Yup, the ‘Bridgerton’ Part 1 Cliffhanger Really Just Did That

Dearest readers: It’s Bridgerton Week at IndieWire. We’re celebrating the new season by diving deep on one of the best romance shows on TV.

[Editor’s note: The following interview contains spoilers for “Bridgerton” Season 3 – Part 1″ including the ending.]

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Oh, my God.

The “Bridgerton” team absolutely heard some fans’ complaints about the lack of steamy scenes in Season 2. This time around, there is no such issue.

“It’s all about character,” showrunner Jess Brownell told IndieWire. “In Season 2, we had a lot of discussions about how much intimacy we wanted to see. And it had everything to do with the fact that Anthony is a very rigid and duty-bound character. His arc is about that rigidity. And so him just willy nilly having intimacy before marriage with someone wouldn’t make any sense. Penelope and Colin are not nearly as rigid as Anthony. So it was much easier to show more intimacy this season, and it is definitely a very steamy season.”

I’ll say. “Part 1” of Season 3 ends with Colin (Luke Newton) and Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) finally confessing their feelings for each other in a back of a carriage after a ball, which of course leads to kissing, which of course leads to dot dot dot. It’s an earned, romantic scene Brownell is rightly quite proud of crafting.

Elsewhere, all the other Bridgertons are also having their fun: Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (Simone Ashley) are still in newlywed bliss (“nice to give them some time to live in their love bubble,” Brownell noted), and Benedict (Luke Thompson) is off having what a modern lady might call a fuckboi summer with a widow (no pesky marriage mark for him).

“It’s fantasy, in a lot of ways,” Brownell said about the enduring appeal of the franchise. “I think romance, it’s not just about the fact that it’s sexy, it’s about the fact that the more difficult sides of life are often left on the cutting room table, and you’re just in the fun and the swell of a romantic encounter. I think there’s an escapist element to that.”

More escapist fun (wedding?!) will be happening when “Bridgerton” returns for the back half of this third season in June. The final seconds of Part 1 find Colin readjusting Penelope’s top (!) and proposing marriage, but viewers know Penelope still has that pesky Lady Whistledown secret hanging over her head that Colin is going to be furious about once he learns the truth about who she is. Brownell told us Part 1 was “cozy.” As for Part 2?

“‘Heightened’ would be a word for me,” she said. “And ‘crescendo’ would be another one. I think things really ramp up in the back half. If the first half is pure rom-com, the back half still has elements of that, but I would say it’s very thrilling. The back half … intense.”

“Bridgerton” Season 3 Part 1 is now streaming on Netflix. Part 2 debuts Thursday, June 13 on the streamer.

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