Netflix’s The Crown is finally back and I can finally stop worrying about how good it’s going to be compared to season 1 and 2. Since the news regarding Claire Foy being replaced by Olivia Coleman with the hopes to show the aging of Queen Elizabeth II, I have been sceptical, worrying how the season will hold up because let’s be real, Claire Foy was damn great. But the wait is over and as is my anxiety as Coleman plays a brilliant role of Queen Elizabeth II.
Tobias Menzies on the other hand, not so much. This season, we get an insight into his miserably tortured emotions and a man who is the opposite to his wife as he has the feelings the Queen lacks. Yet, for me, he doesn’t have the same energy as Matt Smith…I wanted a bit more from him. That, or I love Matt Smith so much my judgement is clearly clouded and I will say anything for Smith’s return.
And then there’s the legend that is Helena Bonham Carter playing the iconic role of Princess Margaret, who still had the excess, the crazy that Margaret represents. Carter did a brilliant job of representing the lost and lonely personality that is the younger sister.
As for the plot, this series covers the years from 1964-1977 with the election of Harold Winston, the sad death of Winston Churchill, the exposure of the Queen’s surveyor of pictures, Anthony Blunt and a dramatisation of the 1966 Aberfan disaster and the Queen’s delayed public response which was extremely difficult to watch, and almost had me in tears as we watch her visit the families of the children who died.
This season is beautifully done with no expense spared on the sets, the outfits and the vision.
Amongst this, we also have the development of our monarchs. Princess Margaret wants a bigger role after she secures a bailout from the Americans but yet again, Elizabeth finds a way to not give her sister what she wants, Phillip’s mother returns home after years in asylums, triggering something in Phillip that actually managed to break my heart.
This season is beautifully done with no expense spared on the sets, the outfits and the vision. At times, it left me longing for the monarchy’s abolishment (the scenes of Philip complaining about being asked to cut back on his yacht consumption had me raging with the privilege these individuals actually have). But at the same time, it also enlightens you into their lives and the difficulties they have to face on a day to day basis; should Elizabeth show some emotion today? The decisions they have to make aren’t easy and that’s what makes the show enticing and even difficult to watch at times.
At the same time, there were a few episodes this season where I could have gladly fell asleep or turned it off. For example, there is an entire episode devoted to Prince Phillip being interested in the moon landings. We literally spend an hour watching a family watching men land on the moon and I was bored as anything. We watch Phillip flying in a plane towards the moon, meeting the astronauts and having a midlife crisis. Did this really happen? If anything, this episode was a waste of time and actually moved the show away from something that was beautifully crafted into amateur drama.
The Crown is dramatic and thrilling but it’s also an education on a culture and society that has always been there but we don’t really know the gritty details, and this season most definitely deals with the gritty. It’s hard to recommend The Crown as I never thought I would enjoy it, I hate the monarchy with a passion, everyone who knows me knows I do but I was gripped. So, let’s just say, if you’re interested in a period drama, whether or not it’s about our monarchy, I’d definitely give this show a go. And better yet, all the episodes come out at once…time for a binge!
Last modified: 27th November 2019