New Showrunner to Blame for Bridgerton Season 3 Flop?

New Showrunner to Blame for Bridgerton Season 3 Flop?
Image credit: Netflix

The season suffered without the management of Chris Van Dusen.


  • Fans continue to criticize Season 3 for its storytelling and style.
  • Many blame new showrunner Jess Brownell.

The release of Bridgerton's third season was an incredibly important event for fans and Netflix alike. After all, the live-action adaptation of a series of novels written by Julia Quinn marked itself as one of the streaming service's flagship projects at the time of its debut in late December 2020.

In the case of Season 3, anticipation was certainly dampened by the news that it would be split into two parts. And yet, viewers were still eagerly awaiting the release of the remaining episodes — for all of Part 1's flaws, the script generally kept pace with the source material.

Unfortunately, when Part 2 finally arrived on Netflix, a large number of fans became quite vocal about the fact that Season 3 as a whole was much worse than the previous two. And while we were all still in awe of the talented acting of Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, and the rest of the cast, there was no escaping the feeling that we had been robbed of potentially the best installment of the entire Bridgerton franchise.

The reason? Fans believe the problem lies with the new showrunner.

Fans Find Season 3 Inferior to Previous Seasons

Sure, no season was perfect, but we all hoped that Season 3 would be the one that came close to that notion. Instead, what we got was a fractured and inconsistent narrative. Whenever we were captivated by the development of Colin and Pen's relationship, the plot would immediately jump to the Mondriches. As soon as we focused on their story, the story would immediately switch to someone else.

In the end, it was Polin who suffered most, as many felt that this was a season dedicated to Pen rather than Pen and Colin — instead of a power couple, we got a powerful woman and her emotionally unavailable partner. Angst is an important aspect of their romance, except in the book they learn to accept themselves and each other. Unfortunately, that didn't happen on the show.

Has the Design Become Too Flashy?

However, fan complaints were not limited to the script. Viewers noticed how out of place the characters' costumes and makeup felt, as if the production team no longer cared about creating a period atmosphere.

Regency fashion combined refinement and grace, simplicity and display of status. This season, however, half the costumes looked like they were from The Hunger Games and half looked like they were from prom. As for the makeup, fans were stunned by Pen's bright red lipstick, smoky eye and acrylic nails! Visual expression is incredibly important, but not if it takes up all the attention.

New Showrunner to Blame for Bridgerton Season 3 Flop? - image 1

Fans Believe the Showrunner is to Blame

Of course, many viewers could not help but notice that such a striking difference between Season 3 and the previous two was largely due to a new showrunner. For the first two seasons it was Chris Van Dusen, but starting with the third one Jess Brownell took over.

Fans have commented that they would have put up with the direction and styling if the script had followed the old formula in terms of pacing and focus on certain characters.

Unfortunately, we can only hope that Brownell and co will work on their mistakes. According to her, Season 4 will be 'some of [her] best work':

'I'm really excited about what we're writing. We're toward the end with the writers room

season, with the scripts. And I feel like it's some of my best work and my writers room's best work. We've just really gelled our collaboration, and we're firing on all cylinders, so I can't wait for fans to see what we have.'

Source: The Hollywood Reporter.