Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington and Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3
(Netflix)

‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Gives Hope to the Hopeless Romantics

Bridgerton is filled with great romances, but Penelope and Colin's story is different.

Never having been asked on a date is something that people rarely talk about. We try not to think about it, but romance stories often remind us what it feels like to not yet know that feeling. And then there’s Bridgerton season 3.

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Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) has always been a character I relate to. Spending seasons on court, looking for a match, and never having a suitor come to her door are things I know well, in my own way. But her feelings for Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) also make her relatable. How many of us have been in a similar position? Pining over someone who doesn’t see us that way, never having another option to even explore?

What makes season 3 of Bridgerton so special to me is that wish-fulfillment aspect. Penelope has loved Colin for years, her crush being evident from season 1. As someone who has crushes that run very deep and are typically rooted in friendship first, I understand where Penelope is coming from. The attractive older brother of her best friend, who calls her “Pen” (and is the only one who is allowed to do so)? Swoon.

Even in other stories where crushes are reciprocated, it isn’t the same as seeing Penelope sit without a prospect for multiple seasons, and then finally find the love she was always deserving of. Seeing how Penelope and Colin flirted with each other, how he got jealous when another suitor maybe came knocking, and how Penelope thought she could settle made those first four episodes romantic and wonderful to watch. But for me, it was more than just a romance story. It gave me a little hope.

This is a message I needed to hear

Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton as Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton in the third season of Bridgerton
(Netflix)

The older I get, the more I wonder what is wrong with me. A sad thought, I am aware. But having gone through many of life’s big moments without having a man interested enough to ask me on a date has weighed heavily on me. Was it because I was coming into my own in high school and wasn’t “cute” until senior year? In college, was it my determination and how I was voicing my opinions that kept “suitors” away? Have I continued being too bold, and has that stopped me from finding love?

Dealing with these thoughts is a lot—and then there is Penelope. She is beautiful, bright, and isn’t afraid of voicing her opinions (often as Lady Whistledown, but still), and she managed to find Colin after all this time. It gives me hope in the sense that all my dreams of the romantic life that I never quite got are still possible.

Bridgerton is filled with romance for Daphne and Simon, and Anthony and Kate, but Penelope and Colin’s story is different. Their love story is for those of us who never thought it could be us, and it shows us that the greatest romance in the world could still be ours.


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.