“Bridgerton” turned to famous “New Girl” and “Felicity” kisses for Polin first kiss inspiration

"It's such a powerful moment of seeing Penn tiptoe into her agency and into asking for what she wants," showrunner Jess Brownell tells EW.

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Bridgerton season 3, part 1.

There's nothing like that first kiss.

While Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) has been dreaming of kissing Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) her entire life, she finally gets the courage to ask him for that longed-for smooch in season 3 of the Netflix series. It's meant to be something between a practice and a pity kiss, an embrace that will tide Penelope over if she's so unlucky to never find a partner.

"It's so heartbreaking, because you are asking the person that's closest to you to do you a favor because you are worried that it'll never happen," Newton reflects.

Related: How Bridgerton transformed Luke Newton into hunky 'pirate Colin' for season 3

But what could be a quick peck blooms into something far more earth-shaking as Colin plants one on her in the Featherington garden. The first kiss is gentle, short, and sweet, but it erupts into a lengthier, more passionate embrace.

Bridgerton showrunner Jess Brownell tells Entertainment Weekly that much painstaking thought went into crafting the moment, adapted from the novel, Romancing Mister Bridgerton. "The kiss is from the book, Penelope asking Colin to kiss her, and that was a moment we knew we wanted in there," she explains. "It's such a powerful moment of seeing Penn tiptoe into her agency and into asking for what she wants."

<p>Liam Daniel/Netflix</p> Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan on 'Bridgerton'

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan on 'Bridgerton'

Brownell and the show's two season 3 stars had lengthy debates about what the right approach would be. "Nicola and Luke and I talked endlessly about that first kiss and what we wanted it to feel like," she continues. "The three of us were on a group chat during the season and we were sending each other clips of some of our favorite television first kisses and negotiating. Should it be that they slam together with passion or should it be softer and more gentle and more delicate?"

Related: A guide to the Bridgerton cast, from seasons 1 to 3

Some of the favorite kisses on the table included iconic moments from Felicity and New Girl, courtesy of Brownell and Coughlan's own personal TV obsessions.

"I'm a huge Felicity fan and the first kiss between Keri Russell's character and Scott Speedman is so sexy," says Brownell. "They're in the middle of having this conversation, and then Scott Speedman just lunges at her and it really works. That isn't though the vibe of this first kiss. Nicola sent a clip of Nick and Jess's first kiss from New Girl, which is also a very passionate, slamming together kiss."

Ray Mickshaw/FOX Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson on 'New Girl'
Ray Mickshaw/FOX Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson on 'New Girl'

Despite the love for these more passionate, sudden kisses, Brownell felt it was crucial that this first lip-lock have a lighter touch. "I was very specific about wanting it to be softer," she says. "More tentative at first, and then growing with surprising passion. As a woman, soft kisses are really nice, and they look nicer on television, but there are some more passionate slamming-into-each-other kisses to come." Those are the ones where New Girl and Felicity came more directly into play.

Related: From spoon licks to wet shirts, the cast of Bridgerton recaps the first 2 seasons

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For Newton, it was also a crucial moment in opening Colin's eyes to his true feelings for Penelope. "It's a small kiss, and it could just finish at that," he says. "But then both of them are in that moment and it continues. That's what plays on his mind a bit — why did they continue? Why was it such a passionate kiss? Why am I feeling this way? It takes that moment for him to finally go, 'Oh s---, there is something here. There's something between us.'"

Newton also posits that this kiss aligns with Colin's more romantic sensibilities, shaking him up far more than any of the more passionate or intimate moments he's shared with women around the world. "He is a true romantic," Newton concludes. "Having that moment and realizing, 'Oh, I've been running away from society trying to find something, and I've actually just found it in this moment, but that can't be right because she's my best friend.' That's why there's so much going on. It was so fun to play all different ranges of emotions in that moment."

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.