7.5/10 After season one pleasantly surprised me, I had higher expectations for season two. The hard part about any first season is establishing everything. The characters, the tone, the way the show unfolds, etc. Now that season two is here and we already know the players, they just have to be further developed as they face new obstacles. Season two does excel at accomplishing this. Season one was more focused on major historical events and how they impacted the Queen and those around her. Season two meanwhile focuses more so on the personal life/struggles of the Queen and those around her and has those important historical moments as more background noise. Despite liking the WWII history of the first season, I think focusing more heavily on the personal drama elevates the show. The first half of this season in particular is phenomenal with the first five episodes all being vast accomplishments. The second half of the show, while still solid, isn’t quite as captivating. Some new characters that are introduced do a lot to bring a breath of fresh air to the show and it is nice to see a few characters from last season brought back in minor roles. The only weak spot in new casting comes in the form of Michael C. Hall, whom despite being a great actor, is very miscast as JFK. The biggest negative I can say if that the climactic final episode of the season was a bit of a letdown, especially the very final scene of the episode/season. It ends on a pessimistic note that felt inappropriate for what had been going on in the show. My biggest concern is that they also decided to completely recast the entire show for the upcoming seasons three and four. The brilliant casting has maybe been the highlight of the entire first two seasons and a lot of the actors they have hired to replace everyone, while talented, in no way resemble the actors from the first two seasons and will take a lot of adjusting for us to get used to them in these roles. I am far less excited for season three, despite enjoying the first two seasons and the upcoming seasons maintaining its showrunner and creative talent behind the scenes. Overall, if you enjoyed the first season, you will enjoy the second season, especially with how strong it starts and how solid the acting continues to be across the board. If you didn’t like season one, then this won’t turn you around to it. In the end, I found this season ever so slightly better than the first, even if I am nervous about the new cast next season. Check it out and have a royally good time!
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