‘The Crown’ makes dreary 20th century Britain into great television.


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The Crown, first released in 2016, details the life of Queen Elizabeth II in a historical drama television series.

When I first saw my mom watching The Crown, I rolled my eyes. I assumed it would be another one of those snotty British TV shows with presumptuous, uninteresting characters. I was right, The Crown is full of obnoxious Brits who fire narcissistic insults left and right. However, I have never been so wrong. It’s not just another one of those British TV Shows. The Crown is a dramatic Netflix series with characters and writing that triumphs in making dreary 20th century Britain great television.

The Crown details the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (portrayed by Claire Foy), starting with the marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. The series follows the crises and difficult decisions the Queen has to deal with on a daily basis. However, what makes the series so binge-worthy is the complex relationships between herself, her sister (Princess Margaret), her husband (Prince Philip) and the various executives in her staff and government. Elizabeth makes it very clear early on in the series that the Crown must always come first. This makes for rich drama, especially between herself and her family, since her duties as Queen and what’s best for the public’s view of the Royals is prioritized before her personal wishes and relationships.

The Crown is almost as much a show about the Queen as it is about her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh (portrayed by Matt Smith). In fact, Philip is such a major role that for the first season of The Crown, Smith was paid more for his role than Foy, which sparked controversy. The unstable relationship between Elizabeth and Philip is addictive to watch, and you’ll find yourself more invested in their relationship than they are. Philip is a volatile character who often advocates for breaking tradition in the monarchy. His preferences often get shut down by Elizabeth, creating a very obvious strain in their marriage. The twists and turns of the Royal Marriage is at the heart of what makes The Crown a great series.

The first two seasons of The Crown are available for streaming on Netflix, and the third season is currently in development. The third season will take place starting in 1964 and will include an all-new cast to portray the characters as they age. Despite the new cast, I have complete faith that season three will be just as enjoyable as the first two seasons. Given fantastic dialogue and complex character arcs that define the series, The Crown has a steady foundation and will continue to shine in its third season.

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