The Crown

the_crown_title_cardYears: 2016 — Present

Synopsis: The lives of the mythologized Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are portrayed, along with the many colorful people of their real family and government.

Pros:
• A truly humanizing portraying of people that sometimes prefer their own mythologies.
• The actors, with earnest heart, brilliantly portray layered people that sometimes must pretend to not care.
• John Lithgow perfectly portrayed the imperfect, stubborn, and implausibly likable Winston Churchill in the first season.
• Appears to successfully capture the sense of the lesser known personal lives of Britain’s overly mythologized people.
• It is sometimes a breath a fresh air to see a time when silly gaffs, divorce, and unrevealing nude pictures were devastating scandals.
• Can make one interested in the textbook history of British aristocracy and politics.

Cons:
• Probably speculated on and changed too much of the history at times for the sake of narrative.
• The musical score goes from overbearing to tolerably repetitive.

Discussion:
Narrative history runs deep in The Crown, as it does for all film and TV portrayals of historical events. It may certainly be a weakness to not always follow every mundane detail to capture a specific tone and feeling. Yet, historical dramas are not textbooks, while the feelings they capture may be devastatingly real. The British Monarchy and their compatriots, political or otherwise, were and are real people caught up in their own sometimes ridiculous mythologies. How can a monarch officially only answerable to God be just a country’s figurehead? There was no real answer to that at first, but as was likely the case, “doing nothing” might very well be significant power to learn when wielded in just the right ways.  In the end, we feel for all the real-life people portrayed, people sometimes in the most impossible of jobs. They hide behind the masks of their own mythology, but not always very well, especially when one of them refuses even a slight degree of conformity. The Crown arguably does nothing to add to the argument for a continued constitutional monarch, but that may be the harshly passive aggressive point.


Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes —
S1 – 89%
S2 – 91%
S3 – TBD
S4 – TBD
S5 – TBD
S6 – TBD

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