Nicola Coughlan from Bridgerton: The desire for gossip is human nature (spoilers)

Nicola Coughlan at the British Academy Television Awards, Arrivals, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK
Spoilers for the ending of Bridgerton follow, stop reading if you don’t want spoilers
I have definitely rewatched the current sexiest show on Netflix, Bridgerton, multiple times. I just can’t get enough of the Duke of Hastings and his chemistry with Daphne. I blame Shonda and showrunner Chris Van Dusen for encouraging my inner middle-aged Thotiana this past week. I have been enjoying tweeting with people who loved the show and sharing my favorite sexiest moments of the first season. While waiting for an announcement that there will be a season 2, I have been spending my time searching for rippable corsets for future cosplay and falling down the hilarious rabbit hole of Bridgerton Tik Tok. And because I am absolutely obsessed, I have also been finding interviews with the cast, particularly Rege-Jean “The God” Page. I mean, have you SEEN that man?

I have been trying to avoid spilling the tea about the show but this interview is filled with spoilers. So if you haven’t watched it do not continue after this point. Nicola Coughlan of the Derry Girls plays conniving, backstabbing Penelope Featherington (I actually liked Penelope). We spend eight episodes trying to figure out who Lady Whistledown is when it is revealed in the last few minutes of episode eight that she is the wallflower Penelope. Penelope is embroiled in a unrequited love triangle with her best guy friend, Colin Bridgerton, who is in love with Penelope’s very secretly pregnant country cousin, Marina. Most of the time Penelope goes unnoticed in the aristocratic circles which makes her the perfect person to spill everyone secrets. Below are excerpts from an interview Nicola did with Harper’s Bazaar. She talks about her character Penelope’s development and what would change about Lady Whistledown if she were in the 21st century with access to social media:

On the reveal scene
“I think the reveal was done so well,” Coughlan says. “I mean, it was one of the most satisfying things in the world to shoot. It was amazing. And that big cloak and the carriage and everything, I think it’s the perfect ending. When I watch it, even though I know, I was still like, ‘Ahh!’”

On if she knew about her character ahead of time
So, in my first meeting with Chris Van Dusen, our showrunner, I had to awkwardly slip in the question in some way, “Am I her? Are we doing that thing?” Because it changes the character completely, it changes how I would’ve approached her, and it gives this whole other layer. And how I find out was really strange. I just had one audition for this show. I thought it was going to be months and months, but it was just one, and the tape went to L.A., and I got the call with the offer, and I was so confused as to how I’d gotten it like that. I was like, “Are you sure this isn’t a mistake? And they really want me?” And then I ended up starting to read the books, and I went to book four, which is Penelope’s book, which is actually 10 years post-Season 1 scripts.

On how she approached her character
It was so much fun, because what I always think about Penelope is that she’s sort of the lowest-status person in any room she’s in, while also being the highest status because she’s the most powerful woman in London. She can make or break someone. She controls things. She can break up a match or a marriage or someone’s reputation.

I think Season 1 is all about her gaining this power, but really not knowing what to do with it. I think that becomes evident towards the end, especially with Marina, because I really didn’t expect her to go as far as she did. I was like, “Penelope is not going to risk her family’s reputation, she’s not going to ruin Marina’s life, just all for Colin.” And I was like, “Oh, my God, she did it. Oh, that’s pretty big.”

On how women established agency when their choices were limited
It was really fascinating, because I think we’re in a really exciting period of making art right now, in that we’re going back and telling stories that haven’t yet been told and women’s stories that have been neglected. And, yes, Bridgerton is a fantasy and these women … It’s hard to know. Are they more outspoken? There’s definitely this feminist narrative, but I think there was something sort of sad. Claudia and I used to say it all the time that Penelope and Eloise, had they lived nowadays, what could they have done? They were property of their fathers until they were property of their husbands. It’s really sad for them. But then, we’re looking at it from a Western view, and that’s still a reality in a lot of the world. There’s still a lot of women that don’t have that choice.

On who Lady Whistledown with be in 2020
I feel like she’d be good for zingers on Twitter. I could see Penelope totally stalking Colin’s Instagram. I always think that. Her scrolling back and liking a post from two years ago and freaking out. I feel like she would have so much power in this time, because there’s a lot of those sites that now are the anonymous gossip sites and blind items. Human nature, we do have a desire for gossip and scandal. It’s just within us. It’s innate. So I feel like, yes, she would still make a big splash on social media.

[From Harper's Bazaar]

Despite my calling Penelope a conniving witch (she was) I actually enjoyed her character arc. You can definitely tell that Penelope was more intelligent than people expected. The fact that her bestie was Eloise, the equivalent of a modern day feminist, should have been a clue. I will say I did figure out that Whistledown was Penelope before the reveal in episode eight because of what happened to Penelope’s cousin, Marina (I won’t spill all the tea).

One of the many things I loved about Bridgerton, besides the steamy sex scenes, was how the women found their own form of independence throughout the show. Especially during an era where women were only seen as fetus incubators and glorified housekeepers. It was refreshing not only to see a diverse cast but diverse character development in Bridgerton. Nicola Coughlan is definitely the unsung heroine of the show. She brought Penelope to life and made her a sympathetic character. I think Penelope was pretty but I understand that she wasn’t the mainstream sort of beauty of the time so she was ignored. The fact that Penelope ends up being Lady Whistledown is beautiful revenge. Personally, I love an intelligent misfit. I also loved what Nicola says in the article about how Penelope is treated as the least powerful person in the aristocracy but is eventually revealed to be the most powerful one. She’s an epic character.

Nicola is right when she says that the desire for gossip and scandal is human nature. I obviously love to read celebrity gossip. I mean I DO write for Celebitchy, *hair flip*. I look forward to a second season and you know it’s coming. You can catch Nicola on the Great British Bake Off-Holiday Edition, she’s adorable. As you all distract yourself with that, I am going to go read the Julia Quinn books to catch up on the characters of Bridgerton and stalk Rege-Jean’s Instagram (don’t judge me).

Pokémon Detective Pikachu interactive pop-up, London, 2nd May 2019

Photos credit: Avalon.red, Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2020 and via Instagram

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127 Responses to “Nicola Coughlan from Bridgerton: The desire for gossip is human nature (spoilers)”

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  1. Sojaschnitzel says:

    She looks sooo good. I love the pink dress and I want it for myself now.

    • Stacy Dresden says:

      I love the green dress

    • Gruey says:

      As a lady who shares her body type, I love the pink dress but I’m so mad about the tailoring under her arm! Idk I’m sensitive about my bra line spillage and arms so maybe it’s just me projecting.

  2. Solace says:

    I thought she was a Karen of that time. After what she does to Marina and refuses to understand her situation.
    And she’s never Eloise’s friend. Eloise appears to talk to herself while Nicola is merely present there. Eloise is too intelligent and progressive to be a friend to this character who contributes nothing worthwhile to their conversations.
    Did I say I didn’t like her lol

    • Becks1 says:

      Eloise is very self-centered though, in that she assumes because she feels a certain way that Penelope HAS to feel that way too. And Penelope doesn’t. Penelope wants to get married and to have a family etc, she just pretends she doesn’t because she thinks she doesn’t stand a chance. that’s part of why she yells at Eloise that night about how not everyone is a pretty Bridgerton.

      • Ash says:

        Thank you! I was about to comment in response to this line in the article: “Eloise, the equivalent of a modern day feminist”

        I know we’re supposed to think this based on how she’s presented but, personally, I couldn’t stand Eloise as a character.

      • Solace says:

        I found Nicola to be the woman equivalent of a nice guy…sweet outside with a vengeful, mean interior.
        She refuses to acknowledge her privilege whilst judging Marina so harshly. There is no growth or self reflection in her character. At the most she pities or supports Marina as long as the latter doesn’t challenge her interests.

        And no..I wasn’t as mean as her in my teens lol. I just couldn’t like this character. Sorry ladies.

    • Escondista says:

      What? I loved Penelope! She was extremely flawed but also had a big heart. Yes she hurt Mariana and others but, remember, she’s a teenager. Not sure if you made some big mean mistakes at 16 but I sure did.

      • Lanie says:

        Nah. I never ruined someone’s life and destroyed my family at 16.

      • Larisa says:

        @Lanie,
        So, destroying Colin’s family was ok, though?
        These are characters, not people, created for maximum conflict.

      • Becks1 says:

        Penelope’s actions to me were understandable, and so were Marina’s. Marina WAS trying to trap colin into marriage (even if he did seem willing) and he was going to raise a child that wasn’t his. Penelope loved Colin and didn’t want to see him in that kind of marriage (besides wanting him for herself, but she seems to know that is a pipe dream at this point.) You can love someone, know you will never be with them, and still not want them to marry someone who professes that it will make you practically sisters! So I can understand Penelope’s reaction, especially accounting for her age.

        But of course Marina’s actions are understandable too. She has to marry SOMEONE, why not Colin Bridgerton if she can “get him” over that other awful lord? That saves her from disgrace and sets herself up for a relatively nice life, all things considered. It’s probably the second best outcome for her (first best being marrying the father of the baby, but of course we learn that’s impossible.) So I cant really blame Marina either. They are both young girls caught up in society’s morals and values and stupid rules and they are trying to do their best with what they have.

      • Abby says:

        I felt like she did it because her love for Colin outweighed her desire to keep her family reputation pristine. And she also fundamentally understands that she is not seen as desirable among the ton, so what if anything is she risking for herself. She does have a line earlier on when she says she would NEVER bring shame to her family – but it’s as if her love for Colin pushes her to do what she said she would never do. I found Marina to be a very sad, sympathetic character and I didn’t fault her at all – and I don’t think Penelope hated her. She just wanted to save Colin, and I think she wanted to save the possibility that somehow, some way they could end up together. As for Eloise, I found her to be such a whiner. I get that we’re supposed to see her as an early feminist but she doesn’t come off as strong or determined, just petulant and complain-ey. I suspected Penelope early on and I loved that it was her.

    • Original Penguin says:

      Penelope was totally friendly and supportive to Marina, until the plan involved Colin- at which point she acted just like a 16 year old girl would. I think it’s unfair to call her a Karen. Is she perfect no, she’s just as flawed as the rest of us/them

    • Noodle says:

      @solace, Eloise reminds me a lot of my daughter who is a verbal processor, but often lacks peers who share her interests and passions. Imagine growing up where you’re the only one who reads the books you read, or has the ideas you have, and no one will really talk with you about those ideas. I feel bad for Eloise in that she is very much alone with these thoughts. Yes, she is self-centered in that she thinks that because Penelope let’s her prattle on, Pen shares those ideas. That said, she is very alone, and needs to talk through these things. She would do very well to have a therapist, although we know THAT isn’t going to happen.

      • Solace says:

        That’s an interesting perspective, Noodle. Thanks. It explains some aspects of how my sisters and I have grown up.

      • Noodle says:

        @solace, one thing I will add… I think it’s beautiful that Benedict fills this role for her a bit. I would have hoped her Mom would be a sounding board, but she doesn’t seem to have that relationship with her (probably because they are very different and Violet is much more traditional). I’m looking forward to seeing if Benedict becomes that equal she needs.

    • Lanie says:

      Both Daphne and Penelope are thee Karen-est of Karens.

      I ended up disliking this show by the end. Don’t talk up diversity/color blind casting if in the end, you’re going to sacrifice all those black characters to the altar of blameless white womanhood.

      Especially when the show starts out with the blandest, most uninteresting characters is being sold to us as the crown jewel of all the women.

      • AmunetMaat says:

        Lanie I would kiss this comment if I could. This is how I feel about this entire series. I was going mad thinking I was the only one. I call it fake diversity.

      • Larisa says:

        @Lanie
        who are the “all those black characters” who got sacrificed to white womanhood?
        And who made you the arbiter of bland and uninteresting? Like it’s some kind of objective measure?

      • Ann says:

        I agree Eloise is self-centered, the “Pretty Bridgerton,” but at the same time she might not exactly feel that way because in terms of the graces and virtues that were valued at the time, she has always been eclipsed by Daphne. I like her friendship with Pen. It’s fraught and there are tensions, but they do have a real connection. I like that Pen confided in Eloise (to some degree) after she exposed Marina, even if she didn’t tell Eloise why she was so upset. IDK, I like both of them. I sympathized with Marina but still, what Pen did wasn’t wrong. She was going to trap Colin into marriage and how is that okay? It’s not. It wasn’t his fault she was in such a hopeless situation. She wasn’t a bad person or anything, but why should he be reined in by those forces?

        I hated the way the show treated the baby-making issue. I could see how it worked in a 2000 era Regency Romance, but if they are going to modernize the show, then they should have modernized that issue too.

    • TriendnTried says:

      I thought EXACTLY the same! This little green eyed monster, a sanctimonious KAREN. If the secret gossip were an elderly woman, laughing about the antics of youth but w serious old world values- this would have made sense. Instead it was a sour grapes girl who didn’t get “her crush” so she crushed the hopes of a pregnant friend? And Daphne seemed super Tween-y to me, I was in constant cringe, trying to tell myself I’m just old, get it over w. I had to fast forward the sexy scenes. I saw ZERO chemistry. The lead should have been more mature! Please

    • Cheezypuff says:

      Am I the only one who thinks trapping someone into a lifelong commitment with lies is wrong? Colin is what, in his early 20s at this point? This is his first taste of a relationship and he’s seeing heart eyes. What Marina was planning to do was wrong regardless of her intentions. What Penelope did was also wrong, she probably should have told Colin to his face or sent an anonymous note, but telling his was the right call. I understand Marina’s intentions and motives but that does not make then right. She should have told him the truth and given him the choice to marry her regardless.

  3. Sierra says:

    I am not happy about them revealing who the mysterious writer was so early.

    As a reader, we didn’t find out until the 4th book (Colin & Penelope) which in set 10 years from Daphne’s & Simon’s story.

    Also not happy about them not showing Simon stuttering when he argued with Daphne. They kind of ruined the charm and vulnerability Simon had in the book.

    • Becks1 says:

      I didn’t like that either – about them not showing the stuttering – because they do show it in his childhood, and then we never see it again in his adulthood. But in the book, it forms such a huge part of his character, even as an adult, and that’s obviously part of why he leaves Daphne, because she makes him stutter again. And in the show the whole “we cannot live together” did not quite click for me, you know? and then Lady Danbury comes and tells Daphne about his childhood issues and it still doesn’t quite tie into how he feels as an adult.

      I didn’t mind the reveal about Lady Whistledown in general because I don’t think the series was going to drag it out for four seasons, which could be 4 years or longer. But I do think they could have made it a bit more ambiguous – “it could be X or Y or Z, we’ll find out next season” or something. Or just left it as “we thought it was Genevieve but she was at a party with Benedict so….”

      • Sierra says:

        Exactly – Simon left her because he stuttered in front of her. When he gets too emotionally, he stutters.

        Plus Simon is very reserved as an adult as well but on the show, they show him to have grown up to be an arrogant and confident man.

        Get your point about maybe not fully waiting for season to reveal the writer but I still wanted them to atleast wait until next season or something.

      • Midnight@theOasis says:

        If you watch and listen closer there are several scenes where Simon does stutter. It’s not pronounced but very subtle. I noticed it after rewatching the show. His stutter is most noticeable after the bedroom scene where he and Daphne argue.

      • Ainsley7 says:

        Yeah, I was completely confused by his sudden turn. One minute he was refusing to allow her a separate bedroom and the next they can’t even live in the same house. If he had started stuttering again in between then it would have made sense. As it stood it seemed more like they had to live apart because he couldn’t keep his hands off her or something. Either way, I’m glad he was able to get over his issues. Funnily enough, all signs point to his father not being his biological father. So, he had failed in continuing the line already. He just didn’t know it.

      • Becks1 says:

        @midnight – we are rewatching and I read the book in between (the first watch and this rewatch lol) so I’m watching it, and I do catch the stutter a few times, but it is SO subtle and I think they could have made it more pronounced. But, I do think its hard because so much of the issues Simon had with his stutter were in his head (like in the book, it was a huge part of his internal thoughts), and its hard to show that in the show, because you cant just have him talk about it, because that was NOT something he would have done (like you couldn’t substitute some of his thoughts for a convo with Lady Danbury or Anthony or something.)

        @Ainsley -I know! I think I might have missed something so like I said, I’m hoping I catch it on this rewatch. he went from being super opposed to separate bedrooms, and absolutely NO to separate households, to insisting on leaving London without her.

        Did anyone catch more than that?

      • Amy Too says:

        It seemed like the whole show was one “big misunderstanding” romance novel trope where if any of the characters had actually spoken to each other, or listened to what was being said, or even just read each other’s facial expressions and body language and actions, so much angst and misunderstanding could have been avoided. Like daphne and Simon were acting like super blind, socially inept people who have never encountered another human being before, they were being so blind to each other’s obvious love and longing. It didn’t make any sense that he suddenly, in London, went from “you think I don’t want you?” *ravish on staircase* (when seriously? He picked her up and moved her OUT OF HER BEDROOM to use the stairs???) to “I will stay and pretend to play happy families if you’re pregnant otherwise I will leave forever.” The whole explanation of because he didn’t trust her made sense… he wouldn’t be able to be sexual with her again if he didn’t trust her to not Venus fly trap his d*ck during sex, but then why did he want her so close to him before that? Why did he do sexy times with her? The whole “I want you in my bedroom” thing seemed to be because he wanted to be alerted the second she got her period, or didn’t. (Also did women only ever get their period at night into their sheets? That seems to be a theme. With them finding out marina was pregnant because her sheets had been clean too long. Maybe she was wearing rags really well? Maybe she has a different cycle? I thought that revealing her pregnancy that way was really weird.)

        Other questions/annoyances: WHY did the Queen choose daphne as the incomparable? She didn’t seem particularly special to me at all. Not in looks or style or deportment or anything. Was it just her family name? A little more explanation before or after the fact for WHY the Queen was so into her would have been appreciated.

        Why does no one wear a hat? NO ONE went out without a hat during that period. Also, you didn’t wear your hair down after you were out and married. And CORSETS ARE NOT WORN ON BARE SKIN. That is a trope that needs to die in a fire. Everyone wore shifts under their corsets for the exact reason that a corset on bare skin would be extremely uncomfortable. They even had that one shot of some lady’s back all cut up and sore because of her corset. That’s why they didn’t do that. And at some point during the regency, people actually started to wear these bra-type contraptions that didn’t lace as tightly around the stomach because the dress designs didn’t require a super flat stomach as they were all empire waisted. Yet everyone is in their super tight laced corset which is meant to give the body the right shape under court gown like those the Queen wore, and that was not necessary for a regency empire waist gown.

        Why didn’t Eloise recognize Penelopes carriage? Wouldn’t it have been her family’s carriage? Wouldn’t it have then had their coat of arms on it? Did she somehow hire a whole carriage and 4 horses specifically to go to the printers?

      • Becks1 says:

        @Amy Too – of course it was all one big “misunderstanding” romance novel trope. That’s how the novels are lol. to a large extent, its just meant to be a fun romance novel come to life with some different twists on it.

        Re: the stays, the Mary Sue had a big article about stay vs corset and the different fashions mixing etc, but I think it was done on purpose. Lady Featherington wears a very tight corset because she needs it to fit into her dress but her dress was not the fashion of the time, LOL. I don’t think Daphne’s corset is ever implied to be that tight though, just enough to get give her a little, ahem, boost.

        And yes, that’s my issue with the whole “Simon wants Daphne then he doesn’t.” Maybe it was that he didn’t trust her anymore, sexually, and so he couldn’t be around her, but then he didn’t need to ravage her on the stairs like that lol.

        and I agree re: the sheets. Do their periods only come at night? Did women have no sense of when their last period was so they had no way of preparing themselves with rags?

        The scene with Daphne at the opera though was really heartbreaking IMO. I cried.

      • Dee says:

        In the book, Penelope hired a carriage to drop off her latest Lady Whistledown papers to the publisher. So, no, it wouldn’t have her family’s crest on it.

  4. Jillian says:

    I loved Nicola on Derry Girls, great to see her star is on the rise. I was honestly surprised she was Lady Thistledowm on Bridgerton!

  5. Becks1 says:

    I liked Penelope. I even understood her “outing” of Marina – it may not have been nice, but Marina’s actions weren’t nice either (although they were clearly born of desperation.) but I did think Penelope’s role as Lady Whistledown was honestly bc she was forced to come out to society earlier than she wanted, and she was usually the wallflower, so she had nothing to do but stand around and observe, listen to gossip, listen to her mother’s gossip, and pass it along. I guessed it was her during the second episode. Then I was very confused as to whether it was actually Genevieve, because the modiste would make sense, she probably does know EVERYTHING and she probably would know that Marina was pregnant.

    I binged the whole series this past weekend, I’ve now read the first two books in the series, and last night I rewatched episodes 1-4 (my husband hasn’t seen since halfway through episode 4 so he wanted to catch up so we can finish the rewatch this week, lol.)

    I just love it because its like every Regency romance that I’ve read come to life, except Reje-jean Page is so much better looking than any duke described in those kinds of books, LOL. Seriously, the chemistry between the Duke and Daphne is so intense.

    And I LOVE Lady Danbury. If I had to live during that period, I would want to be like her.

    Anyway overall I thought it was really done and a good adaptation of the books (that I’ve read so far) bc its clearly pulling in story lines from the later books. I’m excited for season 2 (I’m assuming there will be a second season.)

    One complaint I’ve seen is that the costumes aren’t consistent with the time period, but I kind of think that’s the point? Like the queen dresses very differently from the Bridgertons and omg Lady Featherington is just a mess, lol. But I think that’s trying to get across messages about their statuses and how they approach society and life.

    • Becks1 says:

      Also i’m clearly SO EXCITED to see a post about this today lol.

    • Original Penguin says:

      The queen is in court dress, which all the ladies should have been in for the presentations- and is probably accurate for what she would have worn in real life.

      Mrs featherington’s fashion sense is meant to be awful- it’s commented on over and over in the books. And it’s only when Penelope starts to get some choice in picking clothes that she starts looking better/more appealing

      Simon is hot. Lady Danbury is awesome but maybe not scary enough

      • Becks1 says:

        Lady F’s fashion is horrible and out of touch with the times, but like I said I think that’s obviously the point.

        Also I am kind of annoyed that they made Mrs Featherington in the book into Lady F in the show, lol.

    • Amy Too says:

      Wrong place

    • Amy Too says:

      The scene where Eloise goes to confront the modiste about Lady Whistledown and the modiste seems to act like she understands completely and she absolutely is Whistledown, didn’t make sense if she wasn’t Whistledown. She didn’t seem to be confused during the conversation or after it. She didn’t seem to even try to tell Eloise she wasn’t Whistledown. What was that about? If there had been some hint in there that the viewer could catch but that Eloise didn’t, like maybe the modiste says something to Benedict after Eloise leaves about how confusing and weird that was, then it would make more sense. But as it was written and filmed, they really made it seem like modiste was Lady W.

      • Becks1 says:

        My interpretation of that, AmyToo, was that the modiste knew it was Penelope, and that maybe she was even feeding some information to Penelope after Marina threatened to “out” her as not being French.

        ETA and so Genevieve played along with Eloise because she knows she’s NOT whistledown but knows who is?

      • Amy Too says:

        That’s a good idea, Becks! And it would make sense. I rather wish if that was what was happening that they would have dropped a hint for us viewers because it makes a lot of sense.

      • Becks1 says:

        I’m also going to add that I found Genevieve super distracting bc I kept thinking of the Windsors, lol.

      • msd says:

        I’ll watch almost anything with corsets but I wound up bored by the central romance. Like other people, I fast forwarded some later sections and not even the sex could interest me. Too repetitive, too toxic, and with that annoying romance trope of never actually talking to each other.

        But! I loved some of the other characters: Eloise, Benedict, the Queen. They kept me watching. I hope the Daphne and Simon story is background in S2 and more interesting characters come to the fore. I love Nicola in Derry Girls but Penélope was just so-so for me.

    • Nic919 says:

      I normally get annoyed when I see things like Victorian style outfits in a regency setting or basically the Keira Knightley P and P because it was all over the place and the ending was like a Bronte novel with half dressed people meeting up without a chaperone in the foggy moors. But since this show wasn’t pretending to be historically accurate I let a lot of the costuming and such slide.

  6. Case says:

    I tried several episodes of this series and actively disliked it. Don’t get what people are raving about!

    • Chicken Tetrazzini! says:

      Gorgeous costumes, gorgeous people, enough of a plot to keep me watching. I needed some cotton candy for my brain right now- pure escapism into a world where racism doesn’t exist, no thoughts of maskne intruded or the depression that sits so heavily on the world right now. Just pure escapist fluff

    • pyritedigger says:

      I didn’t like the first two episodes much either, but it grew on me.

    • ClaireB says:

      I don’t much like any of the characters, but the costumes and the sets are gorgeous. Also, while I don’t much care for the Duke’s character, the actor playing him absolutely smolders every time he’s on the screen.

    • Charlie says:

      Pretty people, pretty costumes, but without any nuance (which the pretty actors in their pretty wardrobes seemed to want, too) I couldn’t find much to escape to – this should have been so much more than eight episodes on pulling out (in all it’s iterations).

  7. Barbiem says:

    Binged it in 2 days. Light and fun. I needed a break from my more serious shows

  8. mellie says:

    I loved this series so much, what a great diversion, between the scenery, the costumes and the “Duke” it is EYE CANDY! I had read the books long ago but forgot the plots, that being said, I pretty much figured it was Penelope, especially when Marina was outed. But, I too, loved the reveal at the end and think she played her part so well. She is really a pretty girl, good actress too.
    Looking forward to the next installment, which probably won’t be until 2022 :(

    • Becks1 says:

      yeah once Marina was outed, it narrowed the list of potential Lady Whisteldowns considerably. It had to be someone who knew she was pregnant AND who knew it was not Colin Bridgerton’s baby (since at the time they were pushing for a fast wedding.) so that pretty much meant it had to be someone in the Featherington household (or again, Genevieve.)

      • pyritedigger says:

        I admit I was confused by what happened when a crying Penelope sought out Eloise at night before it all came out. I thought she was confessing to Eloise what was really going on with Marina and that she had gotten word to Lady Whistledown and it was all going to blow up.

        I didn’t suspect Penelope as Lady Whistledown because these girls are chaperoned within an inch of their lives. How is Penelope taking a carriage around town at night by herself without her mother or anyone else noticing even once? Highly dubious. I hope they go into the logistics of how she managed to write the column and drive it personally to the printers and who she was bribing to keep her secret.

      • Amy Too says:

        Pyritedigger, I think that’s one of the things that sort of bothered me about the series a bit. On one hand, they really play up the fact that these girls know nothing and have zero agency. That they’re always chaperoned, that they’re never alone. But on the other hand we’re meant to accept that Penelope is riding around town in her own carriage, or that no one noticed when Daphne keeps running off into dark gardens by herself. Or that Marina was somehow able to get pregnant. Or even that “people are always watching,” you’re always surrounded by the help, and yet daphne and Simon are having sex outside and on staircases? You really had to suspend disbelief in some instances to allow for the freedoms and liberties certain characters obviously had, but then they really played up the restrictions other times. It seemed contradictory.

        I almost wish it would have leaned all the way into a feel-good girl-power type of thing where everyone had more agency, and that way we wouldn’t have to be absolutely crushed and depressed and anxious every time Marina’s storyline was brought up. Let her do something cool like go live with the modiste and learn to make really pretty hats.

        For something that seems to be marketed and reviewed as a “feel good regency romp,” there’s a lot of dark issues in it that made me feel anxious and upset for the characters.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Amy – for the rampant “lets have sex everywhere”, I think part of the point of that WAS that the staff knew. They were always surrounded by the help – remember how Daphne says to simon when they arrive at Clyveden something about “the staff are watching” and he says “do you care?” And then later there’s a reverse scene where he says that to her and she says “do you care?” And then we have the scene with the staff listening to them in the room when she’s on the ladder or whatever.

        But, none of that explains how Penelope was able to write the Whistledown newsletter – or rather, how she was able to print it. I said somewhere else that Penelope does make a certain amount of sense as Whistledown because she probably was often overlooked AND is smart, so she was probably observing things no one else was, but that doesn’t explain how she was able to print it etc without anyone noticing.

      • Dee says:

        In the books, her mother has given up on getting Penelope a husband, so she’s bored and has some time on her own. Another clue pointing to Penelope was the absence of a Lady W write up about the Queen’s luncheon (“No other social events of note” which the Q took offense to) when Penelope wasn’t there, so she didn’t have the info she would need to write about it.

      • Amy Too says:

        I “get it,” but I guess I just didn’t believe it. You know? There’s a lot being super concerned about propriety and reputation until there just…. isn’t anymore. And perhaps that’s a commentary on how much more freedom women gained once they were married. We also saw that with Lady Danbury (who I liked a lot!) and her married women party. I think my overall issue with the series was this strange juxtaposition they had between asking us to suspend our disbelief and believe that a newly married, sexually inexperienced 18 year old bride would be TOTALLY FINE and not at all embarrassed about having sex outside where anyone could see, or that Penelope could hire her own carriage and ride around unchaperoned, but also asking us to remember that during this time in history women were completely sheltered, terrified about protecting their and their family’s reputation, and that society was absolutely morally rigid and unforgiving of anything outside of a conservative, respectable norm. So I didn’t really “believe” the regency setting all the way. And that’s fine. I’d LIKE to watch a show that took place in a mythical regency England where there were still balls and dresses and beautiful mansions but where women were equal (just as black people were meant to be equal in this show) and society was more liberal. But I didn’t like how they dropped regency society norms and values where they thought it would be gossipy, fun, or sexy, and yet kept them in when they needed to suppress and break the spirit of a character like Marina.

      • Becks1 says:

        AmyToo I’m laughing because that’s basically every Regency romance novel. Its like Jane Austen on top, sex and debauchery underneath, lol. It’s pretty typical – all prim and buttoned up and then they find “the man” and bam! you cannot restrain these women. And they get over any sexual restraint issues after their wedding night. Maybe there is some accuracy to it (they couldn’t have been cold and restrained and proper ALL the time, right?) but its definitely part of the Regency romance novel trope.

        Johanna Lindsey and the Malory novels – I’m looking at you.

        (and honestly the trope is itself sexist in my opinion, bc it implies that these women aren’t sexual creatures until a man “awakens” them and it just happens its always the man they are in love with.)

      • M.A.F. says:

        She more than likely slips out during a party. Since no one is courting her or looking to dance with her, it would be very easy to slip out, hire a cab, go to the printers, then get back to the party in due time. She doesn’t release it every day, it’s like once a month or so? Pretty easy to do.

  9. Common sense says:

    I love the show, I have watched it twice now. I can’t wait for season 2

  10. cassandra says:

    Hopefully they develop the character to make Penelope more likable before her main season because I was struggling to not hate her the whole time.

  11. Solace says:

    I must add…the most annoying character in this entire series is Keira’s Walmart dupe, Daphne. The quivering bangs…lord Jesus. I can’t. JUST CANT.

    Phew😁

    • Becks1 says:

      So I really liked Daphne overall, but something that I didn’t like was the emphasis that she was the diamond of the first water, the incomparable of the season, etc. Yes she has impeccable manners and I guess is a good dancer (I wish people still danced like that, although maybe I’m better off bc I have two left feet, LOL). In the book she is on her second season, she is having trouble attracting suitors, everyone likes her but just as a friend, so she is more desperate for Simon’s help. She’s not meant to be the most beautiful girl in the room, the one that everyone is competing with, etc. And I think they did a good job of capturing what she is supposed to look like based on the book’s description – but the change in how she is approaching the season etc affects how I viewed her in my opinion.

      IDK if that makes sense lol.

      • Solace says:

        Ah! Makes perfect sense, Becks. Thanks for explaining…I haven’t read the books.

        Have you noticed…every nepotism actress…be it Daphne or Emily in Paris is being introduced as the belle of the ball or what have you. It’s like they know these choices of actresses are sub par and are overcompensating by constantly reiterating them as the fairest of all. The best choice. But are they?! 😉

      • Sandra says:

        I’ve been seeing comparisons to Twilight. One comparison was the emotional unavailability of both Simon and Edward and the toxic relationships they had with the women in both stories. But also, at least to me, this whole Daphne being the sparkling diamond of the ton thing reminds me of Bella too. A perfectly nice person, but not much of a personality and nothing that stands out about her which leaves me questioning why everyone including the Queen of freaking England was so in awe of her.
        Edit to clarify: Daphne is a perfectly nice person when we meet her. I couldn’t get past the entrapment and rape.

  12. Noodle says:

    I don’t usually link to Buzzfeed, but they had a wonderful behind the scenes collection of the actors’ IGs, photos and videos. The one of AB&C harmonizing had me swooning. I don’t usually swoon.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/noradominick/bridgerton-behind-the-scenes-photos

  13. truthSF says:

    As soon as Marina’s secret came out, it confirmed to me 100% that Penelope was Lady W. And their attempt to throw us off with the dressmaker was weak AF!!

  14. Becks1 says:

    can we talk about what Daphne did to Simon?? I have feelings about that, lol.

    • Noodle says:

      Yesssss, which is never addressed again in the show?

    • Chicken Tetrazzini! says:

      That’s a tough one for me. It was consensual sex and he was also twice her size and could have easily thrown her off… but, she massively disrespected his boundaries and her actions were reprehensibly ignorant. I think comparing what we know now with our current views towards sex and consent, don’t really translate to a fictional character from the 1800′s and the lack of education and agency women had at that time period. Daphne had barely figured how how babies came to be at that point, so a nuanced discussion of her actions needs to remember that. We’ve come a long way in our concept of consent and I’m glad we’re able to look at scenes like this and say “oh, that’s not ok” and if Daphne had had friends sit her down over a cup and explain why it wasn’t ok, then I think she too would have recognized that what she did was wrong. Now we view this through a better lens and say “ladies, don’t do that and here’s why” and that’s maybe not the worst thing? It’s hard to articulate properly

      • Noodle says:

        @chickentettrazini, my issue is that it’s never brought up again. Like, not an apology, not an admission of “I was really angry at you and shouldn’t have done that,” nothing. The show missed an opportunity to show how both characters grew from the conflict, and how they both were culpable for their issues. In the end, it felt like Daphne became less judge mental of others (helping Marina, inviting the Featheringtons to the ball), and this growth would have been made even more profound by an admission that she really hurt her husband.

      • Kate says:

        I think for me- regardless of his strength or the fact that he initially consented- he did attempt to get her to stop and she ignored that so it’s, at the very least, assault and the fact that it’s never addressed, and that the following moments discuss only on how Simon had wronged Daphne makes this scene problematic for me. Vox has a great article about this scene and the fact that the show doesn’t address it well (apparently in the books the scene in question is much worse- so clearly the creators/ writers of the show knew it wasn’t great). There’s another article out today about the consent issues in WW84 and I think these arguments are comparable. The moment Simon tried to get daphne to stop and she refused he no longer consented.

      • Chicken Tetrazzini! says:

        I agree that an overt statement of wrongdoing would have been nice. Although perhaps her admission that she saw the letters he wrote to his father and her understanding why he was so anti-offspring was meant to be this? The show was all over the place in the ‘show don’t tell’ method of story-telling so perhaps that’s where it got lost.

      • Becks1 says:

        @chickentetrazzini – my issues are similar to yours. Its clearly consensual sex, so I don’t know if calling it “rape” is the right choice of words, but at the end, her actions are not wanted by him, so maybe consensual sex with assault at the end? IDK.

        @Noodle – that’s partly my issue too. She never apologizes, she acts like she’s entitled to a child from him anyway she can get it, but again, we’re in the early 19th century here, so maybe women did feel that way.*

        @Kate – it is worse in the book. In the show, IIRC (I’m not there on my rewatch) she does it, and THEN they have the fight over why he never finishes inside her – but in the book, they have the fight first, and then she does it, so she has full knowledge of what she is doing and why he is against it (well, why he tells her he is against it.) But she does have some moral qualms over it in the book and at the end he tells her he left because of his stutter, not because of what she did, but he didn’t like what she did. That seems to have been glossed over in the show.

        *ETA to add we keep saying “during those times….” but this book was written recently so its not like its a Jane Austen adaptation, lol. So the author is trying to place herself in the regency period and social mores etc and I do wonder how much she succeeded?

      • Noodle says:

        @chickentetrazzini, I agree that a statement, an apology, ANYTHING would be nice. We are left to read into her intentions by her actions, but the fact that she never admits her actions were wrong is a missed opportunity. On the other hand, Simon has to repent to mend the relationship, when he was the victim in the assault. They are both culpable for the problems in their relationship, but I don’t like that he had to apologize (as if the assault were his fault) and she was able to show remorse through actions.

      • Amy Too says:

        I also would have liked a bit more explanation of how he magically overcomes his aversion to children and agrees to make a baby and be extremely happy about it within months. Daphne gets what she wants almost immediately. Maybe if they had waited a few more years and had more conversations where he became more comfortable with the idea. But the way it’s written it’s like daphne assaulting him is justified because it leads to him realizing the vow he made to his father isnt important anymore and then—poof!—daphne gets the baby she always wanted. AND he had no mixed feelings about it. Maybe he agrees to have a baby but then he starts to get nervous about it and it takes awhile to overcome those feelings again. It just doesn’t seem like one conversation about how Simon is loveable should be enough to irrevocably fix the daddy issues that he’s had for decades.

      • Chicken Tetrazzini! says:

        Fingers crossed that they take the next year to figure out a scene where Daphne is able to apologize to the Duke and we get some acknowledgement of what really happened. I like to reverse genders in tricky situations like this and if you do it for that scene its REAL problematic. They’ll have plenty of time to write and script it perfectly before any shooting for a second season is done so let’s hope they do that. It’s a modern take on an historical story, so why not be as progressive as possible?

      • Nic919 says:

        It’s been a while since I read the book but doesn’t she get him drunk before it happens too? They tone that down in the show but there probably should have been way more apologies on her end for what she did because using current sensibilities there was no consent. Since the show is already throwing in modern elements they can’t just pretend it’s a historical mores situation. It’s wrong for a modern audience and more grovelling was necessary on her part.

      • Becks1 says:

        @nic – kind of, but no. She doesn’t get him drunk. He goes out and gets drunk all on his own and then comes home and passes out in bed with her and makes her promise to stay with him. Its a few hours later (maybe in the AM?) that it happens. So its still definitely more of a gray area and much more problematic than in the show, but she doesn’t get him on drunk on purpose.

        I honestly kind of feel like the show probably wanted to exclude that scene entirely, but couldn’t figure out how to make the rest of the plot happen without that scene/plot point.

    • Ann says:

      It bothered me a lot. It this were the book, a bodice-ripper written 20 years ago, ok, maybe they could have gotten away with it. After all those books often treated sexual assault as romantic. But this was a modern version, diverse, a bit more feminist? It wasn’t a lack of sexual consent, but consent to have a child. As someone who is vehemently pro-choice, I hated how it was treated.

      I understand that Daphne felt disrespected. As her conversation with the housekeeper said, in those times failure to have children was seen as the wife’s fault and a source of shame. I just think they could have had a conversation first as to WHY he didn’t want kids. There was no need to include that scene first. After all the first half of the show was sexually tame, and relied most on failure to communicate, not abuse of power? I thought it was a bad decision.

  15. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    You were right. I started the show yesterday. I finished the show yesterday. I couldn’t stop. At first I felt as though Whistledown was a man, but after episodes two and three, I hung my hat on the most underestimated character in the series… Penelope. I think the actress is beautiful! Anyway, I’m quite surprised I loved it so much because I’m kinda funny about modern finesse seeping into period pieces, but it’s really entertaining. Maybe I enjoy a good tale about men being put to task, and how usually, they’re so woefully inferior to women.😁

    • Amy Too says:

      I wanted Whistledown to the the Queen’s butler or manservant or whatever: the one that she makes leave the room to get her snuff because he’s “a terrible gossip.” That would have been great. And would also make the bits in the column about the Queen’s luncheon not being mentioned or whatever even juicier. Queen’s servant is treated so poorly and the only way he can hit back is through an anonymous column or something like that.

  16. Solace says:

    Daphne entraps Simon.

    Also, her milquetoast-ness made her insecure and wasn’t cutting it. The couple makes no sense. He deserved better. Why couldn’t they choose a better actress. She doesn’t look age appropriate for him.
    I’ll mention her annoying, constant quivering one more time. It’s just…argh!!

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Omg, how many times did we have to watch and hear her quiver lol?

      • Solace says:

        @Mabs

        Ikr!! 😂 Like enough with the quivering. She kept on injecting anxiety in every scene.

        Must say..the comments are on fiyah🤩 It’s like a therapy session. My issues with Bridgerton seem resolved since comments here covered everything from the Tiffany Trump resemblance to lack of consent to loopholes in Whistledown’s identity.

  17. Solace says:

    One last thing. When Eloise interrupts Daphne’s piano playing with something like please spare us, she was channelling my thoughts😂

    I loved Eloise.

    I think now I’ve gotten all my criticism out of me. Have a good day, everyone!

    • Becks1 says:

      I think Eloise is book 5 so hold on for a few more seasons, lol.

      I did laugh at that part though with the piano playing. And I liked when she asked Daphne what was the name of the song and told her she should name it.

  18. Minorbird says:

    I loved Penelope from the start, she has her flaws but I still love the character.

  19. Trillion says:

    Not a Daphne fan but if we need to have her in order to get to Simon, well OK then. She does resemble a Manet girl. I can see why they cast her.

    • Chicken Tetrazzini! says:

      if you look up Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte… she was considered one of the most beautiful women of the 1820′s in America and honestly, for the time period, the actress that was cast as Daphne would have been an incomparable beauty in that era. Elizabeth wasn’t milquetoast at all though, saucy dame that she was

    • L4frimaire says:

      I find her character rather wan and milquetoast as well, but she had amazing chemistry with Simon and she looks way more mature and sexier IRL.

  20. Sandra says:

    I love, love, love, love that Claire from Derry Girls (or anyone from Derry Girls because I adore that show) is getting more attention. I was so delighted when Nicola showed up on screen in Bridgerton.

  21. Stef says:

    I generally love period pieces like this but I couldn’t get into Bridgeton. I found it juvenile and lacking purpose in a 19th century-gossip-girl kind of way that turned me right off. The books are likely better. I’m a huge Phillipa Gregory fan, so I might enjoy the books.

    Nicola looks amazing in that pink dress! I also enjoyed her in Derry Girls.

  22. Solace says:

    @Amy too and Sandra

    Thanks for chiming in. Loving the questions and comparisons. The different interpretations. The comments in this post are all so good. Thanks to Oya too for choosing some great fun topics to post on!

    • Becks1 says:

      I love all the different interpretations too. These are the kind of fun discussions I like – where someone can like Penelope and someone can like Eloise (or both) or have different feelings about different scenes, but because its about a Netflix show, no one is really heated or taking it personally. It’s just fun to talk about.

      Honestly, if there’s something I miss about hanging out with other people, going to work, etc – its these kinds of discussions. “what have you watched lately?” “Oooh can we talk about Bridgerton?!?!?” or books we’ve read, etc. This reminds me of the GoT posts we used to have here every week during the season.

      • Nic919 says:

        I got my mom to watch and she said she was expecting Eloise and Penelope to be lovers. Especially once Benedict was having his fun.

  23. Amy Too says:

    One thing I didn’t like about Bridgerton was that they kept giving all the salacious or “not quite right” story lines to the non-white characters. We have Simon with his violence and the boxing. And of course the other boxer is also black. And then Marina with her unwed pregnancy and having to entrap a husband. Why couldn’t Marina had been a white cousin and the Featherington’s black? Why couldn’t Simon’s boxing partner be white? Or why couldn’t he have some less violent hobby? Or why couldn’t we have seen other white people boxing? I also HATED how one of Marina’s gross old suitors inspected her teeth, specifically, like he was buying a slave. That was disgusting. If this a post-race world, then why all the subtle and overt racism? If it’s not post-racial and some old guys are still inspecting black women as if they are slaves, then can we talk more about the race relations? Why did every black character have to be “sullied” or “animalistic” in some way? It just seemed liked all these racist tropes kept showing up one right after the other. If there had only been one racist trope, then I could have excused it as coincidence, but it just kept coming. Internal bias on the part of the writers?

    • Becks1 says:

      I found that problematic too – that the sketchy storylines were all given to POC. I would have liked to have seen a prominent female who was not white and who was not problematic. I guess Lady Danbury and the Queen, but they are really supporting characters.

      I wonder what the reaction would have been were the Bridgertons black and the Duke white?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Agreed, this is clearly trying to be a progressive or diverse show but it was ultimately ALL about white women to the expense of Black characters. Disappointing.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I saw it differently. I found the POC strong and capable of putting certain modalities of thought wherever they wanted, and subsequently, calling on them when needed. The white characters, most of them, faded into wallpaper. The white men were appalling or stupid or confused. The Featheringtons are aptly named. Over-the-top wispy accessories which aren’t necessary lol. Daphne’s mother, even though a decent character, has a hard time catching on. The Black women are everything and imo, they make this show interesting.

      • Becks1 says:

        that’s a good take Mabs. Overall, I do think the POC are stronger and more interesting, even with the storylines.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        They are Becks; I think they are the foundation of strength. It’s where I found the story anchored. The white ladies’ conversations were perpetually eye-rollers, but place Lady Danbury in the scene, and suddenly common sense prevails.

    • L4frimaire says:

      That scene with Marina and the old guy was very auction block to me too. I wonder if the creators are even aware of this? It definitely seems an issue and hope it won’t be an ongoing issue. Also, would be nice if some of these fabulous older women had romances as well or a sexy scandal.

  24. Julia K says:

    First glance at photos above look amazingly like Tiffany Trump

  25. Noodle says:

    Just saw this Tweet. Makes me like him even MORE!
    https://twitter.com/MaameAgyeiwaa36/status/1346276597540777986?s=20

  26. FancyHat says:

    I loved For the People and was so sad when it was canceled. By the 2nd season they seem to have realized the Kate and smoldering hot guy should have been the leads instead of the drippy roommates

  27. L4frimaire says:

    I kinda didn’t want it to be Penelope, and found it disappointing, but also curious to how she gets her info and publishes, since her family is bankrupt. Also, how does she get out and about since an unmarried woman would be fairly sheltered? Where does she carry out these secret activities and how did it start? Did she take over from someone else? The fact that Eloise hadn’t the slightest suspicion shows how underestimated she is.

    • Becks1 says:

      So for the publishing – this is something else glossed over – but the first few weeks of the newsletter were free, then she started charging, and by that point everyone was hooked so EVERYONE was paying. so I imagine at this point she has the means to keep publishing despite the bankrupt family.

      • M.A.F. says:

        It’s not super glossed over but if one wasn’t paying attention, they would have missed seeing people hand over coins to the kids handing out the newsletters.

      • Becks1 says:

        @MAF – yeah its in there, but its easy to miss, and I also think its easy to miss (if ever mentioned) that it went from being free to having a price. Really, a brilliant business move on Penelope’s part.

    • Abby says:

      Penelope’s family is still part of the ton, so they attend all of the Season and are invited….but she can’t report on what she isn’t allowed to attend, and so when they were asked to leave the Queen’s garden party thing – and it wasn’t included in the following issue (remember the Queen found it insulting that it wasn’t even mentioned?) – it was a big hint that the writer was Penelope.

  28. Poisonella says:

    I know, me too!
    I guess there isn’t going to be another season? Bridgerton was good but after awhile I stated FF through it. The guy who plays Simon is going to be a big star though, he’s beautiful.

  29. A says:

    I LOVED her as Clare in Derry Girls. Loved loved loved. “I’m not being an individual all on me own!” Classic.

    This probably speaks volumes about me as a person, but I just can’t get into the show for one reason, and one extremely bad, superficial reason alone–I hate the way the female lead is styled. I know she is supposed to come off as extremely innocent and sheltered, but her face just….bothers me because that innocence comes across in an extremely annoying way. Like. Girl. Come ON.

    I’m sure this was all very much in keeping with how women of the upper classes in particular were brought up (because poor women never get to be characterized as innocent in quite the same way, do they), but it just comes across like her character is stupid, and I just feel really really bad for thinking this. Ugh. Yeah.

  30. JJ says:

    I mostly loved Penelope, and from the first episode when I saw her as an ignored plus size girl, I thought it was going to be her. The entire part of point us to the seamstress seemed so out of her character, I was so happy it wasn’t her.
    My husband was upset she was revealed in the first season, but after the drudging around in Gossip Girl forever, I was pretty relieved, we can now move on and make things more interesting.

  31. M.A.F. says:

    “steamy sex scenes”

    Everyone keeps saying this. WHAT STEAMY SEX SCENES? there is barely any sex in the first place! And what sex there is, is confined to three characters, two of which are the leads & their sex only takes in place in what, one or two episodes. I was expecting Sex & the City but set in 1813.

    And I didn’t like the reveal. I don’t mind that it is Penelope but I think they should not have revealed it so soon.

    I do look forward to a season 2 though.

  32. Ann says:

    I didn’t think Simon and Daphne had chemistry at all. I didn’t like the show at all either. The sex was too in your face (well, on Simon’s face at times.) Sometimes less is more, you know? Take Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle in Pride and Prejudice. Now THAT show was sexy.

  33. Amelie says:

    It was pretty obvious it was Penelope in the last few episodes, it was like a neon sign pointing at her. Especially when she acted so disinterested whenever Eloise came around to voice her thoughts about it. The dead giveaway was when she ran crying inexplicably to Eloise just as Colin and Marina were getting ready to leave and elope. She was clearly crying out of guilt of outing and bringing shame to her own family, not because she was heartbroken Colin was getting married to another woman. I also have to wonder how in the hell both Lady Featherington and Lady Bridgerton read Whistledown’s pamphlet early enough to know what was going on. Did Penelope deliver a special super early morning edition to each household? How the heck was she to know her mother and Colin’s would read it in time? Lol so many plot holes!

    Anyways, I wasn’t very sympathetic to Penelope at all. She has a puppy crush on Colin and while it wasn’t right for Marina to lead Colin on the way she did, she only did it because it simply was her only option to not be an outcast as a single, unwed mother. Penelope didn’t seem to care when Marina was being brought around older suitors she had no interest in. She only cared because of her unrequited love for Colin. She kept going on and on about how it was unfair to Colin and ruin his future–why didn’t she say that about any of the other suitors? Wouldn’t it have been entrapping an older or another young guy in the same way? She wouldn’t have cared if it was another man, she only brought shame to her family because of her own feelings for Colin. So yeah, she did it for selfish reasons, there wasn’t anything noble there. Not because she really cared about Colin’s freedom or the fact he was being tricked. And when she is unmasked at some point, how will Penelope’s family, Marina, and Colin react? That’s a ticking time bomb that I’m assuming has consequences in the book.