up the mess of the second season and building morale for Penelope’s character so that people went into the fourth season rooting for her happily ever after. Now you have a fanbase divided who, because of their dislike of Penelope, are advocating for more time being spent with anybody else and it is angering the Polin shippers. It has caused a whole fandom war where people feel not only is Penelope undeserving of support but also should get the same level of screentime as Kate Sharma did in the second season which, unfortunately, was not much.

Look people are going to preach fatphobic rhetoric during the third season the same way they preached racist and colourist rhetoric during the second season so I am not engaging with that side of the fandom. What I hope the show realises in this season is that both Colin and Penelope’s characters are in damage control mode and need to be redeemed ASAP.

What can the show do in the meantime? Give Eloise a softer touch this season, and dedicate some time towards Benedict and how Kate and Anthony are handling being married. What I do hope above all is that the show does not try to sweep all the terrible things Penelope has said as Lady Whistledown under the rug, in fact, I think this season might be too packed to add a Whistledown exposure as well. At least to the rest of the Bridgertons, Colin and Eloise can be the only ones who know for now.

I know I am also not that interested in seeing less of Kate and Anthony because they didn’t have enough last season, to begin with, but I might watch if I see that the sentiment is the same for Polin as it was for Kathony cause Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley set my screen on fire. If there is still going to be a bit of Edwina next season I hope she does more to take back a lot of the biting things she said to Kate and I hope Kate gets to say her peace. Maybe this can fit into the theme of Kate and Anthony having kids.

Polin Vs Kathony: Nobody wins when the family feuds. Although I wonder if Marina’s story unfolds the way it does in the books, how will that affect Penelope and Colin?