Netflix’s hit period-drama “Bridgerton” is skipping over a main character’s love story to focus on two other series regulars.
Netflix announced on May 15 that Season 3 will focus on the romance between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. This goes against the order of the Julia Quinn book series, on which “Bridgerton” is based, where each volume centers itself on a different one of the eight Bridgerton siblings.
Both the books and the TV series highlighted Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, in the first book and season, and Anthony Bridgerton and his love interest Kate in the second book and season. However, the books next focus on Benedict Bridgerton before moving on to Colin.
Netflix and Shondaland, the Shonda Rhimes-led production company making the shows, revealed the news at a panel during Netflix’s reopening of its exhibit space. FYSEE, last seen in 2019, is dedicated to showcasing Netflix awards contenders for industry insiders. The following day, they used “Bridgerton” narrator Lady Whistledown to make the online announcement about Colin and Penelope, who are being shipped as #polin.
“It’s #Polin’s time to shine! Nicola Coughlan revealed at Bridgerton’s FYSEE event that after showcasing #Kathony’s enemies-to-lovers story, Season 3 will reveal how (or if…) Penelope and Colin go from friends to lovers!” tweeted Netflix.
It’s #Polin’s time to shine!
Nicola Coughlan revealed at Bridgerton’s FYSEE event that after showcasing #Kathony’s enemies-to-lovers story, Season 3 will reveal how (or if…) Penelope and Colin go from friends to lovers! pic.twitter.com/dhEJgitWFA
— Netflix (@netflix) May 16, 2022
“It is only fair that in this author’s third year chronicling the marriage mart, Mayfair’s social season should find its focus on a third son … as well as a third daughter,” Lady Whistledown wrote in her society paper announcement. “With Penelope’s days as a wallflower wearing thin, will she finally take bloom? Time will tell, and as always, so will this author.”
The news was similarly shared by Shondaland, the production company run by Shonda Rhimes that produces “Bridgerton.”
— shondaland tv (@shondaland) May 16, 2022
Lady Whistledown, as “Bridgerton” fans will already know, is the pseudonym of Penelope Featherington, who has been secretly writing the scandal sheet that all of Regency-era London is abuzz about in the fictional world of the Bridgertons.
The show didn’t waste much time making the announcement after releasing Season Two on Netflix on March 25. And the actress who plays Penelope, Nicola Coughlan, said on Instagram that she has known about the plot decision for quite some time.
“I’ve known for, like, two weeks into filming season two, so I had a lot of time to adjust to it,” Coughlan told the hosts of E! Entertainment’s Daily Pop. “But then, last night when they were like, ‘The news is coming out. You can talk about it,’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to. I’m too scared.’ When I say it out [loud], it makes it real.”
She also answered, when asked about getting ready for the racy scenes for which “Bridgerton” has become known, “I’m gonna have to be!”
For his part, the actor who plays Colin, Luke Newton, is all about Season Three’s spotlight on “Polin.”
“Thanks for all your support today,” Newton tweeted. “We cannot wait to get going.”
Thanks for all your support today. We cannot wait to get going
— Luke Newton (@LukeNewtonUK) May 16, 2022
Implying he’d also known about the plot twist for a while, Netwon also shared on Instagram an on-set image of him and Coughlan that said, “Looks like the cats [sic] out of the bag!”
Penelope and Colin are childhood friends in both the books and TV series, with Penelope’s crush on Colin currently unrequited at the end of Season Two. In fact, during the finale Penelope overheard him tell a group of drunk men at a ball that he’d never marry her.
But Colin and Penelope’s love story is on a “friends-to-lovers” trajectory so far, as Netflix UK & Ireland pointed out in a tweet.
Bridgerton S3 will follow the budding relationship between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington.
Great news for Polin fans and friends-to-lovers truthers! pic.twitter.com/biigmBq6tn
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) May 16, 2022
Meanwhile, book purists and fans of Benedict Bridgerton and his future love interest, Sophie, weren’t as happy about the news. But some speculated that the way the series is now timed would allow for Sophie to make her debut in Season Three before Season Four focuses on Benedict’s Cinderella-like search for her.
In the book “An Offer from a Gentleman,” Sophie makes a brief appearance at a masked ball as an unknown lady and Benedict spends several years on the lookout for her.
Season Three of “Bridgerton is set to begin filming this summer.