7/10 As someone who loves politics but couldn’t be more bored by British politics, I was skeptical of watching a show that I had little interest in, but had heard good things. After having seen the entire first season, I admit that although a show like this isn’t really my cup of tea (see what I did there?), it is a very well made, well-acted and a historically interesting show. If you like shows about history, British politics, royalty or any of the topics that this show covers, you will love “The Crown”. If you are like me and the subject matter isn’t entirely striking, you will at least appreciate the craftsmanship of how well this is made and executed. One thing I will give the British is that they are phenomenal actors, many having come from the stage/theater. The cast assembled for this show is nothing short of spectacular. I had never seen Claire Foy act before and she won me over immediately. Matt Smith does a solid job and the underrated Jared Harris is phenomenal too. I will admit after having seen Gary Oldman in “Darkest Hour” win an Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill, it took me some time to get used to John Lithgow as Churchill but by the end of the season, he finally won me over. Pip Torrens was someone I wasn’t familiar with but who was a standout for me in his role despite not being a very emotional character. Throughout the course of the season though, his performance did grow on me and I came to appreciate it more. Hanz Zimmer provides the score for the show’s opening credit theme and he delivers as you would expect him to. The writing by political British expert Peter Morgan (“The Queen”) is top notch and although I cannot speak to how accurate everything in the show is, I assume the proper research was done and great attention to detail was taken. Some episodes are more interesting and gripping than others (the fourth episode, “Act of God” is very strong”) but the overall quality stays pretty consistent. One minor complaint I had with the second to last episode, “Assassins” introduces a love triangle with Elizabeth, Philip and another man. This other man comes out of nowhere after having not been mentioned in previous episodes. I feel that if they would have mentioned him earlier and sprinkled him into the show in a scene or two here and there, it would be more believable that Philip would be jealous of this man because we would know about his relationship with Elizabeth better. But to throw it in so late in the season with no build up to it, feels like cheating. The only reason this show doesn’t get a higher score than a 7 (which is still good, mind you) isn’t due to the fact that it has many flaws or problems with it. The lack of a higher score only goes to the fact that it didn’t completely blow me away, there aren’t a great many moments of tension or suspense and I probably wouldn’t rush to watch it again. That being said, there are some great back and forth dialogue moments with the strong writing, a perfectly executed recreation of the time period with amazing costume and production design, some clever cinematography, brilliant performances and it holds your attention with its solid pacing. If you love stuff like this and find yourself looking up every image you can of the most recent royal wedding, then this will be your bread and butter (and crumpets). If you are like me who doesn’t really care for how super British this all is, you will still admire many aspects of this well made show. Keep your expectations in check but “The Crown” is worth checking out.
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