The Real Reason Why Bridgerton Season 3's Split Release Was a Terrible Idea

The Real Reason Why Bridgerton Season 3's Split Release Was a Terrible Idea
Image credit: Netflix

Never have the fans of Bridgerton been so disappointed.


  • Bridgerton Season 3 received high ratings, but still upset some fans.
  • The reason for this is that the season was split into two parts.
  • This decision led to the impression that the plot was inconsistent and the characters were not developed.

The third season of Bridgerton has become a major highlight of the first half of 2024, ranking as one of the most watched shows on Netflix and streaming television in general. The release proved to be a bit underwhelming, as instead of a full season, viewers initially got half of it. Still, we were willing to wait another month for Season 3, Part 2.

And so we waited, only to be met with more disappointment. While the first part built intrigue and anticipation, the second part of the season destroyed those feelings with inconsistent storylines and constant shifts in focus. Perhaps Season 3 would have been better received if it hadn't been split?

Season 3 Got Decent Ratings. Yet Fans Dissatisfied

While Bridgerton Season 3 received the same level of critical acclaim as the previous two seasons, the audience scores have increased dramatically. See below for a comparison of the Rotten Tomatoes critic and audiences scores for each season:

  • Season 1 — 87% and 70%
  • Season 2 — 77% and 74%
  • Season 3 — 87% and 76%

All of this can be attributed to the incomparable acting of the terrific Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton, as well as the rest of the cast. The set and costume designers also deserve praise — yes, the outfits are a little more anachronistic than in previous seasons, but how expressive they are!

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However, if we turn to specific user reviews, we can see that the main point of criticism was the splitting of the season into two parts.

Why Was Bridgerton S3 Released in Two Parts?

While no official explanation has been given by Netflix or Shondaland, the motives seem pretty obvious. To boost ratings, maintain audience engagement over a prolonged period of time, and encourage users to re-subscribe to the service, to name a few. In anticipation of Part 2, many Bridgerton fans watched the four episodes more than once, which certainly affected the total number of hours watched.

This policy has been employed by Netflix for years, despite the fact that such moves are met with extremely vocal fan discontent every time. The split-season policy has been applied by Netflix in cases such as Stranger Things Season 4, The Crown Season 6, Virgin River Season 5, and The Witcher Season 3.

A Split Release Proved to Be a Disservice to Season 3

And of course it affected the quality of the season, not only in terms of the plot itself, but also how viewers perceived Season 3 as a whole. After all, a month is not a small waiting period between the two parts of only four episodes each. During this time, you can either lose your show fixation or, on the contrary, build up incredibly high expectations only to be disappointed.

Unfortunately, it was the second scenario that happened, as both parts seem like completely different seasons in terms of the overall tone and pacing. Also, the second part seems incredibly rushed, as unlike the source material, we got a bare minimum in terms of Polin's relationship development - the focus seemed to be shifted to other characters, including Francesca's love affairs.

However, some of the secondary characters were not given their due either, as the writers seemed to forget about Cressida and Lord Debling towards the end.

Perhaps we wouldn't have been so disappointed if the season had been released as a whole. Then Polin's screen time would have balanced out the screen time of the other characters, and the inconsistencies in the plot would have been less noticeable. Well, hopefully Jess Brownell and her team will rectify the situation with Season 4.