A Critical Review of The Crown, Episodes 1-5

Normally, in English class, the term “critical review” doesn’t mean you actually say negative things. It means you provide a detailed in depth analysis. BUT TODAY IN THIS BLOG IT ABSOLUTELY MEANS NEGATIVE, PEOPLE. I had such high hopes for this show. I must have put it too high on a pedestal. You know, the same one that Kate Middleton is sitting on with George and Charlotte. And CLEARLY, there was no room for anyone else up there.

This show is so hard for me to watch. I forced myself to watch these 5 episodes. I can’t understand what anyone is saying because they all mumble like my grandpa. (No offense, Papa.) Nothing really happens, except people keep dying and everyone is sad and does Queen Elizabeth even like her life?? Here are the episode recaps and my review:

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Episode 1, “Wolferton Splash”

The Crown opens with Phillip being knighted. I think. I couldn’t UNDERSTAND THE PEOPLE. He seems wild and rambunctious, and like he’s going to have an issue “submitting” to his wife, the Queen. (Also, this was in the commercial.) Their wedding is at Westminster Abbey, but TBH, Kate did it better.

We are also introduced to these guys:

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister, who is played by the dude from 3rd Rock from the Sun. Except, in this show, he looks like a combination of Scrooge and one of the opera muppets.

Margaret, Elizabeth’s sister, who’s kind of slutty and likes an older married man named Peter (who is not that cute btw, so I really don’t get it.)

King George VI (he’s the king, duh) and he has a GINORMOUS NASTY BLACK MASS pulled out of him, because: lung cancer. In related news, he keeps repeatedly smoking a zillion cigarettes. How bout those 1950’s?!

Episode 2, “Hyde Park Corner”

Elizabeth and Phillip are on a Commonwealth tour in Kenya and an elephant almost kills them. Other than that, the trip’s pretty cool.

KGVI dies and IT. IS. SAD. Princess Margaret is distraught and Peter, the old married man she likes, kisses her. (Way to make a move when she’s super vulnerable, dude.) It takes them a REALLY long time to find Elizabeth and tell her the news. It completely baffles my mind that the heir to the British empire is on a safari in Africa where NO ONE can contact her. What the heck? I’ve seen photos of Prince William in some remote places but you best believe he took a satellite phone.

Elizabeth chooses to keep her own name, becoming Queen Elizabeth II. (A bizarre AND CONFUSING monarch tradition to change names, if you ask me.) Her whole family has to bow to her now and it’s weird for everybody.

Opera muppet man is rapidly aging and his cabinet ministers are trying to oust him. I’m not really sure why this is a plot line.

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Episode 3, “Windsor”

When Elizabeth’s uncle abdicated the throne (so he could marry a divorced chick) everyone in the royal family blamed him for who got stuck ruling England. Question: Why does no one actually WANT to rule England? I get that it’s stressful. But so is everyone else’s factory job- only they make 40 cents an hour and will die of emphysema.

Meanwhile, Phillip is all pissed because the royal family can’t keep his last name and they have to move into Buckingham palace. He is on my nerves with this ridiculous #firstworldproblem.

QEII is learning the ropes of being queen. She’s super smart, standing up for herself, but with grace and kindness. I really like Elizabeth. If she wasn’t surrounded by super boring people, I might keep watching this show.

Margaret and soon-to-be-divorced Peter make out in his office. This is literally the most exciting part of this episode.

Episode 4, “Act of God”

This entire episode is about creepy, scary, terrifying poisonous fog and the CUTE BLONDE GIRL GETS HIT BY A BUS! At this point, I asked myself why I am even still watching this show. And do you know what the answer was? To hope it gets better. Like maybe if I keep putting myself through this torture then it will pay off?

Due to the fog, we are supposed to deduce that Winston Churchill is no longer fit to be Prime Minister, but like I said, I don’t know why this is a plot line and I’m super bored with it. Also, I’m now afraid of fog.

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Episode 5, “Smoke and Mirrors”

Alright, STUPID EPISODE FIVE may have won me back over. It was really good, dang it. The story of the brother’s abdication is riveting. At the end, when he’s crying and playing his bagpipe… oh my gahhhhh. For the first time watching this show I was actually moved to feel feelings. The weight of the coronation scenes were unbelievable. To think of all the kings and queens who sat in that exact chair for a THOUSAND years before her. The fact that her husband had to kneel before her. Correction: the fact that she FORCED her husband to kneel before her, because Phillip’s ego is the size of Westminster Abbey. Ugh. SO GOOD.

Netflix spent A LOT of money making The Crown. It’s extremely well acted and the sets and costumes are crazy good. The New York Times was singing it’s praises for making drama out of basically no action at all. Except, for me, it’s still basically no action at all. I don’t know if I’ll finish the remaining 5 episodes. Maybe one of you guys could talk me into it once I finish Mr. Selfridge and a rewatch of Friday Night Lights. Oh look, Tim Riggins. You knew it was coming.

Friday Night Lights

Maybe when the Duchess of Cambridge gets her own Netflix series, I’ll be able to make it to the end. Cheers.

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