The Crown: First Impressions
Last month, Netflix added another original, The Crown, which follows and focuses on Queen Elizabeth II’s ascent to the throne and the issues she faced from those around her. In true Netflix original style, the show is incredibly well done, providing viewers with a rich and detailed royal drama.
Although slow paced and possibly a bit disconcerting at first if you are unfamiliar with some royal history, the lush settings and music will immediately hook you. The show begins with Elizabeth’s (Claire Foy) marriage to Phillip (played by Matt Smith!) and goes from there, exploring some of the years leading up to her ascension. The quiet chemistry between a lot of the cast, especially between Claire Foy and Matt Smith, is incredibly well done and carries the show even when it seems a little slow. John Lithgow’s performance as Winston Churchill is fantastic, and if you’re an avid British TV or movies watcher, especially in regards to Jane Austen, this show turns into quite a few moments of “Wait, where do I know them from?”
I’m only on the 4th episode (out of 10) but I’ve already experienced some deep emotional connection to the story and the characters. It probably helps that I was brought up on British royal history, but it also helps that I watched The King’s Speech (which is incredibly well done and absolutely worth a watch if you have not seen it). Being aware of King George VI’s history, especially his health and how he was unprepared for the throne upon his brother Edward’s abdication, can help understand the underlying melancholy and tension in the first few episodes. It certainly helped me become incredibly attached to the King in the first two episodes, and Jared Harris’ performance is fantastic.
If rich costume dramas are your style, or if you like history, or Matt Smith, this is definitely a show worth checking out. Netflix has again proven itself a strong contender in original content.